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Other people’s politics are often hard to understand from a distance, especially when you’re dealing with ingrained attitudes towards political parties, their emblems and colors, and the people who lead them. So this tale might take a little explaining, bear with me.
During the British general election of 2010, the Liberal Democrats, as part of their manifesto, pledged to eradicate tuition fees for university students. This was a controversial policy that had been brought in by the Labour party (broadly the Democrats in this instance), and was fully supported by the Conservatives (Republican). The Lib Dems were the only party with a chance of power (albeit a slim one) who opposed this policy and they gathered a lot student support as a result.
However, once the election was over, without a clear winner, and a coalition had to be formed from the Conservatives (who had the most votes of the three parties) and the Lib Dems (who had the least), certain policies had to be sacrificed, and tuition fees was one of them.
However, this has caused something of a backlash among Lib Dem supporters, who feel their votes have been wasted if the party they voted for is merely enacting the policies of a party they voted against. The Lib Dem leader (and current Deputy Prime Minister) Nick Clegg, has been the focal point of this backlash, and to try and soothe the situation, he recorded a Party Political Broadcast to apologise to any disappointed supporters.
And then someone autotuned it into a song. And then that autotuned version became a viral hit. Here’s the video, it’s curiously moving, in a really odd way:
And to make matters even weirder, the ‘song’ has now been released as a single on iTunes (all proceeds to charity), and it currently stands at No.148 in the actual charts. Nick Clegg has even give the musical version his seal of approval, as well he might, given that it distracts entirely from the subject of his apology in the first place.
OK, maybe some of this is hard to understand no matter how closely involved with British politics you happen to be.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic