Friday, June 02, 2006

Lennon on Elections

By Ray Coleman

Disc Weekly - April 2, 1966

John Lennon has been thinking about elections and politics and the state of the country generally. And he has come up with some firm opinions which strike a controversial note during election week.

"The trouble with government as it is," said the Beatle, "is that it doesn't represent the people. It controls them. All they seem to want to do - the people who run the country - is keep themselves in power and stop us knowing what's going on. The motto seems to be: 'Keep the people happy with a few (cigarettes) and beer and they won't ask any questions.' I always wondered what it was about politics and government that was wrong. Now, since reading some books by Aldous Huxley, I've suddenly found out what it's all about.

"I'm not saying politicians are all terrible men. It's just the system of government that I don't like. It's been going on for hundreds of years and it'll be hard to change. I'm not an anarchist and I don't want to appear to be one. But it would be good if more people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. The only possible reason they have had so many TV election broadcasts is because they've got to force the public to watch them. Otherwise, people couldn't care less - because at the back of their minds most thinking people know there's something wrong with the present form of government.

"We're being conned into thinking everything's okay, but all these bloody politicians seem the same to me. All they can talk about is the economy and that - what about people, and freedom? These things that matter more don't seem to worry them."

The Beatle said politicians wrongly thought that provided everyone had a TV set, a bed and a car, and enough money for smokes and drinks, "they'll keep quiet." "But what can you do about it?" John asked. He was sitting in the lounge of his Weybridge home. Ringo was sprawled across a settee, nodding occasionally and saying, "He's right - you just can't win."

Lennon continued: "There's nothing you can do about it - it's too big. What I would really like to see is people generally getting more say in what goes on. From what you hear, none of the politicians has any intention of giving ordinary people complete freedom. Just keep them down - that's all they really want. I'm not suggesting I know what the answer is - I just know there's something wrong with the present way of governing the country, and the more people like us realize it, at least we are on the way to changing it. What I don't like is this bit - politicians are politicians because they genuinely want to do the people good. They're politicians because they want power.

"What we need to change things is a bloody revolution. I'm bored by politics because the three of them - Harold, Ted and Jo - all seem the same to me. They know all the tricks. It's a drag, but I can't see the way out."

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