Damn EU

Tomorrow marks the release of our 7th single in the Rage Against The Brexit Machine series.  Fiscal Cliff charts the story that led to the last major recession and which sewed the seeds for our decision to self harm by leaving the EU:

Click the links to pre-order the song:

Here is the video to whet your appetite:

And the lyric …. written in bus shelters, banks, bath, beds and bars :

The story behind the song – Illustrations by Simon Heath @SimonHeath1

As with many things in modern life, the ideas for the song started on Facebook – with big thanks to Andee Price for finding me within an hour of asking for a professional bass player on Facebook and Christopher Gamble for his “online oral stimulation”:

I placed an ad for a female bass player on Facebook and within an hour I had three recommendations for Andee Price – she read the advertisement accurately and responded. A true professional.

 

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A Song for Europe

We have a Eurovision … no, we have not written a Bucks Fizz record … we see the prospect for a better Britain in a united Europe and have written a heartfelt song to capture that vision.

Will you help us chart the song this week?  It needs just 79 pence to buy a copy, preferably on multiple platforms … see below for links.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” is Madeleina Kay’s “Song for Europe”.  The song speaks to our hearts of all the things we stand to lose if we leave the EU.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” has moved several people to tears with its perfect storm of Madeleina’s poetry set to music.

The song was written in a stairwell at the European Union by Madeleina in an emotional outpouring after she was removed from the EU Chamber for daring to wear a Supergirl costume to a Brexit Briefing by our “Brexit Bulldog” David Davis.

This orchestral version of “Don’t Throw It All Away” was recorded and produced by Peter Cook in his studio “The Basement of Cognition” with vocals recorded at Rock God Bernie Torme’s Barnroom Studios in darkest Kent.

Recording session for “No Jeremy Corbyn” with Rock God Bernie Torme and Rage Founder members Gareth Dylan Smith and Doug Grannell

Sony Records’ associate Mark Christopher Lee said of the song:

“Don’t Throw It All Away compares favourably with Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Vienna”.  There is also a little bit of Nico in Madeleina Kay’s voice”.

The original acoustic version is here for comparison:

Place your order for the song on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play now: Just click the images to find the song online. We are aiming for Top 40 success, not so much for the fame, but to “take back control of the media from Murdoch’s Murderous Media Machine”.

Did you stop to think
what you would sacrifice?
When on a whim
you took their advice.
 
What did you think you’d gain?
Why did you leave?
Which broken promises
did you believe?
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
 
It’s easy to cast the blame
when you’re hurt
Unaware of all the falsehoods
that you assert.
 
Don’t be reckless now,
just think before you act,
There’s still time to apply
the knowledge that we lacked.
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
Don’t you live your life
of regret
But on your fateful fortune
I will place my bet.
Soon your unsubstantiated
optimism
Will dissolve amidst its
criticisms.
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.

 

Fake News devalues the Currency of Truth

This article from Breitbart is both hilarious and simultaneously depressing.  It is the stuff that caused Gina Miller to receive death threats and a quick read of the comments shows that there is a willing public ready to consume such garbage and make all kinds of random leaps of faith based on limited information. Part of the problem is that we are now “drowning in data” rather than “swimming with information” – an issue I am presently writing about for my latest book. In a world of information overload there can be a tendency to simply accept headlines at face value, especially for time deprived people or those of lower general intelligence.  Breitbart’s headline also distorts the truth, where  “emotional blackmail” has been substituted for the actual idea, which asks young people to speak with their grandparents, who, after all have the balance of power in the relationship, as some of the comments to the article suggest. It is a pure distortion of the story to suggest that young people are blackmailing their grandparents. Worse still it promotes the kind of hate that leads to more radical action. I believe in a free press, but freedom comes with responsibilities.

Click for Breitbart … if you dare

Our journalists devalue the currency of the truth with such tactics. It does nothing to improve respect for the press. What exactly is wrong with asking young people to speak with their grandparents about values and beliefs?  What are Breitbart afraid of?  Why are they saying this?

