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Land Of Hope And Dreams: Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration

This is Treasurer Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration, delivered tonight.

Wayne Swan [Read more…]

Hockey: Springsteen Not A Basis For Sound Public Policy

The Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has castigated Wayne Swan for being inspired by Bruce Springsteen.

“We might as well have Glenn A. Baker and Molly Meldrum running the country,” Hockey told a media conference. [Read more…]

Wayne Swan And Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run

It’s not every day the front page of the Financial Review features Wayne Swan and the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen songs.

Financial Review frontpage

Treasurer Swan will tonight deliver the annual John Button Oration.

In extracts of the speech published today, Swan pays tribute to the power of Bruce Springsteen’s music, especially his 1975 song, Born to Run.

Swan renews his attack on Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart, saying his only regret is “not going in hard enough”. Swan reiterates his argument “that a handful of powerful people not only think they have the right to a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success, they think they have the right to manipulate our democracy and our national conversation to gain an even bigger slice of the pie.”

This is a video Swan released today in which he discusses John Button, Bruce Springsteen and politics:

Extract of Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration, as published in The Age.

My inspiration has always been music. Bruce Springsteen, “The Boss”, was and remains my musical hero. And not just mine. He’s the favourite musician of the Prime Minister and many other members of the government.

Like Springsteen, I and many caucus members came from working-class families. We are in many ways the Springsteen generation. And if our generation has an anthem, it is Born to Run.

It was released as a single in August 1975, and it’s the song we listened to during the Whitlam dismissal in November of that year and the bitter election campaign that followed. The song has never left me. I still crank it up loud on budget night and after our family dinner parties. It’s about trying to stay young when the carefree days of youth are coming to an end. It’s a song about realising that big and daunting responsibilities are just around the corner. But it’s also a song about a way of life that was just starting to disappear.

Springsteen never let the success of Born to Run go to his head or make him forget where he came from. He never stopped singing for the people he grew up with: the blue-collar workers of New Jersey and the midwest. [Read more…]