16 August 2005

Britpop and Labour.

Just watched the Britpop night on BBC4 and didn't care much for John Harris's opinion, with his obvious over emphasis on Blur, trying to make them look superior to Oasis. I won't go into that debate about which band was better but want to concentrate on the political aspect of the bands. On this, the Storyville analysis was far more revealing than Harris.

Watching Storyville I was struck by Noel Gallacher's staunch support for Tony Blair and Damon Albarn's vague non-committal support that developed into undisguised hostility for New Labour. I've always found it hard to understand the media image of Noel as incoherent and surly, especially when I see what an incoherent egotistical tosser, Damon Albarn is.

I don't want to make a class thing out of this, but it was interesting how Harris and other middle class Labour supporters have joined the chorus of disapproval of New Labour, while Noel Gallacher has remained a staunch supporter of voting Labour and voting for Blair.

I think this disillusionment is partly born of unrealistic expectations of what a Labour government (and Blair) would achieve and partly of not having to live through the worst excesses of Thatcherism due to their status as Southern middle class.


  1. I think Gallagher's continued support has more to do with him becoming a mega-rich coke head, frankly. If you want to get into class, the relative backgrounds of Britpop figures seem somewhat less relevant than the Labour Party having now lost some 5 million working-class voters. Or the fact that, despite the rhetoric in the last campaign, New Labour still only really cares about a few hundred thousand middle-class voters in swing sweats. Of course, ex-working class types like Gallagher lived through the results of Thatcherism but have been safely insulkated from the tragically similar effects of Blairism.

  2. Isn't Albarn a mega-rich coke head?

    I think it's actually very brave of Gallacher to stick his head above the parapet and continue his vocal support for Blair. How many others have done that recently, now it's so easy to join the media chorus of disapproval?

    Are you really saying that Blairism is a continuation of Thatcherism?

    You only have to look at the investment in public services, the minimum wage, sure start, and family tax credits to see that New Labour's heart is in the right place. Only someone who met the full brunt of Thatcherism could appreciate the massive difference.

    All parties have lost voters! Labour's vote of 13.5m in 1997 was their highest ever, they had 9.5m this time, (which is 4m down not 5m as you suggest), even the Lib Dems vote is less than they got in 1992, and they didn't have half as many voters as Labour in the first place and never have to face the media scrutiny of government!

    Most of the drop is down to our terrible voting system which encourages apathy in safe seats, but that's another story!

  3. Noel's a smart cookie. The Labour movement is bigger than Blair and will outlast him. Noel backs Labour not Blair.