Read some of Madeleina’s work by clicking the picture

My own sister consumes much of this garbage via the Daily Mail.  Her husband told me that we must leave the EU because “there were two million rapists waiting to come to England from Berlin, sponsored by Angela Merkel”.  I could not really believe what I was hearing at Sunday tea over the Battenberg cake (damn German name for an English cake of course – presumably also the EU’s fault !! 🙂

Older knows better ?? I’m old and I am ashamed of my peers’ stupidity

Trump, Brexit … we need a new world order.  Undoubtedly there is massive dissatisfaction with our politics around the world, but our knee jerk populist response to this is informed by fake news. In the words of Robert Allen and members of The E Street band “Is There A Way To Know?”

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics. Author of 8 books on leadership acclaimed by Tom Peters, Charles Handy, Harvey Goldsmith and Adrian Furnham. Featuring an interview exclusive with Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson.

 

Jacob Rees Moog … Pants to Brexit and other Brexit Party Hits

I’ve been asked to assemble an album of “Brexit Party Hits” … although I’ve yet to be invited to a Brexit party by our Government … 🙂  The working title of the album is BREXIT FREE and the idea is to professionally record an album’s worth of original songs about “Life without Brexit” (pleasure) and Brexit realities (pain). You can read about some of our activity to free us from self-harming Brexit in The New European newspaper this week.

I’m asking people to back the album production in advance via our “STOP BREXIT” Go Fund Me site. This will enable us to book studios, secure professional musicians, hire professional marketing support and so on.  There is an immense amount of organisation to do and costs involved to undertake this venture. I have been offered the support of Jon Morter, the man who knocked Simon Cowell off the Number One slot with his Rage Against The Brexit Machine Christmas hit. We are calling the collective of the bands that will record the album “Rage Against The Brexit Machine”. We will release the album with Nub Records, an indie label that won a place in the Guinness Book of Records for their 100 x 30 albums. I recorded 3 songs for these including “Trumptown” and “Beware the IDS of March“.

FAQ’s

What will be on the album?

The actual album is being written now and we will crowdsource the words on our BBC (Brexit Boat Cruise) on the River Thames on 19 August. However, here are some titles to whet your appetite:

  • Pants to Brexit – feat Pan(t)’s People
  • Jacob Rees Moog – a Tory dancefloor groove in the style of “19”
  • Better Together – An Ode To Joy
  • What EU mean to me – A Love Song
  • Fiscal Cliff – On Economics and Cliff Edges
  • Bojo Funk – A revision of the Bruno Mars hit Uptown Funk
  • We are the Brexit Girls – A revision of The Cheeky Song
  • Brexit Free
  • No Jeremy Corbyn

Who will be on the album?

This is a collaborative effort, so please contact me if you wish to contribute.  We will certainly be including our Boris Johnson impersonator Faux Bojo but there is room for other singers and players.

We campaign tirelessly for a Brexit Free World – click to read Rebecca Buck’s superb piece on our work

Packing them in at Downing Street – Photo by Bruce Tanner – http://www.brucetanner.com

Will there be a single?

Yes, several. “Pants to Brexit”, “Jacob Rees Moog”, “I wanna be Brexit Free” and “No Jeremy Corbyn” are the current contenders.

No to Brexit JC

What happens if we don’t raise all the money?

If the album project does not fully fund we will produce the singles. If not the money will be used to fight Brexit via the live events we have planned at the Labour / Conservative / Lib Dem Party Conferences and other events around the country.

Check the Go Fund Me page out now – Let’s Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain …

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Peter Cook is a business consultant, author of 7.5 books on business, keynote speaker and musician. He blends his three passions of science, business and music in his work at The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics which he has run for 23 years. In his early career he brought new pharmaceutical products to market safely including Human Insulin and the world’s first HIV / AIDS treatment.

In Limbo

Imagine you lived in a place for years, had made it your home, raised a family, worked there, paid your taxes only to then be told you are worth no more than a bargaining chip in a political game? This is the world we inhabit in our so-called Great Britain at the moment. I was touched personally at the stories of EU citizens who face continued uncertainty over their future if we decide to leave the European Union. These have been compiled into a wonderful book by Elena Remigi with the help of Véronique Martin and Tim Sykes called In Limbo – Brexit testimonies from EU citizens in the UK. In Limbo tells the human tales of the ground floor impact of our heartless strategies to use our EU citizens as human shields. Heartbreaking insights from people who have been so badly let down by our so-called Government that works for all. I feel ashamed to be called British in the knowledge that our European friends are being used as in this way just to prop up an internal political party squabble.

