This music video is called Benjamin Zephaniah – Responsible.
From British daily The Morning Star:
Red Folk’s favourite lefties chat about their musical and political highlights of 2007 and ponder the prospects for the year to come.
THE new year is upon us, so this month’s column catches up with some top lefties to hear their thoughts on the music and politics of 2007 and their hopes for 2008.
Tony Benn is rightly recognised as one of the foremost politicians of his generation, but also for his performances with folk singer Roy Bailey.
Respect MP George Galloway also has a reputation as a lover of good music.
“I’m still getting out my Dylan CDs,” he confides.
“I’ve been particularly taken by the radio shows that he did, DJing for a satellite radio station.
“I don’t know if these are generally available, I know that some at least were broadcast on BBC, but they are magical, funny, insightful and revealing.
People’s poet, songwriter, author, musician and peace campaigner Benjamin Zephaniah had his usually busy year in 2007 and took a well-earned break in socialist Cuba over the new year.
Zephaniah had his latest book Teachers Dead published in September and has already been approached by the BBC to write a screenplay to be made into a major programme in the future.
Musically, 2007 saw Zephaniah going back to his roots and listening to a lot of early reggae records by Burning Spear, the Mighty Diamonds and the legendary Lee Perry.
Always eclectic in his musical tastes, Council Estate of Mind by British rapper Skinnyman caught his ear, as well as The Dusty Foot on the Road, an album by Somalian-born rapper K’naan, who is now living in Canada.
With a possible new album in the offing, Zephaniah looks set for an equally busy 2008.
Top US political folk singer-songwriter David Rovics, who is often to be found touring Britain, has a new live album called The Commons, which has just had a British release.
Unusually perhaps for such an accomplished musician, Rovics does not listen to much recorded music. Being based more at home of late while he brings up his daughter Leila, his living room is often full up with friends practising Balkan, Irish and old-time music.
Politically, his highlight of 2007 was the G8 protests in Germany.
His message to Morning Star readers is typically forthright. “Capitalism is omnicidal, socialism is inevitable and failure is unthinkable.”
- VIDEO: Tony Benn: ‘I’m not afraid of dying’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Labour veteran Tony Benn as sharp as ever as he reflects on a life in politics (itv.com)
- Stephen Moss on Tony Benn (taxresearch.org.uk)
- Tony Benn: ‘All political careers end in failure. Mine ended earlier than most’ (theguardian.com)
- A Progressive Society? (piersknight.wordpress.com)
- Benjamin Zephaniah – Birmingham Literature Festival (awritersfountain.wordpress.com)