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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK
Michael 'political' video premières
George Michael, George W Bush and Tony Blair in the video
George Michael is no stranger to controversy
Singer George Michael's new video, which portrays Tony Blair as a poodle to US president George Bush, is to be shown for the first time on Tuesday on MTV and VH1.

The cartoon video for Shoot The Dog also features a scene in which the singer, dressed in a leopard-print thong, apparently tries to seduce Cherie Blair.


I am definitely not anti-American, how could I be, I have been in love with a Texan for six years and we are still going strong

George Michael
Michael said he had begun writing the song before the US attacks on 11 September, but because of its political nature he had delayed its release until 12 August.

The new release follows a furore over Michael's video for his last single, Freeek.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission criticised BBC One for broadcasting it before 9pm on Top of the Pops, because of its sexual imagery.

George Michael and Cherie Blair in the video
Cherie Blair also features in the video
Michael said that Shoot The Dog was motivated by his concern about the lack of public consultation over President Bush's "War on Terror".

"On an issue as enormous as the possible bombing of Iraq, how can you represent us when you haven't asked us what we think?

"And let's be honest, we haven't even begun to discuss it as a society," said Michael.

Shoot the Dog lampoons the two leaders by depicting them dancing the tango, with Mr Blair in a flowing dress.

It also depicts Mr Blair as the captain of a ship in the shape of Britain sailing ever closer to the US, but without realising he is still moored to Europe.

Michael said he was concerned about the growing relationship between the prime minister and President Bush.

"Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not anti-American, how could I be, I have been in love with a Texan for six years and we are still going strong," he said.

Public debate

"My feelings about George Bush, however, are a little different. And I know I'm not alone in fearing his politics, and in hoping that our man Tony can be a calming and rational influence on him."

George Michael and the Queen in his video
The royal family are satirised
But he also said he was "under no illusions" his comments were anything more than that of a pop star.

"Nevertheless, I have strong opinions on Britain's current situation and I feel that in a time when public debate is being suppressed, even something as trivial as a pop song can be a good thing," he added.

A Downing Street spokesman did not wish to make any comment on the video.

Another of Michael's videos, made after he was arrested for lewd behaviour in a public toilet in Los Angeles in 1998, also courted controversy.

A police officer who arrested the singer during the incident attempted to sue over the video for Outside, claiming he was depicted in it kissing another man.

The case was later dismissed.

See also:

26 Jun 02 | In Depth
27 Jun 02 | Entertainment
20 Nov 01 | Entertainment
17 Feb 00 | Americas
18 Sep 99 | Entertainment
22 Dec 98 | Entertainment
05 Dec 98 | Entertainment
17 Apr 98 | Americas
18 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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