Open letter from Sam Macartney, chair of UNISON Scotland International Committee to Scottish band Simple Minds
Dear Simple Minds
I write to you in my capacity as the Chairperson of UNISON Scotland’s International Committee and also as a lifelong fan.
I am originally from the north of Ireland and your song Belfast Child still brings a tear to my eye, your song brought hope to thousands of my country folk.
I mention your songs and music because you have a very unique gift and in the past you have influenced millions of souls with your commitment and support for the helpless and oppressed of this world, your stance on apartheid in South Africa, your support for the campaigns against human rights abuse in Sri Lanka and other countries worldwide is well documented and is a massive credit to you and your music.
Please keep up your commitment on human rights issues worldwide, and on behalf of my trade union I would urge you to speak out against the human rights abuse that is taking place in Qatar, a country where modern slavery is used to exploit migrant workers from many countries, where many thousands of workers have died already and where many thousands more could possibly die on building projects leading up to the World Cup in 2022 (health and safety is optional). In Qatar workers cannot leave the country to visit friends and relatives without their employers or State’s permission, segregation in the capital Doha is widespread and migrant workers are paid according to their race not their worth!
Simple Minds as a band have supported Amnesty International for many years and to your credit you have used your voice to support migrant workers and the oppressed. Please take a stance and speak out for migrant workers in Qatar. You can post a message of support via www.playfairqatar.org.uk.
UNISON SCOTLAND, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE