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Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:16 pm
by Mr. Dondero
Hi Frank. Please tell let me know if you think this is none of my business...

You seem a pretty political guy and I'm sure I'm right in thinking your a libertarian/classic liberal and it's in the public domain how much you despise socialism. Whenever I've seen you, you've made a point about it being your platform and you can say what you want, I was just thinking how this tied in with BB playing at Wembley. BB is obvisiouly :idea: a pretty big socialist and obvisiouly known for his left wing views. I was wondering how you felt about left wing songs/messages being performed on a stage you put on. I wanna stress that this isnt a dig at you or any political points scoring or whatever other bullshit... Did the political thought ever cross your mind or was it a night where you just wanted to concentrate on the entertainment and not give a shit about the politics?

I don't even know why I'm asking this really, just interested...

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:48 pm
by newmy
My 2 cents here is that you don't have to agree with someone's politics to enjoy their music. I'm not a believer in the same things as Billy, but I think his songs are great. For example I find the combative actions of some Unions and union leaders pretty heinous at times (not always, I think they can be a good thing if they don't abuse their positions), but I think "There Is Power In A Union" is up there as one of my fave BB songs.

Anyway. You didn't ask me but there we go!

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:20 pm
by Mr. Dondero
newmy wrote:My 2 cents here is that you don't have to agree with someone's politics to enjoy their music.
I completely agree.

The question was more to do with the idea that I remember Frank saying he had the libertarian party doing some stuff at a show once, so it seems he feels strongly about the subject. I was interested in whether he had any reservations about a left wing message being spread at a show he put on...

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:12 pm
by helentx
[/quote]
I was interested in whether he had any reservations about a left wing message being spread at a show he put on...[/quote]

But there wasn't a left wing message was there? I'm sure if I'd felt beaten over the head with a left wing message I'd remember it now. There was a bit of chat about the government I think. The only thing which drew a sharp intake of breath from my friend was when he sang "everyone knows Thatcher fucked the kids".

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:43 pm
by frank
I guess I'm in agreement with other comments made here - I'm a musician first and foremost, I want to play music and listen to music. I love and respect Billy as a songwriter, and it's his right within his songs to say whatever he likes. The focus of the night (and of most of what I do, incidentally) is on having a good time, not trying to lecture people. I thought Billy got the crowd going excellently, as I knew he would, and that's about all that matter for me personally.

I do take your point - we don't see eye to eye on a lot of stuff - but that doesn't mean I don't respect his views.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:47 pm
by frank
Also (and I know you can probably find examples to contradict this from interviews where I was letting my mouth run), I wouldn't say I "despise" socialists, or anyone really (short of those who advocate actively murderous policies). I might strongly disagree but I also accept that they are, generally speaking, hoping to make the world a better place, and of course entitled to their views.

Incidentally, it might be nice if some people on the activist left would extend the same courtesy and respect to those of us who are more concerned with classical liberty and economic freedom. Disagree all you want, but don't try and cast your opponents as actively, cacklingly evil (like Mr Burns or whatever) - it's childish and makes you look like you don't really have a proper argument of your own, and/or don't really understand the points your opponents are trying to make. I believe in the things I believe in because I think it will benefit humankind and make the world a better place.

etc.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:46 am
by strange musings
I think Penn Jillette talks about this really well in a video he did for Big Think. He basically is saying that people should stop using huge damning generalisations like "all *insert any political ideology* is evil" and instead explain why that ideology is wrong using open debate.

He also believes that everyone/political structure is trying to do its best, but that individually, you can still profusely disagree with what is being done. I think he's on to something, you could say that perhaps this is a little naive, but I think the idea that two people can really disagree but at the same time understand each other’s point of view is something that's missing in a lot of public discussion. Instead all you get is a torrent of emotion, which undermines any debate.

Anyway, here's the video, it starts at around 6:30, although the whole video is worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvaZwPPd ... ure=relmfu

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:17 pm
by selfishbi_atch101
strange musings wrote:I think Penn Jillette talks about this really well in a video he did for Big Think. He basically is saying that people should stop using huge damning generalisations like "all *insert any political ideology* is evil" and instead explain why that ideology is wrong using open debate.

