billy bragg

Punk Rock isn’t buying the latest ‘cool’ Punk c.d, Punk Rock isn’t having that cool acab patch on your jacket, Punk Rock isn’t havin that cool multi colored mohawk , Punk Rock is 2 musicians that a year ago sold out Wembley Arena, bracing the freezing cold, and busking for charity.

Kudos to you Frank Turner and Billy Bragg.

There is Power in a Union
  • There is Power in a Union
  • the Mountain Goats / Billy Bragg
  • zVarious Unreleased

Now I long for the morning that they realise
Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
But who’ll defend the workers who cannot organise
When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
There is power in a Union

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union.

This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today. Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing; of why domestic growth is driven by credit, not by real incomes; of why tax-payers are forced to top up wages; of why a spiteful government seeks to penalise the poor for having an extra bedroom; of why Rupert Murdoch became so powerful; of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society.

Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don’t celebrate - organise!

—  Billy Bragg, on the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Billy Bragg (an English singer-songwriter - listen to his song about The Sun.  I also like to think about the fact that Sexuality was a hit the year Louis was born) has just posted this about David Bowie and Alan Rickman:

And I just wanted to share it, because it is one of the reasons that I find One Direction so fascinating.  In Britain, entertainment - both music and acting - have been jobs for working-class people.  Even more so queer young working-class men.  All those Comedians in the Bears’ frames - they were all working-class men - and they followed quite traditional paths into a world where they could be queer.

Those paths have been closing down since the 1980s - economic restructuring combined with technological changes mean that it’s much, much harder for working-class kids to get jobs in the arts anymore. The pathways in that Frankie Lamarr, Larry Grayson, David Bowie and Alan Rickman took are either closed, or require money and connections that they never used to require. 

That’s the context that One Direction exists in - and it shapes them and the way they are seen in so many ways.  And I know I’ve said a lot about that before.  I guess what I want to say today, is that the situation they’re in, the lack of power they have.  The fact that these kids felt like it was X-factor mega-stardom or nothing and therefore they had to accept being controlled to this incredible degree - that didn’t just happen.  Huge social changes took places in the 1980s and 1990s (and are still happening today) - government policy was specifically aimed at cutting off the options and limiting the resources that people like Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis and Harry would have access to. 

A lot of men are acting with hostility towards the current wave of feminism because they can’t tell the difference between a personal accusation of sexism and a structural critique of the way sexism is endemic in our culture
—  Billy Bragg

The Internationale – Billy Bragg & Choir

The song that warms my heart with the red fires of socialism.