The upcoming British General Election just took an ironic turn as a song accusing Theresa May of being a “liar” roared its way to the top of the iTunes U.K. charts, despite being banned from the airwaves.
After hitting the number one spot on the U.K. charts on Tuesday, it fell a notch on Wednesday to take second place. This is a remarkable achievement for a song that is prohibited from being aired on radio stations due to election restrictions. “Liar Liar GE2017” is considered to be a protest song, which would explain why it has not been played on any radio stations.
According to United Kingdom election guidelines, any songs that are perceived to have a political slant that could potentially influence voters are not allowed to be aired. In accordance with the restrictions, stations such as Heart and Capital FM have complied with the rules by issuing a total ban on the song.
The BBC, however, insists that the song has not been banned within the broadcasting behemoth, despite not having been played at all as yet.
Radio Monitor is an independent broadcasting tracker that monitors British airwaves to collect data. According to the agency, “Liar Liar GE2017” hasn’t made it onto the airwaves “a single time since its release last week.”
— Blake Nordstrom (@BlakeNordstrom1) May 31, 2017
The lyrics of the song are not ambiguous and the message from the artist, Captain SKA, is clear. Theresa May as a “liar,” in the opinion of Captain SKA, who adds that the Prime Minister has purportedly damaged public faith in her leadership by alleged flip-flopping on policy issues in the lead up to the election.
Notwithstanding, Captian SKA’s Theresa May song is a hit. It is currently the second most popular download on the U.K. iTunes charts, beating megastars like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Harry Styles.
The lead vocalist for Captain SKA, Adeolla Shyllon, cranks out unmistakably anti-Theresa May lyrics to the tune of Captain SKA’s own 2010 reggae hit single. The band, based in London, is headed up by producer Jake Painter, who is also involved in the writing of lyrics. Painter expressed satisfaction with the public reaction as he said he’s “encouraged our message is resonating.”
— Official Charts (@officialcharts) May 31, 2017
The song starts with an extract of a policy speech delivered by Prime Minister Theresa May, while text flashes across the screen. “3,7 million children currently live in poverty in the U.K.” reads the first bit of text that is superimposed over May’s words. “By 2020 this number is expected to rise by a further 1 million,” the text continues. Then, once the Prime Minister is finished speaking, the song lyrics start.
“She’s a liar, liar. You can’t trust her. No, no, no, no.”
The opening is followed by more politically expressive words, such as “We all know politicians like telling lies,” and “I don’t recognize this broken country of mine.” The main thrust of the song is about the ways in which, according to the band, Theresa May has been inconsistent in her policy positions.
The song also reminds listeners that Theresa May was a prominent “Remainer” during the Brexit campaign. However, after becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, she has been at the forefront of triggering the process of leaving the European Union. May had also previously stated that she would not be calling for an early election, yet a snap election is now only weeks away.
A further grievance expressed by Captian SKA is that after receiving significant public backlash, Theresa May rescinded her promise to make people who need healthcare at home pay more.
Captain SKA has urged fans to “get this [song] into the top 40,” in order to spread their message that because “NHS (National Health Service) crisis, education crisis, u-turns… You can’t trust Theresa May.”
A member of parliament for the Conservative Party and supporter of Theresa May, Jacob William Rees-Mogg, hit out at the band in a statement.
“The People’s Assembly is a hard-left pressure group that has put together a rather long-winded attack ad of the kind that is more familiar with elections in the United States than in the United Kingdom. I am not sure anyone other than political obsessives will watch this rather tiresome video through to the end.”
Despite the radio blackout and Mr. Rees-Mogg’s statement, the song has been viewed nearly 1.1 million times at the time of writing, and the numbers are climbing rapidly.
Have a listen to the song and tell us what you think in the comments below.
The band added the following text to the Youtube box under the song: “Download now and force the BBC to play it on our airwaves. All proceeds from downloads of the track between 26th May and 8th June 2017 will be split between food banks around the U.K. and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.”
[Featured Image by Stefan Rousseau/AP Images]