Brian Eno Urges British Music Fans To Vote 'Remain' In Brexit Referendum
Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:15:22
Aside from his role as an artist and musical guru, Brian Eno has long been interested in politics, science, and the economy. In the past, he has been famously outspoken on socialist principles, and recently drew criticism for his thoughts on the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinian people. Perhaps it is a surprise that the innovative artist and producer has remained silent on the referendum that the citizens of the United Kingdom will be holding on June 23rd.
The "Brexit" vote asks the British people if they would like to leave or remain in the European Union. The contentious issue has provoked a number of varying responses from musicians, and earlier this week Johnny Marr compared the campaign run by the ‘Pro-Brexit' backers to fascism.
Today, Brian Eno broke his silence and admitted a level of complacency in not making his thoughts public in regard to the referendum. In a Facebook post he addresses the merits of the European Union, and their many-facing attributes. Gun control, fair labor practices, and protection of the natural environment are amongst the issues that Eno considers well maintained by the European Parliament.
Read the entirety of his note below. From The Brian Eno Facebook Page:
"Sorry to bludgeon you with a political message... but this is getting serious. In just a few days we will be voting whether to stay in the EU.
Until recently I'd assumed there was no chance we'd vote to leave. However, recent polls seem to be showing 'Leave' and 'Remain' are neck and neck. Some polls even show 'Leave' leading.
You may have made up your mind and plan to vote (in which case ignore this letter), but if, like me, you've been complacent about the issue, it might be time to rethink. What the 'Leaves' have on their side is their unquenchable enthusiasm for a 'Great' Britain that they think we can revive - and several powerful media outlets to propagandise the idea. The Leavers know they can count on their demographic - primarily older people - to get out and vote, whereas the 'Remain' demographic is less reliable (and more complacent). And the Leavers have LOTS of money: seems like a lot of very wealthy people are anxious to get out of the EU.
I wonder why? Is it because many of the constraints on how badly you're allowed to treat workers have been put in place by the EU? Is it because the EU has insisted on environmental legislation which hampers the freedom-to-pollute of corporations and governments? Is it because the EU has established an international criminal court where all those people to whom we sell weapons might be called to account? Is it because the EU has tried to come up with some sort of humane response to immigration other than barbed wire and Trumpian walls?
I have a lot of misgivings about the way the EU is run, but they don't make me want to ditch the whole idea. I feel the EU is one of the only restraints on the kind of neo-liberal market fundamentalism that has seen inequality rising throughout the world. I feel that it has been a net force for good in promoting enlightened social and environmental agendas. It could and should be doing a better job at all these things, but to do any job at all it needs our support.
The only good outcome of this referendum is that it might remind us what the original mission of the EU was, and might motivate us to actually make it happen.
So...please vote. And please ask your friends to do the same.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff