Irvine Welsh says Britpop felt like ‘selling off British youth culture’

The 'Trainspotting' author has spoken about his feelings on the '90s and the effect of the film adaptation of his novel on society

Irvine Welsh has likened the Britpop era to “selling off British youth culture”.

The film adaptation of his novel, Trainspotting, was released at the peak of the ’90s reigning scene, and saw Welsh’s celebrity rise.

Speaking to the Guardian, the author has reflected on those days and the effect Trainspotting had on society.

“I despised Tony Blair, never fell for New Labour,” he said, alluding to the political party’s rebranding, which included appealing to young people by jumping on the Britpop bandwagon. “The whole Britpop era felt like we were selling off British youth culture to the globalised market place.”

Welsh added that today’s Labour prospects leave him unconvinced. “I see Jeremy Corbyn as the best of a band bunch,” he said. “I’m not convinced that a ’70s-style Labour government is the way forward. What’s strange is that the left is now trying to eke out capitalism, while the right wants to destroy it.”

He also pinpointed a specific attribute of one of the book and film’s characters that he feels is prevalent in society today. “You see the white male rage of Begbie in culture today,” he said. “The end of capitalism means the end of traditional hegemony. There’s a deconstruction of masculinity and sexuality going on and that’s where a lot of angst comes from.”

T2 Trainspotting, the long-awaited sequel to the original movie, was released in cinemas at the start of this year. NME‘s four-star review described it as “a film that unleashes a rush almost as satisfying as the original hit.”