To be honest, we’ve always regarded Morrissey (the ex-Smiths front man) and his music as being a bit of an acquired taste. Images of him singing and dancing around the Top Of The Pops stage with a tree branch hanging out of his trouser pocket (we kid you not!) are indelibly ingrained in memory.
Many, including members of my own family, saw him differently. Yes, his music was a bit strange, but he didn’t bow-down and conform like the vast majority of other pop stars. In fact, the term ‘pop star’ is a bit unfair to Morrissey. He was a singer/songwriter who spoke and sang about things he believed passionately about and to hell with the consequences.
So it came as no surprise when we heard about his latest interview. It seems that he has been ruffling the feathers of the reds for a few years now with his outspoken views. The left was happy enough when he was pushing veganism with songs like Meat Is Murder, but stray towards Nationalism and all-hell breaks loose.
In the early 90’s, he began to use the Union flag more in his performances. He talked about immigration and not always in the complimentary way expected of celebrities. One of his songs was even called ‘The National Front Disco’.
“Also, with the issue of immigration, it’s very difficult because, although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. If you travel to Germany, it’s still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England, and you have no idea where you are.”Mprrissey – Quoted before Merkel let in 1 million ‘refugees’.
In a 2018 interview he critised the halal method of killing an animal by slitting its throat and letting it bleed to death. Describing it as ‘evil’, he is quoted as saying, “halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of ISIS.” He added that the similar Jewish method of slaughter (shechita) is also “very cruel” and it should be banned.
Morrissey has sung tracks from his forthcoming new album,* Bonfire of Teenagers at a number of gigs, including one at the Palladium in London recently. One song, with the same title as the album, is “Bonfire of Teenagers”. It’s about the Manchester Arena bombing, in which twenty-two people were killed.
At the Palladium, he asked the audience a question: “How come you know the name Myra Hindley but many of you won’t know the name of the man who bombed the Manchester Arena”? Not surprisingly, not many could answer his question.
Morrissey then went on to described the 2017 arena bombing as one of the worst things that has ever happened to Manchester, his hometown. He compared knowledge of the Arena bomber to that of Hindley and Ian Brady. Between July 1963 and October 1965, they murdered five young children from the Manchester area. Salman Abedi, the Arena bomber, killed over four times that number. The youngest was an eight-year-old girl.
Five years on, Morrissey is still angry about it. In the title track ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’, Morrissey sings about the head-in-the-sand attitude to the bombing of the arena: “And the silly people sing: ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ / And the morons swing and say: ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ / I can assure you I will look back in anger ’till the day I die.”
In a recent interview (his first for several years), Morrissey discussed the effects of ‘cancel culture’ and diversity. Diversity is a “dreadful” word” that is “just another way of saying conformity,” he told the interviewer.
He has previously called Brexit the “greatest democratic victory” against “an establishment that was telling them, ‘If we leave the EU, we’ll all die.’”
“British politics is a moral disaster on every level – even Tesco wouldn’t employ Diane Abbott.”Morrissey.
*Bonfire of Teenagers was scheduled for release in February of 2023, but that date has now been cancelled by his record label. No new release date has been issued.
Top Image: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
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