Following the dissolution of Parliament and the onset of Purdah in advance of the General Election in the UK on June 8th, The Gen suggests five reasons why the music industry should be laser focused on the outcome:
1. Assume nothing. Despite the opinion polls and recent local election results, there are no foregone conclusions to what we will wake up to on June 9th. Opinion polls can be incredibly misleading and have been as recently as the last General Election in 2015. Of course, a Labour government (or any alternative to a decisive Conservative majority) seems a ‘flying pig’ scenario at present, but industry representatives would do well to keep an open mind. Besides, if Labour do somehow get in then Tom Watson (pictured) will no doubt become Culture Secretary and he loves music so much he was dancing in a silent disco at Glastonbury while his party was more or less disintegrating.
2. Listening mode: Politicians are currently in what is referred to by the Conservatives as ‘Listening mode’. Well, of course they are- put simply, they are seeking to be elected or re-elected! Now is a very good time to highlight the concerns of the industry and how Government intervention can support and further our objectives.
3. Brexit: Whichever Party is elected will obviously lead on complex and fraught Brexit negotiations- the music industry needs to be at the forefront of this discussion and frankly, not get drowned out in the noise of the wider creative industries.
4. Shifting sands: Not to come across as all Game of Thrones but allegiances can shift very quickly- current friends of the industry may not get re-elected, while others could be waiting in the wings. What would Littlefinger do? He would of course hedge his bets, play the long game and seek to cultivate potential new friends now rather than after the election.
5. Metro Mayors. Despite once being considered as a potential alternative base of power for Labour, four of the six elected ‘Metro Mayors’ are Conservative, some in traditional Labour strongholds. This goes back to point one about assumption being the mother of all f**k ups. Does further devolution present further opportunities for industry development on a local level? Time will tell, but it is a critical dialogue for companies based in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, West of England, West Midlands and Tees Valley (Conservative), Manchester and Liverpool (Labour). The Gen has heard that new Metro Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham might occasionally sing along to the best of The Beatles.
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