Sir Mick Jagger has taken aim at Brexit Britain in new music released this week, declaring “England Lost” and the country has “Gotta Get A Grip”.
The two new tracks, released late on Thursday night, give a sneering take on many hot topics including corruption, immigration, “fake news”, anti-intellectualism and the refugee crisis.
“I went to find England, it wasn’t there,” he sings on England Lost, adding: “I think I’m losing my imagination, tired of talking about immigration.”
Sir Mick, now 74, also hints at fears that Brexit will make the UK a tax haven for the rich, singing: “Lock the shutters, bolt the doors, London’s gonna be like Singapore”.
Hollywood actor Luke Evans stars in a bleak video accompanying the song, running through a dilapidated 21st Century Britain. He eventually charges out to sea before being dragged screaming back to shore.
Talking to BBC One’s Zane Lowe about England Lost, Sir Mick said: “It’s about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history.
“It’s about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity. That’s how I was feeling when I was writing.”
The veteran Rolling Stones singer takes politicians to task on “Gotta Get A Grip”, with references to overblown promises made on the campaign trail.
“The world is upside down, led by lunatics and clowns,” he sings at one point. “No one speaks the truth and the mad-house runs the town.”
He also alludes to immigration fears and Michael Gove’s now-famous comment during the run-up to last summer’s EU referendum that “people in this country have had enough of experts”.
“Immigrants are pouring in, refugees under your skin,” he sings. “Keep ’em under, keep ’em out, intellectuals shout your mouth.”
Despite his antipathy towards Britain’s current political climate, Sir Mick spoke out in favour of Brexit before the referendum last year.
Speaking to Sky News in April 2016, he said: “To me personally, I don’t think it is going to make a huge difference.
“I think to the country in the short term [leaving the EU] will be detrimental. In the longer term, in a twenty-year term, it might turn out to be beneficial”.