You might be thinking … “but didn’t Theresa May offer our EU citizens security just the other week?”  On the surface it might look like that.  Look again :

  1. The current “settled status” on offer basically reduces rights of people who have lived, worked and paid taxes in the UK.
  2. EU citizens are not necessarily allowed to stay in the UK if they are married to a British citizen. Just imagine how you would feel if your Government told you that?
  3. Some people say things like “We didn’t mean YOU when we voted to leave.” So who DID you mean when you voted Leave? How do you decide that I can stay but my neighbour can’t?
  4. People also say “Why did not not get citizenship?” Because you need Permanent Residency first, it costs a fortune and many people are happy being an EU citizen.

On a personal level, Brexit has divided my family after I walked out of my own house at a Sunday tea, when my brother in law told me to “get over the referendum”, claiming that there were 2 million rapists waiting to come to the UK from Berlin. He had clearly been brainwashed by our populist media. We have not seen them since … and this division is not going away, despite the nonsense protestations of our political leaders. I was also punched in my local area soon after the referendum so one does not even have to be an EU citizen to face xenophobia from Leave voters. Below are two extracts from In Limbo.

I cried at the dentist’s today. My dentist is lovely and my teeth are OK. I don’t cry easily and it really took me by surprise. But he asked me kindly how I had been since our last appointment six months ago and I told him what Brexit has meant to me and my husband. After thirty years of life in this country and twenty seven years married to a British citizen, I am not entitled to Permanent Residency. This is because I’ve never had the Comprehensive Health Insurance (CSI), illegal according to EU standards, which is only now being imposed as a necessity. I told him about feeling betrayed, let down and abused by the government who did not do the humane and moral thing by us and our families. And who also betrayed and let down the Brits in relationships/marriages with EU citizens as well as the Brits living in the EU, who are now reduced, as we are, to mere bargaining chips. Then suddenly, in the silence of his room, with his kind and bemused eyes on me, lying on the chair as on a psychiatrist’s sofa, I heard my voice break and tears started rolling down my face. I felt mortified but it made me realise the amount of stress and sadness I have been carrying inside for the past eight months. I know that, sadly, my fellow EU citizens here feel exactly the same.

V., France

As an Englishman living in Germany and denied a vote, my perspective is different to that of the Europeans in the UK, but we share similarities all the same. It’s only since I’ve been abroad (and particularly since the dreadful vote of June 23rd) that I have come to fully appreciate just how I was subject to the drip, drip, drip brainwashing as a child and growing up in England. We were the British, victors of WW2 and by default better than everyone else. It was the Great Escape and the Dambusters every holiday on TV. I even read war comics like Victor and Commando where the Germans were the square-jawed aliens uttering robotic sayings like “Achtung, Achtung” and “Surrender, Englischer Schweinhund!” Everything we did had to be slightly different – drive on the left, imperial weights and measures, even ‘Jeux Sans Frontières’ on TV couldn’t be translated literally (it had to be called ‘It’s a Knockout!’ – which made no sense at all). ‘The Continent’ was somewhere away across the water, full of people who were inherently inferior somehow, even if it wasn’t expressed directly in those terms. Somehow, I managed to ditch most of this nonsense baggage I’d been saddled with. Marrying a German and experiencing other Europeans first-hand has taught me the truth of the situation. Empire days are long gone. We need Europe. Forty years of progress are now being thrown away. My sister and my best friend in the UK voted Leave. I don’t recognise the country anymore and don’t want to be associated with it now. I hate what this ridiculous Referendum has done to my country and my relationship with people who are close to me. I truly believe that future generations will condemn this period in our history in the same way that we now look back at the madness of the First World War.

