Singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg talks about motivating young people to get politically active.
Billy Bragg is a guest on 'Borderline' to talk about an initiative called 'Red Wedge', a collective of musicians seeking to engage young people in politics and Labour party policies specifically. The hope was to encourage young people to use their vote in the UK general election in 1987 to oust the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In Bragg's own words,
A collective of artists, musicians and political people who are sort of working together to create some common ground between young people and the British Labour party.
While Red Wedge is independent of the British Labour party, it is prepared to give its support to the party. The hope is to bridge the communication gap between the Labour party and young people, a group the collective believes is not being catered for.
Popular music has long been used as a platform to voice political views and Red Wedge is no different.
The people who are buying Billy Bragg records already, I should imagine, have some political view or vision. It's the Spandau Ballet fans who don't and we've gotta get our ideas across to.
Billy Bragg also takes questions from the teenage audience about the Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS), encouraging people to become politically active, and the impact of the miner's strike.
Our biggest enemy outside of the Conservatives is just general apathy.
This episode of 'Borderline' was broadcast on 4 April 1987. The presenter is Aonghus McAnally.