Remember when Morrissey was the mercurial lead singer of one of the country’s finest ever bands and not just a weird, old rent-a-controversy, a mouthpiece for every single dinnertime conversation you’ve ever had with your Daily Mail-reading uncle?
At this stage, the stuff that comes out of Morrissey’s mouth shouldn’t really surprise us, but a statement released yesterday in response to the Manchester attack is particularly odd. It’s a poorly researched, incoherent attempt to promote division, which falls in direct contrast to his beautiful city’s display of strength, bravery and unity in the face of tragedy, horror and loss.
There’s no need to bring up immigration – we already turned away 3,000 child refugees we promised to take in. Sadiq Khan should not have to condemn the Islamic State on account of being a Muslim. The Queen shouldn’t have to cancel a party? Does the media want to criticise her? What are you on about? It is the work of an extremist, not an extreme rabbit, but thanks for the dog whistle.
That noted racists Richard Spencer, Milo and that Prison Planet vlogger guy all loved the post should tell you enough about it. It’s easy to laugh off Morrissey’s bigotry, but there’s a genuine cruelty to what he’s saying. He writes that “everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private”, but who is “everyone” and who is “we”? Aping the sort of fascistic rhetoric of the right wing press isn’t just problematic – it’s got ramifications in the real world.