Bower, UK citizen living in Germany

Elena will be present at the No 10 Vigil this Friday 7th July if you would like to meet her and talk with her about the book. I continue to fight for a Better Britain in a Stronger Europe and I hope that these people will get the justice they deserve. Find In Limbo on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle book. Check out the In Limbo Facebook page. As for me, the way forward can be summarised in 6 words starting with a B:

We finish with some punchy satire that sums up the illusions of some people about EU citizens living in the DisUnited Kingdom from 4N Boyz:

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Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock. He also leads the musical direction of the No 10 Vigil, designed to Stop Brexit Dead.  Find out more about his plans finish the job at Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain.

Brexit Election Fever

Go Fund Me to make June the end of May

We live in disruptive times and who would have predicted a snap General Election after Premier May had stated there would not be one? It’s a good time for her to do this as Labour is depleted of followers and funds. The Lib Dems face the same shortage of cash. UKIP are in disarray. So it’s the perfect time for her to call a snap election if things stay the same as they are ….

… Except they might not … Disruption begets disruption and many of the events we have faced since Brexit have been unpredictable – who would have thought we would threaten to go to war with Spain if we do not get our own way in negotiations? Who would have thought that the European Union would undertake a “dirty trick” such as making their position on negotiations completely open and transparent?  Who would have thought that the election would be used as a means to close down discussion on meeting our environmental commitments?  And so on

Today I’m meeting with Open Britain and others from The European Movement to discuss our tour of the UK to change the course of the General Election.  Please support me. This is a vital business and personal issue for all of us and, most importantly, our children. We did not vote for self-destructive Brexit and the game has changed compared with what we were sold.  I know many people are weary of electioneering and politics, but let’s not have “buyers remorse” over Brexit.

Click to Go Fund Me

I’m doing my part to create MayHem with the “Strong and UnStable” Leadership of Theresa May’s Government with the aim of seriously leavening or reducing their majority. I’m doing this so that a more considered debate may be held on our self-harming Brexit for the sake of our children, rather than just to be bloody minded or a saboteur, as I have been accused of being by some. This included being punched in the face by one angry young Brexiteer and threatened by another sad old musician. I myself wanted EU reform and thought that the best way to achieve this was to be at the negotiating table as a full member. You cannot negotiate with a club once you have left it !!

Some ask me, are you not part of an elite, a Guardian Reader or a snowflake Liberal Democrat? Politically, if you cut me in half (as some would like to do ! :-), you would find blue, gold, green and red blood running through my veins. I don’t seek to depose Theresa May because of her Conservatism, more to leaven her desire to force through a self-harming Brexit in the wake of a complete lack of an effective opposition.

We plan to deliver a series of grassroots events that will inspire, consult and engage all people with the intention to change voter behaviour. The core of this will be a “People’s Question Time” backed up with some superb non-partisan facilitation and support for tired remainers and floating leavers. Please take a look at our fundraiser and support / share the project if you feel able.

Click the image to make June the end of May ….

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  • Network the concept with key opinion formers to help with funding, infrastructure and so on.
  • Ask corporate decision makers for financial backing – We accept contributions from £10K upwards.
  • Contribute directly to the Go Fund Me initiative.  We have had donations from £20 to £100.

A C Grayling – One of our supporters

We are also looking for direct sponsorship from businesses, political figures and individuals – please see our Slideshare deck on the topic:

We plan to collaborate with Liz Webster who runs Flock Brexit, a group seeking securely define EU citizenship for all Europeans (including British) to ensure our rights and freedoms are not stripped or curtailed by any nation state withdrawing from EU. In doing so to halt the progress of Brexit. All people from 28 member states are equal in EU law and united as EU citizens, which affords huge privileges. Brexit (or any other exit) potentially damages all EU citizens. Flock Brexit’s objective is to ensure EU citizenship becomes teflon coated to ensure we are EU citizenship can’t be removed or altered.

Come join us and let’s BREAK BREXIT BEFORE BREXIT BREAKS BRITAIN.  To finish, here’s a video of our musical antics opposite No 10 Downing Street, where we have had celebrities, MP’s, the BBC and Breitbart in attendance or reporting on our acts as “saboteurs” 🙂 If you want to join us please connect with the No 10 Vigil on Facebook. We have a lot of fun and our message is getting through to the parts that matter, including Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier last week.

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics, offering outstanding keynotes, masterclasses and longer term Business / OD, Coaching and Mentoring. He is author of 7 and a half books on business leadership. Check them out at Amazon.

