The succession of enthusiastic Brexiteers to discover that Project Fear was in fact Project Reality grows by the day. The fishing industry was an early addition, meat processors and exporters followed soon after, financial services and European stock marketeers have since been added to the list, and now has come Roger Daltrey.
Asked in March 2019 if Brexit would be bad for rock music, Daltrey responded “No. What’s it got to do with the rock business?” How would bands tour in Europe? “Oh dear. As if we didn’t tour in Europe before the fucking EU. Oh give it up. If you want to sign up to be ruled by a fucking mafia, you do it … like being governed by FIFA”. And there was more.
Talking to the BBC Radio 4 Front Row Programme in 2018, he claimed “It’s nothing that can’t be solved. I mean, we used to work in Europe before Europe was even thought about [!], or the EU was even thought about [not in his case, he didn’t]. We had the golden period of the 60s and 70s. Come on … wake up a bit”. And yet more. Revealingly more.
“I’m not against Europe at all, it’s Brussels and the construct of Brussels and the democratic deficit of it [did he not know about the European Parliament?]. There’s no direct link between the voter, and to get through to those people who run our lives [yes there is], and there’s far too many people on far too many gravy trains soaking us dry”.
One wonders how vocal he has been at the news of all those Tory Party donors and hangers-on securing multi-million pound contracts on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic, and without competition. We should remember that Daltrey just sang the words and Pete Townshend actually wrote them. He can’t actually see for miles and miles.
So today’s news should not come as a surprise. As the BBC has reported, “Some of the UK's biggest music stars have written to the government demanding action to ensure visa-free touring in the European Union. Sir Elton John, Liam Gallagher and Nicola Benedetti are among 110 artists who have signed the open letter. It said they had been ‘shamefully failed’ by the government over post-Brexit travel rules for UK musicians”.
“The Who frontman Daltrey has also signed despite telling the BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme in 2018: ‘It's nothing that can't be solved’”. He also claimed falsely that there was a democratic deficit, no direct link with voters, and no EU in the 60s and 70s, when the EEC, the EU’s forerunner, began life with the Treaty of Rome. In 1958.
Daltrey’s credibility, to paraphrase the words of My Generation, died before he got old.