When it comes to our political discourse, Ant, Dec and Noel are vital voices

When a celebrity raises a question over a politician or their policies, that politician gets to know about it

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The Independent Online

This week’s been a notable one for celebrity political comment. Ant and Dec kicked things off with their comments on how they’d lost faith in the Labour party, despite previously being lifelong supporters. While Ant (the tall one) expressed his “disillusionment” with both this government and the previous one, Dec (the small one) said he wasn’t sure he could picture Ed Miliband as prime minister.

Now Noel Gallagher has widened out the debate into the “career” nature of politicians, saying that he no longer felt that there was anybody for him to vote for because he thinks politicians are more concerned with power than politics. He then demonstrates a more progressive and pragmatic solution than those being offered up by many MPs: “My own view is that if they truly, truly wanted to f******g better the lives of the people, surely they must all realise that a little bit of conservatism married with a little bit of socialism, married with a little bit of f*****g Ukip and a little bit of Green and a little bit of Lib Democrats would be kind of perfect.”

This isn’t silly and it isn’t irrelevant. It’s great and necessary for celebrities to comment on politics. They have the ear of politicians in a way that ordinary people like you and I just don’t. Just look at how quickly Miliband reacted to Ant and Dec’s comments, proclaiming that he intended to “persuade them back on board”. He reacted so quickly because he knows that politicians can’t afford to discount celebrity opinions. They often reflect what many of the fans are thinking.

This kind of celebrity engagement with politics has a markedly different tone to that of the late 1990s, when Tony Blair cosied up to pop stars and actors – including the Gallagher brothers. Thank goodness Noel and co have changed their tune. We need loud, critical voices asking questions of those in power. Celebrity culture can work to our advantage when those critical voices belong to well-known people.

When a celebrity raises a question over a politician or their policies, that politician gets to know about it. These famous mouthpieces are funnels through which our concerns can be heard and discussed. More celebrities should speak up and say what they think as we go into the election period.

 

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