23rd Jun, 2017

Pete’s got the blues for austerity

Rob George 21st Apr, 2017

A WORCESTER man is fighting back against austerity by writing a protest song condemning cuts to public services.

Pete Unwin, a senior lecturer in Social Work at the University of Worcester, has witnessed the devastating impact of the austerity agenda both for struggling families and the professionals who are trying to support them.

He has now written a song, Boot Out Austerity Blues, which has been recorded by Worcester-based band The George Cowley Experience.

The band takes its name from the legendary Worcester man of letters, George Cowley, who regularly shared his whimsy with local readers.

Mr Cowley has direct experience of mental health services and has become a friend of the band.

Following a seven year hiatus, Mr Unwin, a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), reformed the group to support BASW’s Boot Out Austerity project in which social workers will be walking 100 miles from Birmingham to Liverpool to protest against the Government’s austerity policies. The song lyrics describe the route of the walk.

The band specialises in ‘politico-rock’ in the grand tradition of artists such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

The four piece previously tasted success with their 2010 single ‘S.O.S Newport Passport Office’ (Norman Tebbit Remix), which was used in a campaign to save jobs at the eponymous passport office.

“I have friends who are millionaire business people and friends who rely on benefits; one group doesn’t even know about austerity, while the other suffers its impact on a daily basis,” Mr Unwin said.

“I have enjoyed reforming the band for such an important cause, however, I think my proudest achievement is rhyming ‘Northwich’ with ‘Perilous’ when describing the state of Cheshire’s public services,” he added.

Visit www.youtube.com and search for Boot Out Austerity Blues to watch the video in full.