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Nicky Wire: Prime Minister - NME, 3rd May 1997

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Title: Nicky Wire: Prime Minister
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 3rd May 1997
Writer: Mark Beaumont
Photos: Steve Double


What would you call your party?
"The First Republic."

Would you redecorate Number Ten?
"I wouldn't live there. I'd stay where I am and sell it off to put the money to better use. I'd have the centre of Government in my house (in South Wales). I wouldn't have cabinet meetings, I'd do it all by the phone. I'm sure none of them would want to come down here anyway."

Would you declare Irish, Scottish and Welsh Independence?
"Ireland is really difficult, too complex for a popstar to talk about really. But as far as Wales and Scotland go, I believe in the republic anyway so I think everything should be regionalised, as it is in Germany and France, where people are much more in control of their own power. Parts of the north of England have been just as mined as parts of Wales or Scotland. I see it on more of a regional basis. I'd have kind of states, without becoming America. That's what Germany used for a long time and even Japan has it to a certain extent."

"Get the country divided into regions, mainly to break up the power of the South-east of England. You can still retain Welshness or Scottishness on that basis."

Do we scrap the Monarchy?
"Yeah. I'm kinda torn between abolishing it totally, and the aristocracy, or privatising it just to piss them off, put them through what every other industry has been put through. They'd get laid off, they'd have to work their bollocks off for £2-an-hour or something like that. But I think I'd be persuaded into abolishing the whole lot. Give them exiles in Liechtenstein and get them out of the country altogether. Then I'd sell off the Crown Jewels because they're worth enormous amounts of money.

"I've got unrivalled hatred for every member of the Monarchy and aristocracy."

So what would you say to the Queen on the first of your weekly visits?
"Oh, I wouldn’t visit her. If she wants to come down to Blackwood to discuss her future, then that's up to her. I wouldn't have anything to say to her without becoming uncontrollably mad and angry, so I wouldn't let her in."

Do we go into Europe and the single currency?
"I'm incredibly sceptical about Europe because I'm always scared of huge super-states. The best thing about Europe for me is the fact that every culture is so different and vibrant and the homogenisation of all the countries scares me a little bit."

"The main priorities for Europe should always be people and I agree with it on that level, but at the end of the day what good is the European Union? It does absolutely fuck all good. It's so based on economic factors that I find it scary. It's all about creating a trade block that can rival America, however much they may tart it up in vague socialism. It's just bollocks and bureaucracy.

"I like travelling through Europe and I like being European, but the magnitude of a single currency and the magnitude of the banking control, at the end, once again, we're putting our total trust in unelected bodies who run banks. We're putting our complete lives in the hands of bankers. It's bad enough over here as it is."

How would you help save schools and hospitals?
"Obviously, I'd abolish all the opt-outs and the grant-maintained primary schools and all the rest of it. And I'd try to break the old-boy network of the public schools because I find that incredibly distasteful, even up to university level.

"I could've gone to Cambridge once I got my A-Levels. When I asked before, because my estimated grades were low, they turned me down straight away. But as soon as I got my grades they were gasping for me because I was so much cleverer than all the pathetic little bum-wipes that usually go there. So I'd definitely try to break that stranglehold.

"I find it really frustrating with the Lottery that we spend millions of pounds tarting up some old pier which may as well fall down, but we won't buy a new book for a school or a new bed for a hospital. That would have to be addressed using those funds."

Should bloodsports be banned?
"Yeah. I mean this is probably the most hippy I've ever been but we had a school trip when I was about 12 and we went to meet Neil Kinnock at the Houses Of Parliament and that was the one question I asked him."

And what did Neil say?
"Oh, he just talked a load of bollocks like he always did, really. Completely avoided answering the question. He used the same letter to begin every word In his reply, which was his speciality."

And what about the road protesters? Do we follow your Environment Secretary Julian Cope’s plan to stop building all roads immediately?
"The solution to the roads is fairly simple. The Government have realised they've made a massive fuck-up of it and basically should encourage much more rail use for a start. We should put more taxes on cars. I'd re-nationalise the railways, along with the whole transport system. That's the main answer to that."

"Mind you, I can't say that Swampy is one of my biggest heroes because he's got a ponytail and looks like he should be in The Levellers, though he might do some good. I think the Government is changing in that respect anyway. They're realising that rpads are not the answer."

Would you loosen tighten the drug laws?
"I find drugs as an issue incredibly tedious. I find people who take drugs incredibly tedious. People don't seem to realise that their brains are being crushed day-by-day by it. They think they're really intelligent when you're talking to them and you're thinking, 'Why don’t you just shut up, you boring fucker! I don't want any of your fucking marijuana.' It's just bad experiences of being around people on drugs.

"If I did ever legalise drugs I'd make them so fucking expensive that it'd piss everyone off. Get a massive tax revenue from it. It’s like the fucking Brian Harvey thing. He's the ultimate Thatcherite child. He’s got pit-bulls, he's got tattoos, he's violent, he's aggressive, and then you get people like Irvine Welsh standing up for him and I find that incredibly depressing. The man is a waster and just because he says he took 13 Es that’s like a macho bravado thing. I despise it.

"Drugs have ruined the working classes, so I wouldn't legalise them unless I could make shit loads of money out of it to put into a more positive cause. I don't mind legalising them as long as no fucking cunt comes up to me and starts talking about being on drugs and how great it is and how it expands your mind when all it does is kill your little brain cells bit by bit."

Would you bring back capital punishment?
"I must admit it's one of my nasty. revengeful thoughts that I do sway towards sometimes. You see some crimes that are so hideous - serial rapists or serial killers - where you've got to question yourself whether these people have a reason for staying alive. So a lot of the time I can't deny, I do believe in capital punishment. But when I go to America, that kind of puts me off straight away because it does seem to lead to an escalation of violence in society."

"I'm constantly torn between the two because I do believe in revenge but I don't believe in America. I know deep down it's a bad thing but I don't think you can blame victims' friends or family for wanting It. I don't think you can expect everyone to want killers to repent and become better people after they've killed. I'm quite confused on that one."

Should we be privatising or nationalising industries?
"All the utilities should be nationalised. They were undervalued by billions of pounds just to get rid of them and I find that incredibly annoying. American companies or French companies or whatever are in charge of our water. The mail should always remain in the public domain as well. Some companies have gone too far - BT and the rest of it-you're never gonna be able to re-nationalise them, but there's certain ones we should re-nationalise."

Any other policies you'd bring in?
"I'd do something for the BBC. I'd allow them to have a sponsor and call EastEnders something like Guinness EastEnders. All the money they raised could go towards setting up a sports channel to rival the others. It depresses me the lack of sport on the BBC now, because when they do have it they always have the best coverage. And then I'd make it compulsory for vinegar to be served in all restaurants. Because when I go in and ask for vinegar they offer me French dressing or white wine vinegar and I just want Sarsons. And I'd ban lots of American TV, especially the chat shows."