It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that people are voting today, both for European Parliament elections and local council positions. And please, do find 10 minutes to pop your cross in whatever boxes matter most to you.
Montreal-based foursome Ought are very engaged with politics – that comes through clearly enough on the Constellation-signed band’s debut LP, ‘More Than Any Other Day’, reviewed here. So when we sent the band a bunch of questions recently, we naturally mentioned the state of British politics, and what a vote for the right might mean for bands coming to our shores…
In the UK now, we’re in a heightened political state, with parties considered to have fairly right-wing tendencies growing in support, at the expense of what used to be seen as liberal parties. Knowing what you do of the UK, can you see this groundswell of support for politicians looking not only to curb immigration but actually remove the UK from the European Union, as anything other than an absolute clusterf*ck of stupidity? And as a touring band, what would losing the UK from Europe mean to you, to any international acts coming to Europe?
Ben Stidworthy (bass): “I’m half English, born in Bucks but lived in Leeds, so I have less of an outsider’s perspective on the subject and would certainly agree that it is an absolute clusterf*ck of stupidity. Populist party politics and the media conglomerates that tow their line have a tendency to appeal to some of the most disgusting xenophobic and racist sentiments. I don’t have a solution, but I know that voting Labour isn’t it. While Euroscepticism often manifests in quite horrible manners, critiques of the EU don’t always come from the right.
“From a left-wing perspective, autodetermination is an essential aspect of organising society and many communities in Europe do not have their voices heard in Brussels. As a touring band, losing the UK from Europe would most likely result in even more bureaucratic hoops to jump through. In addition, there would be an understanding that dangerous right-wing ideologies had prevailed in the UK, which would make touring difficult from a principled perspective.”
In other words: a vote for those that would remove the UK from Europe could mean fewer great bands from overseas coming to play here. Just a thought.
Clash’s full feature with Ought will run very soon. Meantime, check them out in action below, in the video to ‘The Weather Song’…