By Shelley Marsden
ONE of Hampstead’s most colourful characters, ‘Rainbow’ George Weiss, has said his money is on Molly Smitten-Downes to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, not least because he wholeheartedly agrees with the sentiments of her entry song.
George, 73, said the rather mystical link to this year’s song, Children of the Universe is the first and last words of the lyrics: ‘Power to the people’.
“Ronnie Carroll has been involved with me on the fringes of the political arena talking about ‘power to the people’ for many years.”
Belfast singer Ronnie Carroll, a longstanding friend of George’s, represented Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1962 and 1963, coming fourth both times.
George added: “Ronnie’s going to be 80 in a few months’ time. Unfortunately he hasn’t been too well recently and his voice is no longer there, but it would have been wonderful if he’d been able to make a comeback and represented us in the contest himself.”
He believes the heart of message of Molly’s song, however, is the same as the one he’s always been at pains to promote.
“Power to the people, well that’s what it’s all about. Fifty-two years ago, Ronnie was singing a song called Say Wonderful Things and now, over half a century later, he’s saying some wonderful things about Europe in the future.”
George and his old friend share what they have coined a ‘2020 Euro Vision’, a Utopian vision of Europe in the year 2020 – “a Europe with no countries, no conflicts, no governments, no money worries; a Europe populated by happy, smiley people.”
See Ronnie Carroll’s vision for 2020 in the following YouTube link:
George, who entered the political arena in 1984, the day after the Brighton bombing, started up a party called Captain Rainbow’s Universal Party and the main plank of his platform was uniting the people, and their islands.
He is on that same track thirty years later, and for the same reason he’s gunning for the British entry at this year’s Eurovision.
“I think Children of the Universe has a really good chance of winning this year – it’s a winner with me anyway”, he said. “And I’ll certainly be sitting down to watch the final, as will Ronnie I’m sure.”
George, who was friends with the late Ian Dury (the Blockheads singer recorded a musical interpretation of his poem Rainbow Land), has long been involved in politics, funding his own politic party and in 2001, standing in the General Election for all four Belfast constituencies and again in 2005 in the Assembly election.