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My name is Martin Jeremiah, and I am a singer-songwriter of socio-political folk music. Although I have had no fingers on my left hand since birth, I have played the guitar since I was about fifteen. I say that I have a ‘natural plectrum’.

Joining the MU and its Section Committees

I joined the MU back in 2004, just before being required to provide significant care for my daughter who developed schizophrenia in her late teens.

It was quite a struggle over many years to balance music against a caring role – to be able to reliably perform and also find time and space to write songs. I therefore didn’t have the bandwidth to become involved in the Union, but I kept up my MU membership for the cause nevertheless.

As my caring role diminished in recent years, I was able to stand for election to the Music Writers’ Section Committee (MWSC). I went on to chair the MWSC for a couple of terms; and when the need for care ceased altogether, I stood for election to the East/South East Regional Committee as well.

Understanding the work done by the MU 

Joining the Regional Committee (RC) was a bit of an eye opener for me. If anybody was to ask, “What has the Union done for us?” then the answer was “quite a lot”. A bit like the “What have the Romans ever done for us?” sketch in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.

With the detailed reports from the officials, I became much more aware of the full length and breadth of what the Union was doing. I also gained a much better understanding of the range of services that were available and how each of these was effectively carried out in practice, with real, anonymised examples.

As part of the RC, I was also privileged to observe an Executive Committee meeting in London. I saw how well the meeting was chaired – and how well the Union was run with the extensive knowledge, skill, and experience of the participants, employed or otherwise.

Help to form MU policy at the MU Delegate Conference

Most recently, I was pleased to be part of the RC delegation to the MU Delegate Conference in July. It was a brilliant experience. As well as being able to network with other musicians and soak up the general camaraderie, many conference motions were passed that were dear to my heart.

At our last RC meeting we had discussed how the conference would work, our own motion, and our view on all the other motions; so I wasn’t overwhelmed.

I am really looking forward to meeting up with everybody on the next Regional Committee.

Photo ofMartin Jeremiah
Thanks to

Martin Jeremiah

Martin Jeremiah is a singer-songwriter that goes under the banner of ‘Music with a Message’. After a successful stint as Chair of Horsham Folk Club, he went on to write ‘Sounds of History’ for the Brighton Fringe Festival. The show gained good reviews and was acclaimed by the late Tony Benn who also had Martin’s first studio album ‘Love Peace Justice' in his CD collection. Martin had first met Tony when he supported the Oyster Band and Billy Bragg at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset in 2003. Things subsequently became more difficult when Martin was required to become primary carer for his mentally ill daughter Frankie.

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