Chumbawamba tell New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister to stop using ‘Tubthumping’ at rallies

Chumbawamba have told New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister to stop using their track  ‘Tubthumping’ at rallies.

Last weekend (March 17), New Zealand’s deputy prime minister Winston Peters –who leads the right-wing New Zealand First party which is part of the country’s coalition government – walked on stage to the British group’s 1997 hit song before giving his controversial “state of the nation” address.

Per BBC, Peters reportedly discussed plans to remove gender and sexuality lessons from the school curriculum and said that NZ First and their supporters have a “real chance to take back our country”. He also used ‘Tubthumping’s song’s lyrics at the end of the address, telling the audience “we got knocked down, but we got up again.”


“Chumbawamba wrote the song Tubthumping as a song of hope and positivity, so it seems entirely odd that the ‘I get knocked down…’ refrain is being used by New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters as he barks his divisive, small-minded, bigoted policies during his recent speeches,” said the band’s former lead guitarist Boff Whalley in a statement sent to BBC News.

He continued: “Chumbawamba would like to make it clear that we did not give permission for Peters to use the song and would ask him to stop using it to try to shore up his misguided political views.

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“Chumbawamba does not share any of Peters’ ideas on race relations and would like to remind him that the song was written for and about ordinary people and their resilience. We have asked our record company Sony to issue a cease and desist notice.”

Dunstan Bruce, Chumbawamba’s former lead singer and one of it’s founding members, addressed Peters’ use of the song during the BBC’s Newshour programme saying that the track was written about a large mixed and migrant population coming together in Leeds.

“For this guy, Winston Peters, to then try and hijack the song and use it as part of his campaign, where he is expressing political views that I find quite egregious, I just thought that that’s not something that we could just sit back and let happen,” he said (per BBC).


He continued: “It’s happened quite a few times with the right-wing politicians in the United States, in the UK, in Australia, who’ve all tried to use the song, and now obviously New Zealand.”

Bruce then said that a “cease and desist” letter is sent as a response to “publicise the fact that our politics do not align with these people on the right”.

Peters took to his official X/Twitter page to address the use of ‘Tubthumping’ at his rallies. “It seems the media care more about the Chumbawamba story than we do. We actually don’t care. There’s nothing to ‘cease or desist’,” began his tweet.

He continued: “The song worked like a charm for our first public meeting after the election. The over 700 people in the crowd thought so too. We will be sure to file the ‘cease and desist’ letter in a safe place if it ever arrives. I would use another of their hit song titles as a quip at the end of this post but unfortunately they only had one.”

In other news, Bruce recently opened up about Chumbawamba’s feud with Manic Street Preachers saying: “I realise it’s totally justified that they hated us!”