The Return of The Election Section

Okay, I’m going to hold back the rant for now. We have six weeks of election bullshit ahead of us to wade through, plenty of time for politicians to irritate me sufficiently to provoke that most biting of response: a blogpost and an appropriate song.

Before that happens, a little over two years ago, in the run up to the last General Election, I ran a series of posts featuring records with some political content, alongside others¬†which I fiendishly gave political context where before there had been none. There were ten posts, eight posted before the election, two slightly more depressing ones afterwards; all of the links have perished by now, so I thought that I’d¬†revive a couple of those songs to kick things of.

So, with my apologies to very long-term readers who are now yawning and moaning that they’ve seen¬†all of this before, we’re off, with a¬†song I referred to in my last post, the other “rap” song that I (incorrectly) think I can perform when I’ve had a few. And in case any of you are unaware of my political leanings, the title of this one should make it abundantly clear:

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Oui 3 – Break From the Old Routine

Next, a song which I’ve posted twice before, but it’s such an absolute classic I’m brazenly going to give it its’ hat-trick appearance. It’s an anti-Thatcher song, but since the lyrics are deliberately oblique, it’s one which has stood the test of time:

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Hue and Cry – Labour of Love

And whilst that may be upbeat, subversive pop at it’s finest, this next tune is one of the most hypnotic, noisiest two-chord call-to-arms you’ll ever hear, a record I’m proud that I bought on 12″ when it first came out, back when I was a youthful cardigan-wearing¬† unapologetic leftie (I’m no longer youthful, and I wear nice jackets instead of cardigans these days, but¬†the rest stands):

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Spacemen 3 – Revolution

Just in case that one was a little too subtle for you, a record which an ex-flatmate and I once bonded over. He had rocked up to the¬†flat Hel and I shared to see the spare room we had on offer, bleach-blond Mohican haircut and leather jacket gloriously offset by his spectacles, girlfriend who definitely wasn’t going to be moving in too, no honestly, you’ll hardly notice her (….) in tow,¬†and Hel and I liked him immediately. One Friday night he and I stayed in and drank, and of course I’d done a playlist, which had this song on it. We must have played it about ten times in a row, mostly because I was so pissed and chatty I kept talking over it and then complaining I’d missed it again.

Quite how I managed to miss it, gives an indication of just how pissed and chatty I was.

This was always going to get an airing at some point, but a request by regular reader abramson60 via the Comments the other day has brought it Рand, for that matter, this whole post Рforwards:

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Newtown Neurotics – Kick Out The Tories

Ok, so that’s the stuff I’ve posted before done and dusted. Coming soon: biting satire in the form of musical misappropriation.

In other words: more soon.

But before I go, a little comment. Since the snap election was called earlier this week, we have already seen examples of voter apathy, much raising of eyebrows and tutting and “Oh no, here we go again”s.

One of the many things that has annoyed me since the Brexit referendum¬†is the constant message that the majority of the UK voted to leave the EU. They did not. The majority of people who voted, voted to leave the EU. Here’s a graph which you will see me using a lot over the next few weeks:

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Let’s do the maths: that’s 31,553,728 people who either did not, or could not, vote in the referendum.

When Theresa May announced the snap election, she claimed¬†that it was to prevent¬†divisions at Westminster hampering the Brexit negotiations. We’ll examine that statement in more detail another time.

But had more people turned out to vote in the¬†Brexit referendum last year, it’s just possible that the result would have been different, and that those same Brexit negotiations would not be happening.

So, make no mistake, it is apathy among the electorate which has led to this election being called. Which is not an excuse for even more voter apathy this time around; it is so, so important that as many people as possible are able to vote Рirrespective of how they vote Рon June 8th.

Which is why you’ll see me posting this link a lot over the next few weeks too:

Register to Vote

You have until 22 May 2017 to register to vote in the General Election on 8 June 2017.

Do me a favour and sign up will you?

That is all. For now.

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The Election Section #1

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Ok, grump over.

It can’t have escaped the attention of any of my fellow UK residents that there’s a General Election looming on the horizon. May 7th, to be precise. You have until Monday 20th April to register to vote and I would urge any of you not yet registered to get that sorted right away. In fact, do it now, here: I Want a¬†Say!¬†(PS if you happen to be a UK resident who just¬†happens to be living overseas temporarily in say, oh I don’t know, India, I hope you sorted your postal vote out before you left. You know who you are.)

Sorted? Good. Because this election is shaping up to be one of the closest in years, and every vote counts. I’ll spare you the rest of the usual bleatings, but suffice to say¬†I’ll take rather a dim view of you moaning about the government later on if you didn’t bother to make your opinion heard on the one day it actually matters.

I’m also not going to bore you with a lecture on politics, or try to persuade you to vote the way I’m going to, because, frankly, that’s not what I’m here for.

No, I’m here to play you some tunes, and so I figured, in the run up to the big day to add to the ever-growing number of themed posts that I do a couple of and get bored with, I’d do some¬†which involve politics in some way or another .

Like the BBC, (or like the BBC claims to be but isn’t, if you believe the red tops) I’ll try to be fair and balanced and find songs which refer to a¬†broad spread of political ideologies.¬† Unfortunately the number of songs which talk about how happy everyone is with the way things are going generally are rather thin on the ground. As are songs about boggle-eyed fag-smoking real-ale swigging reactionary¬†lunatics, so I’m afraid UKIP aren’t going to get much of a look in either.

So, let’s get started with a song which perhaps belies where my own political allegiances lie, but, when viewed in the context of the upcoming election, leaves an air of ambiguity. Let’s just say, you’ll know who I won’t be voting for after this.

This is a song which is generally received with an open mouth and a raised eyebrow and a “You seriously like this?” when I’ve played it to friends. Well, yes, as it happens, I do. Mostly because¬†it’s one of the few rap songs which I can almost (but not quite) do the whole rap thing along to, although I inevitably sound like a middle-aged middle class white bloke when I do, which is fair enough since that’s what I am. Here’s one I can do, the rap performed by someone who is now, probably, a middle-aged, middle class white bloke, more renowned for another much more unsubtle subversive record.

I realise this claim is not impressive. Not long after I moved to London, my flatmates and I went to a barbeque hosted by a buddy of mine, and we got chatting to this Nigerian guy, who decided I was his¬†“Brutha from¬†Anutha Mutha”¬†(I’m sooooo street). I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but this guy, ended up coming back to our flat with us, where¬†he promptly recited the whole of this, (all 14 and a half minutes of it) and then¬†left, just as promptly. Possibly the most impressive thing I ever saw (the rap,¬†not the promptness).

Anyway, I’d class this as a kind of call to arms record. It’s not really predicting a riot¬†nor suggesting a military coup¬†(the first of that double-whammy always gets me thinking of a dance that¬†a friend of mine and I made up¬†(which I always get wrong, apparently),¬†after sitting watching¬†MTV or the like¬†at stupid o’clock in the morning, smashed off our faces, and thinking the little woman in the corner of the screen was teaching us a routine, rather than signing for the hard of hearing). No, it’s the kind of song which could be construed as being about a malfunctioning relationship, but isn’t. Here’s: Break From the Old Routine

And mixtape/playlist fans, here’s a song that I always think goes rather well played straight afterwards: Fusion!