Monday, 23 February 2009

Singing from the Tony Blair songbook

The Tories have clearly been listening to Tony Blair's Greatest Hits.

One of the best songs on that record is the snappily-titled 'Let's Think Up A Tough-Sounding New Initiative On Crime To Grab A Few Headlines And Then Quietly Forget About It When Its Impracticality Becomes Clear.' I'm sure you must know it - Blair was singing it all the time. It became his signature tune.

Well, the Tories have released a cover version, thanks to Chris Grayling And The Shinyheads. And, like most cover versions, it's not as good as the original. Yeah, the lyrics are just the same - Blair was singing about child curfews and the like for quite a while, but even then the words never really made sense.

But Grayling's new arrangement leaves a lot to be desired. For a start there's a new percussion section in which the police have to apply for a court order to enforce the curfew. It sounds good initially, but when you listen closely it just falls apart. How The Police drum up the evidence that such a curfew is required and what safeguards teens have against being wrongly snared aren't very clear.

But the real problem is the guitar solo of enforcement. Will The Police really want to play a gig every night at the youngsters' homes? And would the kids really want to be in the audience for that concert? Some might say The Police could get a better paying gig by playing as the support act to the Real Criminals. There are others who would point out that a duet with The Parents might be more harmonious. Of course, some members of The Parents are letting their children into gigs for free and allowing them to give the paying punters a hard time, but I think The Police and The Parents could make a formidable supergroup if given the opportunity.

Grayling has also added in one or two lines of his own to the original. But the lyric about 'taking kids home if they're misbehaving' certainly isn't original, and indeed is a standard one throughout the music industry. But the Shinyheads' lead singer really needs to explain the whole song to me, as I don't understand why if the kids aren't alright, they're not facing the music from The Magistrates.

In short, I think the Tories need to come up with their own songs, not rely on Tony Blair's old tunes. I can't see this record selling.

1 comment:

Kiron Reid, Liverpool said...

Ok, I think the cover version metaphor (is that right?) works, some spelling may be as bad as mine). Actually, the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems, all have some good ideas at present but when I heard this it did indeed sound very familiar. It seems the Tories are making announcements on crime but without necessarily saying what they would do differently .. or indeed when the police appear to have sufficient powers already. I think you're right, a number of them will be quietly dropped just like Tony used to.

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