Tag Archives: eurovision

UK participation in Eurovision 2019 in Israel would condone “outrageous human rights violations”

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I’m just back from Lisbon where I was lucky enough to have a stageside position for the Eurovision Song Contest last Saturday. Apart from a nasty stage invasion during Surie’s performance (with which she dealt brilliantly), the whole thing went without a hitch.

Portugal were Eurovision Song Contest entrants for 53 years before they won it in 2017. As a result, they were desperate to welcome everybody to their country and to put on a fantastic experience. That they did. Apart from anything else, Lisbon must have been the most LGBT+ friendly capital city in the world during the last week or so.

This was a “bucket list” trip for me. A one-off. Any temptation to become an annual Eurovision camp follower was cut short with the prospect of a 2019 contest in Israel.

From a musical point of view, Israel deserved to win last Saturday. The scoring system is, nowadays, fairly balanced between national juries and the vote of viewers throughout the 42 participating countries. So, they won fair and square.

On Sunday I was resolved to resist any 2019 Eurovision trip to Israel. While I might one day tour Palestine, Israel and Jordan as a triplet itinerary, visiting specifically Israel for Eurovision would feel like condoning injustice.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

The Lib Dem Press Office celebrates Eurovision

It’s become something of a tradition for the Lib Dem Press Office to offer a bit of a random and amusing commentary as Eurovision unfolds.

Here are some of the highlights:

One country making Brexiteer level of promise:

The thing is that unless you are watching this live, it’s not always clear what they are talking about. Anyone want to hazard any guesses …

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How the Lib Dem Press Office spent Eurovision

The Lib Dem Press Office’s work rate at the moment is nothing short of phenomenal. They are putting out so many press releases and comments. It’s all good stuff.

Despite working even more flat out than usual for pretty much a moth, it’s been good tonight to see that they haven’t lost their sense of humour.

Eurovision is a bit like Lib Dem Christmas and whoever was running the press office’s Twitter account was certainly in the festive spirit.

It’s nice to know that they are thinking ahead, too. Although heaven help us…

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The other songs the Lib Dems could have chosen at the end of Tim’s speech…

This was the song that played as Tim Farron left the hall today.

An inspired choice.

The performer is referenced in his speech here:

Patriots love their country, nationalists hate their neighbours.

I am a patriot.

The fact that in 1990 I kissed the TV when David Platt scored against Belgium in the last minute of injury time doesn’t mean I hate Guy Verhofstadt…or Tin Tin…or Plastic Bertrand, or any of the other large number of very, very famous Belgians.

Of course, looking at this list of Top Ten Famous Belgians, it would have been equally appropriate to have something from the musical My Fair Lady, as its star, Audrey Hepburn, was born in Brussels.

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Opinion: All Europe liked Conchita: what Eurovision tells us

Conchita Wurst, Copenhagen May 2014 Eurovision winner, Photo: Albin Olsson License: CC-BY-SA-3.0Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst’s smiling face beamed out from my TV late on Saturday, and like so many people I thought her victory was great. As Lib Dem Voice’s own Caron Lindsay put it shortly after the show had ended, the Austrian’s song

might not have been the best on offer tonight, but her personality, her embodiment of liberalism and authenticity, combined with a pan-European desire to stick two fingers up to the illiberal east triumphed in Copenhagen…

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Opinion: Liberalism and tolerance win the Eurovision Song Contest

Conchita Wurst, Mario Soldo-2208There’ll no doubt be a lot of the usual ‘why do they hate us’ headlines in the UK following our disappointing showing in last night’s Eurovision Song Contest. 17th place was indeed below par for one our strongest songs in years and a polished performance on the night by 27-year old Mollie Smitten-Downes.

But such introspection – rather typically for Britain on matters European – misses the bigger point. Far more interesting was the winner: a gay, bearded transvestite from Austria called Conchita

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Eurovision: the best of the Liberal Democrat reaction and strictly unauthorised beardiness

Conchita Wurst-2210Conchita Wurst’s song might not have been the best on offer tonight, but her personality, her embodiment of liberalism and authenticity, combined with a pan-European desire to stick to fingers to the illiberal east triumphed in Copenhagen. She dedicated her victory to peace and freedom. And maybe, just maybe, people start to understand a bit more about gender not being a strictly binary thing.

Here’s some of the Liberal Democrat reaction to what is a definite high day in our calendar:

Kevin Lang thought he saw someone familiar singing for the Netherlands:

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