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Here’s How These Musicians Are Voting In GE17

by : Francesca Donovan on : 22 May 2017 15:57

In case you missed it, there’s a General Election hurtling your way and your favourite musicians really, really want you to vote.

The campaign trail is underway, in preparation for the snap General Election on June 8, and amid a haze of photo opportunities, chip consumption and failed door-knocking (more weird pseudo-reality TV show than national politics) certain celebrities are nailing their flags to the mast.

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In the spirit of openness and debate, everyone from the perpetually-political Akala and M.I.A to the camera-shy Enter Shikari, Beardyman and Thom Yorke has spoken out. Here’s what they all had to say.

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M.I.A

M.I.A (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) is not one to back down from a verbal fight of ideals and her music is peppered with political and social sentiments. GE17 is, of course, no exception.

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The London-born Sri Lankan artist recently took to Twitter to call the unfairly maligned Jeremy Corbyn ‘the princess Diana of British politics’, adding a damning indictment to the elite, saying, ‘Now and again u get some1 abit human and the establishment freaks out’.

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JME

Grime MC JME, of Boy Better Know skill, has really pulled his finger out when it comes to getting his fans to exercise their democratic right to vote. Voting is cool, kids; you heard it from JME first.

So much so, a BBK fan even edited the group’s Wikipedia page to include Jez.

In the 2015 general election, only 43 per cent of 18-24-year-olds turned up at the polls, while only 36 per cent voted in the EU referendum.

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JME – who has never voted before – recently met up with Jeremy Corbyn to chat about inequality and to ask what the leader of the Labour party planned to do about it.

You can watch JME and Corbyn get down to business, courtesy of i-D, below:

The newfound friends chatted about the nationwide epidemic of homelessness, the housing crisis, benefits caps, social cleansing, university debts and giving kids the ‘political space to be creative’.

JME concluded that no matter who you vote for, you should do your research and make your voice heard.

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Akala

The Shakespeare of grime, Akala, left a long and cryptic message on Twitter for his followers, claiming he ‘probably will never be a Labour supporter’ but will ‘be voting for @jeremycorbyn’ in this upcoming election because of his position against an aggressive UK foreign policy.

Akala is relishing in the moment, saying, ‘For the first time in my adult life there is a chance to elect someone I would consider a sane and decent human’, decreeing Corbyn is the lesser of two evils.

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Stormzy

Speaking to the Guardian, Stormzy gleefully sided with Corbyn and his personal politics, saying:

My man, Jeremy! Young Jeremy, my guy. I dig what he says. I saw some sick picture of him from back in the day when he was campaigning about anti-apartheid and I thought: yeah, I like your energy.

The Shut Up rapper added: “That’s why I like Jeremy: I feel like he gets what the ethnic minorities are going through and the homeless and the working class.”

Rag’n’Bone Man

After cleaning up at the Brits, you’d imagine Rag’n’Bone man has the best interests of the country at heart. Perhaps that’s why he’s chosen to be outspoken about his political allegiance.

The Bristol-born crooner and Corbyn compadre posted a picture of himself proudly wearing his political message on a t-shirt, hashtagging ‘Vote Labour’… Because if you vote but don’t buy the tee, have you even had your say?

Other strident Labour supporters from within the music industry include Lily Allen, Beardyman, AJ Tracey, Sundara Karma, Novelist, Clean Bandit, Paloma Faith, Enter Shikari, Billy Bragg and Harry Styles.

The grime scene, which has been historically anti-establishment – has championed Corbyn and the Labour party, by default, starting the online campaign ‘Grime4Corbyn’ and even laying down a track called Corbyn Riddim.

Their input takes on a new importance when you consider that new research published by Novara Media suggests the youth vote has the potential to swing the election result in Labour’s favour.

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Thom Yorke

In an interview with Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, the Radiohead frontman said of Corbyn:

He has a lot of integrity for a politician. But he’s still Labour. Let’s give him time and we’ll see if he succeeds.

The Green Party supporter added: “The real worry now is that the Conservatives think they have the right to do what they want, and they’re doing terrible things.”

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Brian May

After his campaign to restore Common Decency in the last election has apparently had little effect, the Queen legend, Brian May, is back to tell you ‘Theresa May must be stopped’.

He has taken to the pages of the Guardian to write about Theresa May’s ‘poisonous’ snap election and her proposal to reinstate fox hunting, saying, ‘We must vote intelligently to prevent Britain being dragged back into the dark ages.’

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Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow – ITV evening entertainment stalwart and Take That family favourite – is a Conservative supporter and a particular fan of David Cameron’s.

They made joint television appearances together in the lead up to the 2010 general election, and when asked, Gary told reporters he would be voting Conservative. He added: “There’s no one more with it than David” without a hint of irony.

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Craig David

The UK’s favourite mainstream garage spinner and singer, Craig David offered up his club banger Fill Me In to the Conservative Party during the general election of 2010.

The clear display of support for the Tory party is a long way away from David’s 2-step roots.

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Lulu

Despite growing up in the Labour stronghold of 1980s Glasgow, Lulu ha Conservative aspirations and admired the conservative’s most controversial Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

She said of the Iron Lady:

I liked her strength. I thought she was a very strong leader, like a strong headmistress in a school.

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Morrissey

The Smiths frontman, Morrissey revealed his right-wing ideals to Loaded magazine in the run up to the last general election, saying, “I nearly voted for UKIP… I like Nigel Farage a great deal.”

Just remember, kids, nearly voting isn’t the same as actually voting. The ‘X’ needs to go in the ballot.

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Courtney Love

Courtney Love attended the Conservative Party conference at The University of Oxford in 2011.

There, the Tory students dubbed her their ‘Non Executive Officer of Rock n Roll’ in a vomit-inducing title which you won’t be seeing in Cabinet anytime soon. Hopefully.

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Alex James

The founding member of Blur, Alex James, spent his NYE 2014 hanging out with David Cameron, dad-dancing and presumably eating James’ homemade cheese. The pair got together in 2011 for James’ cheese festival, Harvest.

James has since said:

Politics is not my thing, but I was absolutely delighted when the Camerons came. It was a great party and the PM had a great time.

Other well-known Conservatives in the music business include Hot Chocolate frontman, Errol Brown, former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley and Simon Cowell.

There are decidedly fewer outspoken Conservative supporters in the music industry – but, as we learnt in the 2016 General Election, that doesn’t always reflect the votes on polling day.

The fact remains, everyone has a vote. By all means, disagree and debate with the political viewpoints of these performing artists in media comments sections, on social media and on the marches, but make sure you have your say at the ballot box too.

After all, it’s us who will have to deal with the consequences of this general election for the longest.

Register to vote online by the end of today to go get the government that’s right for you. Stay woke. 

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.