The Progressive Patriot


On my travels today I picked up Billy Bragg’s (personal hero) ‘The Progressive Patriot’, his response to what it means to be English. A good little read to inform My Place and our next unit on Cultural Geography. Some nice discussion of place.

Billy Bragg is best know for his song writing and political activism. One of my favourite songs and one of his most known…


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  1. Kenny
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Brings back many memories-excellent live, although last time I saw him was late 80’s-he’s changed a little!Liked a bit of a journey as well. I remember a book, ‘Midnight to Moscow’ and also a jaunt across Bolivia with Andy Kershaw which was televised-met lots of indigenous people, and when asked to reply to their music with a song of his own sang ‘ging gang gooly’…

  2. Posted December 9, 2007 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m loving this book, a nice mixture of History and Geography. Looking forward to getting his unreleased material for Christmas.

  3. Kenny
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid to say I probably had quite a bit of that ‘unreleased’ material when I was younger, although not quite sure about the copyright on his ‘Candleriggs Market’, erm, box set…I just looked at his wikipedia page there, and as well as taking an interest in England’s national identity, he’s also apparently pro-independence for Scots. I find this amazing considering his long association with the unionist Labour Party, although I suspect his political association may have faltered since Labour’s ‘Red Wedge’ days.

  4. Posted December 10, 2007 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    He makes a very interesting point about how the Scottish Nationalist Party has promoted Scottish identity whilst being inclusive… an example of how a leftist party can take back the notion of pride in one’s country without resorting to scrapegoats.

    It has been somewhat a problem for the left, internationalism, but also identity through place.

    I agree with him that the left has to occupy this ‘place’ so that the far-right doesn’t exploit it.

  5. Kenny
    Posted December 11, 2007 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    We enter the murky world of Politics-here goes…I would probably agree. As a nationalist, I have never thought about my patriotism in terms of left and right, I just see it as a right to self determination and removing another layer of bureaucracy from decisions that affect my life. As someone with, I would say, socialist values, I have never seen a conflict with this, so perhaps there’s a point about the left’s ability to occupy this space.

    On the other hand, ruling parties across the political spectrum and across the world usually try to justify regime legitimacy through appealing to nationalist sentiment. In some ways, it’s what kept the eastern bloc going e.g. national success through sport etc (That and the small matter of the Soviet Union looking over their shoulder).

    On Newsnight Scotland just now, they are debating whether you can be Scottish and British( an SNP and Tory argument)!I think this is the problem with nationalism-As long as there’s confusion about whether you can be Nationalist AND Internationalist, then the issue is there to be hijacked. A wee bit heavy, I know…

  6. Posted December 11, 2007 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. 🙂

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