Once at the thick end of the
Red Wedge, BILLY BRAGG is now
more concerned with the
r personal than the political.
But considering his latest tour
ends on pre-election night, it's
obvious that his love for Labour
is not entirely lost. Words: Eddie Gibb
BILLY BRAGG l‘Slil) to think ol himsellas a one-man hand. and that hand was The ('lash. In the glory days ol l‘)77. when London really was swinging and Liam was a trainee oik in short trousers. there were two types ol ptmks ~ the clothes~horses. who spent an inordinate amount ol time ensuring their soap-spikes were just so: and the war-horses. who chanted slogans and lined up along some imaginary barricade. 'lhe (‘lash were in it lor the politics. and that‘s what impressed Bragg when he travelled in lrom Barking. lissex to see them play. He was twenty. exactly hall his lile-time ago.
So what is the hall-lile ol a socialist. and do they decay and lose their power oycr time like a radioactiye isotope'.’
Does their hot political core slowly cool down‘.’ A lew months shy ol his ~lt)th hirthday. New Bragg is lull olthc joys ol parenthood and. lor all we know. shopping in lkea. llis ahsence.
comrades. has been noted lrom the henelit circuit. which admittedly is not what it used to he. .\'or does he appear to have much truck with any ol the political parties lighting the general election on that auspicioust lelty day. 1 May.
.-\s a leading light in Red Wedge — the pro— Kinnock. pro—miners collective ol right- thinking and lelt-leaning musicians — ()ld Bragg was anxious that The Kids should Vote lahour. ‘.\laggie. Maggie. Maggie - out. out. out‘ was the war cry at demos across the land. 'lalking .\lar\ist ideology was in. helore the lashionahle apathy ol the slacker generation had decided politics was a drag. man.
It seems like such a cliche: hormonal teenage rehellion turns to political anger. which carries you through your twenties. Then comes the ineyitahle realisation that you‘re not
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