England: twenty years and hurting

by Chris Bertram on June 4, 2016

With Euro 2016 about to start, thoughts naturally turn to Euro 96, when England hosted the tournament. 1996 was a great year for me, I awoke from what may, in retrospect, have been a period of undiagnosed depression (certainly hypochondria), and it felt like coming out into the sunlight. My two boys were 8 and 11 respectively, it was the year of Britpop, the phoney battle between Oasis and Blur and the wonder that was Pulp’s Different Class. It was also the the year of Liverpool 4, Newcastle 3 (the greatest game in the history of the Premier League), and the year when I started a journal, Imprints, with a conference at Senate House in London which commenced with a debate between Jerry Cohen and Tony Skillen. As the conference finished, we all crowded around a radio to hear the England-Spain penalty shoot-out (the last time England prevailed in one). Though England didn’t win the tournament, losing to Germany — who else? — in the semis, we got to see the thrashing of the Scots with McAllister’s miss and Gazza’s genius and then then destruction of the Dutch, all to the soundtrack of Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds. We were on the verge of the first Labour government since 1979, and with the Tories looking tired and split the country felt together and optimistic. The St George’s flag, which fluttered everywhere that summer, seemed to stand for this mood, somehow magically recovered from a narrow and exclusive nationalism.

(Much of this was undoubtedly fluff and illusion, and probably massively irritating to the other local nationalities. Still, the optimism was real, the sense that a better future was coming after the night of Thatcherism.)

“Today, alas, that happy crowded floor looks very different.” Thirty year of hurt have turned into fifty, and nobody has any expectations of this England team. But more pertinently, we live in a deeply divided country, squeezed by austerity and xenophobia, where each camp in the Brexit referendum views the other with loathing and contempt (I’m no exception). The Labour government that came to power in ’97 squandered its chances in the sand of Iraq. England is now a dark fractured place: nasty, British and short-tempered, beset by cuts, food banks, benefit sanctions and performance targets. The St George’s flag has become the property of racists, Islamophobes and “white-van man”, a symbol to be deployed against unpatriotic middle-class lefties. I hope we get through this, and stay in Europe, but the wounds will be deep and the resentments strong either way. What a difference twenty years makes.

{ 47 comments }

1

Dipper 06.04.16 at 11:16 am

Well up to a point Chris. Part of this change is just what happens when you go from your 30’s to your 50’s. You see the cracks a bit more, have heard the stories from politicians before and know what they really mean, and have learnt to look beyond the headlines. So even if nothing in society has changed, people in their 50’s perceive things as being worse than they were.

I don’t agree with your characterisation of white-van man and the St George’s flag.The BNP has ceased to exist, the National Front has disappeared, and the debate over immigration is very clearly not about like or dislike of immigrants, but about consequences of record numbers on communities, housing, and services.

But the EU referendum is very toxic and will remain so for a long time. To go on about it, there was no need for this other than for internal conservative party reasons, and it is doing real damage. Both sides are writing checks they cannot cash, and which ever side loses is going to harbour a grudge that festers over time. If we remain, then whenever a new law comes from Brussels, or a job is lost, the Brexiters will emerge shouting about lies that won the referendum. Together with the anger over the financial crash and the rise of nationalist parties there is a real sense of a common identity, a common purpose, having been lost over the last twenty years.

Paradoxically, one thing that has got better overall is Sport. Ashes won, Rugby world cup won, record olympic medal totals. Just the football to go.

2

Dipper 06.04.16 at 11:24 am

One potential villain in this list is John Birt and McKinsey. John Birt was brought in by Tony Blair to “modernise” government. He brought in McKinsey and a common view of their approach is that they deliberately looked to remove all individual skill and knowledge from the government machine. Instead of professionals independently using their skills, knowledge would be systemised and could be implemented by people with much lower skills following extensively documented instructions. All initiatives could be reduced to quantitative targets and performance against targets could be monitored closely. This approach has been pursued to the point of absurdity and beyond. Usually it is accompanied by motivational talks about innovative organisations and employee empowerment, as if employees were too stupid to notice that the exact opposite was being implemented.

3

novakant 06.04.16 at 11:40 am

On a positive note: despite all the naysayers and xenophobic ugliness the UK is de facto a great example of a successful multicultural society in Europe – it’s about as good as it gets.

