Back around the time of the 2004 European Elections, I was utterly incensed by the appearance of UKIP - the UK Independence Party.
Their figurehead was the patently ridiculous Robert Killroy-Silk - a man who actually had a past in real politics, but having been sacked from his various TV and newspaper roles for being an ill-thought-out racist loon, he turned his hand to the plight of the White And Wealthy - a whole load of aging British overwhelmingly-white millionaires blaming the world's poorest people for all their imagined problems.
I blogged about it extensively - a lot about UKIP, and a bit about the BNP who at the time were less mainstream than now in their profile (though their neo-fascist intentions and policies haven't changed a bit).
But I was also in the process of making a record, and my thinking about the state of play with the ungrateful bastards in UKIP changed the course of the record. I realised that ranting about what arse-holes they were/are was only part of the picture, and that recognising what was wrong and being the opposite was also a big part of being the change you want to see happen.
So, given that they were so ungrateful for all that they had - I set about making a record themed on all the things in life I was grateful for. And called it Grace And Gratitude - Grace being 'unmerited favour' - of all the things in my own life I was grateful for, I realised that I - like the UKIP dickheads - hadn't earned any of them.
The track list for the most part speaks for itself, and when listening to the album again on a train through Holland last weekend (I hadn't listened to it in a couple of years) I once again felt those same feelings. Overwhelming Gratitude for what I had, and a desire to see that sense of Grace/Serendipity/Luck permeate the political arena in the UK, where we vote knowing that we're SO lucky, and we owe it to the poor both here and abroad to vote with them in mind.
Here's the album - it's lots of people's favourite of mine - have a listen, feel free to download it and pay anything - any amount you see fit, what you can afford, what you think it's worth. Enjoy it, pass it onto your friends:
http://music.stevelawson.net/album/grace-and-gratitude">Grace And Gratitude by Steve Lawson