June 2012 has been an eventful month for Morrissey. Just last week, he announced a 33-date North American tour and some days before that denied rumours he’s planning to retire in 2014. The 53-year-old dismissed the claims in a statement provided to the fansite ’True to You’ on June 13th, which stated: “Morrissey would like to stress that reports of his ‘retirement,’ as excitably earmarked by several newspapers and websites, are ‘wishful thinking’ on behalf of the writers.”
However, the most significant development came in the form of a public apology from UK music magazine ’NME’ (New Musical Express) over an article in which it allegedly branded the former Smiths front-man a “racist.” The case had been due to go to court next month after the outspoken, controversial singer won a pre-trial hearing in October last year, but following the magazine’s apology, it appears that this has now been averted. A statement on the magazine’s website stated:
In December 2007, we published an article entitled ‘Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again’.
Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary.
We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn’t think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way. We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best.
A statement released by Morrissey’s lawyer said: “My client is obviously pleased that the NME have finally and publicly apologised to him. This claim was never about financial damages, and no money was sought as part of a settlement. The NME apology in itself is settlement enough and it closes the case.”
Or does it?
Some days after the apology was issued, Tim Jonze, the man who interviewed Morrissey for the 2007 article, appeared to contradict the magazine’s position when responding to questions put forward by a fan of the singer, especially with regards to Morrissey‘s claims that his comments had been deliberately distorted in order to create maximum publicity for the ’Love Music Hate Racism’ campaign that the NME was actively backing at the time…
The December 2007 article quoted Morrissey as saying, “although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears… the gates of England are flooded. The country’s been thrown away.” In the closing paragraphs, the NME branded Morrissey’s comments as similar to those of “a rogue Tory MP” and also stated that his views “smacks of a naïve hypocrisy” given that “Morrissey, the son of (Irish) immigrants who has lived for the past decade in either LA or Rome, wants others to have the freedom to travel the world like him but implies he would shut the gates to people coming to live in the UK.”
Featured below are some excerpts from the now infamous interview:
NME: Are you annoyed at the state of the world?
Morrissey: Can we help but be annoyed? Certainly in England, everyone is taxed for everything under the guise of saving the planet. Which is pathetic, because unless cutbacks happen on an industrial level then the world will always be a mess.
NME: Is there any hope for the future?
Morrissey: I don’t see why, because to be a politician you have to be corrupt. There’s no democracy in England, because they pay no attention to the people who elected them. If anything, they quite despise them.
NME: You live in Italy now. Would you ever consider moving back to Britain?
Morrissey: Britain’s a terribly negative place. And it hammers people down and it pulls you back and it prevents you. 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 to travel to England and you have no idea where you are!
NME: Why does this bother you?
Morrissey: It matters because the British identity is very attractive. I grew up into it, and I find it quaint and very amusing. But England is a memory now. Other countries have held on to their basic identity, yet it seems to me that England was thrown away…
NME: Isn’t immigration enriching the British identity rather than diluting it?
Morrissey: It does in a way, and it’s nice in a way. But you have to say goodbye to the Britain you once knew
NME: That’s just the world changing…
Morrissey: But the change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country. If you walk through Knightsbridge (in London) on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent. You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.
NME: That’s not true! You sound like a Tory…
Morrissey: Mmmmm. I understand because I would like the freedom to go around the world and be anywhere. So you have to allow others the same freedom, really. So I’m not sitting here saying it’s a terrible thing, I’m saying it’s a reality and to many people it’s shocking… I am actually extremely worldly and there are other reasons why I find England very difficult, such as the expense and the pressure. And certain things do worry me. In my view the face of modern Britain is not Gordon Brown or David Cameron but Jean Charles De Menezes, his story I find shocking, absolutely. It was termed an “accident” but you don’t shoot someone seven times in the head by accident. The people who control these investigations are always in on the game and everybody associated with the murder was exonerated or promoted, which is shocking.
NME: Immigration allowed your parents into Britain and that’s how you got to make your very British music.
Morrissey: Yes. But once again, it’s different now. Because the gates are flooded. And anybody can have access to England and join in.
NME: If you were in charge would you close the gates?
Morrissey: You have to be sensible about everything in life. You can’t say, “everybody come into my house, sit on the bed, have what you like, do what you like.” It wouldn’t work.
NME: If you were an Asian Morrissey fan, and you read that, would you not feel like you were being blamed for something?
Morrissey: No, I wouldn’t at all. I don’t blame anybody. Millions of people leave the country every year because they don’t recognise the place, so I’m not saying anything unusual. If you travelled to Croatia tomorrow for instance, and walked around Zagreb hearing nothing but Dublin accents, you’d find it shocking.
NME: Do you think these comments are, at the very least, badly worded?
Morrissey: (laughs) No, not at all. I don’t think they’re inflammatory, they’re a statement of fact. Whatever England is now, it’s not what it was and it’s lamentable that we’ve lost so much.
NME: Did you see the ’Love Music Hate Racism’ issue of NME?
NME: Would you like to support that campaign?
Morrissey: Yes. Although I find racism very silly. Almost too silly to discuss. It’s beyond reason. And makes no sense and is ludicrous. I’ve never heard a good argument against racism… I gather this is going to be a sensational scathing piece and I’m going to be pilloried.
NME: This isn’t a stitch-up. There is obviously a need for debate around taboo issues like immigration.
Morrissey: I agree with you. I AGREE WITH YOU! So what you’ve just said, in the final seconds of this conversation, is my point entirely.
NME: But some people could find your comments very offensive.
Morrissey: I can’t find anyone being offended by it. Why would I want to offend anyone? I think people want to be offended and there really is nothing we can do about that. I rest my case.
NME: Are we done?
Morrissey: I think so.
You can read the article in full in the following links:
The 2007 interview wasn’t the first time Morrissey and the NME had locked horns over such issues. The magazine published a damning article in 1992 which questioned his attitudes to Race . As a result, Morrissey didn’t approach the magazine for over a decade.
The 1992 article which brought about this lengthy silence was a review of his appearance at the ’Madstock’ music festival in Finchley Park, London. The headline act was the British Ska/Pop band, Madness who’d reformed for the event after a six-year hiatus. Since the group’s early days in the late 1970s, a significant number of their fans have been Skinheads, a sub-culture that was (and is) often associated with extreme forms of racism although it’s origins are not exclusively political or firmly rooted in racial issues; For example, when Skinheads first made their presence known in Britain during the mid-1960s, they were greatly influenced by Jamaican Ska music and the style of clothes worn by British Mods. Many of Madness’s members have openly distanced themselves from this element although it’s perhaps ironic that the band found themselves facing questions about racism and their Skinhead fan-base by none other than the NME back in 1979.
