Whether or not U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak‘s recent remarks on worker relief were taken out of context, they’ve elicited outcry that reflects the frustration of nightlife workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Labour MP Kevin Brennan came to the music industry’s defense during a recent debate, and SHERELLE has joined the conversation with an appearance on BBC Newsnight.
Presenter Emily Maitlis asked the radio presenter and footwork/jungle DJ about Sunak’s comments that workers will need to “retrain and find new jobs.” “The last six months, for me, have been brutal mental health-wise,” SHERELLE said. “The whole industry, live music, is in complete dire straights. It’s very stressful for us all.”
“The whole industry, live music, is in complete dire straights. It’s very stressful for us all.”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) October 6, 2020
“We’ve trained for so long to be in our jobs and we’re completely suffering. I’m on the self-employment scheme and I sometimes find myself struggling,” SHERELLE went on. “I’ve got friends on Universal Credit and they’re unable to either choose the choice of paying rent or paying for food and basic amenities.”
SHERELLE also suggested that U.K. lawmakers should look to Germany as an example of a country offering functional nightlife aid – presumably the Neustart Kultur package announced in June. “The Tories are letting us down and, unfortunately, everything that they’ve said today is completely deplorable,” she said.
Also featured on the segment was Róisín Murphy, who emphasized the cultural value of U.K. nightlife. “I went into night culture and watching gigs and going to clubs as a teenager, and that was really where I made myself and found what I was good at…” said the Irish singer and songwriter. “…It was music and music culture that helped me create that world for myself.”
Towards the end of September, U.K. lawmakers imposed a 10:00 PM curfew on bars and nightclubs after the country reported 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day.