What does it mean to be English? What does it mean to be British? Is the cross of St George a proud symbol of a great tradition, or the badge of a neo-Nazi? In a world where British citizens can lay bombs to kill their countrymen, where religious fundamentalism is on the increase and where the BNP are somehow part of the democratic process, what does patriotism actually mean? Our identity can change depending on what company we are in. For example, someone could describe themselves British to one person, Scottish to another and, say, a Londoner to another, and be right every time. But problems arise when someone tries to tell you what you are, based on your skin tone, religion, accent, surname, or whatever. This book is Billy Bragg s urgent, eloquent and passionate response to the events of 7 July 2005, when four bombs tore through a busy morning in London, killing 52 innocent people and injuring many more. firm believer in toleration and diversity, he felt himself hemmed in by fascists on one side and religious fanatics on the other. The suicide bombers were all British-born and well integrated into our multicultural society. Yet they felt no compunction in murdering and ma
Billy Bragg was born in December 1957. When punk hit the British music scene Bragg's contribution was to form a band called Riff Raff. He then launched himself on a solo musical career, between time working in a record store and absorbing his new-found love of blues and politically-inspired folk music. During this time Bragg, and his music, became more overtly political and he became a fixture at political rallies and benefits, particularly during the 1984 Miners Strike, and he devoted much of his time to Red Wedge - an initiative to persuade young people to vote in the 1987 General Election - for which he toured with The Style Council, Madness, The Communards and The Smiths. Billy Bragg now lives in Dorset but is still writing music and challenging our elected politicians.