The magazine asked the group whether it concerned them that the Skinhead movement had links to the British far-Right, whites-only political party, ‘The National Front’ (‘NF’), to which band-member Chas Smash replied, “we don’t care if people are in the NF as long as they’re having a good time.” This only helped to increase speculation that Madness was a “racist” band. Chas later immortalised this encounter in the song, ‘Don’t Quote Me on That’ which he co-wrote with legendary Jamaican musician Peter Tosh and which includes the lyrics:
Did you see the one, yeah yeah,
The one they wrote in the paper just the other day,
Well, well would you believe it,
Well what I said, they took it all the wrong way.
Now you’ve gotta be careful, ’bout what you say,
Cos they’ve got a bad habit
Were you reading in between the lines?
Or is that what I said?, now I just can’t remember
They seem to have a very good memory though
But as far as I’m concerned, as far as I’m concerned
You don’t have to be black, white, Chinese or anything really
Just enjoy, shut up, listen and dance…
Hey Hey, you know something, I said I liked that guy,
But that’s not what I read in the paper
I don’t have anything against them,
Its just eggs bacon and a fried slice
Don’t Quote me on that don’t quote me on that
Don’t Quote me on that please don’t quote me
Don’t Quote me on that
Don’t Quote me on that.
Mama mama, you know I’m still friends with Mickey
They say I shouldn’t like him anymore, because I’m all white,
Well he’s all right by me
Now what I do,
I bring all my old friends along to see the show
And if you have the wrong ideas well…
It was against this backdrop that Morrissey made his appearance on the ‘Madstock’ stage in August 1992. According to eye-witness reports, a number of those watching his performance were Skinheads who were there waiting to see Madness, which is why some questioned Morrissey’s motivation behind displaying a large photograph of two Skinheads at the back of the stage. However, it was his ‘flirtations’ with a Union Jack flag that attracted the most attention from the NME which states that the singer “danced around” it and “draped” it “around his glittering shirt” whilst singing ’Glamorous Glue’ which features the lines, “London is dead, London is dead.” Later on in the performance he sang the words, “England for the English” from the song, ‘National Front Disco.’ The NME also claimed that Morrissey “was forced to abandon” his performance after audience-members began hurling objects at him.
The writers of the controversial article concluded that Morrissey was most likely not a racist, but they did criticise his “flirtation with the whole nasty rag-bag of the violent Right” and his “bizarre lack of judgement” and asked whether the singer was so starved of inspiration that he’d resorted to controversy. The writers also pondered over Morrissey’s considerable influence on a generation of fans who model “their lives at least partly according to codes he’s laid down with a flourish.“
As the article points out, the NME had initially expressed misgivings about the subject-matter in some of Morrissey’s lyrics as far back as 1986 following the release of The Smiths’ ‘Panic,’ a song the magazine concluded at the time was racist in tone because of the lines, “hang the DJ” and “burn down the disco” which it deduced was linked to Morrissey’s dislike of contemporary black music. This was probably given further fuel following an article in ‘Melody Maker’ magazine in September of that year in which the singer agreed with the journalist interviewing him that there was a ‘black conspiracy’ to keep white groups from succeeding in the music-charts. He said, “if you compare the exposure that records by the likes of Janet Jackson and the stream of other anonymous Jacksons get to the level of daily airplay that The Smiths receive – The Smiths have had at least 10 consecutive chart hits and we still can’t get on Radio… Is that not a conspiracy? The last LP ended up at Number 2 and we were still told by radio that nobody wanted to listen to The Smiths in the daytime. Is that not a conspiracy? I do get the scent of a conspiracy.” He continued, “Reggae, for example, is to me the most racist music in the entire world. It’s an absolute total glorification of black supremacy… There is a line when defence of one’s race becomes an attack on another race and, because of black history and oppression, we realise quite clearly that there has to be a very strong defence. But I think it becomes very extreme sometimes. But, ultimately, I don’t have very cast iron opinions on black music other than black modern music which I detest. I detest Stevie Wonder. I think Diana Ross is awful. I hate all those records in the Top 40 – Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston. I think they’re vile in the extreme. In essence this music doesn’t say anything whatsoever. The charts have been constructed quite clearly as an absolute form of escapism rather than anything anyone can gain any knowledge by. I find that very disheartening because it wasn’t always that way. Isn’t it curious that practically none of these records reflect life as we live it? Isn’t it curious that 93% of these records reflect life as it isn’t lived? That foxes me! I don’t think there’s any time anymore to be subtle about anything, you have to get straight to the point… there has been a hefty pushing of all these black artists and all this Disco-fied nonsense into the Top 40. I think, as a result, that very aware younger groups that speak for now are being gagged.”
Smiths guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr hit back at the allegations regarding ‘Panic’ telling the NME during an interview in 1987 that it was partly inspired by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He said, “Morrissey and myself were listening to a… radio report about it. The story about this shocking disaster comes to an end and then, immediately, we’re off into Wham!’s ‘I’m Your Man’. I remember actually saying ‘what the f**k has this got to do with peoples’ lives?’ We hear about Chernobyl, then, seconds later, we’re expected to be jumping around to ‘I’m Your Man’. And so — ‘hang the blessed DJ’. I think it was a great lyric, important and applicable to anyone who lives in England. I mean, even the most ardent Disco fan wouldn’t want to be subjected to that stuff, would they?”
However, it was when Morrissey set forth on his solo career that the 1992 NME article claims his “lyrics, imagery and associations” began to “accelerate.” The magazine questioned the transformation from his days as a member of The Smiths when he “wore outsized blouses, hearing-aids and gladioli” to his solo career when he replaced it with “Skinhead imagery” (such as in the photos below):
Interestingly, just weeks before the ‘Madstock’ festival took place and the resulting article appeared, the NME had been making similar claims in a review of Morrissey’s album, ‘Your Arsenal.’ Assessing the song, ‘We’ll Let You Know,’ writer Andrew Collins states that the line, “we are the last truly British people you’ll ever know” conjures up “a sick white supremacism that ought not be flirted with.” In the ‘Madstock’ article, it’s labelled as, “ostensibly a love song to football hooligans.” In September of that year, Morrissey told ‘Q’ magazine that he understood “the level of patriotism, the level of frustration and the level of jubilance” that football hooligans felt. He added, “I understand their aggression and I understand why it must be released.” He then went on in the interview to admit he was “amused” when he saw reports about hooliganism on television.