4

P O'Neill 06.04.16 at 11:58 am

Also on the positive ledger: achievement of real devolution, and definitively keeping the UK out of the Euro.

5

engels 06.04.16 at 12:30 pm

Euro 96, BritPop, Skinner and Baddiel – what a catalogue of horrors! Almost makes one glad to live in the age of selfie sticks and Keep Calm and Carry On

6

otpup 06.04.16 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for turning me on to Different Class (I’ve heard the names of Jarvis C and other mainstays of Brit-pop discussed in reverent tones, it’s nice to know why).

7

djr 06.04.16 at 12:53 pm

A great year for me too, the summer of my A Level exams. But I think Dipper’s right – I suspect that what you’re missing is being 20 years younger, not the actual events of 1996. Not that the mid 90’s seem to have gone away: we’ve got a Tory government tearing itself apart over Europe, new music from the Stone Roses, and Neil Hamilton is an elected politician.

8

kidneystones 06.04.16 at 1:03 pm

Not having the referendum would be worse. A great deal of the current pain might have been avoided simply by allowing the referendum without denigrating those wanting a say on political union with European nations, including Turkey, as racists, bigots, and xenophobes.

The Britain I visit today is far less bigoted and racist than the Britain I knew as a child and young man. As for flags, what are they? I see hordes of people painting the St. George’s Cross on their faces to celebrate the London Olympics and other national celebrations. Recall Britain before the Good Friday agreement.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the links connecting Britain to Europe will remain. In Canada, we’ve had active separatists in power and as a major political force in Quebec and in western Canada. Their presence does not mean that people stop visiting Montreal and Quebec, or Calgary and Vancouver.

The gloom and doom brigade believe, evidently, that western nations are in a state of inevitable decline. I would prefer Britain to remain as part of the EU. I do not, however, regard a vote to leave as anything but exchanging one set of rules for another. Telephone lines will still connect Britain to Europe. The weather won’t change and it’s unlikely England will win the Euros, or the World Cup anytime soon.

Keep Calm and Carry On is about right.

The travails of the preceding century make pretty much everything before us a rose garden by comparison.

9

patrick 06.04.16 at 1:15 pm

From where I write in North Britain (perhaps England would have had more success in recent football tournaments if it had had a few of the best Welsh and Scots players in their starting line-up) the EU referendum feels like a low-energy re-run of another referendum of recent memory which appears to have left a country fractured along a single axis, such that the last couple of elections have felt like re-runs of that referendum, even though that was in theory not what we were being asked to vote on at all.

Up here, almost everyone, at least everyone with political influence is going to be voting ‘remain’. As someone who was ‘no’ and ‘remain’ it amuses me a little to see the similarity between the arguments of the separatists in Scotland and the brexiteers in England. Maybe it’s just that arguments for leaving a settled union and going it alone are going to have certain similarities, regardless of whether those making the argument are on the right (as I get the impression most brexiteers are) or the left (as I think most ‘yes’ voters were) of the political spectrum.

10

engels 06.04.16 at 1:17 pm

The Britain I visit today is far less bigoted and racist than the Britain I knew as a child and young man

One salutary development has been the quiet shuffling off the stage of 90s ‘lad culture’, which I think Brit Pop, Skinner and Baddiel, etc intersected with. Anyone know of anything good that’s been written on that?

11

patrick 06.04.16 at 1:24 pm

One salutary development has been the quiet shuffling off the stage of 90s ‘lad culture’, which I think Brit Pop, Skinner and Baddiel, etc intersected with. Anyone know of anything good that’s been written on that?

Try Alwyn Turner’s history of the 1990s – “A Classless Society”

12

harry b 06.04.16 at 2:01 pm

“The Britain I visit today is far less bigoted and racist than the Britain I knew as a child and young man.”

For me, that is a dramatic understatement.

13

Igor Belanov 06.04.16 at 2:07 pm

You would have to see the ‘1996 phenomenon’ as a short-lived one that ran out of steam shortly after the 1997 General Election.

In 1992 Morrissey was called a racist for having a Union Flag displayed at one of his gigs. In 1996 Oasis were feted for it. Now, it seems very unlikely that it would happen.

