Politics: Rick Wakeman

The world looks at the Houses Of Parliament with envy. Does it make you wonder why?

I’ve friends who are politicians, and there are really good people on all sides of the house, but there are also those that shouldn’t be there. If you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys. It’s farcical when the head of a council earns more than the Prime Minister.

What did you make of the MPs’ expenses scandal?

With the wages a backbencher can attract… putting it bluntly, expenses were brought in as a way of boosting salaries. My argument is that we should pay politicians their worth, like the rest of the world does.

Has David Cameron done enough for a second term?

Maybe if he can play the ‘coming out of recession’ card, but he probably won’t get it because of UKIP. I don’t like coalitions, they don’t work. We’ll have an even bigger problem after the next election, because all three parties have realised UKIP are saying things that people actually want.

But can you name another UKIP candidate other than Nigel Farage?

No. But how many other candidates from other parties can you name? If Farage is clever, he’ll do what New Labour did – add a bunch of new faces. Some intelligent female ones with legs, maybe? The other parties will crap themselves.

Europe – in or out?

There’s no simple answer. I voted to join the Common Market, not a Federal Europe. If there’s a vote, I suspect it’ll be a very strong ‘no’ [ie ‘out’]. Which will make Cameron’s position very strong with Adolf Merkel.

Do you think there should be independence for Scotland?

Oh, independence for Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man… even for Canvey Island. Where does it end? The person in the street doesn’t notice at all.

Ed Miliband is so unelectable; he’s a jellyfish.

Yes, he is. They picked the wrong brother. And although it’s every journalist’s dream, you can’t have a Prime Minister called Balls, can you?

Nick Clegg is a microcosm of our political system – zero to hero and back again.

He was a good-looking, fresh-faced young man and he’s fine when things are going well. But, like a football manager, proof of value arrives when the shit hits the fan. And he doesn’t know where the switch is. I suspect that the only thing Clegg’s really interested in is keeping his job.

Boris Johnson – a genuine statesman, or just an attention-seeking buffoon?

I know Boris very well. Always beware of the man that seems nutty, and never underestimate Boris, because he’s very, very clever. He’s a genuinely caring Mayor. And much as he’d liven up Westminster, in the cold light of day I’m not convinced he’d be a great leader of the Conservatives. He’s too likely to tell Russia they haven’t got a clue what they’re doing.

Is enough being done about climate change? We seem to be the only country taking it seriously.

We’re the only country that takes anything seriously. Take health and safety. Go to a café in France, Italy or Spain and the hygiene is so bad you’ll be sick outside. Regarding climate change, it depends on who you listen to. Look at photos from the smoke-filled Industrial Revolution, and now you’re telling me that we’re worse off than back then? No, the Earth is very good at coping with all it has thrown at it.

If you became Prime Minister, what would you change?

I’d remove our hundreds of daft laws from the statute book – how can it be legal for people to squat? Why has car parking for surgeons been removed? If it didn’t sound so Monty Python-esque, there’d be a Ministry For The Dismantling Of Silly Laws.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.