WE’LL LET YOU KNOW
How sad are we ?
And how sad have we been ?
We’ll let you know
We’ll let you know
Oh, but only if – you’re really interested
You wonder how
We’ve stayed alive ’till now
We’ll let you know
We’ll let you know
But only if – you’re really interested
We’re all smiles
Then, honest, I swear, it’s the turnstiles
That make us hostile
We will descend
On anyone unable to defend
And the songs we sing
They’re not supposed to mean a thing
La, la, la, la …
Oh … you’re lonely
GET OFF THE ROOF !
Your Arsenal !
We may seem cold, or
We may even be
The most depressing people you’ve ever known
At heart, what’s left, we sadly know
That we are the last truly British people you’ll ever know
We are the last truly British people you will ever know
Is Collins over-reacting when he suggests that the line, “we are the last truly British people you’ll ever know” conjures up “a sick white supremacism that ought not be flirted with,” or is there a genuine reason for concern?
There certainly appears to be an element of unnecessary alarmism in his review of ‘National Front Disco’ from the same album. He hones in on the line of the song which calls out, “England for the English” and then claims it’ll be “oblivious to the impressionable (and dim) nature of Morrissey’s younger fans, eager to hang by his every word.” Collins leaves it there. He stops short of revealing further lyrics that could help provide a fuller context and understanding behind the meaning of the song. This (perhaps deliberately?) encourages the reader of the review to form a false impression of Morrissey‘s intentions. Rather ominously, he later offers up a warning to Morrissey stating, “I can see that the line ‘England for the English’ is presented in quote marks. I am lucky. Watch your arsenal, Moz.” Are these the words of a man intent on destroying someone’s reputation? As the former Smiths front-man once said, “NME have been trying to end my career… and year after year they fail.”
The alarmist tone conveyed by Collins in his review of the song largely fails to live up to scrutiny when the lyrics are viewed in full…
NATIONAL FRONT DISCO
David, the wind blows
The wind blows …
Bits of your life away
Your friends all say …
“Where is our boy ? Oh, we’ve lost our boy”
But they should know
Where you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained that
You’re going to …
Oh, you’re going to …
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
“England for the English !
England for the English !”
David, the winds blow
The winds blow …
All of my dreams away
And I still say :
“Where is our boy ? Ah, we’ve lost our boy”
But I should know
Why you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’ve gone to the …
National, ah …
To the National ..
There’s a country; you don’t live there
But one day you would like to
And if you show them what you’re made of
Oh, then you might do …
But David, we wonder
We wonder if the thunder
Is ever really gonna begin
Your mom says :
“I’ve lost my boy”
But she should know
Why you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’ve gone to the :
To the National
To the National Front Disco
Because you want the day to come sooner
You want the day to come sooner
You want the day to come sooner
When you’ve settled the score
Oh, the National
Oh, the National
Oh, the National
Oh, the National
Other songs in the Morrissey canon that have dealt with issues of race and immigration include ‘Asian Rut’ from his third album, ‘Kill Uncle’ which tells the story of an Asian teenager who is killed by three English boys after he attempts to avenge the death of his friend. There’s also the aforementioned ‘Glamorous Glue’ as performed by Morrissey at the ‘Madstock’ festival and which faced accusations of Anti-Americanism due to lines such as, “we look to Los Angeles for the language we use. London is dead, London is dead.” Speaking to ‘Melody Maker’ magazine in 1987, Morrissey said, “I believe that everything went downhill from the moment the McDonald’s chain was given license to invade England – don’t laugh, I’m serious – to me it was like the outbreak of war and I couldn’t understand why English troops weren’t retaliating. The Americanisation of England is such a terminal illness – I think England should be English and Americans should go home and spoil their own country. Shopping centres are the worst – they’re a boil on the face of the Earth.”
If any Morrissey song does indeed warrant any concern, then it would most probably be ’Bengali in Platforms,’ which the NME has labelled “a convoluted diatribe against assimilation.” The track refers to a Bengali boy who finds it hard to adjust to life in the UK despite his best efforts. There’s a slight mocking tone in the lyrics which is aimed at the song’s protagonist. Also, the line, “shelve your western plans” is highly suggestive. One should hardly be surprised that Morrissey has been criticised for this musical offering given the strength of the words and the ambiguous nature of it’s delivery which might leave the listener questioning the true meaning behind the message.
BENGALI IN PLATFORMS
No no no
He does not want to depress you
Oh no no no no no
He only wants to impress you
Bengali in platforms
He only wants to embrace your culture
And to be your friend forever
Oh, shelve your western plans
That life is hard enough when you belong here
A silver-studded rim that glistens
And an ankle-star that … blinds me
A lemon sole so very high
Which only reminds me; to tell you
Break the news gently
Break the news to him gently
“shelve your plans; shelve your plans, shelve them”
It’s the touchy march of time that binds you
Don’t blame me
Don’t hate me
Just because I’m the one to tell you
That life is hard enough when you belong here
That life is hard enough when you belong here
Shelve your western plans
Shelve your western plans
’cause life is hard enough when you belong
Life is hard enough when you belong here
Shelve your western plans
Shelve your best friends
’cause life is hard when you belong here
Life is hard enough when you belong
When the NME brought up the subject of ‘Bengali in Platforms’ during Morrissey’s controversial 2007 interview, it was suggested to him that the line, ‘life is hard enough when you belong here’ was the one that “a lot of people” found hardest to deal with. He replied, “yes but those people don’t know the protagonist in the song, who didn’t belong here. I wasn’t writing about those people (who are offended), it was someone else.” When he was then asked why ‘they’ didn’t belong, he answered, “because they didn’t. Some people just don’t.”
There was also the time in 2010 when he described Chinese people as a “subspecies.” The remark came in an article for the ‘Guardian Weekend’ magazine when he asked his interviewer, the poet Simon Armitage, “did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.” It’s possible that Morrissey – an intensely passionate vegetarian – was merely displaying the lengths that his unflinching and unconditional support of animal rights could reach. Perhaps the issue of race was nothing but a careless, irresponsible afterthought in his outburst? Armitage says, “I thought at the time it was a dangerous thing to say into a tape-recorder. He must have known it would make waves, he’s not daft… But he’s provocative and theatrical, and it was one of dozens of dramatic pronouncements. I’m not an apologist for that kind of remark, and couldn’t ignore it. But clearly, when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare, he’s absolutely unshakable in his beliefs. In his view, if you treat an animal badly, you are less than human. I think that was his point.”
