From Mandela to Prince Charles and even Winston Churchill, the Spice Girls have cast their political gaze far and wide. But the real political story of the Spice Girls isn't about funny interview quotes or glib references to 'Girl Power'by Penny Andrews / February 26, 2019 / Leave a comment
The Spice Girls were laughed at early on by sensible journalists—who have, of course, never committed anything ridiculous to print—for Geri Horner (née Halliwell) and her proclamation that Margaret Thatcher was “the first Spice Girl.” The two Mels, as Labour voters, were not happy at the time to be tarred with the “Thatcherite” brush.
Little did the media realise how important Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Baby and Posh would be to UK politics over a period of more than two decades—even if Tony Blair turned down an appearance in the ‘Wannabe’ video back in 1996.
It is usually Geri putting in the spadework on Spice politics, in and out of the band, despite her own admission in her two autobiographies that she knows little about it. Prince Charles got dubbed a Spice Boy and “part of the landscape of the Spice Girls.” Matthew Freud was able to persuade Geri to appear in a 2001 New Labour Party Political Broadcast due to her genuine love of Cherie Blair, who she met due to her work on breast cancer awareness. She had these words to share when the group met Nelson Mandela: “I think there’s a classic speech that Nelson Mandela did and I can’t remember exactly but you mentioned about never suppress yourself, never make yourself feel small for others’ insecurities and that’s what Girl Power’s all about so I think we’re on the same level on that view.”
At other times, their politics has been more fraught. Victoria Beckham was forced to release a statement in 2016 saying that she had changed her mind on the European Union since 1996, after her old words came back to haunt a Leave.EU meme.
When asked on the Lorraine show last year about Brexit, the Girls maintained constructive ambiguity, reflecting the likely differences of opinion within the group. They are very like the Cabinet, and Geri offered this on Theresa May: “We don’t have to agree on politics and stuff like that, it’s bigger than that. Support a woman, doing the best she can and that’s it… I think everyone’s politically different and that’s ok. Not an easy position, can you imagine being that? Not easy.” (EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas has, however, asked Britain to tell the EU27 what, in the words of Spice hit ‘Wannabe,’ “they want, what they really really want.”)
A lot of noise has been made about a…