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The Center Ground

The Center Ground

There has been much talk of late about the left, the right and the center ground in British politics. Following the massive defeat of the Labour Party in the May elections to the Conservatives, many commentators accused ‘Red’ Ed Miliband and his left-wing ideologies of being the downfall of the party. So, Miliband swiftly stood down as Labour leader and everyone expected the party to move toward the middle in order to compete with the right-wing Conservative (Tory) party. But having opened up the election of the new leader to the Labour membership (and anyone willing to part with three pounds who was unaffiliated to another political party), Labour membership tripled in size in a few months. The central reason for such a surge in growth was down to one of the candidates in the race – the reluctant contestant, Jeremy Corbyn. Staunchly left-wing and a member of Parliament for over thirty years, Jeremy resembled a Geography lecturer – corduroy and bicycle clips and a grey beard. Initially, bookies offered 200-1 in the chance of him winning but in a minuscule amount of time, Corbynmania was a genuine phenomenon. Totally unexpected but offering a real alternative to people sick of old politics, the spin machine and artifice. Corbyn’s simple, unfashionable, honest politics was, to hundreds of thousands of Labour members (and others) both refreshing and inspiring. Corbyn ran away with it, miles ahead of his opponents, while the media used every trick they could to blacken his name – sometimes to the most absurd levels.

What is obvious is that the general public want something different to what has been available in recent years. So whether it’s Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders in the States, or Nigel Farage or Jeremy Corbyn in the UK or any number of far-right or far-left parties swelling in popularity all over the world, people are bored with the common ground. And so it should be with music. Having been disappointed by artists like Janelle Monae watering her brand down to appeal to a wider audience, it’s time for artists to avoid the center ground, purely to get played on the radio. What makes true artists as important as they are is their individuality. And when you think of the great artists of the last 60 years, the ones that stand out are the ones that were different, not the ones who copied everyone else just to sell records.

4 December 2015 Blog , , , , , , , , , ,