Sir Paul McCartney: Brexit vote probably a mistake

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Media captionSir Paul McCartney tells BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis he has to “get inspired’ to vote

Sir Paul McCartney has said the Brexit referendum was “probably a mistake” and he will “be glad when it’s over”.

He had not voted in the referendum, he said, as he “didn’t see anybody saying anything sensible enough”.

Sir Paul said the current situation was “a mess” but added: “I think we’ll come through it, we always do.”

The former Beatle was speaking to BBC News as he – with daughters, Stella and Mary – released a book of personal photos, taken by his late wife, Linda.

Reflecting on the 2016 Brexit vote, Sir Paul said the arguments made during the campaign had been “all crazy promises”.

“What put me off was that I was meeting a lot of older people, kind of pretty much my generation.

“And they were going, ‘All right Paul – it’s going to be like it was in the old days, we’re going to go back.’ And it was like, ‘Yeah? Oh, I’m not sure about that.’ And that attitude was very prevalent.

“I vote for someone I believe in and so often there’s nobody I believe in. I have to get a bit inspired. At the moment I’m not really inspired.”

‘Little pieces of art’

Linda McCartney, who died aged 56 in 1998, began her photographic career in New York, shooting rock stars.

The book – Linda McCartney The Polaroid Diaries – compiles more than 200 photographs from her private collection and offers a glimpse into the family’s life in Scotland and southern England.

“For us, they’re just family photos but because it’s Linda, a great photographer, they’re little pieces of art,” Sir Paul said.

Image copyright
The Polaroid Diaries, Taschen

“I’d been through a very difficult period at the end of the Beatles. It was like hell.

“But I’d just met this beautiful woman and we were raising a family, so we decided to escape, so we escaped to Scotland and lived a very funky life.”

The Polaroids show pet hamsters, a lamb in the kitchen, bath-times, birthday cakes and the McCartney children playing dress-up.

Mary McCartney said the photos showed a “simple” life, where as a baby she had slept in a bed made by her father from old potato boxes.

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The Polaroid Diaries, Taschen

“There’s a lot of Mum in these pictures,” said Mary, who, like her mother, is also a photographer.

Stella, a fashion designer, said her mother had captured “quite surreal moments” and talked of the difficulty in releasing such an intimate book.

“I find it quite hard because we’re a very protective family, we lived in the middle of nowhere all together and we didn’t really come out and talk about it,” she said.

“I grew up very much protecting the family unit.”

Image copyright
The Polaroid Diaries, Taschen

Stella, who has previously advocated not washing clothes in the interest of the environment, was also asked about her role in the polluting fashion industry.

“I believe that the product I’m making is a far better solution to what is already existing in my industry,” she said.

“I want to try and promote that you can still have a healthy, fashionable luxurious business and you don’t have to kill animals and you don’t have to harm the planet.”

Sir Paul went on to defend the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have been criticised for their use of a private jet.

“I think it’s unfair. People fly,” he said. “Give the girl a break. They do more good than harm.”

You can watch the full interview on Newsnight on BBC Two at 22:30 on Thursday. Catch up on iPlayer, subscribe to the programme on YouTube and follow it on Twitter.

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