But I think a little personal history is in order here. All this began for me in the summer of 1977 when I heard a record on the top 20 show by a punk band. The track seemed to speak to me personally. The singer seemed to understand the emotions I was going through as an adolescent at that time. It put into crystal clarity the ideas which had been bubbling away in my mind. And it was on hearing this track that a light went on in my head. Suddenly, the world opened up to me. Those men in grey suits who were always seen on the TV news and in the papers mattered. The politicians were the likes of Harold Wilson and Ted Heath. And the song? Pretty Vacant by The Sex Pistols.
From that moment on, I became engaged in social issues. Through the pages of the New Musical Express, I got to know about the injustices in Britain at the time. Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Class Struggle. This was the meat and drink of the musicians I had got to listen to and to admire.
And to be fair, we have come a long way since those times in all of these issues.
We now, by and large, see nothing unusual about a woman in positions of power. Or a black face in the street. And same-sex marriage is now enshrined in the law.
But we still have a long way to go on all these issues and more. In tough times, it is easy to point the finger at this or that demographic and to suggest that it is they who are to blame our current problems. Some politicians have attempted this recently, and the most extreme, thankfully, have been sent packing, at least for the time being.
But a Conservative victory is always a worry. The forces of reaction are back in power. And that is why on the morning after the election I felt sick and disappointed.
But there is a saying. Old punks never die, they just stand at the back. But we are still there. And the fight goes on. The men in grey suits still matter. And so do the lyrics of Pretty Vacant. #David Cameron #Parliament #Music