I recently went to Vivienne Westwood’s shop at The World’s End in Chelsea and performed my song, ‘How Can You Sleep At Night?’ about the MPs expenses scandal there. I felt that it highlighted an issue with our politicians that formed another element of those that she had mentioned in her, ‘Politicians R Criminals’ campaign. (I’m glad to note she purposely mentions Caroline Lucas as an exception to this rule.) I sent a link to this YouTube clip of my performance via Vivienne’s website:
And I received a reply via her assistant with this attached handwritten letter:
What do you think of her response?
I do already follow Vivienne on her Climate Revolution blog and have been keeping an eye on her posts about TTIP and other aspects of the ‘Politicians R Criminals’ campaign as well. I feel that the MPs expenses scandal is another example of the ways in which they so often fail to uphold the values I hold dear, and those of course include maintaining human rights and doing our best to protect the environment. (The first song I ever wrote at the age of 11 was actually about environmental issues!!) I am not sure that reporting on this element of politicians’ work ethic misleads us into thinking that politicians are otherwise doing their job perfectly well. But maybe I’ve misunderstood Vivienne’s point. I feel that it’s another side to the story that shows us the true nature of the people we voted for. (Or indeed the people we didn’t vote for because the ones we did, didn’t get elected.)
I personally think that human rights include the right to expect our politicians to spend their electorate’s funded expenses in a manner that is fair and reasonable, in accordance with them expecting us to be fair and reasonable in how we go about paying our taxes and making use of public services. I feel we have a right to speak (or sing!) openly about our opinions on the political system and governmental decisions made for our country, with a view to trying to improve them for the better, on all fronts.
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.
I will be writing to Vivienne to thank her for her response, as I do very much appreciate her taking the time to do so. Little by little I hope both of us can keep pushing for improvement and fairness in our world, in our own disparate but equally valid ways.