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The most important thing for anyone, I think, is to be engaged, whether you're an artist or a journalist is to be engaged in the process at some level.
That taught me one lesson which is that you're naive to believe that bands can change the world. Bands are very naive to think that just if their audience thinks that they can change the world, that they can. That was quite a lesson for my career, really.
So, in some ways, the political songs tend to be a bit more like reportage, whereas the love songs tend to be like novels, you can pick them up off the shelf and go into them any time.
My upbringing was very straightforward suburban working class upbringing.
My theory is this; I'm not a political songwriter. I'm an honest songwriter.
Most of the people that I went to school with - I went to secondary school - we were educated to go and work in the line at Ford's, and if we were lucky, technical skilled labor. I sort of rejected that, and thought I wanted to do something else.
It's not a very popular subject amongst my audience, who are by nature more internationalist, but I don't choose what to write about, I don't choose my subjects, they kind of choose me.
In that sense, I became politicized because the people in the coal mining villages who were involved in the struggle knew why they were there. But they couldn't understand why some pop star from London would want to be there.
I've had songs written during the Falklands war, and during the first Gulf war I got letters from soldiers saying they were listening to these songs, like Island of no return.
I'm trying to make a case for those people who don't have a sense of belonging that they should have, that there is something really worthwhile in having a sense of belonging, and recasting and looking at our modern history.
I'm still batting away on my politics for the Labour Party. I'm much further to the left of them than I used to be, but that's because they've moved, not me.
I was in a little punk band and we put out a few punk records that weren't very political, at all.
I try and write honestly about what I see around me now.
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