Can you believe it's more than 25 years ago since Spice Girls arrived in our lives? Tbh, we're struggling to believe it. Just like we're struggling to believe that the Spice Girls were very vocal about being conservative.
The issue has reared its head again, with Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell trending today, after she posed for a picture with MP (and Boris Johnson loyalist) Nadine Dorries, leading to some outcry amongst some parts of her fanbase.
But, as many long-term fans have noted, it shouldn't be a huge surprise to see Geri celebrating with the Conservative MP, having mentioned the party and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher several times in the past - including in a memorable early interview with The Spectator.
While we don't necessarily align with the political views they expressed back then (and who knows if even they still do decades on), it was refreshing to find a group of young women in music who weren't forced to be quiet and not express their affiliations. The Spice Girls were interviewed for The Spectator in 1996 - here's some key takeaways from that early interview. We somehow doubt all of them still feel the same.
1. The Spice Girls were massive Tories
'We Spice Girls are true Thatcherites. She was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology - Girl Power. But we're also desperately worried about the slide to a single currency,' said Geri, their 24-year-old Titian-haired lead singer, who the interviewer, Simon Sebag Montefiore described as 'wearing platform glamrock boots, black stockings and hot pants’. Apparently their V for Victory was 'Churchillian' and not a peace sign, so there you have it, mystery solved.
Mel C thought Tony Blair was ‘charming’ but Geri said ‘his hair’s all right, but he’s just not a pair of safe hands for the economy’.
Victoria described John Major as ‘a boring pillock’ and said the Spice Girls would ‘never vote Labour.'
'If we were a party' said Posh, 'there is no way we would form a government with Labour.'
2. They didn’t want to join the Euro, they wanted to keep the pound
Apparently most of the girls didn’t want to rule out the euro when asked but then Victoria put her foot down. A true Eurosceptic, Posh Spice said: 'The whole European federal plan is ridiculous. We are patriotic. The single currency is an outrage. We want the Queen's head - or the king's head if we have a king - on our own coins.’
'But the single currency is more important,' continued Victoria. 'The Euro-bureaucrats are destroying every bit of national identity. Those new passports are revolting, an insult to our kingdom, our independence.' Gerri added ‘we travel throughout Europe. All those countries look the same. Only England looks different.'
The writer then explains that when the more pro-European wing of the band (Mel B and Emma), tried to oppose them, Victoria said: 'Do you not care if some bloke in Germany is making decisions for us?'
3. They were pro monarchy
'The royals,' said Geri, 'they're the best soap opera in the world. But also, if you look at our British constitution as a big football match, they're like the most objective referees.’
4. They had some pretty interesting things to say about class…
True to her name, Posh Spice said ‘Earls and dukes are good for tourism. We admire marquesses as British ornaments.’
Somewhat surprisingly Mel B said 'we shouldn't be prejudiced against any background, poor or aristocratic. The middle class are the worst. We like the aristocrats'.
And, just like everyone else they thought that the Scandis do it best…
On family values, 'the Spice Girls pointed to Scandinavia as their model’ said the interviewer. But, as you would expect, they were not conventional...'the old-fashioned Victorian family of 2.4 kids is dead,' said Gerri. 'But every child needs one decent parent and must learn honesty, openness about sex and tolerance.’
5. They wanted more women MPs
The Spice Girls were into social mobility, Geri said 'Thatcher was a greengrocer's daughter and that says it all'. She added 'we need more women MPs. That's why we're considering politics.'