Saturday, November 22, 2014

Politics and music: never the twain should meet?

It's at times like these that I question whether I was right to defend the right of musicians to dabble in politics.

First came the 2014 reboot of Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', complete with patronising, clumsy and crassly generalising lyrics. While the end - raising vital funds to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa - justifies the means (a cornerstone of my argument in that Art Of Noise debate), it's worth considering Geldof's comment that "It has nothing to do with whether you like the record or not or whether you approve of the artists" - if that's the case, why not just donate direct to charity rather than inflating the egos of those taking part?

And then there was Myleene Klass, pop star turned TV presenter, supposedly wiping the floor with Ed Miliband on ITV's The Agenda over Labour's plans to introduce a mansion tax. Miliband often looks somewhat dumbstruck, but he could be forgiven for being flummoxed in this instance, given he was being lectured by someone claiming to speak on behalf of ordinary "grannies". Polly Toynbee's commentary in the Guardian nails it: "How quickly wealth loses touch, bestowing the sense of indignant entitlement Klass displayed as she claimed you could only buy 'a garage' for £2m in London. Polite Miliband may have been stumped about where to begin a riposte, but on this issue most people see the obscene spectacle of London property wealth – and rightly think the rich should pay a bit more."

Which brings me, finally, to the song Nickelback have written in response to the riots in Ferguson. Sod the defence, I'm voting for the prosecution.

(Thanks to Danny for the final link.)

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