I think what made Euro ’96 quite special, certainly for someone of my age (turning 18 just after the tournament) was that in many ways it represented the return of Britain to the sporting mainstream after a period where sport was treated very badly by government and had become unfashionable in many quarters. It could be said to be a culmination of a process that began within football in the mid-1980s, embracing fanzine culture, and involving the 1990 World Cup as a landmark in the transformation of football’s image on the national stage. I think hosting the 1996 tournament was the start of a process that has involved other major sporting contests, notably the Olympics and the 2014 Tour de France, and where enthusiasm and turnout for global sporting occasions in Britain is huge.

That said, in football the follow-up to Euro ’96 has been decidedly disappointing. In hindsight, it was part of the hi-jacking of the improved image of football by media interests and the big clubs, and I think that ‘Fantasy Football’, ‘3 Lions’ and the like were all part of a strange approach of the media towards football. This involves a simultaneous infantilisation and over-seriousness, whereby football is accepted as something that grown people would cry about and generally find it impossible to control their emotions, while also providing a subject with a seemingly legitimate opportunity to taunt, abuse, tease and vilify other people about.

14

belle le triste 06.04.16 at 2:20 pm

engels: andrew o’hagan on lad mags, from 2004

(might be subscriber only)

15

belle le triste 06.04.16 at 2:21 pm

16

engels 06.04.16 at 2:36 pm

The Britain I visit today is far less bigoted and racist than the Britain I knew as a child and young man.

I’m inclined to score it as women and gay people up, Muslims and unemployed people down but perhaps that’s too cynical.

17

engels 06.04.16 at 2:36 pm

Belle: thanks.

18

Ben 06.04.16 at 3:10 pm

“nasty, British and short-tempered”

Ha! Will shamelessly steal that one.

19

David 06.04.16 at 3:35 pm

I don’t recall feel especially optimistic in 1996 (though I’m not a football fan, so that may affect my judgement). At that point, though, it seemed to those of us who had suffered through the best part of twenty years of Thatcherism, neat and redux, that there was just a chance that things might be about to change for the better. The Tories had been in power at least a decade more than they deserved, because of the Labour/SDP split, and people were sick of them. When the BBC could broadcast an adaptation of Iain Banks “Complicity”, about a renegade ex-soldier who goes around murdering Tory MPs and business leaders and nobody turns a hair, you realise how profoundly sick of them they were.
The disillusionment and despair which is the most noticeable characteristic of the English today, when I go back there, had its origin after 1997, when people realised they’d been had, and that nothing was going to change after all. Indeed, things were going to get worse, with every Thatcherite fetish from selling off public assets to imposing meaningless performance targets on primary school teachers, expanded updated and improved. People are not stupid, and they realised, and still do, what is going on.
Perhaps the Brexiters are not really concerned about Europe: after all, the hopes that some of us had in the 1990s for a modern social Europe have been hijacked by the neoliberal fanatics in Brussels, and many of the keenest public advocates of leaving actually largely share the Brussels consensus. For some it’s an expression of nihilistic despair, for others, especially among the ranks of ordinary people, it’s an opportunity to land one on the chin of the ruling class. If the future is going to be crap anyway, it hardly matters whether the vote is for in or out.
Thatcherism effectively killed off traditional English culture and society (including sport), and put nothing in its place apart from internet shopping. The main thing I notice now when I go back is the horrible coarsening of English society and what passes for culture, the obsession with financial survival and the effective destruction of any real social bonds (and I don’t mean social media).

20

patrick 06.04.16 at 3:42 pm

When the BBC could broadcast an adaptation of Iain Banks “Complicity”, about a renegade ex-soldier who goes around murdering Tory MPs and business leaders and nobody turns a hair, you realise how profoundly sick of them they were.

Except the “Complicity” adaptation was in 2000, and was a not-quite-straight-to-video film that I don’t think the BBC had anything to do with. You might be thinking of “The Crow Road”?

21

engels 06.04.16 at 4:00 pm

Speaking personally, if there is one thing I really miss about those years it would be not having the Internet.

That and possibly the fact it was still possible to live in London without being a member of the money laundering class…

22

Steve Williams 06.04.16 at 4:22 pm

Brilliant post this.

I was only 9 in 1996, but for me Euro 96 is a great memory and I had a child’s enthusiasm and optimism for the future. On a sporting level, England were exciting, full of the kind of naivety that’s been lauded widely when displayed by Leicester this year but is written off at international level. I was too young to care about politics, but I recognise now that much of the optimism in the country was for a long-overdue change in government.

