Bragg welcomes Bowie's vote view

ENGLISH singer Billy Bragg has welcomed David Bowie's intervention on Scottish independence, urging more people south of the border to enter the debate.

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The musician and activist said he hoped Bowie's plea for Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom would encourage English people to engage with the issues.

Bragg is among several high-profile musicians - including The Proclaimers and Annie Lennox - who have voiced their support for a Yes vote in September's referendum.

He said: "Bowie's intervention encourages people in England to discuss the issues of the independence referendum, and I think English people should be discussing it, so I welcome his intervention. Obviously we don't have a vote but we can have an opinion.

"There hasn't been much debate in England. George Osborne's intervention last week was a beginning but the debate has still been among the political classes. We should have a better debate about independence."

The singer reiterated his belief that Scottish independence could revitalise democracy south of the border.

The topic reared its head during First Minister's Questions at Holyrood with politicians slipping Bowie lyrics into the debate.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont began her questioning by asking First Minister Alex Salmond to "turn and face the strain", a lyric from Changes.

Responding to Team GB's Scottish women curlers' bronze medal in the Winter Olympics, Mr Salmond said it was a "demonstration we all can be heroes just for one day".

But comedian Frankie Boyle tweeted: "I completely respect Bowie's right to express views on independence, just as I'd respect Iggy Pop's opinions on the Cern particle accelerator."

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