Hi to everyone in the USA today, November 2nd. A little message from our household: please go to your polling stations and do your very best to get rid of the goon who has been running your country for the past 4 years. New York is my favourite city. I once wanted to live there (and would have if I hadn't met my husband at the very moment I was offered a job) and I want to be able to visit it, and my many beloved friends and family members who live there, without feeling sick. We are with you in spirit.
A controversial piece in The Guardian recently printed letters from angry Americans telling us Brits, in no uncertain terms, to get our noses out of their election business. (I wanted to link to it, but there has been so much coverage in the last little while that I can't find it right now.) Well, since our own prime minister has seen fit to back Bush's war on Iraq, our servicemen have risked their lives there and we do think we have a right to express our opinions.
Music carries such strong and directly emotional messages that it could be used as a powerful tool by those who know how to apply it (as did, regrettably, Hitler). Therefore it's logical to suspect that musicians could use their talent to make their points far more strongly if they wanted to. However, many musicians I know are either hopelessly naive ("Concorde crashed? That's OK, it only killed rich people...") or disinterested ("Why should we bother voting? Nobody raises our pay no matter what happens...") or a little unrealistic about the demands of the market place ("We should privatise British orchestras..."). Tom and I do occasional fundraising concerts for things we believe in - they might make more difference, I guess, if we played them anywhere other than to 20 people and a cat in suburban front rooms. But we can dream, and we do... Still, it's a bit late to mobilise American orchestras, or what's left of them,in favour of any presidential candidate at this stage. All we can say is this:
Dear friends in America, we love you and we want to keep our Special Relationship special. So please vote yourselves a proper President today.