He was a rare individual.
One of the penalties of getting old is living long enough to see all your heroes tarnish themselves. It's an almost inescapable fact of life that if you and your icon both live through to their middle years, you'll wake up one day and realise that he is a dick, and might even have been a dick all along.
This is down to all sorts of factors; the cynicism that comes with age, the fact that your icon shot his load years back or, worse of all, he was a fraud from the beginning and sold-out as soon as he possibly could.
And then, in the UK, we have an additional icon-tarnishing factor …
Tony Blair won the general election in 1997.
And then Tony and his mates spoiled it all by turning out to be utter, utter tools.
And what comment from the legions of cultural icons who helped make this happen?
So here we are run by a government that's turned out to be plain nasty. Where's the backlash from our singers, comedians and writers? Well, they've bollocksed themselves haven’t they. How many would be prepared to admit they were fooled back in 1997? After years of preaching to people that Labour was the only compassionate choice who's going to say something different?
Actually, that's not fair. George Michael, a former New Labour supporter, made a song and a video criticising Tony Blair, but it wasn't very good. As for the others, and any UK reader of this post knows the people I'm talking about, they've largely withdrawn from political comment and spend their time doing TV voice-over work, writing boring junk and eating in expensive restaurants. In a few years time they'll be advertising over 50s saving bonds and hearing aids. You pathetic f*cking scumbags. Hang your heads low in shame.
We've all lived to see realisation of the dream of a Labour government coming to power and, now that has turned out to be awful, everyone seems a bit stuck on what to do next. Yes, New Labour's battle cry for the next election …
'Vote for us. True, we're bastards but if you believe what we're telling you, you might possibly think we're not a bad as the alternative'
And look at the effect this is having on kids today. Twenty plus years ago youth culture; the music, the comedy, was angry and politicised. When a kid said 'Go f*ck yourself' there was meaning. Now when a kid tells you to GFY he's just telling you to GFY. Contemporary youth culture has been infiltrated wholesale by clothing and media companies. The future is portrayed as one filled with nightmares, fear and insecurity. There are no social or political alternatives on offer. Everything is just pants.
No one's cracking any jokes or singing songs about that.
No wonder kids are drinking more
… over 40, tired now …