Brian May – You have a voice! Use it!
Brian May, the emblematic guitar player of the legendary rock group Queen, believes that music is one of the highest things humans can do. The musician, same as all people, must be responsible for how they behave in the world. And so he is. In 2010 he created Save Me, an organization that gives wildlife a voice. This year, anticipating the United Kingdom General Election 2015 held just yesterday, Brian May launched the Common Decency campaign, urging people first of all to cast their vote and secondly, to vote for the candidate, not the party. You have a voice; you have to use it was the conclusion that haunted me after our brief conversation at The London Book Fair 2015 (where the artist presented one of his dearest current projects, The London Stereoscopic Society).
How and when did you decide to get involved in social activism?
It dawned on me over the last few years. I became serious about it in the previous five years because I started to campaign for animals and I realized that it was really difficult to give any kind of a voice to wild animals in Britain. I think it’s the same story in many countries around the world, so I devoted myself to just trying to make a difference.
Wasn’t music enough for it?
I used to think that it’s enough to make music and I still love music. The music for its sake to me is something wonderful. It’s one of the highest things humans can do. But you also need to be aware of your position as a human being and be responsible for how we behave in the world. I think we behave incredibly badly in the world.
People say that politician is a synonym for corrupt. What do you feel about that?
I think the vast majority of politicians are motivated by the wrong things. And this is a great sadness for us because people are in our parliamentary system as a career. So they base their decisions on how it’s going to affect them in the future and how it’s going to affect their party and how their party is going to view them. Where is the consideration for the people who put them in there, where is their moral conscience? Everything is about power and career and money. And I think we are impoverished because of this. The world is built around the wrong principles.
Is there a contemporary political personality you trust and appreciate?
I have a number of favorites in the House of Commons. One of them is Caroline Lucas who is the only Green member of the Parliament at the moment (ed. – she remains the only Green MP after yesterday’s elections). She is an amazing woman, a great mother, and wife. And also she devotes her life to seeking the truth and to promoting justice within the House of Commons. She represents her constituents; she has no consideration whatsoever for career. And this is the kind of person I would like to see in Parliament. I would like to see a couple of hundred of people like her who have the same moral fiber as Caroline Lucas. There are many good MPs. We have decent MPs in every party that we’re supporting. For instance, Henry Smith in the Conservative Party. Now, I get a lot of stick at this point. People say ‘how can you possibly support someone in the Conservative Party, cause they are all bastards!’. But I’m here to tell you that you have to look at the man or the woman and not the party because there are decent people in the party.
How can we change the world at a personal level? Some people say change starts in ourselves.
Yes, I think so. I think you’ve answered the question. You just do what you can. You have a voice. You have to use it.
‘Gutted, sad, angry. Trying hard to see something good in this election result. Can’t imagine a worst setback for decency and compassion’, Brian May wrote today on his official website after the General Election results were made public. I’m positive he will not give up. He knows better than anyone that it takes time perseverance and more action to change mentalities.