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The music of SLF was a great influence on me as a teenager. Coming from a small, rural town in the East of England, I couldn't relate directly to a bunch of Belfast boys who had grown up during The Troubles. But I had no difficulty understanding what it was like to be surrounded by generations of adults who thought they knew best about my future, despite making a mess of the world and their own lives.

Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties I don't remember much in the way of pastoral education. I certainly don't remember any of my teachers telling me that it's not okay to discriminate against people because of their religion or the colour of their skin or because they were different. If anything, it seemed to me that adults considered the world to be dog-eat-dog and the sooner you learned that, the better off you would be.

And then along came Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers saying "I want no more of that stuff - that's looking at it upside down" and until I heard SLF I never really understood that questioning the wisdom of the establishment wasn't just possible, it was a moral duty.

Musically this song from 1981 isn't especially typical of Stiff Little Fingers thanks to the one-off recruitment of the brass section from The Q Tips. Doubtless they were trying to shrug off the punk label that had helped to make their name but had already become tired and profoundly commercialised. But the themes of the song - compassion, thinking for yourself, changing the world and challenging "the people who are on top" - have been common to SLF songs since they first blasted out Suspect Device 40 years ago.

"Do you care it is not fair?" says Burns, pithily. "Is this the way we have to live? I know I care and I want an equal share, even if it means I have to give".

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About the curator: Jon Ewing

After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.

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