′Liar Liar GE2017′ song slams Theresa May, tops music charts week before election | News | DW | 01.06.2017
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'Liar Liar GE2017' song slams Theresa May, tops music charts week before election

The remix by Captain SKA ripping into the current Conservative UK prime minister has gone viral. The BBC has refused to play the song, leading some to cry censorship.

"Nurses going hungry, schools in decline, I don’t recognize this broken country of mine," the lead vocalist of Captain SKA sings before a looped clip of May laughing deviously flashes onto the screen. The singer may not recognize her country, but the UK will certainly recognize the catchy protest song that has flown to the top of the British music charts just one week before Brits take to the polls

By Thursday evening, "Liar Liar GE2017"  had scored over 1.5 million clicks on YouTube. It also had reached the number one spot on the Amazon UK singles download list and number two on the UK iTunes top songs chart.

'You can't trust her, no, no, no no'

The reggae-beat, brass-punctuated song by the band of London-based session musicians accuses current Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May of backtracking on promises, including her reneged pledge not to call snap elections before the regularly scheduled general election. More recently, she received criticism for her about-face on her party's financing of home health care for seniors - the so-called "dementia tax." 

The video text, overlaid on images of May and other politicians, also scathingly indicts May on a range of policy issues such as the crisis in the National Health Service (NHS), a failing schools system and cuts to social services and police.

While the song does not endorse a political candidate ahead of the June 8 snap election next week, it ends with the words "On June 8th Tories Out. You can't trust Theresa May."

May's move to call early elections had largely been considered a safe bet to increase the Conservative party's lead in parliament, but a series of political missteps by May and a resurgent Labour party have reduced her once seemingly unassailable lead and could leave her short of an absolute majority.

The song is not likely to help.

Read: Conservative party relies on Theresa May's cult of personality

Captain SKA released "Liar Lia, GE2017" on May 26 with a promise to donate the revenue from downloads to British foods banks and an anti-austerity activism group.

The single is a remix of the group's 2010 "Liar Liar" which at the time took aim at David Cameron's austerity policies and topped the UK reggae charts. According to Captain SKA's website, the motivation behind the original song stemmed from the band's belief that "there wasn't a big enough musical response to the coalition government and its austerity-driven policies."

Social media embraced the success of the 2017 version of "Liar Liar" with individual Twitter users and political protest organizations alike encouraging the song's push to the top of the music charts.

Impartiality or censorship?

Despite racking up internet hits and download clicks in the UK, some British radio stations have British refused to play the single - including state broadcaster BBC.

The BBC defended its decision to deny the song airtime, citing its need to remain impartial.

However, other commentators have accused the broadcaster of censorship, claiming that the BBC refuses to play "Liar Liar" out of fear of angering the May government.

With the single continuing the top the charts, playing the song would be less of a political decision than not playing it, argued Sunny Hundal, a journalist for the British online newspaper The Independent.

Captain SKA has encouraged fans to push the song to will perform the song live at Brixton Jamm in South London on June 7.

Read: UK media coverage of election is far from objective, media expert says

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