Talking to Metalheads at Download About the Weird UK Election Result
We asked a load of festivalgoers waking up to the confusing news on Friday what they made of it.
Download Festival is an odd place. Un-ironic rock horns are thrown in abundance, people still yell "Allen! Steve!" at each other like it's 2011 and Trump-supporting Five Finger Death Punch can draw a crowd of 50,000 in the afternoon. It's also not known for being vocal about politics, unlike other festivals like Glastonbury, which is why it felt the perfect place for us to stop people and ask them about what the actual hell seems to be going on in British politics RN last Friday. In fairness, the line-up boasted two outspoken political acts: anti-Trump supergroup Prophets of Rage and System of a Down, with their Trump visuals projected while playing anti-war, anti-gun track "Cigaro".
With the UK general election results still flowing in – and talk of a Conservative link-up with the DUP, an Irish Protestant party that's taken firm anti-LGBT, anti-abortion and pro-creationist stances before – there was plenty to talk about. Nursing a can hangover on three hours sleep, I travelled to Donnington to find out whether the people of Download agreed with Chuck D – ("We're going to make the UK rage again, just like Jeremy Corbyn did") – or nah.
Joey, 25, and Harlie, 23
Noisey: Hey guys, when did you find about the results?
Joey: We stayed up watching in the cinema tent. There was quite an atmosphere, people were cheering every Labour seat and booing Tory seats.
Harlie: Then this morning we've been reading about the hung parliament and the coalition.
What do you think about the coalition?
Joey: It's worse than just the Tories possibly, but then the Tories don't have a majority so it's harder for them to do anything.
Harlie: I think it's gonna be a pretty shit few years but hopefully more people will get on the bandwagon and we'll get Labour in next.
Coral, 23, Luke, 34
Noisey: So you guys both voted Tory. Are you disappointed their majority is gone?
Luke: But for her it's better because because the DUP have more power.
You're from Northern Ireland?
Coral: Yeah and I'm happy with the DUP.
What do you think about the DUP's social policies, such as banning gay marriage and abortion?
Coral: I'm completely against their anti-gay marriage policy. On those things I'm more towards Sinn Fein. My two closest friends are gay and I support them with everything they do. I wish the DUP would change that side of their policies. If they changed those policies I'd vote for them because I agree with everything else.
What went wrong with May's campaign?
Luke: She lost her core vote. That dementia tax was all her voters wiped out.
Coral: Yeah because it's all the older generation who support her. I work in Leeds and live near York, and I didn't see any campaigns. It was all Labour. I didn't see anything for the Conservatives. They needed to campaign more. I think she thought she had it in the bag.
Luke: That's why she thought it was safe to bring in the dementia tax.
Did you guys vote Leave and does this affect Brexit?
Luke: Yes, and it's definitely bad because they haven't got that majority. We've got to get on with Brexit, we've had enough of all this nonsense, let's crack on. No more changing and swapping leaders.
Coral: Yeah, I voted Leave because I think it'll be better for the NHS.
Even though they promised £350 million a week and then went back on it the morning of the result?
Coral: Yeah, that's not going to happen, I just feel like the NHS is in better hands with Theresa May than it is Corbyn.
Helen, 42, Lauren, 23
Noisey: What did you think of the results?
Helen: They could have been a hell of a lot better.
Lauren: They could have a hell of a lot worse as well.
Better and worse for who?
Helen: Well we both voted Labour because Lauren's a university student.
Lauren: Yeah, the whole helping students bit was helpful for me, but also thinking of future generations. I feel like the Conservatives didn't have that in mind.
What do you think about the potential DUP coalition?
Lauren: I had a quick read up on it and it's a bit worrying. My brother's parents are a lesbian couple and the DUP are saying people brought up by a gay couple are abused, that's just wrong. Gay rights were worked so hard for and now it's going to be wiped out.
Helen: Plus they don't seem to have a clue about science.
Lauren: It's like Britain is getting our own Trump. One good thing that has happened though is the amount of people voting, it's been such a difference.
You mentioned being at university. How much do you think Corbyn's promises on tuition fees important impacted the youth vote?