I’m convinced that Leave will win the referendum, and that it will be a disaster. Britain has become a more pinched and miserable place since the financial crisis. The ‘throw the bums out’ mood will take Leave over the line, or that’s what I fear anyway. If economists are even slightly right about the damage it will do, and the length of time it will take to recover, it will be a disaster for me personally. I was 21 in 2007 when the crisis started – I’ll be 44 in 2030. I don’t know whether the country will have achieved more than a handful of years with a 2.5% growth rate in that time.

Football does seem like a decent metaphor for where we are as a nation. Despite the high pay and slick production of the stars in the Premier League, lower league clubs are in a constant battle for survival, and England never actually seems to win anything any more. More to the point, we don’t even think we will, which is even sadder.

I remember coming back from a night out a few months ago, having a sudden desire to watch the video linked above, and it brought back so many feelings. Fifty years of hurt indeed.

23

Placeholder 06.04.16 at 5:12 pm

Projecting it back to the very start of thirty years I suppose the boomers had the World Cup (the end of the Chatterly ban) and the Beatles’ first LP. The ’90s had the hope for something like it and since then nothing, not even the capacity for self-delusion.

The Malicious Communications act -which I distinctly remember being about spamming people with hate mail – now entitles the police to criminalize ALL COMMUNICATION they find causes ‘needless anxiety’.
I did not imagine a Tory government would pass law blandly banning ALL CHEMICAL PLEASURE – with a helpfully arbitrary list of chemicals you are allowed to enjoy.
Who would have imagined the exposure of an unprecedented, illegal and treasonous surveillance regime would be greeted my the members of parliament rushing over themselves to guarantee its legality?
I remember the unqualified hatred of Jean Marie LePen as everyone rallied round defeating him. Now half the French Gaullists protesting there is no obligation to honour the republican front with the PS when there is so little dividing their views on minorities from FN – accurately.
I would not have imagined so soon, even twenty years, after the Irving trial that the Latvian legion
would be parading so freely in Latvia, Croaitam Ukraine, Greece… But no, it is Communism is ‘the real holocaust and they started it’ and antisemitic pogroms that are not.
I would not have imagined twenty years after the Good Friday Agreement the Muslims of Tower Hamlets would have been told that they had elected a mayor who criminally suggested they could be victims of racism tragically forcing the British judiciary to place them under Irish colonial law.

“I’m inclined to score it as women and gay people up, Muslims and unemployed people down but perhaps that’s too cynical.”
Yes I remember when that BNP militant started leaving nail bombs in pubs and we all agreed Nazi terrorism was terrible. Now when Muslims don’t in fact blow up universities, feminists and abortion clinics we are told with lugubrious and self-gratifying self-pity whether their subhuman illiberality force us to ask if Enoch was right about a group he wasn’t actually speaking about.
Bigotry has not decreased it has got more media-savvy. If its goal is forcing us to barrel relentlessly to imperialism, fascism and war I would say it ability to achieve its political goals is unparalleled.

“Their presence does not mean that people stop visiting Montreal and Quebec, or Calgary and Vancouver.”
Ah yes Canada. Where an unruly mass of uppity quebecois are told they are an incorrigible mass of racist subhumans for proposing a ban on all religious symbols by respectable Empire Liberals who don’t allow Catholics to be Head of State.

“The travails of the preceding century make pretty much everything before us a rose garden by comparison.”
The WWI centenary makes this look like the end of another belle epoque before an explosion that will destroy humanity.

24

Igor Belanov 06.04.16 at 5:25 pm

Steve Williams @22

“Despite the high pay and slick production of the stars in the Premier League, lower league clubs are in a constant battle for survival, and England never actually seems to win anything any more. “

I’m not sure about ‘any more’! England have only ever won one tournament since they started entering them in 1950! Lower league clubs have also been in a constant battle for survival throughout professional football’s existence- not many people recall Glossop North End, Aberdare Athletic, Thames or New Brighton, for example.

That said, it is the first part of your sentence that is the significant one. The sheer amount of money that comes into football is huge, yet it is distributed so unequally that successes for such clubs as Leicester are greeted with as much incredulity as snow in August. That is one of the ways in which football has followed prevailing trends, the constant strengthening of the elite. We can only hope that such events as Leicester’s championship victory and Corbyn’s leadership election win are more than just a flash in the pan.

