brian's soapbox
     
APRIL 2011

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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**Fri 29 Apr 11**
AV - YES ! OUR ONE CHANCE FOR A BETTER BRITAIN

On this glorious day, it's as well to keep the serious business in mind. If anyone is on doubt as to how to vote on the AV issue this week ...

PLEASE click here [HUNTS CAMPAIGNING AGAINT AV] to see a timely reminder ... that a NO vote is effectively a vote in favour of the return of Blood Sports.

PLEASE vote YES for a change ... let's hope the cosy old system which has enabled cruelty to prevail in the past .. .will be smashed forever.

Cheers

Bri

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**Wed 27 Apr 11**
POLY STYRENE RIP

[See LETTERS...]

RIP
Poly Styrene

Bri
x

www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/apr/26/poly-styrene-x-ray-spex

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**Mon 25 Apr 11**
LETTER TO FARMERS GUARDIAN

Dear Editor

I will make this as brief as I can … not wishing to presume on your time.

We, in the land of tree-huggers, have noticed the ruffled feathers that publication of my interview with your man Alistair has caused. The cartoon was well-judged.

I knew of course that what I was saying would be viewed as contentious, but in the conversation, I tempered it with my concerns about farmers who had spent their whole lives farming the land of their fathers and grandfathers. Of course the interview was about half an hour long, and only about two minutes of it were printed. I really wasn’t being flippant. I am much more informed than when I first tried to step in on behalf of the wild animals who have no voice in the corridors of power in Wales. Since I first met with Stephen James (for whom I have the utmost respect) about a year ago, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many in the community – and I have listened carefully to all sides. It’s important that you know that my comment about "who would raise their children in a place where it was almost certain they will get sick? ” was not a stab in the dark from an English ‘townie’. No - this was pointed out to me by a farmer, who is opposed to the badger cull, and has chosen to raise sheep on his land instead. So, pardon me – I did not mean to be offensive, and, though I am getting used to being called stupid by many who insist on their right to kill wild animals, this is by no means a ridiculous idea, but one which is abroad in your own community.

We have seen in recent days revelations of the scandalous abuses by rogue farmers who have been swapping ear tags for short term gain, at the risk of their own herds and those of their neighbours; there is no knowing how prevalent these very worrying practices are, and there is certainly suspicion that the fact that this has been happening at all makes all the current statistics on bTB meaningless. But I have also been informed, again by farmers who have dared to talk to me, that, added to this, there are individuals who directly profit from the existence of bovine TB; they are apparently deliberately inseminating cows in TB hotspots, testing them positive for TB, killing them off and collecting the compensation. Yes, this is a shocking and serious claim, but again, it’s an accusation not from me, but from the very fields that Elin Jones claims to be protecting.

It’s all too easy for me to be portrayed as a foreign interferer … but I am really not the enemy. I’m just as anxious to rid the British Isles of bTB as you are. This disease causes suffering to all concerned (except perhaps some vets and others, who make a tidy living out of it). It’s just that we support different approaches to solving the problem. We believe that proper movement controls, better pre-movement testing, fencing, sensible choice of grazing places, and the promotion of healthy immune systems in cows - plus vaccination - is the only way to truly lick the disease. Elin Jones’s cobbled-together package, including the slaughter of a whole world of predominantly healthy badgers, is inhumane, scientifically unsound, and WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. This makes me very sad. Sad for the badgers, for the farmers, and for us all. In the end, it’s all about what kind of a world we want our grandchildren to grow up in.

Cheers
Brian

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**Mon 25 Apr 11**
OPEN LETTER TO THE METRO

Ha ! No, it's you who are ludicrous, Ms. Grace Blest-Hopley. You are also hopelessly misinformed - there is no way a fox can be called vermin in this country, any more than a lion can be called vermin in Africa. Yes .. they both need to eat ... but I presume from your callous comments you yourself are not a vegetarian, dear Grace? So, as an eater of meat, perhaps you can be classed as vermin? Your kind are on the way out. You will soon be nothing more than another part of our shameful history, along with the slave traders and those who thought tradition justified them burning witches at the stake. Fox-hunting is the most cowardly sport of all, and will never be legal again. Get over it.

Brian May

Letter 1 in Metro Letter in Metro

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**Mon 25 Apr 11**
ROCKIN IN VLISSINGEN

Van_Velzen and Bri
Van Velzen and Bri

My thanks to everyone in Holland - I had a great time ... I was very touched ... it probably shows in my speech ...