Morrissey issued a statement to clarify his outburst:
“If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade – animals skinned alive – then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible.”
A demonstration of how far Morrissey was perhaps willing to stretch in order to defend the rights of animals was made during an interview for ‘Melody Maker’ in 1985 when he said, “I feel animal rights groups aren’t making any dramatic headway because most of their methods are quite peaceable, excluding one or two things. It seems to me now that when you try to change things in a peaceable manner, you’re actually wasting your time and you’re laughed out of court.” When the interviewer asked whether violence had to be met by violence in order to achieve the desired goals, Morrissey replied, “yes, it does. That’s the tragedy. That’s the massive tragedy of all these issues. It has to be, because of the present government, who can only think in violent terms. I wish it didn’t. Personally, I’m an incurably peaceable character. But where does it get you? Nowhere. You have to be violent.”
The ideas that led to the creation of ’Bengali in Platforms’ and Morrissey’s comments regarding the Chinese are a cause for caution, if not, slightly suspect, but there’s still insufficient evidence available (i.e. a ‘Smoking Gun’) to openly declare him a “racist.” The fact is, much of what he has written or said about the issue has been too ambiguous, and as such, not the best foundation on which to build a convincing argument on. Indeed, there are those who‘ve attempted this and failed miserably. Furthermore, there’s no justification for the exaggerated, alarmist, careless and inaccurate reporting which has sometimes emanated from those within the walls of the NME (as documented earlier in this article). In the book ‘The History of the NME,’ author and “former staffer” at the magazine, Pat Long writes,
Under the direction of Danny Kelly in the early Nineties, the ‘NME’ became known colloquially as the ‘New Morrissey Express‘: every time they put the former Smiths front-man on the cover, sales spiked. “Morrissey was perfect for ‘NME’ because he was intelligent and articulate,” says Andrew Collins, a former writer for the paper.
Forget Acid House and Baggy, Morrissey was the ‘NME‘, something which made what happened in August 1992 all the more strange.
The paper’s sole black writer, Dele Fadele, arrived at the office, fuming. “Dele was an amazing guy,” says Collins, “a fabled African prince who lived in a squat. He came in to work absolutely impassioned and offended by what he’d seen at Finsbury Park.”
As Fadele described it to the rest of the staff, Morrissey had waved a Union Jack thrown on to the stage in front of a huge picture of two skinhead girls taken by ‘NME’ photographer Derek Ridgers in 1980. It was a provocative move in front of Madness’ crowd, which had always been dogged by an unaccountable association with the Far Right. But the fact that Morrissey’s set also included the songs ‘Bengali in Platforms’ and a new track, ‘The National Front Disco,’ seemed calculated to inflame both the right-wing and liberal members of the crowd, for entirely different reasons.
The fact of the matter is, ‘Bengali in Platforms’ wasn’t performed on the day.
This is an embarrassing enough mistake for any author to make, but for it to come from one who is so closely associated to the source and whose book has been publicly endorsed by a number of former NME writers including Steve Lamacq, Julie Birchill and Tony Parsons (“The NME never had a truer chronicler than Pat Long”) is slightly baffling also.
Morrissey spoke about the ‘Madstock’ event and the controversy that surrounded his use of the UK flag during a magazine interview in December of ‘92. He said, “when does a Union Jack become racist? I know there were a lot of people there from the ‘National Front,‘ but I don’t think they were particularly interested in me. And even though there were reports of me being booed and pelted off-stage – which of course never happened at all – I don’t believe that it was the ‘National Front’ who did that. I think it was a small selection of rather dull north Londoners. Nobody mentioned that Madness themselves also received missiles.” In 1997 as groups such as Oasis and The Spice Girls adopted the Union Jack as part of the ‘Britpop‘ movement, Morrissey told ‘Big Issue’ magazine, “I can’t imagine why anybody would want to be racist, it’s so beyond me I feel unqualified to talk about it. So many people have used the Union Jack since then, with the eruption of ‘Britpop.’ Nobody else has been pilloried for it.” In an interview for ‘Select’ magazine in 1994, he spoke about the ’National Front’ and the ’BNP’ (’British National Party’).
He said, “I think that if the ‘National Front’ were to hate anyone, it would be me. I would be top of the list. But I think it opens the debate. If the BNP were afforded television time or unbiased space in newspapers, it would seem less of a threat and it would ease the situation. They are gagged so much that they take revenge in the most frightening way by hurting and killing people. But part of that is simply their anger at being ignored in what is supposed to be a democratic society.”
Here’s Morrissey’s ‘flag flirting’ moment at ‘Madstock’… during the song ‘Glamorous Glue’…
Was Morrissey’s fall from grace at the NME genuinely brought about by it’s shock and outrage over his performance at ‘Madstock,’ or was there an ulterior motive at play? Perhaps the magazine was cynically sensationalising the entire affair in order to boost it‘s sales? Maybe it was yet another classic case of the UK Press’s fascination with Building ‘Em Up to Bring ‘Em Down? Alternatively, it might’ve been driven by an element of political ideology? For example, when The Smiths first burst onto the music scene in the early 1980s, they were swiftly adopted by the NME and – despite the odd stormy episode every now and again – a long-lasting love affair was born. Although much of the magazine’s affection for the band was perhaps brought about by the fact that Morrissey and Marr wrote and recorded great music, is it also safe to assume that the group also epitomised the NME ideology and, as such, were the ideal poster-boys? Morrissey was a working-class pro-vegetarian, anti-Thatcherite who used his lyrics to evoke a grey but humorous outlook of ordinary life in Britain. Didn’t all these elements chime perfectly with the ethos of the NME? If so, the post-Smiths Morrissey of 1988 onwards who toyed with Skinhead images and spoke about issues of Race, immigration and what it means to be British, would’ve perhaps been perceived by the magazine as a representation of everything it didn’t want to stand for? By 1992, Thatcher was gone and Britain was beginning to look increasingly outward towards Europe. This wasn’t the same country that once existed when Morrissey first found fame and it certainly bore no resemblance to the Britain that was to eventually emerge in the wake of New Labour’s 1997 election victory; For Tony Blair’s Britain was a “New Britain,” and it’s legacy lives on, even within the pages of the NME. It’s a shiny, glossy, Politically Correct, ’Green Friendly,’ Euro-supporting Britain that doesn’t care much for open and honestly-worded debates about immigration, the death of ’Britishness,’ or the Global Warming con. In other words, Morrissey is surplus to requirements and has been ceremoniously assassinated on the pages of the NME, perhaps in a bid to cheapen and discredit his influence in modern-day Britain? The magazine’s attempt in 2007 to compare Morrissey to “a rogue Tory MP” is perhaps a case in point? Incidentally, it’s allegations that the singer’s views smacked of “a naïve hypocrisy” given that he was “the son of immigrants who has lived for the past decade in either LA or Rome,” were virtually echoed in a 2008 ‘Word’ magazine article written by David Quantick. This also resulted in a legal showdown and yet another apology.
