Musicians join demo to fight cuts
Thursday 26th September 2013, 12:51PM BST.
Leading musicians are helping to organise a huge demonstration on the opening day of the Conservative party conference in signs of a renewed link between music and politics.
Up to 40,000 people are expected to join the TUC-run protest in Manchester on Sunday, as part of campaigns to defend the NHS as well as “attacks” on workers’ pay, jobs and rights.
Manchester musician John Robb will compere a rally, while Liverpool band the Farm, and 15-year-old John Lennon McCullagh will sing.
The youngster has been signed to Creation boss Alan McGee’s new record label, 359.
McGee, who discovered Oasis, said he wanted to support the protest because of his anger over the government’s austerity cuts.
In an interview with the Press Association, he accused the coalition of seeking to “destroy” welfare benefits.
“The people this is affecting are kids. A decade ago young people could leave school, find a decent job, get a flat and earn enough money to live on. That is not happening now.
“We are in danger of ending up with a generation of people facing homelessness and on drugs, especially if they don’t get on with their parents so have to leave home.
“Unless you know someone these days, you are not going to find work because Britain is not investing in jobs,” he said.
McGee also took a swipe at the current “x-factor popular culture” which he said was stifling the chances of musicians who wrote their own songs.
“I am trying to re-invest in British music by signing up kids who write their own songs and have their own opinions. I don’t want to see manufactured, unauthentic singers.”
Peter Hooton, lead singer of The Farm, said: ” We’re proud to be involved in the TUC rally because we’re concerned about the destructive policies this Tory-led government is pursuing.
“Their policies are targeting the most vulnerable and needy in society and they must be stopped. Even the free market zealot Margaret Thatcher decided not to try and attempt to privatise the NHS but this current government is pursuing policies which will effectively privatise large sections of our NHS, which used to be the envy of the world.
“Our current government doesn’t care about people it only cares about its friends in corporate business, about profits and bonuses. The Tories have no right to sell off our NHS as it belongs to the people.”