Posted by Christie Malry on May 2, 2010 at 11:08 am
Cool Britannia was the phrase Tony Blair's spin doctors encouraged the media to use to describe the early years of the first Labour term. The idea was that now those musty Tories had been ousted, Britain could be cool again.
Curiously, for a party which would ultimately unleash the Digital Economy Act on Britain, they never gave proper credit to the true authors of the phrase. In fact, it was first heard as the opening track to the album Gorilla by the Bonzo Dog Band.
The media soon tired of the moniker and it got fairly unceremoniously dumped by Labour shortly thereafter. Now it's seen as a bit of an embarrassment; rightly given Labour's many distinctly un-cool failures since. 2007, the tenth anniversary of Blair's ascension, gave the papers a kind to do some unkind retrospective work on what the pop stars thought of Labour's first decade. It wasn't pretty - a combination of disappointment and downright hostility.
Gorilla still sounds as fresh today as it did back then. Unlike the Labour party after 13 years. Looking at the dodgy looking Elvis impersonator wheeled out for Labour's election campaign, it's almost impossible to believe the party was ever thought of as cool. I maintain that it was always a sham, a triumph of style over content.