With more than ten million record sales to her name, what spurred Charlotte Church, 29, to become a political activist?
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST POLITICAL ACT? It was probably when I gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry [following the News International phone-hacking scandal], but I first joined a protest the day after the 2015 election. I was devastated when the Tories got in, and knew how hard it was going to be for many people. There was a protest in Cardiff organised by the Cardiff People’s Assembly, which I’d never heard of before. I went along – there were news crews there, which I wasn’t expecting. I was interviewed, and it snowballed; the national People’s Assembly asked if I’d join its rally, too.
YOU’RE SOMETIMES CRITICISED FOR BEING WEALTHY AND POLITICALLY ACTIVE. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? I’ve been criticised for one thing or another all my life, that’s how fame works, but I have to speak up – this stuff is too important to sit back and do nothing. We’re talking about climate change, and making sure the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society aren’t unnecessarily suffering while the rich are getting tax breaks. I’m a newbie, but there are people who have dedicated their lives to activism. I hope to be one of those in a couple of decades.
WHAT IF PEOPLE FEEL POLITICS ISN’T RELEVANT Just because politicians might not look like you, doesn’t mean they don’t have a phenomenal amount of power over your life. From aspects like what goes into your food to where money is spent in the NHS and whether we go to war, it’s important to realise the relevance this power has in our society. SO, HOW COULD SOMEONE GET STARTED? Look to your local community, understand the issues in your area and find something you care about. It might be helping refugees by sending aid or cooking lunches at a homeless shelter once a week. To everybody who says, ‘what can I do? I’m just one person,’ I say, you won’t be one person for long. WHAT’S SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT POLITICS? Activism is good fun! We’ve just had a four-day rally in Manchester – we put on a rave, there was an all-night gig and some comedy. You know that moment at a festival, when you’re in the crowd and you think, ‘Wow, this is how humans are meant to live – full of love and happiness, everyone having a lovely time?’ That’s what rallies can be like.
Under Milk Wood (Collector’s Edition), starring Charlotte Church and Rhys Ifans, is out on DVD now.
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