Friday, 22 January 2021

Quoting people. Musicians’ problems. Hopes and plans.

I’ve not quoted Michael Rosen for a few days. So here are a couple of his gems;- 

“Dear Dominic 

I really need some advice, dear boy. Gavin Williamson is the other side of useless and of course he's for the choppo but I can't sack him or I'll look beyond useless for not sacking him earlier.  Cleft stick. Scylla and Charybdis. Bog.  

In lavatorio tori 


(Poor Gavin - I actually find myself agreeing with his latest statement that it is just not possible to say when schools should go back. This does not stop him from being a waste of space though!)

“Dear Dominic

What is this flapdoodle about awarding Covid contracts to our friends? It's what friends are for: we help each other. It's mutual consideration. If ever I was short of the readies, I would expect Dido et al to give me a hand. Why not?

Remuneratio ad infinitum


(This last one worries me. I don’t want our NHS sold off!)

I mentioned Elton John yesterday. Here is again, tweeting, or something, about the problems musicians have:+

“I am urging the UK gov’t to fulfil its promise to negotiate paperwork-free travel in Europe for British artists, their road crew and equipment. Without visa-free travel many tours will be unviable, especially for emerging artists.”

Of course, it’s not just artists; it’s the whole circus that goes around with even a solo performer, let alone a whole band. All the roadies and technicians who are out of work at the moment. 

And here’s an extract from a Facebook page regarding the position of musicians at the moment. 

“I emailed my MP Chris Grayling about the music industry touring item and received this response:

Dear Vaughan

Thank you for contacting me about visa-free work permits for artists and musicians.

I wholeheartedly welcome your support for the performing arts. The UK is home to a huge number of world-class performers across a range of different disciplines and I am committed to ensuring their continued international success under the agreement between the UK and EU. I am also delighted that the Government recognises the value of the industry and supports ambitious arrangements for performers and artists to be able to work and tour across Europe.

The Government did not turn down a bespoke arrangement from the EU to allow musicians to work and perform in Member States. I understand that the UK proposed to capture the work done by musicians, artists and entertainers, and their accompanying staff, through a list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors. These proposals reflected the asks of the music industry itself, developed in consultation with bodies like the Musicians Union. This would have allowed musicians and support staff to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. Unfortunately, the EU repeatedly refused these proposals and made less ambitious ones which would not have enabled touring or covered support staff.

I am, however, pleased that the Government has confirmed that the door remains open for the EU to change its mind, and it will continue its work to make it as straightforward as possible for UK artists to travel and work in the EU.

Best wishes

Chris Grayling”

Glastonbury has just been cancelled again, not surprisingly really. I’ve never been but it still seems a shame for something that has become a kind of musical landmark to disappear. Maybe next year ...

My Spanish sister is still hoping for the Eagles concert in London that she had tickets for last summer. I don’t hold out much hope for that for her.

I do, however, hope that our planned guided trip to Sicily might still take place, probably towards the end of the year. 

But you never know. Along with the reopening of schools being an uncertainty, the experts are now saying that pubs and restaurants should remain closed until probably May.  Oh boy!

On the plus side, though, our daughter has managed to get herself a rapid flow covid test - result negative - at what used to be the community centre in Uppermill. As a teacher she is entitled to that bit of reassurance every week. Her weekend starts at the end of Thursday and so on her way home from work she will pop in and be tested, just to reassure herself that she can meet her family for weekend activities with some sense of safety after mingling with a reduced class of 8 year olds all week. Possibly a step in the right direction. Now she needs to be told she can have the vaccination asap as well. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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