The Judge RANTS!
Billy Bragg - "The Few" (Peel Session) (1991)
I don't want to talk about it.
About what everyone else is talking about, I mean.
You know; thing. Begins with 'e'.
All I will say for now (for I may just weaken) is that seldom has there been such a conjunction of opportunism, overt cynicism and ethical cowardice even in modern (if that's the word - events resemble the goings-on at a post-mediaeval court more and more by the day) politics.
Instead, I'm just going to lay this upon you because I have been reminded of it.
I've never really had much time for Billy Bragg; I think it's that voice which does it. But occasionally, he brings the hammer into contact with the nail so precisely that one has to pay attention.
This track appeared on his 1991 album Don't Try This At Home, but he had previewed it on a session for the great John Peel earlier in the year, and this sparse arrangement - just Bragg (and a cold in the nose) and his guitar - better matches the tone of the song.
It was written, of course, in response to another wave of international diplomacy carried out by England's deracinated mobs upon the rest of Europe. But we are now seeing what happens when such misbegotten and malevolent brood as the 'John Bullshits' are given a nod-and-a-wink official seal of approval for their attitude and behaviour.
"And the society which spawned them
Just cries out, "Who's to blame?",
And then wraps itself in the Union Jack
And just carries on the same."