Tuesday 18 October 2016

Music Special - Why is it let to rock and rollers to highlight the devastation of outsourcing

The False Dots in action
Last night four men of indeterminate age gathered in a studio in Mill Hill to play some music. Well actually rather more than four men, because there are 18 studios in Mill Hill Music Complex, but lets just concentrate on these four. Their names Allen, Filipe, Graham and Rog. You may be aware of one of these chaps as he writes this blog.

These four make up a band called the False Dots. Rehearsals tend to follow a set pattern, developed over the 37 years that the band has been an active unit. A quick run through the set, then work on new material. Last nights new song was called "They cleared out your desk". It is a composition by Allen, who is also a well known poet and author known to the world as Allen Ashley. A lot of love and care is put into song arrangements. Unlike many bands, The False Dots only play original material. Having a back catalog of 37 years, means we have a few rather fine songs. The songs are roughly 50% written by Allen and myself to start with, we then jointly develop them.

I was mulling on the new songs when I got home. A rather strange thought occurred to me. 70 years ago, my Dad was an RAF pilot fighting NAZI''s. He was the captain of a bomber plane and a crew of five people. Our band has a slightly smaller crew of four. But we are fighting the same fight. We write songs about issues we care about. "They cleared out your desk" tells the story of how a skilled British workman finds himself tossed aside after many years of loyal service, because it is cheaper for his firm to move the work elsewhere. This fate has befallen hundreds of thousands, if not millions of British workers. The musical style is a bit of a mash up of The Specials and The Fine Young Cannibals.

It is quite amazing that so many jobs have been exported from the UK without a peep from the press. The Sun and The Mail demonise immigrants on a daily basis, but if you are going to lose your job this year, it will be hundreds of times more likely that it will be "outsourced" or "offshored" than simply given to an immigrant. Why does The Sun not mention this? Well The Sun is a global corporation and their owners News International have maximised profits by their own outsourcing and offshoring. I believe that the whole immigrant scare is a smokescreen to distract us from the real scandal. I was born in 1962 and in this period our manufacturing industry has been decimated. The UK used to have one of the worlds leading Computer companies, ICL. This was bought up by Fujitsu, a Japanese company. Have a look around your house. How many British made appliances are there? Sheffield Steel used to be known around the world. How much British Steel do you have in your house? The British Steel company was sold to foreign owners, who have run it into the ground. If we ever had another war, we'd have to surrender as we have no factories to arm us or make the steel to make the guns. We sold our Harriers off, so we could buy American planes that are not as good.

I suspect that the only way you'll hear a peep about any of this is if you come along to The Chandos Arms in Colindale on Friday night, to listen to The False Dots. The press and the media are co conspiritors. I happen to believe that musicians are one of the last bastions of truth and honesty. That is why I am so pleased Bob Dylan won a nobel prize. The False Dots are currently working on an album called "Songs of Love and War". We write love songs and we write politically charged songs. These songs don't preach, they tell stories and hopefully make you think a little bit, whilst you have a good time. In some way, I see the False Dots and like minded bands as the modern equivalent of my Dads crew. We fight our battles with songs, wit and lyrics. We don't want to rule anyone. We just want people to wake up to the fact that they are being mislead.

Please join us on Friday at 8pm, for the Barnet Eye Birthday party at The Chandos Arms. Its free entry. We are having a collection for Colindale Food Bank of non perishable food, and passing arund a hat for John Burgess's Unisongate fighting fund.

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