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Tom Watson is the new Chairman of UKMusic!!
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TOPIC: Tom Watson is the new Chairman of UKMusic!!
Tom Watson is the new Chairman of UKMusic!! 9 Months, 1 Week ago  
Useless former MP gets lucrative part time job!!
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Re:Tom Watson is the new Chairman of UKMusic!! 9 Months, 1 Week ago  
JK mentioned this a while back. Nice to see a few complaining about it, such as Mike Batt:



On 31st March it was announced that UK Music, the cross-sector umbrella body that acts to promote the interests of the UK music industry to government and the public, announced the appointment of a new Chairman. The appointee was disgraced former MP Tom Watson. Though nobody will publish it, Watson is to thought to be being paid somewhere in the region of £60,000 for approximately one or two day(s) a week.

There is widespread concern both as to the suitability of the appointment, given Watson’s unpalatable and divisive history in public life, and the extent to which the two major UK Music funding bodies had a direct say in the selection process.


In 2012 Tom Watson famously stood up in the House of Commons and declared the existence of a historic paedophile ring at the heart of Westminster. There was only one problem: It was a lie.

Mr Watson’s fateful intervention would lead to Theresa May establishing a public inquiry into historic child sexual abuse. This not only cost the taxpayer upwards of £200 million but also prompted police, in fear of Watson’s watchful glare, to falsely accuse a string of entirely innocent and respected public servants of participating in sadistic sexual abuse, torture and even murder. The public enquiry finally reported that no such paedophile network had ever existed. Watson would go on to brand the entirely innocent Leon Brittan, the former home secretary, as being “as close to evil as any human being could be” … just days after Brittan’s death. Watson was quoting Carl Beech (the fantasist, liar and paedophile known as ‘Nick) who last summer was jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice, fraud and sexual offences.


Although Watson’s targets were establishment figures and almost exclusively conservative, he is arguably equally reviled on both left and right of politics (regardless of the few former colleagues who supported his appointment). If the British music industry is to continue to thrive, it must have access to a sympathetic ear in Government – currently Conservative. Can the industry be assured of a welcome with Watson as its flagbearer, and if not, is it worth the risk?

The appointment process remains clouded in mystery. It has been revealed that neither PRS nor PPL were given a role to play in the interview process. Watson was selected by an unidentified cabal and presented to the funding bodies for signoff. It has also been suggested that Watson was a friend & colleague of UK Music's outgoing CEO – in itself a matter for concern if the appointment process is to be regarded as objective.

UK Music’ funding comes from PRSforMusic and PPL – both not-for-profit membership organisations fed entirely by the royalties from music. Their revenue is generated by songwriters, composers, recording artists, session players, and their partners: music publishers and record labels. (As far as PRS is concerned songwriters’ money constitutes the majority of that revenue). PRS’ new CEO, Andrea Martin, advised that, given his history, the concerns about Watson’s suitability were “investigated during the interview process” but she gave no indication as to how she knew that as she was not present. Nor did she explain how the (mysterious) panel regarded such distasteful behaviour as irrelevant for such a high-profile and well-rewarded post in a globally respected industry and key economic sector. Fortunately, PRS Chairman, Nigel Elderton has responded to the concerns expressed to him by many in the music community by undertaking to put them to the PRS Board saying “[Neither t]he PRS Board nor I as Chair had any involvement in the process or appointment of Mr Watson to the role of UK Music Chair”…..I have no doubt that the level of contempt felt by many with regard to this appointment will have been fully understood”.

PPL is owned and largely controlled by the record labels. There has been no equivalent expression of concern from PPL CEO, Peter Leatham. We know that the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) voted against Watson’s appointment. One asks why PPL thought it acceptable to ignore the views of its key partner (BPI) and go on to endorse Watson’s appointment.

UK Music is unique in that it has achieved what for decades many thought was impossible – the unifying of the many disparate voices in music to present their shared concerns to policy makers and to conduct research to inform that policy. Historically the recorded music sector had been regarded as the voice of the industry – a fact which often worked against the interests of the creative community and the collective management organisations that support them. Were the BPI, having been so roundly ignored, to step away from UK Music, the hard won achievements of UK Music to date would be at risk. Should we allow the ambitions of a disgraced former MP and the covert machinations of a few unknown industry persons, blind to the optics of their choice, to put at risk the achievements of a body that has, until now, managed to work so very successfully on behalf of all of us?

Please share this email with friends and colleagues in the business and feel free to make your views known to the Board members of the organisations that make up UK Music:


The Ivors Academy Please check out the various genre committees that contribute to policy here, too.

British Phonographic Industry (BPI)

Featured Artists’ Coalition

The FAC board includes: Dave Rowntree (Artist In Residence), Annie Lennox, Imogen Heap, Ed O’Brien (Radiohead), Fran Healy (Travis), Hal Ritson (The Young Punx), Howard Jones, Jeremy Pritchard (Everything Everything), Katie Melua, Lucy Pullin, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd, Founder Member), Roxanne de Bastion, Sam Lee, Sandie Shaw (Honorary President), John Robb, Marcus O'Dair, Eckoes.

Music Managers’ Forum

Music Publishers’ Association

Musicians’ Union

Phonographic Performance Ltd

PRSforMusic (funder of UK Music)

UK Live Music Group
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Green Man

Re:Tom Watson is the new Chairman of UKMusic!! 9 Months, 1 Week ago  
A useless twat gets a cushy job. Another pig in other words.

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