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Billy Bragg's alternative to the BNP

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 18 April 2010

With the BNP targeting its first seat at Westminister, the rise of the far right party has inspired musician Billy Bragg to take part in a play-meets-gig. Andrew Thomas reports.

Billy Bragg performs in a new play-meets-gig about working class Britain.

One of the questions of the 2010 general election campaign is the whether 6 May will mark a breakthrough for the BNP.

Many believe the far right party's rise can be linked directly to the struggles of Britain's white working class and the "traumatic changes" this section of society has undergone in recent decades.

Pressure Drop, a "play-meets-gig", features famed protest singer Billy Bragg, the man who also once sang "I don't want to change the world, I'm not looking for a new England".

He told Channel 4 News: "There is a malfunction somewhere in the idea of an English national identity.

"I look at the BNP and I look at the SNP.

"The SNP is a progressive force. You don't see Alex Salmond standing around with a load of Scandanavian skinheads doing Nazi salutes. There's a real problem."

Mixing theatre, music and politics, the performance examines how the BNP's version of British identity fills a cultural as well as a political void.

Bragg's home town of Barking is Essex is the BNP's prime target at the forthcoming general election.

Pressure Drop opens on Monday 19 April at the Wellcome Collection in London.


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