Radiohead's Thom Yorke has led musicians' protests against American President George W Bush's official trip to Britain.

The singer slammed British Prime Minister Tony Blair for inviting the "religious lunatic" to the country yesterday (19NOV03) on a three day state visit, which saw Bush attend a dinner with monarch Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace last night.

By speaking out, Yorke says he intends "to make Blair squirm over his decision to take us into an illegitimate war (in Iraq) and follow this religious lunatic toward a dangerous future for the whole planet".

He continues, "Both of these men are liars. We have right to call them such; they are putting our children's future in jeopardy. They are not controlling the terrorist threat, they are escalating it.

"This is a royal invitation, isn't it? How about one of the little heirs to the throne doing something useful with their lives and speaking out? Refusing to shake hands for example?"

Blur's Damon Albarn, Massive Attack's ROBERT DEL NAJA - who joined Yorke in leading the protests earlier this year (03) against the American and British invasion of Iraq - and TRAVIS' FRAN HEALY have also added their voices of dissent.

Albarn says, "We are still at war. We are still good at watching war. What does watching war tell us about ourselves? How does war lead to peace? How does watching war lead to peace? Two million asked a question on February 15 - why war? We haven't had an answer yet?"

Healy asks, "Terrible timing from this government. Why now? How insensitive is this? Nothing surprises me anymore. The whole thing stinks."

Del Naja adds, "The state visit of George Bush is an insult to the entire nation. The daily death and chaos in Iraq is escalating. This visit divides our communities. The war on terror has only created more anger, more frustration and more militants.

"The country continues to evolve into a future target for extremists."

19/11/2003 17:47