Friday, March 28, 2008

Madonna off the rails

Back at the end of the 80s, the now-very-defunct Blitz magazine ran a picture where Madonna's head was cut in half and one side of Thatcher's stuck in its place.

It looks a little like this might have been an actual photograph rather than a photomanipulation, as Madonna really does seem to be turning into Thatcher. She even now shares a boogerman with Thatch, in the shape of Ken Livingstone:

"Will Ken Livingstone get my vote? No. The traffic in London is worse than ever now. All Red Ken wants is roadworks going on everywhere."

Yes. She called him Red Ken. Like it was 1983. I was half-expecting to hear some praise for the work of the London Residuary Body.

She doesn't say if she'd vote for the casually racist and homophobic human lampoon Boris Johnson, although we know she wouldn't. Nor would she vote for Red Ken, even if she agreed with him. What with being an American citizen and all.

The reason for all her ire at Red Ken? Besides Red Robbo and Scargill being off the scene when she needs some good socialist-kicking? Apparently it's London transport policy:
The singer, who has a London home, said traffic was worse than ever in an interview with Q magazine.

Ah. It's because transport is bad, and not because Madge has to fork out for the congestion charge, then. She also claims that the Tube isn't usable - as if she'd really love to be hopping on the underground but simply can't stand the delays. When did anyone ever see Madonna on the Tube? How would she know it's so bad?

Madonna then outlines her big idea:
"I would make it so that young musicians, aspiring musicians wouldn't have to pay the congestion charge or pay taxes."

Yes, that'd work. Never mind the fact that musicians at the start of their career will be broke, travelling by public transport and not earning and not paying taxes anyway, let's create a system where people claiming they're following one form of career path. Why should musicians be exempt and not, say, potential doctors, or nurses, or bus drivers?

And if aspiring musicians are to be left out of the taxation pot, would successful musicians therefore pay a higher rate of taxation to acknowledge the support the state has provided for them in helping them achieve success? Is Madonna happy to have her tax rate increased to pay for the plans?


Laura Brown said...

Technically, it is possible for an American citizen living abroad to gain dual citizenship (e.g., apply for British citizenship without explicitly revoking U.S. citizenship -- the U.S. government isn't very happy about people doing this, but the Supreme Court has ruled that they can't actually strip them of their American citizenship as a result). If Madge did this then she would be able to vote in London elections. I'm pretty sure she hasn't, though, as there would certainly have been the usual blast of publicity.

Couldn't anyone with a guitar and vague daydreams about being a pop star be classified as an "aspiring" musician?

Anonymous said...

Just what I was thinking. Does she have some sort of criteria in mind, or could I get free travel and no tax because I can do that thing where you run your finger around the tops of glasses?

(Didn't Labour try this in 1997, as part of the 'New Deal'? Musicians could claim their Jobseeker's Allowance if they could prove they'd been doing something vaguely musician-y. Not sure whether 'Having it off with Kate Moss' counted).

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

True - I was working on the assumption that, had Madonna taken British Citizenship, we'd have heard about.

'having it off with kate moss' might have actually been what the New Deal For Musicians was.

To be fair to that programme, it was an attempt to try and balance out the effects of the Tories increasingly tight 'actively seeking work' conditions on dole claimants, which were forcing future Gallaghers and Albarns to get jobs in Skillet Chicken Takeaway instead of sitting around learning how to write a decent Q magazine awards acceptance speech.

It was rubbish, though, because it tried to turn musicians into small businesspeople.

Olive said...

I love the way that she seems to think that constant roadworks are somehow part of Ken's transport policy. It takes a special kind of stupid to see a bunch of blokes digging up the street and think "Ken Bloody Livingstone! He's had that done just to ensure I have a shitty day!"

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