25

TheSophist 06.04.16 at 6:14 pm

I once received a paper which informed me that “in the state of nature, people were nasty,British, and short.” Great to see the same pun wielded intentionally.

26

dave heasman 06.04.16 at 6:54 pm

There are in fact in the English football leagues over 100 clubs employing full-time professional players. It’s a huge number, dwarfs any other country.

27

Steve Williams 06.04.16 at 7:31 pm

Igor Belanov @24

‘I’m not sure about ‘any more’! England have only ever won one tournament since they started entering them in 1950!’

Yes, you’re right. I guess I was trying to make a broader point about English teams in Europe as well.

28

engels 06.04.16 at 9:26 pm

I once received a paper which informed me that “in the state of nature, people were nasty,British, and short.”

Sounds like something out of Molesworth. What did your class make of the CT thread prat. crit. assignment btw?

29

Chris S 06.04.16 at 10:48 pm

“I’m convinced that Leave will win the referendum, and that it will be a disaster. Britain has become a more pinched and miserable place since the financial crisis”

I feel you could be right, but remain hopeful that you will be wrong. There is definitely a certain constituency of middle aged men who seem to take pride in being ‘realists’ and thus vote for punitive policies for everyone else, a kind of weaponised viciousness that takes grim satisfaction that someone else is experiencing more pain than they are.

30

Faustusnotes 06.05.16 at 1:33 am

come on Chris! The U.K. Leaves the eu, vardy scores three goals in the euros final and Boris Johnson becomes pm… It’ll be so much fun! What could possibly go wrong in such a bright and exciting future?!

31

MilitantlyAardvark 06.05.16 at 2:55 am

“The BNP has ceased to exist, the National Front has disappeared”

And Nigel Farage has been the beneficiary. If this is a gain, it’s a pretty damn filthy one.

32

Eli Rabett 06.05.16 at 3:28 am

Two things that have improved are the coffee and the food. It’s getting hard to find a real caf these days.

33

sanbikinoraion 06.05.16 at 5:08 am

Well our women’s side has come on tremendously since 1996, thanks, ranked #4 in the world and winning a medal at the last World Cup. You might also have noticed recent sporting success in rugby and cricket…

34

TheSophist 06.05.16 at 5:14 am

@Engels: Thanks for asking. The general consensus among my students was that women don’t get shut down in their classes. They did agree with one of the points in that OP that men are more likely than women to speak without necessarily having anything very substantial to say. It was a very interesting exercise for them to read the post and the comments and to realize that intellectual heavy hitters (for that’s how I portrayed the CT commentariat) are thinking about issues of female participation and don’t have all the answers.

35

ZM 06.05.16 at 1:08 pm

I haven’t read the comments yet, but seeing Skinner and Baddiel brought back a lot of memories, but not of 1996, 1998 with Fantasy World Cup. One of my best friends was a huge fan and we watched it all the time. For 1996, yes, Pulp’s Different Class, was one of another friend’s favourite records at the time, this was one of the soundtracks to 1996. I kind of remember the Oasis and Blur rivalry as going back earlier, but maybe my memory is faulty. 1996 was my last year of high school making this year my 20th high school reunion so I have been thinking about 1996 a fair bit.

I think Australia is better in a lot of ways than in 1996, but we missed some of the symptoms of the GFC felt in the UK. We have recently had some violent clashes between anti-racist and anti-Islamic protestors which have been concerning, but I think overall racism has improved, maybe not for Islamic people though. I think racism has decreased but has also changed focus from people with Asian background to Muslims and people from the Middle East.

36

harry b 06.05.16 at 4:53 pm

I once received a paper which informed me that “in the state of nature, people were nasty,British, and short.”

Sounds like something out of Molesworth.

I was thinking Sellar and Yeatman.

37

engels 06.05.16 at 6:31 pm

Aha – ‘1066 and all that’ is probably what I was thinking of…

38

Paul Davis 06.05.16 at 6:53 pm

This is a bit gloomy. I left the UK for the US in 1989, and I’m coming back for a while (8 months perhaps) this fall. Do I really have to settle for the dismal choice of an depressed, grumpy, out-of-EU-UK (what will even be the point of having a UK passport) or President Trump?

