Feature: UK Election 2015 – Party Songs

4th May 2015

UK-Political-Map1-1 copy

It’s that time again.

When “cynical” teens are lamented for “not engaging with politics”, the elderly are criticised for voting (I mean how dare they!!) and politicians are criticised for…well doing their job.

So as the tightest election since Sir Robert Peel went head-to-head with The Viscount Melbourne starts to break onto the home straight we try to lighten the mood for all the weary voters out there.

Taking our home wards of Bristol we have created a tongue in cheek  list of appropriate songs for would be MPs from all the major parties.

Bristol MPs

conservatives-logoParty: Conservative
Candidates/Ward: Theodora Clark (East), Isobel Grant (South), Claire Hiscott (West), Charlotte Leslie (North West).
Song: Wannabe – The Spice Girls
Why: With all four Conservative Party candidates for Bristol being of the female persuasion, some might say (i.e sexists) that this is very much a modern echo of The Spice Girls’ exhortations of “Girl Power” in the 1990s. Inspired by the group’s curious case of a public-relations-masterclass-that-somehow-overcame-a-clear-talent-vacuum-to-make-them-the-biggest-brandname-in-UK-showbiz, each of the candidates have adopted similar monikers in an attempt to appeal to voters: “Sporty” Isobel Grant, for instance, is looking to garner the vote from sports fans with the wielding of such an effective whiff-whaff paddle that even Forrest Gump would be quaking in his orthopaedic boots.

Elsewhere, fast-food fanatic Charlotte Leslie is leaving behind her predilection for the Burger King Whopper in a concerted effort to live up to her new “Posh” tag; she can now be seen regularly chowing down on Duck Confit specials at her local Gourmet Burger Kitchen at a mind-bending £8.95 a pop.

We are hoping, however, that the candidates have a somewhat more lucid way with words; in what is perhaps the most asininely baffling lyric this side of a Scouting For Girls tune, “I really, really, really wanna zigazig ahh” has absolutely no place on a political manifesto. (SH)

bsd_labour_2014siteV2_logo_1_dy1Party: Labour
Candidates/Ward: Kerry McCarthy (East), Darren Jones (North West), Karin Smyth (South) & Thangam Debbonaire (West)
SongIs She Really Going Out with Him? – Joe Jackson
Why: As Ed Miliband goes so does the Labour Party as a whole. Those who love him think he’s a spokesperson for the zero-hour-contractors, whilst critics claim his “weak” leadership is all that is holding the Labour party back from a whitewash victory.

In many ways Joe Jackson’s lyrical lamentation is the perfect encapsulation of this conflict. After so many years of having the trump card of strong leadership in their back pocket the ‘Ed’ card nowadays just doesn’t seem to have the same currency for Labour on the doorstep. Instead of answering questions on policy, candidates are instead forced to become Ed apologists. To be sure “if looks could kill there’s a man there who is marked down as dead”.

Love him or loathe him this election in many ways is not about the individual candidates but rather a referendum on his leadership…as hard as it may be for Mr Jackson to believe. (KM)

Lib-Dem-logoParty: Liberal Democrats
Candidate/Ward: Abdul Malik (East), Clare Campion-Smith (North West), Mark Wright (South) & Stephen Williams (West)
Song: It Wasn’t Me – Shaggy Ft RikRok
Why: For the last five years the Liberal Democrats have been in the unenviable position of propping up an increasingly unpopular government.

In what was meant to be a glorious opportunity to show off their ability to govern (something inconceivable given their marginalised/also-ran status prior to 2010) they instead found themselves as the coalition’s punch bag, perpetually taking the brunt of the publics backlash to the governments supposed failings (see the European elections last year).

Sure they took the odd wrong turn ([cough]… Tuition Fees…??) but as the junior party of the coalition it’s hard to put all the blame on them for the last five years of austerity.

It’s this self defensive stance that makes Shaggy’s reggae-infused pop hit the perfect pick here.

”It wasn’t me!!”
Free Schools?
”It wasn’t me!!”
Immigration caps?
”It wasn’t me!!”

It was them…but not really…honest. (KM)

UKIP-logoParty: UKIP
Candidates: Steve Wood, Michael Frost, James McMurray, Paul Turner
Song: It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me – Barry White
Why: Nothing sums up UKIP’s wannabe MPs, a solid collection of middle-aged middle-England Caucasian males, than Barry White’s understated ‘It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me’.

That Barry White is, oxymoronically, black will delight the tolerant souls at UKIP HQ. Fittingly enough, it’s also an incredibly sexy song, which will be the ultimate turn-on for porn star-turned council candidate John Langley.

‘It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me’ was released in 1977, the same year that UKIP Bristol designed their website. Also, unbeknown to most people, the song is actually a metaphor for the promotion of smoking in under-12s, the legalisation of badger baiting and the privatisation of oxygen, all of which featured in the UKIP manifesto.

Green_Party_of_England_and_Wales_logo.svgParty: Green
Candidates/Ward: Darren Hall (West), Tony Dyer (South), Lorraine Francis (East), Justin Quinnell (North West)
SongHurricane – Bob Dylan
Why: In many ways the Green Party is the Bob Dylan of the UK’s political scene, and no song is more apt in this regard than ‘Hurricane’. Much like the Green Party, it rails against injustice and a system that punishes those less fortunate than others. The growing number of hurricanes worldwide is often put down to climate change, something that the Green Party aren’t too keen on, and many could claim that the recent surge in Party membership is akin to a mighty storm.

However, incredibly enough neither ‘Hurricane’ nor any other Dylan tune has ever reached Number 1 in the UK charts – will the Green Party ever be able to throw off their similar shackles? (CD)

By Kevin McGough (KM), Scott Hammond (SH) & Conal Dougan (CD)