Rap song featuring quotes from MPs highlights ‘toxic' language of politics
Violent threats, racial slurs and misogynist insults form the core of a new “drill” music track released this week, but they are all quotes from serving politicians and public figures.
The song, called Political Drilling, was produced to highlight similarities between the language used by rival gangs on London’s streets and rival politicians in Parliament.
“I will not rest until she’s chopped up in bags in my freezer” and “I won’t knife you in the back, I’ll knife you in the front”, quotes attributed to former chancellor George Osborne and Labour MP Jess Phillips respectively, are among the most vivid lines. Ms Phillips later said she had not meant to use the metaphor as a threat and took back her words.
Rapper Drillminister, believed to be an established musician operating under a pseudonym, produced the track for Channel 4 News and director Boya Dee shared the video on Wednesday. Strong language features throughout.
Drill music, which often features lyrics about crime, violence and gang rivalries, was named as a leading cause of youth violence by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick in May, a claim disputed by some rappers, politicians and youth workers.
However, the behaviour and language of elected officials has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with a recent report from the Commons Commission concluding that bullying and harassment in parliament had been “tolerated and concealed”.
“I think politicians should be held responsible for the language they use and the impact it has on the culture and climate of debate,” Labour MP Liz Kendall told Channel 4.
Politicians who use “violent and misogynistic” language should “have the whip removed”, she added, implying they should be ostracised from their party.
Labour MP Dawn Butler praised the video on Twitter, calling it a “point well made”.
“Politicians have a responsibility to set a good example. Some politicians have seriously failed to do this. I’m sure @theresa_may will agree especially after last week. The toxic political climate around the globe needs to change,” she tweeted.
“Get on your knees bitch,” Labour’s Clive Lewis told an actor at a party conference fringe event in 2017.
Earlier in the year, Conservative MP Anne-Marie Morris told a group of Eurosceptic MPs that a no-deal Brexit situation was “the real n****r in the woodpile.”
On Sunday, an un-named Tory MP told The Sunday Times “the moment is coming when the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted” in reference to the Prime Minister.
All three quotes are included as lyrics in the video.
“MPs should be held responsible and accountable for their views. The words we’ve seen this weekend are normalising violence, misogyny, harassment and bullying. They’ve got no place in our politics,” Mrs Kendall added.