Stormzy has thrown his support behind Labour and called on people to register to vote to “end austerity, rebuild our communities and take back the means to change our lives for the better”.
Stormzy, recently voted the coolest bloke in Croydon*, made his call in a letter to the Grauniad newspaper signed together with several leading music industry figures including the widely respected Akala, Professor Green, Kano and Charlie Sloth.
Stormzy, the multiple award-winning grime artist from South Norwood, made a similar intervention ahead of the 2017 General Election, which in his home town was seen as significantly undermining the sitting Tory MP, Gavin Barwell, and giving extra impetus to help Labour’s Sarah Jones win in Croydon Central.
Two years ago leaflets appeared carrying a picture of Stormzy and highlighting the 165-vote margin Barwell had enjoyed at the 2015 General Election: “Even your dad’s got more Facebook friends. Stormzy says: Vote Labour!” stated the leaflet.
Senior Labour figures in Croydon have discussed producing a line of Stormzy-related T-shirts and badges ahead of the December 12 General Election, perhaps to depict the much-admired local figure and the slogans he coined during his headline act at Glastonbury earlier this year: “Fuck Boris!” and “Fuck Brexit!”, as well as the doubly popular: “Fuck Boris! Fuck Brexit!”
In their letter to the national newspaper, Stormzy and the socially conscious musicians wrote: “Ending austerity will, for the first time in many of our lifetimes, use the taxes we all already pay into, to reinvest in the housing, youth clubs, community groups and cultural centres being destroyed by the current government.
“We are under no illusions about Labour’s own imperial history, and we don’t think the British establishment is fundamentally going to change.
“But we are sick of our taxes being spent on fighting more wars and building more jails.
“Jeremy Corbyn has been one of the few people who has fought against injustice all his political life, from apartheid South Africa to the bombing of Libya.
“The opportunity for people-led change can be made possible under a Jeremy Corbyn Labour government. End austerity, rebuild our communities and take back the means to change our lives for the better.
“Surely, in an election that could transform the livelihoods of many, and be the difference between life or death for many more, life is something worth voting for.”
Stormzy’s support for Labour in 2017 is also attributed to adding to the “youthquake”, part of the Corbynmania which denied Theresa Mayhem an overall majority in parliament, as well as unseating Barwell in Croydon.
As the Grauniad reports today, the deadline for voter registration is tomorrow, November 26, and “the letter is both a call to support Labour and a last-ditch attempt to persuade potential voters who are not registered to sign up. Young voters heavily skew towards Labour, with 60 per cent of those aged 18-24 voting for Corbyn’s party in 2017”.
It is reported that Stormzy and a large group of other musicians have reformed Grimealso 4Corbyn ahead of next month’s election.
A separate letter has also been published in which more than 500 artists and musicians pledge support for Labour. The poet Kate Tempest, the musician Brian Eno, the writers Sophie Mackintosh and Sabrina Mahfouz and the political philosopher Srećko Horvat are among those who call for a Labour victory “not just for the future of the United Kingdom, but as a message to show the world”.
The letter, published in Tribune, says Britain stands at a crossroads. “On one side is the Conservative world of self-preservation, closed borders, spiralling homelessness and poverty, inertia on the climate crisis, privatised education and cuts to arts funding.
“On the other is Labour’s commitment to free movement and ending the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants, a green industrial revolution, protection of workers’ rights, public ownership of key industries, free education, and serious investment in the arts.”
* The Croydon’s coolest person poll was held in Inside Croydon Towers at lunchtime today. No Tory polling organisations were used in arriving at the outcome.
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