In a June 2018 interview with Fiona Dodwell – mostly about animals and music – Morrissey said (of Anne Marie Waters):
she wants everyone in the UK to live under the same law. I find this compelling, now, because it’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech… I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson…
This is his only mention of Robinson and it relates to freedom of speech and the law – Robinson had recently been jailed for larping as a journalist and live streaming outside a child abuse trial that had a court order banning reporting.
Sometime in the 2010s Morrissey’s obsession with animals had reached the point where his main ambition was the total abolition of the abattoir.
“The slaughterhouse is the dead end for humanity, and as long as it exists we can’t possibly have any hope for the human race… If you’ve seen abattoir footage then you cannot possibly think that humans are anything other than evil pests… If your views threaten any form of establishment interests, you are usually ignored or silenced or said to be ‘ranting’. I have never ranted in my life.” (HuffPost, June 2015)
In August 2016 he gave an interview to an Australian news site – it was his usual mordant mix of politics, music, and animals. All meat-eaters get equal wistful ire – David Cameron, The Royals, Iceland… He’s asked about standing for London mayor, he doesn’t fancy his chances.
I could see the pointlessness of stepping in. The BBC now do not give you news, but they give you their opinion, and therefore they give anyone a very hard time if that person does not suit the convenience and prejudices of the established elite. Therefore liberal educators such as George Galloway and Nigel Farage are loathed by the BBC because both men respect equal freedom for all people, and they are not remotely intimidated by the BBC. The Mayor was eventually elected on very few votes, and of course he eats Halal butchered beings, and talks so quickly that people can’t understand him … and that suits the British media perfectly.
In The Guardian, Hadley Freeman, took this section and decided it made him a libertarian racist (Nigel Farage is a capitalist, George Galloway is a socialist, both wanted out of the neoliberal European Union) – weirdly she seems to have missed that he spent most of the 90s being called a racist for holding a Union Jack.
It’s the emphatic inclusion of “halal” that adds a spicy hint of racism to Morrissey’s animal rights campaigning, doesn’t it?
But Sadiq Khan had praised chicken shops at an awards ceremony, calling halal chicken a beautiful thing.
Chicken Cottage is a British product that is doing a fantastic amount in our country…over the last period Chicken Cottage has created 1,000 new jobs in our country, added £50m to the UK’s GDD and over the next five years will be creating 400 new jobs as well… And here’s the beautiful thing. This is a British product…selling Islamic products, selling halal products…that is niche and general but it’s gone mainstream… When Chicken Cottage started in 1994, the aim was to be as excellent, or as good as, the market leaders…now, the aim is to be the best in its own right, and now the market leaders are Chicken Cottage… long may you have a prosperous future! (Sadiq Khan, Chicken Cottage Award Ceremony, 2012)
And had talked about halal meat in a 2014 radio programme.
It’s the meat eating that Morrissey is objecting to.
After the Guardian calls him racist he becomes preoccupied with the idea that religion and tradition can veto animal welfare. And anyone who objects is called a racist.
Animals rights (sic) must come before religion. Religion must cease to be the ONLY word. I am not interested in what people did ten thousand years ago. I am concerned about what is happening today. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, April 2018)
I can’t see how opposing Halal slaughter makes me racist when I’ve objected to ALL forms of animal slaughter all of my life. (Morrissey Central, April 2019)
Hence his interest in Anne Marie Waters, a former left-wing activist, who had been recruited by far right grifter Tommy Robinson, who seems to have convinced her that the left would never put women’s rights (her particular angle) before Sharia Law, as administered by Sharia Courts, the first known one in Britain being established in 1982 in order to “solve the matrimonial problems of Muslims living in the United Kingdom in the light of Islamic family law”, for example marriages, divorce and inheritance issues”.
In August 2017, Anne Marie had gained a huge amount of publicity by entering the UKIP leadership election and by complaining that she’d been smeared as a racist to scupper her feminism.
Ms Waters, 39, who has twice tried to stand for election as a Labour candidate, is focusing much of her campaign on Muslim grooming gangs who have been convicted of sexually abusing girls in several English cities.
Anne Marie is the director of Sharia Watch UK, a watchdog which says its “particularly concerned with the elements of sharia law which are discriminatory and violent towards women and girls, and which endanger and threaten the democratic principle of freedom of speech.
Recently, I sought help to fund a consultation with defamation solicitors to discuss the legal position regarding newspapers referring to people as “far-right”, “fascist” or “racist” simply because we speak negatively about Islam. Those of us who do so are frequently subject to smears from the press, which portrays us as bigots and liars.
At a book launch in June 2014, she said, Islam was an ideology that was being appeased by the state and ‘it is exactly the same appeasement that is allowing young girls to be raped in Britain, it’s got nothing to do with race, it’s got to do with the fact that we will not confront the misogyny at the very, very heart of this religion’.
There’s no evidence that Islam had anything to do with the grooming gang scandal, but it’s true that for 20 years the police and social workers turned a blind eye to groups of Muslim men sexually exploiting white girls, that some of the men were bigoted, and that a few people who raised concerns were labeled racists.
Anne Marie seems genuinely tormented by the idea that religion gives men a licence to abuse, while Tommy cheerfully latches on to anything that causes racial strife – from ‘reporting’ Asian grooming gangs to ‘supporting’ Muslim parents protesting against LGBT+ teaching materials in primary schools.
And the left really is intensely bad at dealing with anything to do with race that isn’t white supremacy.
‘There’s a persistent taboo on the Left which demands that every incident of terror be attributed to American foreign policy… But Islamists aren’t killing cartoonists because the U.S. invaded Iraq. And ISIS isn’t exterminating the Yazidis because of America’s sordid relationship with Saudi Arabia.’
Ex-fan Stewart Lee, in his Guardian column, decided that mentioning Tommy Robinson meant – there’s no longer any way to make the case that Morrissey ever meant anything other than what he says – that he was telling a Bengali that he didn’t belong in the UK in Bengali In Platforms, and that he was saying England should be for the English in National Front Disco. Which had nothing to do with what Morrissey was actually trying to say and everything to do with the homophobic Finsbury Park myth.
Morrissey dropped Anne Marie Waters in May 2019, and has never mentioned Robinson before or since. Though the media still relentlessly links him to both.
Side Note: In April 2018, via Morrissey Central, Morrissey recommended Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe, a conservative (at best) book that gathers so many true incidences of rights clashes between Islamic and liberal values that you could miss the conspiracy theory that underpins it – that Cultural Marxists hate the West so much they’re allowing Saudi Arabia to stealth colonise it.
This isn’t one of Morrissey’s scandals because Douglas is an old Etonian, published in mainstream newspapers and magazines and by Bloomsbury, who appears on mainstream television and has enough connections to dent a journalist’s career, unlike Morrissey, who has none.