A very warm experience ... and ... well, unique.

OK ! Back to rehearsals ... serious amount of work here ! I feel very lucky.

Special thanks to Roel and the Van Veltzen guys ... for letting me disrupt their set ! Their music definitely needs to be heard more in the UK.

Much love
Bri

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**Wed 21 Apr 11**
VOTE YES FOR CHANGE .. AND YES FOR ANIMALS

[In reply to an email asking Brian's opinion....]

I agree that it is very hard to be sure about the vote on AV - the issue is complicated.

And I also agree that the glossy leaflet you refer to is skilfully done ... they obviously have spent a lot of money on it ... and, yes, it sure looks like the Conservative party to me!!! It's so convincing at first sight ... but a close look reveals all the flaws in their argument. Yes - the candidate who gets the most votes might be called the 'winner' - and you might think he is the best person to represent his constituency. But if he got most votes, but only 30 per cent of the electorate actually voted for him, the falseness of this conclusion immediately shows up. In fact, this candidate does NOT have the support of even half his community. This is exactly what happens in many wards now. And I believe it's wrong. And it's very easy to spot the hypocrisy of a government that is complaining about spending millions on getting a fair voting system, and saying the money should be spent on Nurses! I have to laugh. In fact this government IS spending more money on Nurses? It is Hell ! It is cutting jobs in the private sector, and spending billions on fighting wars we don't need to be involved in!

In a sense, as has been pointed out to me, the very fact that the Conservative leadership are so desperate not to allow the YES vote to succeed tells us something. This government is Hell-bent on bringing back hunting with dogs and slaughtering our badgers, has refused to tighten controls on cruelty in farming, and is overall the most unfriendly government to animals this country has seen for a very long time. The fact that they feel so threatened by a change in the voting system in itself probably tells us that voting YES for CHANGE is the right thing to do. That's what I will be doing. It's time for a change. We have a government right now which none of us voted for. Neither the Conservatives nor the Lib-dems had sufficient support from the British public to form a government. But they did a deal in which they both sold their mothers, and managed to grab power. I want to see this country REALLY choose its leaders in a fair way.

I am not well enough informed to be sure that AV as proposed is the perfect system - it may still need work - but I AM convinced that we need to vote YES for CHANGE - for a chance of a better, fairer Britain.

Cheers
Bri

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**Wed 20 Apr 11**
ANTHEMS TOUR UPDATE!

OK !!!

A couple of tasty snippets.

Our opening act on the Anthems tour is a band called VINTAGE TROUBLE. Check e'm out here ! (and all over Youtube!)

They're so hot right now?!!! (said to the tune of Zoolander). But I did NOT realise until after we'd chosen them that their lead singer is none other than Ty Taylor ... one of the most brilliant Brits we ever had in We Will Rock You. Yes, he starred in the Las Vegas production a couple of years ago ... and is now one of the most talked-about lead singers around. They will be playing the first 40 minutes of the show, and we're hoping for a little interaction later on !!

Now this is NOT for the Albert Hall. For those shows we have, as you have seen, we have the excellent Adam Pascale and the exquisite ladies of Escala!

There are a couple more surprises ... but ... I think I'm going to make you suffer just a little longer!!!

Cheers

See you out there somewhere !!

Bri

Our support band on Jules Holland !! Hot !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsw4ipHcMvY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Bri
x

Anthems Poster
Click for larger

Lotus Cars
Sponsored by Lotus Cars

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**Sun 17 Apr 11**
MADAME GA GA ROCKS WITH DR BRI

[See also BRIAN NEWS item "BRIAN COLLABORATING WITH LADY GAGA"]

Yes, I can confirm I have played some hot guitar on a track for the excellent Lady Ga Ga!

Mutt Lange, the producer of the track, called me up and asked if I would play a solo ... then said ... well, you can play what you like !

So I got hold of it and did my thing. I think it's a stupendous track. It will shock some people because she sounds unlike the way she has done until now. It's a major passionate heartfelt blues/country/rock performance ... just the kind of thing I love to work off. It also has a subtle nod to We Will Rock You in there. It's well heavy - a song with a real story, and has the full weight of Mutt's production behind it.

I gave it my all !!

Cheers

Bri

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