Whilst reviewing Morrissey’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album Quantick wrote:
“What vexes me is that once Morrissey made music that talked about the underdog, the victim, and those in the minority. Now he makes music that excludes those people.
Never mind that he’s the 2008 equivalent of a ’70s rock exile, opining about a country he only really knows from a Knightsbridge hotel window or a cab to Wembley Stadium. Never mind that as the child of an immigrant parent he really should know better than to attack immigration (which is, you ignorant quiffy rock exile, what keeps this country from being a Royal Family-led NF [National Front] tourist park).
For his waving of the flag (for publicity too, it would seem), for his ingrained habit of paying lip service to anti-racism while talking like an old Tory immigration spokesman, and for his abandonment of everything that made the Smiths a band for outsiders, Morrissey should be ashamed of himself. Sadly, he never will be.”
In a statement read out in open court, the singer’s lawyer declared “that the closing paragraphs of Mr. Quantick’s article could have been construed to suggest that Mr. Morrissey was a racist, held racist opinions or that (as the child of migrant parents) he was a hypocrite. The defendants wish to take this opportunity to apologise to Mr Morrissey for any offence or distress that he may have been caused by the closing paragraphs of the article.” He added that the magazine’s publishers and it’s editor, Mark Ellen wished to make it “absolutely clear” that they disassociated themselves from any such inferences. After the court ruling, a delighted Morrissey said, “the NME have calculatedly tried to damage my integrity and to label me as a racist in order to boost their diminishing circulation. ‘Word’ magazine made the mistake of repeating those allegations, which they now accept are false.” Ellen, like Quantick, originally hailed from the NME. He was also once the member of a short-lived Rock band during his Oxford University days in the early 1970s by the name of Ugly Rumours alongside fellow student Tony Blair.
When Morrissey spoke about the disappearing British identity and a ‘flooding of the gates’ during his controversial 2007 interview, was he being “racist” or was he highlighting the dangers of a rapidly encroaching ‘One World’ community? Although it’s unclear how Morrissey came to hold these views, they aren’t too far removed from a large number of authors and historians within the “Alternative” arena who’ve expressed similar fears about the ‘War on Culture’ which they believe is currently ripping across modern society. In 2004, researcher David Icke wrote,
“Throughout Europe and North America immigration is under discussion, be it Mexicans crossing the border illegally into the US, immigration ‘amnesties’ or the fears that Britain and other Western European nations will be flooded with people looking for work from the Eastern European countries about to be absorbed into the European Union and thus allowed free movement across former borders.
The debate, as usual, and by design, has been polarised into a Left-Right slanging match. If you challenge the level of immigration you are branded a racist, for example. But this is not about what is good or otherwise for a country or the immigrants themselves. The Illuminati-controlled system doesn’t give a damn about either.
This is a long-term plan I have mentioned many times over the years to destroy the nation state. Whether people support the nation state structure or not is another debate. Flag waving turns my stomach personally, but that’s not the point here. If we get caught in that debate we won’t see the real agenda which it is designed to obscure.
The nation state structure, and the history, culture and sense of uniqueness that goes with it, are blocks on the absorption of nations into the world centralised fascist state with it’s one world government (dictatorship), army and economic system.
Therefore, they know that to break down resistance to this global state they have to destroy the sense of unique nationhood and culture and create ‘multicultural’ societies in which the sense of ‘nation’ is eventually lost. That doesn’t mean that ‘multicultural’ societies are wrong – not at all – only that there is an agenda to manipulate them that is kept from the people.
It is not racist to point this out, not least because the Illuminati want to destroy the sense of nationhood and culture in ALL countries; those from which immigration is coming as well as those where it is going. They want to destroy cultural distinctions as much in Central and South America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe as they do in North America and Western Europe. The expansion of the European Union is, in part, designed to do this in the new member states of the east.
They want a McDonald’s, Burger King, global ‘culture’ that sweeps away cultural uniqueness to leave us with a planetary version of Disneyland – a uniform superficial ‘culture’ based on pap and crap with the same TV programmes, same movies, same ‘art’, same music, same food, same structure of society. The ‘Americanisation’ of global ‘culture’ through fast food, movies and music, etc., is actually the Illuminati-isation. What is shown to work in the United States in terms of advancing the agenda in all its forms is then exported to the rest of the world.
Once this reaches an advanced stage – and it is happening before our eyes – the sense of nationhood and distinct cultural differences will be eroded sufficiently for the people to be far more open to accepting the One World, centralised structure, that would dictate on all levels to their former culture/country.
The ‘One World’ society is not about bringing all members of the human family together in harmony and respect for each other. It is about eliminating cultural diversity that we should be celebrating and ruling everyone from a central point.
That’s the real agenda behind the thrust of immigration policies and you are going to see this process expand rapidly in the years to come.”
Speaking during a radio-interview in January this year, campaigner and former naval Lieutenant Commander, Brian Gerrish spoke about the UK immigration issue. He said,
“The biggest trick that’s been played on this country is Divide and Rule. Did the immigrants fight their way ashore? Did the Muslims fight their way ashore? And the answer is ‘no,’ they were invited in… The enemy at the moment is our own politicians who are basically inviting thousands and thousands of people – hundreds of thousands of people into this country – when the infrastructure can’t cope with it. And what is their objective? Their objective is to make us strangers in our own country. And if they can upset us to the extent that there’s gonna be violence then ‘they’ are going to be laughing with great glee. Are there problems because they’re here in the numbers? Yes. Muslims in the Midlands will say that they’re getting extremely worried about the number of immigrants coming in from Eastern Europe for example because the Poles have taken a lot of jobs away from Muslims. Does that mean every Polish person in this country is bad? The answer is, ‘no.’ So, if we want to actually sort the situation out we have gotta grit our teeth about troublemakers within these individual groups, whether it’s thieves and criminals within some of the Eastern European people that are coming in, and we’ve gotta get to grips with who is causing the problem. And every problem that we’ve got at the moment, and if it’s not being dealt with, there is only one group of people that are answerable, and that is our own MPs. They are the ones who refuse to get a grip with who’s coming into the country. They are the ones who are victimising people who have been living in this country for generations… who are we being victimised by? Our own politicians, and why? Because, in my opinion, our politicians are absolutely not what we think they are. We think they’re British. They’re absolutely not British. They are working for a very different internationalist agenda.”
