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Morrissey

Morrissey expresses sympathy for the ‘shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson’

The former Smiths singer also reiterates his support for far right political party For Britain

Morrissey is no longer talking to the press because, as he explained earlier this year, there’s “simply no point” anymore. “They don’t print what you say, and they print what you didn’t say,” he said in a sycophantic interview published on his own website. (This comment isn’t strictly true – Morrissey recently accused Der Spiegel of misquoting him, prompting the German newspaper to respond by sharing audio of the interview showing otherwise.) Nowadays, he only speaks to people who won’t do such ungainly things such as, say, challenging him on his beliefs – such as in a new interview with a fan published on the blogging platform Tremr

Here, the interview is presented as is, so you can see that his quotes are not distorted. Which is just as well, because you can see for yourself what Morrissey truly thinks. In the interview, the former Smiths singer reiterates his previous support for For Britain, the new political party founded by far right ex-UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters, and expresses sympathy for the treatment of Tommy Robinson, the jailed former leader of the far right English Defense League. “It’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech,” Morrissey says. “I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson...”

It should be pointed out that Robinson was recently sentenced to 13 months in prison after admitting to contempt of court – publishing information that could prejudice an ongoing trial – rather than for his “free speech”.

Morrissey says a lot of other things in the interview. Some of those things are very nice, like this: “We often underestimate the effect that songs have on our lives... Pop music is treated as transitory fodder – but it isn’t. Those lyrics become gravestone markings.” Others will probably raise some eyebrows for anybody left-leaning and anti-racist, like when he says that Waters believes in “British heritage” and “freedom of speech”, and that she “wants everyone in the UK to live under the same law” – as if something like “British heritage” is a fixed, inherent truth rather than totally nebulous and subjective concept, or that the UK’s laws don’t reflect the ideological prejudices of the ruling class who design and enforce them.

In the interest of free speech, it’s worth mentioning that it’s tiresome that Morrissey continually uses the vague notion of free thinking to voice support for individuals and parties whose policies deny the freedom and humanity of others – such as For Britain’s manifesto propsal for a ban on burqas, which would presumably have to be enforced by the state if it wasn’t adhered to. Morrissey has frequently denied that he is a racist, and he seems sincere in this belief, recently publishing an essay with the words “I despise racism” and “I despise fascism”. Then again, anyone can say that they’re not something – it’s another thing for their actions to demonstrate that.