We Are Song, by Toad.

I never thought I would feel at all obliged to write something like this, which under normal circumstances would feel as clichéd as it does schmalzy, but given the sort of things being bandied about in the political sphere at the moment, and rise of malignant nationalism in England, the US and across Europe I suppose we have to at very least nail our colours to the mast on this one. In actions and in words.

We are a very white, male middle class label actually. It’s not a deliberate choice, but it is impossible to deny.  But even with our diversity issues we couldn’t be who we are if white, male and middle class was all we were.

We work with a lot of Scots, yes, but also English, Greeks, Portuguese, Americans, Canadians, Peruvians, Australians, Dutch, French, Turks, Koreans, Germans and whatever the fuck you think I myself might be – probably one of those ‘citizens of the world/citizens of nowhere’ that Theresa May thinks she is disparaging. She can call me that if she wants. That’s who I am, I am proud of it, and I hold her opinion in such utter fucking contempt that she can say whatever she fucking wants about me and ‘my sort’ – fuck her, who fucking cares.

Our logistics are handled by the Chinese couple who run the Post Office, our caffeine comes courtesy of Albania and the Czech Republic, our vehicles are kept on the road by Bulgarians and both me and my wife were raised in large part by foreigners, at least one of whom would probably never have been allowed in the country these days. Half our fucking families are foreign. Some of them are even brown.

And apart from nationality we work with people who are gay and bisexual, people who identify as transgender and people who do not identify as any specific gender at all. We work with people who suffer from depression, from anxiety and from addiction to the extent that several of the people who we work with have made attempts on their own life or felt driven to various forms of self-harm. We work with people you can probably easily make fun of with regards to their body shape. Or their social confidence. Or their postcode. Or their dress sense. Or their fucking haircuts.

You know who I mean. Those people.

And it’s not just that all the people I am talking about have ‘contributed’ to Song, by Toad Records, they are the beating heart and soul of this whole fucking enterprise. Remove the contributions of everyone covered by the tags above and we basically don’t exist, not in any even vaguely recognisable form anyway.

So when I hear all this talk about ‘we’, who do I think of? My fellow white? My fellow man? My fellow heterosexual? Of course I fucking don’t. When anyone comes out with the absurdity of this country being ‘great’, who the fuck do you think I think of immediately? Who makes this country great for me? Well all of the people covered above who I’ve had the privilege of working with since I started this enterprise.

So fuck off with your ‘taking the country back’. You may think you’re including me when you say that – a white, middle class, British born man – but without all those people this isn’t ‘my country’, nor is it somewhere I have any emotional loyalty to or love for. So if you want to fucking exclude them, then please go right ahead and fucking exclude me too because I don’t want anything the fuck to do with you, despite our skin being the same colour, or having the same sexuality, or holding the same passport.

 

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