Prime Minister Liz Truss walked on-stage to M People's Moving On Up
at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week. In response, M People founder and Moving On Up
co-writer, Mike Pickering, tweeted: 'So apparently we can't stop Truss walking out to our song, very weird!' He continued: 'So sad it got used by this shower of a government. BTW Truss, Labour used it with permission in the 1990s. I don't want my song being a soundtrack to lies'.
Liz Truss isn't the first political leader to make use of well-known songs at a political rally without the artists' permission. The band Keane strongly objected to the Tories using Everybody's Changing
in their 2010 campaign. Dunfermline's Big Country were not happy that the Yes Campaign adopted One Great Thing
without their say-so during the Independence Referendum.
You don't just find this going on in the UK. The same has happened over the years in the USA. George W H Bush must have had Woody Guthrie turning in his grave with his use of This Land is Your Land
. Bruce Springsteen was livid at the Reagan Campaign hijacking his Born in the USA
in 1984, as were the Rolling Stones when Trump, more recently, played You Can't Always Get What You Want
before every personal appearance.
Artists have always been more relaxed about lending their songs to the Labour Party and the Democrats. That's possibly because progressive thinking and creativity sit more easily together. D:Ream were happy to have Things Can Only Get Better
belted out at Labour's 1997 victory party. And Tony Blair won the voters' hearts and minds in 2005 with Lifted
by the Lighthouse Family playing in the background.
Over in the States, Franklin D Roosevelt made Happy Days Are Here Again
the Democrats anthem in 1932 (and for decades thereafter). Frank Sinatra even wrote a campaign version of his High Hopes
to help Kennedy to victory in 1960. On the final night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Stevie Wonder played his song, Signed, Sealed, Delivered
. It became the anthem for the Obama campaign during the primaries. Obama returned to those roots after re-election in 2012, walking out to give his victory speech to that same tune.
The Biden campaign had a few good songs but my own favourite by far was The Love
by Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson. We may be only a year away from the next General Election. The way things are looking, Labour needs to come up with an inspiring choice of song to match what could be an occasion on par with the result in 1997.
Thank you Frank Eardley for your musings, which I enjoy very much, although I haven't been in Edinburgh for many years. That was in October too, but I recall the weather being quite good. No dog poo. I can't speak for Morningside but after leaving Edinburgh we visited a charming lady in Stirling, if that counts.
Here in Sydney, Australia, it is supposed to be the middle of spring. But the weather is miserable and wet and my hands are cold. Instead of sunshine and surfing, we have floods and wet feet. There is plenty of time to read the Scottish Review
. I agree with you about people crowding the footpath. I have a little trick with my walking stick which often helps!
Now about your little dilemma. Turn ups on jeans at 61? I think not, Frank. Even my son gave them up in his early 20s.
If you would like to contribute to the Cafe, please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org