Captain SKA is a politically-active band that has a long history of criticism of the government. Their 2010 single ‘Liar Liar’ attacked the coalition for tuition fee increases and their 2017 record Liar Liar GE2017, released a couple of weeks before last year’s General Election, reached number one on iTunes and number five in the UK charts.
No radio stations played the track before the election because of ‘purdah’ rules on political balance – but remarkably, the BBC did not play it on any channel for the rest of the year.
This morning, the band published an open letter to the BBC, challenging the state broadcaster to live up to its impartiality requirement by playing the track:
The SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC, with a copy of the open letter, to ask why it was behaving so unusually by not playing – in a period of over six months – a top-five track even once on any of its channels or stations.
A BBC spokesperson responded:
We do not ban songs or artists, however our editorial guidelines require us to remain impartial and the UK was in an election period at the time so we did not play the song.
When pressed to provide an answer as to why the track was never played after the election, the BBC added:
Each track is considered for the playlists at the individual networks based on its musical merit and whether it is right for the stations [sic] target audiences, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis.
This might be considered a less than satisfactory response in view of the usual prevalence of charting tracks in BBC musical output and the breadth of musical tastes for which the Corporation is supposed to cater.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.