Brexit & touring musicians by John Baine (Barnstormer)

Andrea Leadsom says a no deal Brexit would ‘not be so grim’. Of course it won’t be for her, she’s a sodding Tory cabinet minister married to a hedge fund. But for the rest of us?
I’m not going to post on behalf of any of the other millions of people whose lives will be adversely affected by it – I’m just going to mention how it would change things for me.
In comparison with – to give one example of many – small businesses who trade primarily or exclusively with the EU, the change would be saddening and limiting rather than catastrophic and life changing. But it would still make me very, very sad and angry.
Incidentally, I choose to take advice on the matter from my trade union, the Musicians’ Union, rather than from Tory politicians or right wing bots who dismiss everything which doesn’t fit their tiny myopic world of red-faced insular Daily Express nonsense as ‘project fear.’
The following paragraphs are my response to that advice.
I am not paying over three hundred quid for a sodding ATA carnet, noting every bloody plectrum, string and date, time and place of purchase of instrument (which I can’t remember anyway) CD, book, record and badge on it and presenting same to some unnecessary bureaucrat having sat in a poxy queue behind a load of lorries for four hours.
I’m not having the pink wrinkly folds of my testicles examined by bored customs officers for traces of illegal substances which I have never taken in my life, just because I look like an (old) punk rocker, when both they and I know that the people who import the stuff mostly drive posh cars, wear suits and look like…Tory government ministers, but stopping them’s too much hassle, and they have a day’s quota of examinations to fulfil, so they’ve stopped me.
I’m not unloading a load of musical equipment onto a grass verge just so some petty mainland European official who has the misfortune to be as unimaginative, narrow minded and misanthropic as his/her UK government counterpart can demonstrate pointlessly that it is HIS/HER country and HIS/HER RULES by asking me to unscrew the nut of my violin bow to check there’s no HEROIN in there.
And so on. And so on. ….
I’m not going to –
because I used to HAVE to before 1992, regularly, and the whole completely unnecessary and ridiculously expensive process sucked vast quantities of donkeys’ smegma-covered reproductive organs in the darkest recesses of Hell.
Then we GREW UP, stopped the whole pointless charade, and, along with all kinds of other far more important people who were actually involved in stuff which helped sustain lives and that sort of thing, rock n roll musicians of every conceivable hue, from hardcore thrash to the most abject prog, breathed a huge sigh of relief and got on with their work, unimpeded by ludicrous bureaucracy.
I’m not going to….because I don’t have to. I am lucky enough to have enough work in this country to be able to sadly inform all my many friends across the Channel that I won’t be perfoming there any more.
It’ll make me very sad indeed: and yes, it’ll be my decision, but it is one I can make and still earn a living. I am angry for the sadness I will feel and I hope many of my friends and contacts will feel too.
But I am a million times more angry for all the people who don’t have the option I do, and whose entire businesses and lives will be wrecked because of the fallout from a ludicrous referendum cooked up by an arrogant upper class idiot trying to solve the internal problems of the Tory Party.
Andrea Leadsom says things won’t be so grim.
Like all the rest of them –
She doesn’t have a fcking clue.
She knows she doesn’t.
And she doesn’t care.
Because it won’t affect her.

John Baine has been performing as ranting punk poet Attila the Stockbroker since 1980 and has taken both his solo show to over 24 countries. His band Barnstormer also tour extensively though less frequently. His book ‘Arguments Yard’ which documents his career and extensive travels around Europe and beyond is available here.