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Now that Comrade Corbyn is i/c I can admit to loving Between the Wars by Billy Bragg

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 20 September 2015

The pre-election purge of Comrades who might actually believe in Socialism is over and thus I now feel able to admit to greatly liking the works of Billy Bragg without fear of expulsion from the Labour Party. As I drove to and from London yesterday Bragg was my constant companion and there was a particular pleasure in blasting out and singing along to "Between the Wars" as I passed the former Labour HQ under Comrade War Criminal Blair on Millbank and the Houses of Parliament. Listen to the words and remember that this classic was written is 1985.

Today many on the left talk of austerity but here Bragg uses the word three decades before most Comrades regarded it as fashionable.  The Bard of Barking refers to the 1930s - surely we must admit that the life of the poor now is so much better than it was then? That was real austerity. This is faux austerity.

Bragg sings of the dignity of the working man - 30 years ago he talks of the right to a Living Wage. But it is a working man not a welfare man. There is no dignity in poverty that is self-inflicted. 

Naturally there is much in this song that I cant's agree with "Call up the crafstman, bring me the draftsman, build me a path from cradle to grave". Not so sure Comrade, but Bragg is a true craftsman when it comes to poetry set to music. Eve if you are on the meritocratic libertarian right there is much in this classic that you can agree with. Perhaps Comrade Corbyn should suggest this as our new National Anthem

 

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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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