Of course, Morrissey is no stranger when it comes to speaking out against the tide of consensus. In March 1985 he aimed his critical eye on the historic ’Band Aid’ single and told journalist Simon Garfield, “I’m not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical. Or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I’ll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it’s another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn’t done shyly – it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.” Commenting on the ‘Live Aid’ concert during an interview in NME in 1986, he said, “I think there was something almost glamorous about the whole Ethiopian epic. In the first instance it was far away, overseas. Pop stars, film stars, it was and still is escapism. The glamour veils a more serious question, knowing the world is controlled why are such things allowed to happen. But I’m also appalled that the guilt of such an occurrence should be placed upon the shoulders of the British public. It’s absurd. How many people in England live below the poverty line? I got a foul scent when it first occurred and I still get the same smell. It’s an inch away from Hollywood. When will the film appear, the solo LP is on the horizon, the book is here. It’s bully tactics and dining out with royalty. Nobody younger than Bob Geldof was allowed near that stage because otherwise The Boomtown Rats would have seemed like a collection of Brontasaurasi. And nobody who had not sold a million was allowed near the stage. Have the Boomtown Rats sold a million? Remarkable group if they have!”
To express views like this back in the mid 1980s was akin to criticising Ghandi such was the high regard in which “Saint Bob” and his ‘Band Aid’/‘Live Aid’ projects held. Indeed, as 2005’s ’Live 8’ event demonstrated, the public love affair continues, although some of the shine has rubbed off. In May this year, Geldof was criticised over his plans to “make massive profits” from Africa in his role as chairman of a private equity firm. According to the UK’s ‘Daily Mail,’ the former Boomtown Rat delivered a keynote speech at the annual ‘Super Return International Investment Conference’ in front of an invited audience of “billionaire big beasts” and asked them to invest in his African project which aimed to plough money into “agriculture, financial services, health and telecommunications firms.” During another speech to potential investors he said, “my name is Bob. I’m a PE (Private Equity) whore and I’m looking for £25 million.” The ‘Daily Mail’ article also claims that Geldof had “sunk a substantial amount of cash from his £32 million fortune” into the project’s funds as well. When his PR man was approached for comment, he said, “Bob’s backed Africa for 30 years, long before anyone else got there, and now he’s going to get a caning because he’s seen the opportunity and he’s putting something in out of his own pocket. He’s not using anybody else’s money, it’s his money that he’s made. Of course, it is for profit, that’s why the investors are going in there. They wouldn’t go into it to lose money, and you wouldn’t expect Bob Geldof to put his money in to lose it. No, people expect him just to carry on doing everything for charity – he’s not a saint!” In 2008, Geldof came under criticism after he was paid $100,000 to give a speech about world poverty at a function in Melbourne, Australia. Over the years, there have also been claims that ‘Live Aid’/’Band Aid’ money has fallen into the hands of corrupt African leaders who’ve used it to persecute their people. In fact, the issue of how the funds are administered has been a particular bone of contention in recent years. Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa and an adviser to governments of developing countries is one such critic. He believes the agreement to write-off the entire US $40 billion debt owed by poor countries to the World Bank, the IMF (’International Monetary Fund‘) and the African Development Fund in the days leading up to the ‘Live 8’ event by the ‘G8’ nations was a charade. He writes,
“Live 8 fails to challenge or comprehend the G8 policy agenda which directly contributes to creating poverty, nor does it question the role of the World Bank…
In addressing the issue of debt forgiveness, ‘Live 8’ does not even acknowledge the impacts of IMF-World Bank ‘economic medicine’ imposed on the World’s poorest countries on behalf of Western creditors.
These deadly macro-economic reforms have contributed to the impoverishment of miillions of people. They oblige countries to close down their schools and hospitals, privatise their public services and sell off the most profitable sectors of their national economy to foreign capital.
Actor Will Smith addressed the crowds at the concert venues ‘to snap their fingers’ as a reminder that every three seconds a child dies in Africa.
What he failed to mention is that the main cause of child mortality in Africa are the deadly macroeconomic reforms.
A large percentage of the debt of these countries is owed to the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank.
To address this issue, G8 finance ministers had indeed put forth a proposal which consisted in “foregiving” the outstanding debt owed to these three international financial institutions by the 18 highly indebted countries.
Where is the hitch behind this seemingly reasonable “debt forgiveness” proposal?
The IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, never cancel or forgive outstanding debts.
Because they do not forgive debts, the G8 has committed itself to reimbursing the multilateral creditors acting on behalf of the World’s poorest countries.
Where will they get the money?
For each dollar of “debt cancellation” to the international financial institutions, the G8 will reduce the flow of foreign aid to these countries. In other words, the foreign aid earmarked to finance much needed social programs will now go directly into the coffers of the IMF and the World Bank.
There is nothing new in this financial mechanism.
What we are dealing with is not a debt forgiveness program, but a “reimbursement” process which directly serves the interests of the creditors.
The deal constitutes a much needed “social safety net” for the multilateral creditors. It ensures a cash flow towards these institutions, while maintaining the World’s poorest countries in the stranglehold of the IMF and the World Bank. It also prevents these countries from declaring default on their external debt.”
There are those within the so-called “Alternative community” who believe Geldof is an Illuminati pet in the pay of seriously suspicious entities. Indeed, how did a rather unexceptional singer with an equally unexceptional music career manage to accumulate such vast wealth?
Morrissey’s controversial views have also brought him into direct contact with the authorities. Following the release of his 1988 album, ‘Viva Hate,‘ he was investigated by police for a song featured on it titled, ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’ which described the death of the then Prime Minister as a “wonderful dream.” Morrissey told ‘Q’ magazine in 1995 that police visited his home and “recorded a conversation for an hour and searched the house for a guillotine.” He continues, “curiously, they actually found one. They thought I was public enemy number 72. And at the end of the grilling they actually asked me to sign various things for ailing nieces, which I thought was a bit perverted.” In November 1984, Morrissey informed ‘Melody Maker’ of his disappointment that Thatcher had narrowly survived an IRA terrorist bomb attack at a hotel in Brighton where she was staying during the annual Conservative Party conference earlier that year. Five people were killed and dozens were injured. He said, “the sorrow of the Brighton bombing is that she escaped unscathed. The sorrow is that she’s still alive. But I feel relatively happy about it. I think that for once the IRA were accurate in selecting their targets. Immediately after the event Maggie was on television attacking the use of bombs – the very person who absolutely believes in the power of bombs. She’s the one who insists that they’re the only method of communication in world politics. All the grand dame gestures about these awful terrorist bombs is absolute theatre.” In 1991, he said Thatcher‘s policies “were the work of the Devil. I thought she was purely, intentionally evil. But it’s impossible to deny that she was a phenomenon, and you couldn’t help but over-discuss her.”
