Main Index Pablo Honey The Bends OK Computer Kid A Amnesiac Hail to the Thief In Rainbows The King of Limbs A Moon Shaped Pool Thom Yorke Jonny Greenwood Ed O'Brien Colin Greenwood Philip Selway
Thom was thinking of the Poll Tax Riots as he wrote this, the scenes where people were breaking down the gates of Downing Street. As well as being political, the song is also about them, travelling around the globe and having to sell their records to people.
This performance comes from april 4th 1996:
This is another recording from may 27th 1996:
'Electioneering' was recorded in the band's Oxford studio, Canned Applause. It is a tricky song to get right live, and for that reason is rarely played, but was played on the Tonight with Jay Leno Show in the USA on 25 July 1997.
Thom: "We live under a world banking system and media that make it almost irrelevant who is in power. Political systems worldwide are at the mercy of business and bullshit economies. I can't recycle any of the polythene packaging that fills my house. Why?"
'ELECTIONEERING'
Big, scary, searing rock track. Nothing to do with Tony Blair and his New Dawn for Britain, etc.
Ed: "Basically, it's about those times when you go out to a territory and have to sell yourselves and sell your record. You can meet some very cool people but, if you're pissed off or tired, it feels like a huge propaganda machine and you feel like a politician - kissing babies, shaking hands..."
Jonny: "We're not a political band, but we are all political people. One of the first thigs I can remember is Margaret Thatcher coming to power, so just the fact that it's changed is revelation enough. We had a hell of a party that night."
Ed: "It was weird all those people going down to Downing Street to mob Blair. He's definitely the first pop star PM."
Colin: "The first New Grave PM more like. He IS the New Seriousness."
Phil: "Where does that leave us then? Perhaps we're the Labour Party of New Grave. New Radiohead, New Danger!"
Key Lyric: "When I go forwards, you go backwards, and somewhere we will meet..."
Thom: "This is about being liberated, this is about getting beyond the dirge, they are all bullshitting, but I'm already laughing. On the other side, I trust I can rely on your vote."


Jonny Greenwood: Noisy, fast - Radiohead on steroids. "More about personal politics, selling yourself in a band".
"A lot of it's about disaffection," Thom Yorke, Radiohead's lead singer, explains. His blond scrub of hair has been shorn and dyed dark brown, but he looks, as described in one of his lyrics, 'fitter, happier and more productive'. "I switch on the TV, a there's all these irons and fridges coming at you. Watching a Tory MP electioneering, cheering wildly when someone threw eggs at him, but feeling I'd seen this once too often."

Yorke tugs what remains of his hair. "Economics. They fascinate me. Economics are the 20th century's greatest myth. There's been a lot of looking at headlines and feeling wildly impotent. Electioneering [one of the tracks on the album] is an incitement riot."
Ed: "We were having discussion the other night, I was talking to Thom. And we were talking about going back to college sometime. And he's got a real interest in politics and I think the whole… he sometimes sees the whole thing of being… going around and being on tour, shaking people's hands and meeting people and lots of meet and greets and stuff like that… there is a sort of similarity felt with politicians when they're on their soap box, or whatever, around election time."
Disregarding the song's more obvious global context, Ed explains the song in terms of the Radiohead promotional machine: "When you have to promote your album for a longer period, in the United States, for example, you fly around from city to city for weeks to meet journalists and record company people. After a while, you feel like a politician who has to kiss babies and shake hands all day long."15
This piece of artwork features a line from the song:

In the midst of the lengthy april 16th 2000 entry of his online diary, Ed briefly remembers the painful process of finding the tracklist for OK Computer:
sunday, april 16th 2000
[...]

the running order for an album is so important...... i don't think you have any idea how vital it is until you actually fuck it up which we did big time on the first record.....for 'ok computer' it was a nightmare, agendas had been set and at one time it was like bloody horse-trading............. "if you want 'let down' on the record then it only makes sense if 'electioneering' is on there too"......maybe it won't be such a torrid experience this time........somehow i don't think so and that's probably right anyway.

[...]