Lauren: I've been at uni since the year they put fees up. I agreed to pay, but £9,000 a year compared to everyone else is ridiculous. I'm in £54,000 worth of debt and anyone older than me isn't.
Helen: He was also very visible. He was in every social media feed whereas Theresa May basically hid.
Lauren: But she did run through wheat fields.
Francisco, 25, Alessia, 25
Noisey: What are your thoughts on the result?
Alessia: I was hoping Labour would win so I'm disappointed, but I still think it's a good result. I think that they won't manage to build a strong government now but May won't resign and will try whatever she can to stay in, but I hope it falls down.
Francisco: I think it was a big loss from what May expected and I'm happy. There's still hope to change things.
As Italians, what are your thoughts on British politics right now?
Alessia: Obviously I'm not happy with Brexit. I'm a strong supporter of Europe and I believe we should stick together rather the create differences and hate.
Francisco: Exactly. It's going to be really hard to compete with the big powers in the world like America and China if we start to split up. From my point of view I'm a bit scared that this could happen in other countries in Europe, so I'm happy the vote indicates many British people might have changed their mind.
So this is good for the EU?
Alessia: It's better than expected.
Francisco: Maybe it's going to cause a softer Brexit so it's going to be easier for us to stay here. Also for British citizens in Europe there could be big repercussions from a hard Brexit.
Matt, 25, Matt, 34
Noisey: Do you guys know what happened in the election?
Younger Matt: No.
Labour gained 30 seats and the Tories lost their majority. Theresa May now needs the DUP from Northern Ireland to prop her up. They're anti-climate change, abortion and gay marriage and they're creationists.
Young Matt: So they don't believe in stuff that's been scientifically proven?
They once sued a museum because it had a display about evolution and didn't have one for creationism.
Older Matt: Oh my God.
Younger Matt: You don't want to laugh because it's really happening but that's funny. I voted Labour personally. I've never really been that much into politics. I didn't vote in Brexit because I felt it was something stupid that shouldn't have happened, but Corbyn seemed to have way better ideas than May. Were there any other big changes?
Nick Clegg lost his seat. UKIP have no seats and their leader resigned.
Older Matt: Haha, we'll talk to Phil about that.
Younger Matt: Phil is our one UKIP mate, he's a proper knob.
Older Matt: He's one of our best friends but he's a piece of shit.
Now you know the results, how many cans are you gonna have for Corbyn?
Younger Matt: That was last night. Everyone was running around singing, "Vote Jeremy Corbyn." All the young people, the festival lot especially, are so backing him. We had it at Slam Dunk Festival a few weeks ago too. Again he just seems like a real person, that's why I voted Labour.
Older Matt: I'm still unsure about him, that's why I didn't vote this time. I couldn't consciously put my trust in any of them.
Rob, 26, Gemma, 24, Megan, 25
Noisey: Can you guys tell me when you learned about the election result?
Rob: About 4AM when I was off my tits.
Gemma: Someone was trying to explain a hung Parliament, I still don't get what it is.
She doesn't have enough seats to govern alone, so she needs to rely on another party – in this case, the DUP – to get anything passed. They're against gay marriage, abortion, climate change...
Gemma: Why do these people exist? Seriously?
Did you know anything about them before today?
Gemma: I knew about other parties but not them.
Rob: Yeah, and I don't go deep with all the manifestos, you just hear what you hear.
Gemma: And they don't explain it our terms do they? They just use all the fancy language and it just mumbles you up to think it's really great. Stop being up your own arse.
What do you think of Theresa May?
Megan: Arsehole. Absolute Arsehole.
And what was it like in the campsite when the results were coming in?
Rob: Cocks out for Corbyn!
Megan: And lots of "Ohhhh Jeremy Corbyn!" sung to the tune of The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army".
Gemma: That's all it was last night, people singing songs about Jeremy Corbyn. I don't think anyone likes Theresa May, who put her in power anyway?
Rob: It was because Cameron resigned.
Megan: And then her party voted her in.
Gemma: Yeah, but why?
Megan: Basically everyone else is arseholes too.
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