MARGARET ON THE GUILLOTINE
The kind people
Have a wonderful dream
Margaret on the guillotine
Cause people like you
Make me feel so tired
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
And people like you
Make me feel so old inside
And kind people
Do not shelter this dream
Make it real
Make the dream real
Make the dream real
Make it real
Make the dream real
Make it real
Morrissey expressed similar views about another prominent politician some years later whilst on stage during a concert in 2004. After announcing the death of former US President Ronald Reagan to the audience, he went on to say he wished that then-President George W. Bush had died instead. Morrissey was a long-time critic of Bush who he labelled a “terrorist.” In 2006, the singer revealed that he’d been investigated and questioned by the FBI and British Intelligence. He said, “they were trying to determine if I was a threat to the government… But it didn’t take them very long to realise that I’m not. I don’t belong to any political groups, I don’t really say anything unless I’m asked directly and I don’t even demonstrate in public. I always assume that so-called authoritarian figures just assume that Pop/Rock music is slightly insane and an untouchable platform for the working classes to stand up and say something noticeable. My view is that neither England or America are democratic societies. You can’t really speak your mind and if you do you’re investigated.”
Although Morrissey is now a man fast approaching his mid-fifties, age has done little to soften his views on world events and society in general. His comments during interviews are as fiery, controversial and forthright as they were 30 years ago – if not more. Earlier this month he told ‘Juice Online,’ “like many people I’m currently preoccupied with Syria, and at the uselessness of the United Nations… who don’t appear to unite any nations. But whether it’s Assad in Syria, or the British so-called royals, all world leaders are dictatorships, and from what we’ve seen in the middle east, they will all not hesitate to turn the tanks onto their own people should anyone question their morality. It’s fascinating. It’s only my personal view, but I think the age of the President or the Prime Minister is dead. People everywhere have lost faith in politics, and rightly so. Something different needs to happen. I think we were all initially swept along with the Obama win, but he’s proven to be simply a set of teeth, and useless in every other regard. Time and time again we see the same scenario whereby political figures only see the public as electorate, and once anyone is elected they appear to hate the people. British politics, as the world knows, is a joke. Yet it’s rarely funny.”
In a recent statement posted on his official website, he took the time to criticise the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II. He wrote,
“The soul is tried all over again as the jackboot of dictatorship strangles England… the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee presents a new lesson in the force of tyranny, and is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor – and all done, quite naturally, at the public’s expense! It is degrading to anyone of intelligence.
While dictatorships throughout the Middle East are gently condemned by the British government, there is no examination of the extremism enforced by the British ‘royals’, who remain the most overpaid and most utterly useless people on the planet. Having done nothing to earn our respect, they demand everything by return. It is a cunning and extravagant form of benefit fraud.”
Isn’t it gratifying to know that there’s at least one prominent member of the music-world who’s willing to speak out about important issues? Isn’t it depressing that so few of his industry peers are neither willing nor able to use their fame and influence in a similar vein? Granted, some of his most provocative comments are open to question, such as when he appears to call on his listeners to bring on the death of Thatcher by ‘making the dream real’ in his song, ‘Margaret on the Guillotine.’ It’s perhaps important to note at this point that Morrissey, like many other prominent and successful musicians and singers before him, experienced a period in his career when he could do very little wrong; his albums were greeted with success both critically and commercially, and he beautifully captured and articulated a zeitgeist during his 1980s heyday that resonated with millions of young music fans across the world. With the passing of time and the ever-changing musical landscape, these powers slowly dissipate and the mantle is passed on to the next group of Young Turks. However, when Morrissey released ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’ in 1988, he was still riding the peak and his influence was potent enough to radically affect the thoughts and actions of his most ardent admirers. A case in point is The Smiths’ song ‘Meat is Murder’ which is sometimes regarded as having played a pivotal role in encouraging a generation of ‘80s children to turn vegetarian. With this in mind, surely it isn’t an exaggeration to acknowledge the very realistic risk (however small) that his ode to Maggie could’ve posed when heard by any one of his most vulnerable of fans and the ugly, highly regrettable chain of events that might’ve followed as a result? Whatever it was that truly motivated Morrissey to write the song is only a question he can answer. What is fairly evident is that he does appear to recognise the power of music and how it can influence each and every one of us. In 1983 he told ’Melody Maker,’ “music affects everybody and I really think it does change the world! Everybody has their favourite song and people’s lives do change because of songs. For the most part products are disposable, but just for that extra one song that changes your direction in life, the importance of popular music just cannot be stressed enough. Music is the most important thing in the world.”
Morrissey shouldn’t be excused from undergoing a certain degree of scrutiny, but neither should the current crop of contemporaries such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Britney Spears who spew out sexually-charged, sado-masochistic lyrics to an audience of pre-teenage girls. These modern-day Temptresses of Pop are far more likely to bring about a dangerous and damaging influence on a generation of young people than any one isolated instance in Morrissey’s catalogue of work. Even the symbolism behind the ‘flag-draping’ incident at ‘Madstock’ pales into insignificance when compared to the dark, occult motifs we now witness on a daily basis in countless Pop videos. Of course, Morrissey’s controversial August 1992 appearance will never cease to spark some level of debate, and opinion will always be divided. Was it a cynical, carefully orchestrated attempt to pump a much needed jolt of publicity into his career? Indeed, Morrissey must’ve been aware that a substantial number of the audience watching him that day would’ve perhaps viewed his flirtations with the British flag from a specific perspective?
Maybe was he clumsily making a bid to present The Flag as a symbol of national pride and not a badge of racism as it has often been accused of becoming in modern times? Perhaps his on-stage Union Jack ‘flirtation’ (whilst dressed in a loose, glittering gold shirt) was meant to be ironic, a conscious attempt to marry Skinhead culture with the Morrissey Enigma, an enigma which is often associated with homosexuality thanks to the vague details surrounding his private life which have subsequently led to numerous reports of him being “gay”? It’s important at this point to remember that there’s a rarely discussed but widely acknowledged sub-culture within the Skinheads who’re invariably referred to as, “Queerskins” and “Gayskins.” They’re said to be sexually attracted to the clothes, violence and masculinity that is associated with the movement. Was Morrissey influenced by this in any shape or form?
