Billy Bragg shares message in support of Anthony Albanese: “The people have given him a mandate for change”

Bragg took to social media after Albanese quoted one of his songs in his first address

Billy Bragg has spoken out in support of newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – an “old mate” of his – noting how “the people have given him a mandate for change”.

At his first ministry on Sunday (May 31), Albanese quoted Bragg’s 1983 song ‘To Have And To Have Not’. Addressing reporters in Canberra, Albanese spoke the line: “Just because you’re going forward / doesn’t mean I’m going backwards“.

Bragg took to social media yesterday (June 1) to respond to Albanese’s speech, beginning his post – which featured a photo of the pair during their first meeting in the late 1990s – by saying he was “not surprised” to hear the Prime Minister had quoted his lyrics.

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“Over the years I’ve caught up with him on numerous Australian tours,” Bragg explained of the pair’s acquaintance – which began at a show at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre in the ’90s – before moving on to speak out in praise of Albanese’s election win. “That the Australian electorate rejected such divisive politics offers hope to all of us fighting against the rising tide of populism,” Bragg wrote. “Obviously, for me, there’s the added joy of seeing my old mate Albo become the Prime Minister of Australia.”

He continued: “Some of us just sing about making the world a better place – he now has the responsibility of delivering on that promise. The people have given him a mandate for change – to create a new Australia committed to acting collectively in the common good. I know Albo is the right person for the job. He has a socialism of the heart.”

Read Bragg’s full post below:

Bragg has never shied away from politics, nor delivering impassioned opinions. His unique folk and punk-rock blend is often decorated with a combination of romantic themes and political protest. Amongst his 12-album discography are several noted socialist anthems, including cover songs ‘The Internationale’ and ‘The Red Flag’.

Bragg’s latest album, last October’s ‘The Million Things That Never Happened’, was noted by NME‘s Patrick Clarke for its portrayal of societal unity. “It’s all but impossible not to relate,” Clarke wrote in his review. “In an age of division, ‘The Million Things That Never Happened’ is a gentle embrace of what unites us all.”

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