He also believes that everyone/political structure is trying to do its best, but that individually, you can still profusely disagree with what is being done. I think he's on to something, you could say that perhaps this is a little naive, but I think the idea that two people can really disagree but at the same time understand each other’s point of view is something that's missing in a lot of public discussion. Instead all you get is a torrent of emotion, which undermines any debate.

Anyway, here's the video, it starts at around 6:30, although the whole video is worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvaZwPPd ... ure=relmfu
That was really good; am enjoying watching the other Penn Jillette youtube clips... especially the one where he's talking about his high tolerance for crazy people:) He's a really interesting way of discussing the importance of context.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:44 pm
by frank
Penn Jilette is a fucking dude. I have a lot of time for that guy.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:28 pm
by 1900sr
Interesting thread. I'd like to maybe play Devil's Advocate a bit here, if Billy's lyrics and political views had been the complete opposite, so he was an extreme right winger, supporting the likes of the BNP, would he have still been welcome?

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:49 pm
by Mr. Dondero
cheers for replying, Frank. Totally understand your viewpoint.
1900sr wrote:Interesting thread. I'd like to maybe play Devil's Advocate a bit here, if Billy's lyrics and political views had been the complete opposite, so he was an extreme right winger, supporting the likes of the BNP, would he have still been welcome?
probably alot of people on here, myself included would class BNP as far left wing...

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:32 pm
by Pete
Indeed, BNP are definitely under the far left in my book.

Agreed re the interesting nature of thread. I'll be honest, it didn't sit comfortably with me at first when Frank announced Billy Bragg as support, but thinking about it I really enjoy some bands whose political message is utterly different to mine. I like the new Enter Shikari album (*awaits the abuse from Evan*) and actually have a huge deal of admiration for how they're trying to put across their message, despite the fact a lot of it is way off my own beliefs. It's a shame from a lot of interviews it appears Billy Bragg is desperate to tag someone from his genre or similar as the new torchbearer for left wing political message in song, when there are others out there who are far more closely aligned to this, just maybe not voicing it in the same way.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:48 pm
by frank
I also would put the BNP as (economically speaking at least) a hard left grouping. that doesn't invalidate the question though, it's still an interesting point. i suppose i'd say that the BNP's rhetoric on immigration, their racism, is a view that is beyond the pale for me; i can happily disagree with soft left socialists and hang out, but i'm not sure i'm all that comfortable around racists. /understatement.

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:34 am
by 1900sr
Nice reply Frank, thank you. I guess the difference is being able to be friends with someone who you think is wrong about something, and not being able to be friends with someone who is not only wrong, but offensive with it.

As for the BNP being left wing/right wing (you can stuff the lot?), we'll have to agree to disagree, any socialism that may be present in their economic policies are very much "Animal Farm" in nature, as it's clear that to them white British will always be more equal than any other. Maybe the left wing economics and the right wing immigration policies cancel each other out to make them the middle ground :wink:

Re: Politics/Wembley

Posted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:50 pm
by KillerShrimp
frank wrote:Also (and I know you can probably find examples to contradict this from interviews where I was letting my mouth run), I wouldn't say I "despise" socialists, or anyone really (short of those who advocate actively murderous policies). I might strongly disagree but I also accept that they are, generally speaking, hoping to make the world a better place, and of course entitled to their views.

Incidentally, it might be nice if some people on the activist left would extend the same courtesy and respect to those of us who are more concerned with classical liberty and economic freedom. Disagree all you want, but don't try and cast your opponents as actively, cacklingly evil (like Mr Burns or whatever) - it's childish and makes you look like you don't really have a proper argument of your own, and/or don't really understand the points your opponents are trying to make. I believe in the things I believe in because I think it will benefit humankind and make the world a better place.

etc.
In support of Frank's viewpoint - Billy's last album "Fight Songs"is subtitled "Polemical Tunes in an Age of Indifference".
Not "austerity", not "budget cuts", not "nasty coa-bloody-lition government" - indifference!
The way I read it - "here are my views how things should be done to change life for the better, come out and challenge me if you disagree, but don't just sit around idly thinking it has nothing to do with you."