This article wasn’t written in order to determine the reasons behind Morrissey’s actions that day. It was inspired by this month’s announcement that legal hostilities between the singer and the NME had reached a conclusion following a five-year stand-off. Whether this latest development truly brings an end to the sad, sorry saga remains to be seen, but it is a logical place to pause and look back at the events which led to this point. It’s also an ideal opportunity to re-examine some of Morrissey’s opinions on foreign affairs, politics, democracy, tyranny, British royalty, the music industry, and of course, the issue of immigration and the loss of cultural identity (and how these observations relate to what’s currently being discussed by authors and historians in the ’Alternative Arena’ where no taboo is left unturned).
Perhaps the question shouldn’t be, “is Morrissey a racist,” but, “what does he mean? Is he justified to make such claims? Is he wrong, or does he have a point?“
Perhaps we should be debating the issues that he addresses in some of his most explosive interviews instead of his personality and/or his motivations? For example, is Britain (or any other country for that matter) losing it’s sense of identity? Is it becoming a homogenised, anonymous society long disconnected from it’s traditions and it’s true history? What about immigration? How do you really feel about it?… Never mind what Morrissey thinks… what do you think? How is your life affected by these issues? Very few journalists (if any) have tackled these questions when reporting on some of Morrissey’s most controversial comments.
In an age of ‘X-Factor’ starlets, banal dance-acts and rumoured “Illuminati agents” such as Gaga, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, Morrissey is one of the few remaining prominent figures within the music industry who highlights the realities of life. Without him, what’s left?… Do we look to the likes of Take That member Gary Barlow who was recently lauded for organising the Queen’s Jubilee Concert and later found to be involved in a highly controversial tax-avoidance scheme? Or perhaps we can turn to anti-poverty “activist” and Nobel Peace Prize nominee “Sir” Bono, the friend of Presidents and Prime Ministers the world over whose ‘One‘ charity was questioned over it‘s financial arrangements? Last year, demonstrators staged a short-lived, ill-fated protest against U2 at the Glastonbury Festival over criticisms the group had moved it’s commercial operations to the Netherlands where royalty on music incur virtually no tax. According to reports, the protestors’ 20ft inflatable banner emblazoned with the words “U pay tax 2?” was taken down during the band’s performance by “heavy handed” security personnel.
The sad fact of the matter is, the mainstream music world has been castrated. Once a landscape echoing with the sound of rebellious, dissenting and articulate voices but now drowned out by trivia. Isn’t it rather shameful that it is left to a man hurtling towards his mid-fifties to express a level of frustration that should be heard coming from musical contemporaries over half his age? This is why ‘Conspiro Media’ thanks it’s lucky stars that Morrissey is still as opinionated as ever and showing no signs of keeping his ‘Big Mouth’ shut – however extreme or painful some of his comments might be to accept.
MORE MORRISSEY QUOTES:
** Speaking on Race…
“I don’t want to sound horrible or pessimistic but I don’t really think, for instance, black people and white people will ever really get on or like each other. I don’t really think they ever will. The French will never like the English. The English will never like the French. That tunnel will collapse.”
“I don’t want to be European. I want England to remain an island. I think part of the greatness of the past has been the fact that England has been an island. I don’t want the tunnel. I don’t want sterling to disappear. I don’t want British newscasters to talk in American accents. I don’t want continental television. But that doesn’t mean that I’m some great twit who lives in a hut and eats straw. I’m not a thing from another age. (laughs) I’m actually quite modern in some respects. But there’ s no hope of anyone marching around Westminster with… well you complete the sentence.”
‘Q’ – September 1992
“Even though I have never in my life been racist, if the press continue to say, ‘Morrissey is Racist’, then somewhere along the line people begin to associate you with the word… And it becomes a part of your biography. But I have had nearly everything bad said about me; I can’t really be accused of anything else now, except murder, and I’m sure that that’s bound to come at some stage. The British will let almost anything happen to them, and just stand back with their arms folded. And yes, yes, yes, there is a great shame attached to holding a Union Jack – I haven’t figured out what, but there is.”
’The Times Magazine’ – November 6th 1999
** On England…
“England is not England in any real sense of the world, it has been internationalized, and that’s screechingly evident wherever you look around the country. The English people are not strong enough to defend their sense of history. Patriotism doesn’t really matter anymore. So I think England has died.”
‘Spin’ – April 1991
“Every time I leave the country I have difficulties holding back my tears. I never want to go abroad. I need Britain for my personal stability. This is the only place where I can do absolutely nothing without feeling the least guilt. And to me it’s the ideal life. Doing nothing gives me great pleasure. And believe me, I succeed wonderfully in it. One doesn’t scamp (?) one’s hobby… “
‘Rock Sound’ – January 1993
** On Skinheads…
“Most youth cultures come from the U.S.A. Except skinheads, which as I understand, is an exclusively British invention. That the rest of the world around us looks upon skinheads as people who tattoo swastikas in their foreheads and throw fruit at innocent football supporters is a shame. Of course I’m aware of the fact that there exists such ‘skinheads.’ But the original idea of skinheads was just about clothes and music. And in England it still is to a pretty great extent. Style and everything it involves for me have their roots in the British working class. That’s where all culture I appreciate passes on and in some degree is updated. The British working class and its youth cultures are never vulgar or excessive. Whereas the middle class never has created a bit.”
‘Slitz’ – September 1992
** Talks about his fascination with criminals from bygone times…
“I’ve always been of the opinion that they, and especially the Krays and the Richardsons, were very style conscious and well-mannered. I can’t but admire people who manage to heckle the British establishment and the Royal House by committing different kinds of crimes. And still being considered glamorous role models to the British people and who make them, or more correctly us, laugh at laws and orders.”
‘Slitz’ – September 1992
** First-hand memories of the Moors Murders…
“I happened to live on the streets where, close by, some of the victims had been picked up. Within that community, news of the crimes totally dominated all attempts at conversation for quite a few years. It was like the worst thing that had ever happened, and I was very, very aware of everything that occurred. Aware as a child who could have been a victim. All the details… You see it was all so evil; it was, if you can understand this, ungraspably evil. When something reaches that level it becomes almost… almost absurd really. I remember it at times like I was living in a soap opera…”
‘The Face’ – May 1985
LOTS MORE QUOTES HERE: