Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Must I paint you a picture – Billy Bragg in interview

It's not just the liberals that are being mobilised though, and you can certainly question the worth of stars getting involved when you have to weigh up the arguments of people like Britney Spears, who tells us that we should just trust the President in everything that he does. Can't you argue, though, that her view is as valid as Bragg’s, that both are using Celebrity to push a partisan view? Bragg bristles predictably at the mention of Spears. “That's not political though is it? Of course it's political, but the Radio doesn't report it like that. It only gets classed as political if it's left wing. Saying that sort of shit never gets you classed negatively as political – nobody says about Britney Spears “Wow Britney's really political”, they just presume she's saying something that everyone else thinks”. Fair point, there's little danger of Spears being pigeonholed as a protest singer.

While he feels unable to campaign in the US election, a British election looms, and it seems that there's a particularly English version of the ABB (Anyone But Bush) syndrome. How disillusioned has this Labour party stalwart been with Tony Blair's Government? “Very disappointed about that, the whole cosying up to the Bush administration. It was a really good opportunity for Blair to show his European credentials by standing alongside Paris and Berlin, and he failed to do that. The damage done to the United Nations, and the future prospects of the European Union are quite significant, so I'm very disappointed with that, but the election isn't going to be about the war, it's going to be about whether or not you want Michael Howard to be Prime Minister, and I really don't want him to be Prime Minister. So I'm going to have to do what I've done for the last couple of elections and that is to find good Labour people in there and work with them”.

And what of his future musical plans. Is there a new album in the offing?“I'm writing songs. I'm kind of between albums. There's going to be a general election probably next may, and I'm going to have to put a lot of work in on this Lords reform thingy if I'm going to get a bit of a run on that. By New Year, I should know one way or another I should know if the Lords reform thing is going to happen in the context of a general election. By then, I'll be ready to put down some songs in the studio with the other guys. I've been teaching myself the mandolin this summer. It's been driving everyone in the house crazy! I'm not saying that the next album is going to be a mandolin album, just that I'm doing stuff. I'm not just gazing out my window dreaming about abolishing the House of Lords! I'm still writing and playing”.

Billy Bragg’s Official Web Site

Braggtopia – scarily comprehensive Bragg fan site.

Tell us the truth org

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