Why can’t Kate Bush be a Tory?

Why can’t Kate Bush be a Tory? by Sam Power.

Kate Bush has created a stir with remarks she made to the Canadian magazine Maclean’s. Bush explained that she “really liked” Theresa May, who she described as “wonderful” and the “best thing that’s happened to us in a long time”.

It wasn’t long before people were tweeting their horror at the apparent evidence that “Kate Bush is a Tory”. Fans appeared outraged that the singer they had followed with devotion was praising a right-wing government. There seemed to be an assumption that an artist like Kate Bush is, by definition, left-wing.

Of course artists do not owe their political affiliation to any one ideology. But the notion of artists as necessarily left-wing has endured. It is one Stewart Lee grappled with in 2013 when he pondered “where are all the right wing stand-ups?”. Lee ultimately concluded that comedy is about punching up and the right, by definition, can only punch down.

Perhaps this is where the outcry stems from. Kate Bush can’t be a Tory, she’s one of “us”. If her fans are as invested in the artist as the art, maybe this feels like a betrayal. Or if you’ve always hated her anyway, vindication. But why does politics produce such a visceral response?

hat-tip Matthew