If the title of Billy Bragg’s latest track, Rich Men Earning North of a Million, sounds a little familiar, it’s because it’s a clap-back song for Republican hopeful Ron DeSantis and a host of right-wing commentators’ current favourite tune – the US Billboard number one, Oliver Anthony’s Rich Men North of Richmond.
Anthony blames the “obese milkin’ welfare”, and politicians larging it on Epstein’s Island for America’s woes, but Anthony himself doesn’t seem particularly interested in fighting the fight. He lives “off the grid” in a campervan with a tarpaulin roof. His politics are “dead centre down the middle ” and he loves America’s diversity.
“We are the melting pot of the world,” he told Fox News, “and that’s what makes us strong… We need to learn to harness that and appreciate it, and not use it as a political tool to keep everyone separate from each other, you know?”
He then revealed that the twangy southern accent he sings in isn’t real. Stunned one-time fans and QAnon conspiracy theorists are now turning on him on X (ex-Twitter), accusing him of being a fraud, an industry plant trying to exploit the Republican base and even a CIA agent. Good things never last.