They matter no more than the politics of Bono, or Barbra Streisand; less actually, because Strummer never tried to influence policy. If artists become important in politics, the fault lies not with the idiots themselves but with the even bigger idiots who attend to them. They achieve significance, like the devil, only insofar as people believe in their existence.
So scholastic disputes about the politics of Sandinista!, the xenophobia of “Safe European Home” and Strummer’s alleged evolution into a conservative are utterly beside the point. The Clash, which even had the good grace to break up early, made London Calling and Give ‘Em Enough Rope, great records for reasons that had nothing to do with their politics, which were mostly incoherent when they were even decipherable. That’s what Strummer should be remembered for, and it’s a great deal.