The aptly named Frontline club in London is a favourite haunt of war-weary foreign correspondents. Its walls are festooned with all manner of memorabilia: from Baghdad and Kabul license plates, to Osama Bin Laden t-shirts and the front page of the 12 September 2001 edition of the New York Times. Omar Waraich went there to discuss the challenges of reporting from Iraq with veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn.
'Culture,' Norman Mailer once said, 'is worth huge, huge risks.' Billy Bragg seems prepared to take those risks, and his rhymes of resistance and years of political campaigning have established him as the doyen of British protest music. But now that the rock star and songwriter is lending his talents to a string of pro-war New Labour candidates in their election bids, he has fallen foul of several of his fans and fellow campaigners. I also reached out in search of explanation. Fearing there would be no straight answer, I wanted to hear the crooked answer.