It’s probably a safe bet that British Prime Minister David Cameron wasn’t keeping tabs on the music press Thursday as he attempted to cope with the Algerian hostage crisis, so he likely hasn’t heard the news that Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke may be suing him.
Yorke broke the news in an interview with Dazed & Confused, telling the publication that if the Conservative prime minister were ever to use a Radiohead song in an election campaign he would “sue the living s---“ out of him.
"I can't say I love the idea of a banker liking our music, or David Cameron," Yorke told the magazine. "I can't believe he'd like ‘King of Limbs’ much. But I also equally think, who cares? … As long as he doesn't use it for his election campaigns, I don't care. I'd sue the living s--- out of him if he did."
The liberal 44-year-old singer has spoken out on a wide range of political and environmental issues, including global warming, the Free Tibet movement and the global Occupy Wall Street protests. Despite his activism, he says he deliberately avoids writing about politics as a general rule. Yorke says he made an exception in 2006 after the conspicuous death of biological warfare expert David Kelly, for whom he penned the song “Harrowdown Hill” on his solo album “The Eraser.” Kelly was questioning the government's claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"The David Kelly thing was very much an exception,” Yorke said in the interview. “I thought it was just so horribly English, so f----d up. [But] politics is not a fun thing to write about.”
Although Kelly’s death was officially ruled a suicide, Yorke contested that theory, saying the Blair government was partially responsible for the circumstances that led to the expert’s death.
“The government and the Ministry of Defence were implicated in his death,” he said in an interview with the Globe and Mail. “They were directly responsible for outing him and that put him in a position of unbearable pressure that he couldn’t deal with, and they knew they were doing it and what it would do to him. … I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable about that song lately, because it was a personal tragedy, and Dr. Kelly has a family who are still grieving. But I also felt that not to write it would perhaps have been worse.”
The singer has also had harsh words for President Barack Obama in the past. After attending the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, where Obama was a speaker, the British rocker said he was not impressed.
"I went to the Copenhagen summit, and that permanently flipped my lid, because the whole thing was so wrong. Obama stormed straight past me after the meeting he had with China, and it was just horrible,” Yorke said. "It sort of spun me out permanently to be honest. When you're presented with that level of stupidity it kind of blows your mind."