Roger Waters' Manchester gig should be banned, says MP

May 27, 2023 11:58 am

[Source: BBC]

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters should not perform in Manchester amid fears his “divisive actions” could fuel anti-Jewish hatred, an MP has said.

Mr Waters, who left Pink Floyd in 1985, was accused in the House of Commons of playing in Germany “dressed as an SS soldier”.

Bury South Labour MP Christian Wakeford said Mr Waters also used the Star of David on a giant pig at his show.

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The musician said people had “wrongly accused him of being an antisemite”.

Themes relating to totalitarianism were explored by Pink Floyd, who in the movie of their album The Wall depicted a rock star hallucinating that he was leading a fascist rally.

In previous gigs Waters has worn a black costume featuring crossed hammers.

Police in Germany are currently investigating Mr Waters.

The country has strict rules against the use of Nazi imagery – punishable by up to three years in prison.

However, its laws do allow exceptions for artistic or educational reasons.

The BBC has attempted to contact Mr Waters’ representatives for a response to Mr Wakeford’s comments.

Earlier this week, Mr Waters said he had been left saddened by people trying to cancel his shows.

Mr Wakeford told MPs he was “concerned” about Mr Waters playing at the AO Arena on 10 June.

“The city of Manchester has a rich and vibrant history in which those of different faiths and backgrounds have lived together as well as stood together through difficult times and times of division,” he said.

“Will the Leader of the House agree with me that concerts like this have no place in our society and shouldn’t go ahead?”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replied: “I shall make certain that the Home Office has heard (Mr Wakeford’s) concerns today and I think that this House has made great efforts, particularly in recent years, to ensure that the scourge of antisemitism is addressed and stamped out from our country.”

In a Facebook post, Mr Waters this week thanked those who had attended his shows in Germany.

He also paid tribute to the White Rose movement, a resistance group in Nazi Germany.

He said: “The fact that some in power in Germany and some at the behest of the Israeli lobby have attacked me, wrongly accusing me of being an antisemite, and have tried to cancel my shows saddens me.

“Walking around Munich yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was in the presence of Big Brother. It leaves a bad taste.”

The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester said in a statement: “Roger Waters is famous for being a member of one of the most important bands in history.

“Unfortunately, he is now more synonymous with spreading deeply troubling political views that will rightly concern Jewish and other communities across Greater Manchester.”