Things have changed a LOT in the last quarter century since I left. But I would have to say that after a 3 week return visit last xmas, most of the “national character” traits that led me to want to leave years ago still seem to be pretty much in place. The burden of history is still a huge one.

On the upside: way better food, way better wine, many more accents on TV and radio, and an even more diverse London still just about keeping it together.

On the downside: Little Englanders seem to loom larger than ever, absurd anti-contintental BS is still everywhere (worse with the brexit ref.),

The “white-van man” thing has me worried, since I’ll be driving one of those too (and living in it).

Sometimes I see a lot of similarities between Philadelphia (where I’ve lived for 20 years) and the UK: both places have so much to offer and to take pride in, but so many people in both places either fail to do so and/or do so about the wrong things. Thatcher didn’t help this much, with her stupid braying about national character that I feel really helped to create a historical disconnect between the people and what they ought to be proud of. Hint: it actually is (or at least includes) shopkeeping! :)

39

Ronan(rf) 06.06.16 at 11:44 am

Does it look like leave might win? From what I’ve seen of the polling it seems to be considerably more likely that you’ll stay in, but everyone in that camp appears to be getting very pessimistic, which makes me think I might be missing something ?

40

reason 06.06.16 at 12:42 pm

kidneystones
” with European nations, including Turkey “
Come on, you can’t be serious. Turkey is about as likely to join the EU as Hungary is to stay.

41

casmilus 06.06.16 at 12:49 pm

@1

“The BNP has ceased to exist, the National Front has disappeared”

The parties are busted, but the voters have simply migrated to UKIP, which has finally become the respectable anti-immigration movement they always wanted to be, but couldn’t break through because of the bootboy image.

@7

“new music from the Stone Roses”

And it’s absolutely dreadful. 4th division bandwagon-jumping indie garbage we wouldn’t have given the time of day to in ’91 or ’96. The sort of stuff you got from pub bands who’d heard the Roses album once and thought “yeah, we should be doing stuff like that”.

42

casmilus 06.06.16 at 1:03 pm

@13

“In 1992 Morrissey was called a racist for having a Union Flag displayed at one of his gigs.”

There was a bit more to it than that.

In 1992, Morrissey released an album which included a song called “The National Front Disco”, about a 70s teenager drawn to the movement. Because there was no lyric sheet, several reviewers were concerned that the line “England for the English” was supposed to be in quotation marks.
Immediately after the release, Morrissey appeared at the Madstock gig headlined by Madness, a band who had always been dogged by a NF-supporting skinhead crowd (despite being a massive-selling chart pop band with left-wing sympathies, songs against apartheid etc.). Morrissey was performing in front a of a big backdrop showing 2 70s skinhead girls. He pulled out the flag in response to hackling, and quit early, but not before the NME had enough photos to do a condemnatory feature.

For these reasons, Blur were very cautious when they launched their “Modern Life Is Rubbish” retro album a year later, and didn’t use the title “British Life #1”.

43

djr 06.06.16 at 8:30 pm

casmilus: Yeah, that’s the 90’s. First time as disappointment, second time as FFS why are we doing this again. But the Stone Roses’ All for One is an interesting new take on the original.

44

js. 06.07.16 at 2:30 am

Re what is superficially the topic of the post: (1) Even given the fact that they’re playing at home, it is bizarre to me that France are favorites to win, and (2) looking at the odds, if I were going to put a bit of money on a team (which I’m not because it’s not the sort of thing I tend to do), I’d probably bet on England. I’m not a supporter, but I think they have a semi-exciting team/squad this time around. And honestly, who else does?

(Obviously, Germany will win on penalties after after a 0-0 draw, but still, one must hope.)

45

Ronan(rf) 06.07.16 at 7:19 am

I think there’s going to be a (relative) outsider win it this this year, and at 20-5/1 I’m putting my money on Croatia. And although it might sound ridiculous, and I do think they’re an awful, awful team in a lot of ways, but if they beat Sweden comfortably enough(which they will) ireland could go all the way. I just feel it in my bones. There’s something brewing..

46

Ronan(rf) 06.07.16 at 7:30 am

The republic that is, not that that qualification adds much

47

ZM 06.07.16 at 9:49 am

casmilus,

“For these reasons, Blur were very cautious when they launched their “Modern Life Is Rubbish” retro album a year later, and didn’t use the title “British Life #1”.”

You made me laugh so much with this comment :-)

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