White Noise: New Labour, New Lads, ’Britpop’ and Blairism 

I wrote White Noise either at the end of 1996 or early in 1997. It’s about the ethnic, national, class, sexual and gendered character of ‘Britpop’ and its implications for understanding the politics of Blairism on the eve of its great political triumph.

 It was the text for a pamphlet/‘discussion paper’ that was published by the Signs of the Times group under the 

It was then included (in a slightly updated and expanded  form) as the chapter ‘Pop, Politics and Populism’ in a book called The Moderniser’s Dilemma, edited by Anne Coddington and Mark Perryman, published by Lawrence and Wishart a couple of years late. 

 I’m posting it today just because the media are suddenly full of incitements to remember the supposed anniversary of Britpop, along with some excellent well-deserved mockery of that hideously embarrassing phenomenon (e.g. http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/nineties-generation-to-make-formal-apology-for-britpop-2014041085596).

I would still stand by every word of the analysis here,and in particular I think it was pretty prescient about the implications of the Britpop-‘New Lad’ formation for the future of gender politics in the UK. 

 Here it is anyway





Common Ground: A discussion with Lawrence Grossberg about my latest book

This is the text of an exchange between myself and Lawrence Grossberg following the publication of my book Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism (Pluto 2013).

It particularly covers issues such as the concept of ‘infinite relationality’, the politics of ‘horizontalism’ and vital materialism, and the relationship between political and cultural strategies at different levels of operation.

It’s also pretty much the only place I’ve publicly reflected on the (non?-)relationships between my political and musical activities.

I haven’t edited it at all except to remove a few typos and personal asides.

Thanks very much indeed to Lawrence Grossberg for initiating and participating in the exchange and for agreeing to allow its publication