Just how 'worthy is Worthy Farm?
In the fight for equality and respect, I have constantly re-iterated that equality means equality for all and that fighting one corner against another is pointless and wrong. Their fight is our fight. All minorities who face discrimination stick together and pull together.
All of us who represent minorities know how much work there is still to do but the response to our pleas need to be noticed for that progress to be meaningful.
This is a week of sharp and telling contrast.
On Monday, Formula 1 issued a life ban on 3-times world champion Nelson Piquet, following his use of the Portuguese N word in an interview about Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was outraged and spoke up.the ban stays, despite Piquet’s subsequent apology. This was absolutely the right action by Sir Lewis and absolutely the appropriate swift response from F1.
Racism and ableism are not the same but there are parallels and we’re united in our fight for fairness and equality.
My own music industry’s history is about standing up for truth and justice, from anti-war protests to concerts which I have helped organise to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s most vulnerable people.
But has my industry lost it’s way, when even the torchbearer for equality and kindness, the Glastonbury festival, has remained silent this week.
Last weekend at Glastonbury, Noel Gallagher flashed a VIP pass and insisted on entering the viewing platform reserved for disabled festival goers. Good view and, crucially, safe from barging, stress and risk. Not so.
He hinted he thought of pushing someone out of their wheelchair, to get a seat. To cap it all, he then appeared to anoint several of the people in the area on the top of their head, asking them to rise up as they were cured.
Maybe the Eavis family at Worthy Farm are so astonished and furious that they are still trying to find the right words? Let’s see. More likely, in my experience, is that nothing whatever will happen to Noel Gallagher. It’s as if selling a bunch of records entitles you to do whatever you like and an adoring public will just endure.
Well I’ve sold a bunch of records too Noel and I’m calling you out on this. totally inexcusable, deeply hurtful and insulting. At least act like a grown up and start with an apology and follow up with actually doing something to help.