By Naima Omar
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Grime MC’s new song is a grilling for the government

This article is over 4 years, 2 months old
Issue 2578

Dave’s new song Question Time voices the harsh reality many face under a Tory government.

This song is an unforgiving reflection of the current political climate in which we live. It’s seven minutes long, and from start to finish it touches on issues every working class person recognises.

It’s structured as questions for current Tory prime minister Theresa May. Firstly it deals with foreign policy, then her vicious attack on the NHS.

“I just find it fucked that the government is struggling to care for a person that cares for a person.” He slams her inhumane and cowardly reaction to Grenfell, accusing that May “dodged responsibility”.

A number of reviews have said it is a complete change for the 19 year old or unexpected from someone of his age.

Maybe those reviewers weren’t paying attention to the general election when thousands of young people rallied behind Jeremy Corbyn. Artists such as Stormzy and JME and campaigns like Grime4Corbyn joined in.

These generations have only known Tory or New Labour rule, faced with cuts, lies, and betrayals. Corbyn is seen as a real beacon of hope.

But I didn’t expect Dave to question Corbyn on the reality of him keeping all his promises. “Prove to us you’re different, don’t promise us anything,” he demands.

He calls on Corbyn to get justice for Rashan Charles and Edson Da Costa, who both died after coming into contact with the police in the summer.

Hopefully his EP released on 3 November will be a continuation of this tone.

Dave’s new EP Game Over is out on 3 November

A society in flux—as seen by migrants

Britain’s society, economy and culture was transformed in the decades following the Second World War. New migrants from across the world were central to that change, and this book looks at it through their eyes.

Wills pieces together her narrative through memoirs and interviews, novels by immigrant authors and Punjabi folk songs.

Many of the people who came to Britain had already been displaced by the turmoil of the war or the 1947 partition of India.

European refugee camps were cherry-picked of those deemed to have the skills most useful to Britain.The bureaucracy built up for the war was redirected into the first mass-scale immigration controls.

Young men and sometimes women came from Britain’s former colonies on what most thought would be a short-term basis.

But a key turning point was the restrictive 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act. Workers rushed their relatives over to join them in time to “beat the ban”.

This is more a descriptive book than a polemical one. But its descriptions of earlier anti-migrant scares are useful in understanding today’s.

There’s disappointingly little about the collective struggles of black and Asian workers.

But Wills tells an epic story with insight, humanity and detail that will enrich any socialist’s understanding.

Dave Sewell

Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain
By Clair Wills
Published by Allen Lane, £25

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