Got The Brexit Blues?

Better Together – A Song for Europe is released on iTunes today – grab your copy and let’s see if we can make Theresa May wake up to the fact that we are better off in Europe. It would be nice to make this a Summer hit – can you help by sharing this article, the iTunes link etc.

Click to buy on iTunes

Click to buy on iTunes

Our IN / OUT referendum was confounded by information overload on all sides and lies, with some of the biggest howlers being denied by The Leave Campaign on the actual day of winning (We’d get £350 M per week back for the NHS and that we’d be able to control our borders etc.). As a result we have a Disunited Kingdom. And all of this because one man does not like Brussels:

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.27.23

We are now just beginning to see the start of the consequences for the UK:

We have begun Quantitative Easing Round III (QE III), a measure which is more usually used in recessions or crises. Put simply, this is rather like the UK having a large credit card, paid for by the masses into the future. Quite plainly living beyond our means and a measure which usually raises inflation when incomes are flat.  The Governor of the Bank of England did not even reach his target for QE III, which speaks volumes about appetites to invest in UK plc. Here is an extract from a new book which explains why QE stores up problems for the majority:

Buying your way out of trouble ... or just storing it up for the children?

Buying your way out of trouble … or just storing it up for our children?

There is already a queue of people asking for bailouts as a result of the ending of European subsidies if we leave.  Farmers are at the head of the queue (although paradoxically many of them voted Leave), EU funding bodies such as Erasmus, The Army are claiming that they have lost nearly £1 billion due to import costs over a weaker pound. It seems that nearly everyone who has a movement will be queuing up for a bailout in the wake of Brexit, when we are about to enter a new era of austerity. The numbers don’t add up and it’s quite likely that this will be reflected in further cuts to services and local government.

The “rapid trade deals” that we were promised have not materialised. Quite to the contrary, estimates suggest we are looking at maybe 10 years minimum to make any sensible deals with larger countries around the world and this will be on their terms, not ours.

Anyway, enough politikking.  On with the music ….

BT2

A Motley Crew – The Brexit Blues Band with the great Bernie Tormé

 

Better Together” was written as a poem by Dave Brooks, who I dubbed “The Poet L’Oreal”. A former MBA student of mine, Dave worked in high finance, writing poems about the human dimension of business in his spare time and we stayed in contact long after the MBA. He sent me the poem and I composed a demo of the song – you can hear the original instrumental track from my basement below:

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.50.54

I invited my friend Paul Crick to join us on keyboards – Paul is a management consultant with IBM who has a vision to help musicians make a living from their music, not just the 5% with record deals and so on.  He describes himself as a music performance coach for music students, semi-pro and pro musicians, helping them tune up your inner game for the performance you want.

I resorted to Facebook to recruit the rest of the band as I had done with my macro-economic anthem “Fiscal Cliff“. The strategy resulted in finding Rhiannon Georgia Daniel, a singer and her partner Al on bass. Rhiannon also does a bit of drumming in her spare time, so the offer of a drum and bass partnership seemed very attractive. There we had it: a full band recruited from the internet, without rehearsal, band politics or any of the usual troubles.

We came together on Saturday August 6th. I always schedule in breakfast as a teambuilding opportunity. After an unhealthy start to the day we hit Bernie Tormé’s studio and in about 3 hours we were done. I’d met Bernie several years back when I stood in on bass guitar for an ex colleague at Pfizer’s recording of a song for his wedding. We got talking and I’ve since recorded there on many occasions and Bernie has performed at corporate events for The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and at a team building event for a train company. Bernie played guitar for Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan amongst others and is one cool cat. he was kind enough to credit me alongside Arthur Brown for some informal coaching / provocation …

Bernie Torme Quote

Check Bernie’s work out by clicking the picture

The man in charge - at Barnroom Studios in Kent

The man in charge – at Barnroom Studios in Kent

Get your copy of Better Together – A Song for Europe and let’s start a positive revolution for reforming our relationship with the EU via the catharsis of the blues …

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Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock. Book him for your next interactive motivational keynote or longer masterclass series. His new book with Bloomsbury, entitled “Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise” is available direct from the author or via Amazon.