From the beginning of Morrissey’s career he talked about his mental health issues and his problems with social interaction.
It is difficult to describe how really insular I was… I was entirely on my own… I found life unbearable at times… the fear and anguish… I seemed to be more depressed than anyone else. (Morrissey, Blitz, April 1988)
Before he was famous he was excluded and othered, after he was famous it continued.
One of the lads said, “you ought to hear the voice!” It was a very girlish, effeminate voice and his mannerisms were very effeminate – Noel Devaney on Morrissey’s first school day. (Johnny Rogan, the Smiths, Omnibus Press, 1994)
“Morrissey,” remembers Paul Morley, “was always laughed at in Manchester when we were kids. He was the village idiot. That’s the ironic thing – now he’s the poet of a generation. But in those days he was ‘that-one-in-the-corner, Steve the Nutter’.” (Jessica Berens, Spin, September, 1986)
[to Morrissey] I remember who and what you used to be. You were like the village idiot, the odd one out, the backward boy. (Paul Morley Blitz, April 1988)
When he was violently attacked by homophobes at Finsbury Park in 1992, the music press blamed him for it, labelling him a racist by twisting his words out of context, guilt by association, and falsely claiming that touching the Union Jack was fascist. It then became acceptable to gaslight him, monster him & be ableist.
To be a national treasure you have to be likable. Is Morrissey likable any more? I’m almost loth to say that he isn’t, because to do so would be toplay into the persecution complex he has been nurturing for the best part of his solo career. Even when he makes pronouncements that, broadly speaking, I agree with, there’s something about the way he makes them that makes me recoil…“I do feel as though I have been somewhat victimised,” he told Mojo a few years ago. But what has he been “victimised” for? The 1992 show where he sang “The National Front Disco” draped in a union flag seems to have been a turning point. At the time, I was one of the few people in the music press who felt that Morrissey should have been given the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was trying to make some arcane point about the nature of Britishness to a park full of Madness fans. In retrospect, though, it seems pretty clear that he was defying people to misunderstand him… (Peter Paphides, The Guardian, March, 2012)
The King of the Trolls title is hard to win. Between professional Russian tweeters and amateur armies of online haters doing battle with everything from CNN to Starbucks, there is no shortage of competition. But even in this crowded field, Morrissey shines like a true champion. (Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald, 7 December 2017)
Ultimately, you can’t help feeling that not only did Morrissey need Johnny Marr to achieve greatness, but the guitarist was also a restraining and civilising influence on his songwriting partner. (Mark Phillips, Medium, November 2019)
Morrissey isn’t senile, he’s always been a racist. (Mangal Media/Freedom Magazine, August 2019).
We interviewed Bid from The Monochrome Set whose view was that the creative part of Morrissey’s brain operated separately from the part that was prone to “spouting rubbish”. One of Svenja’s friends has been diagnosed with a mild form of Asperger Syndrome, a disorder characterised by difficulties with social interaction and repetitive behaviour. Her friend is adamant that they recognise aspects of their condition in his behaviour… Morrissey may well be socially awkward, like many creative people. But he’s not stupid. He has walked a thin line courting controversy and the uglier aspects of human sentiment. He knows exactly what he’s done and he’s made a very good living from it. His problem is that he has lost a lot of income and audience, and I’m sure he won’t enjoy being categorised under “racist cunt”. (Phil Ross, Louder Than War, March 19, 2020)
I feel that as a black man liking music made mainly by white people it means I will have to wince every now and then at lyrics… not to mention whatever Morrissey says… ever. (Gabriel Ebulue, the Quietus, 13 November 2019)
Then there’s their Irishness and the punk moment. Shane was immensely inspired by John Lydon. The Irish thing cannot be overlooked, as they were crucial to English pop music. John Lennon, Billy Fury, if we can still mention his name, Morrissey. There’s a great deal of Irish presence in English music. What’s different about MacGowan is that he made a real point of being Irish. (Julian Temple, Flood Magazine, December 2020)
“From the opening, combative ‘The Classical’ the album seethes with rancour (the opening line “Where are the obligatory n—–s? Hey there, fuck face!” although not racist in the context of the song, is unpleasant to say the least and, unsurprisingly, cost them a record deal with Motown)”... the first thing that I failed to do when writing about ‘The Classical’ was to put the song in a solid contemporary context. Smith was far from the only musician dropping the n-word in this period and this usage exists right at the periphery of a much more well established continuum. (John Doran, the Quietus, 13 November 2019) https://thequietus.com/articles/27427-hex-enduction-hour-the-classical-the-fall-racist
… I’m fit and working again And I feel like Alan Minter I just ate eight sheets of blotting paper And I chucked out the Alka Seltzer… (Fit and Working Again, The Fall, 1987)
In Morrissey & Marr: the Severed Alliance (Omnibus Press, London, 1992) author Johnny Rogan paraphrased & commented on a 10 page letter written by Morrissey on the 5th of August 1977 when Morrissey was 18 years old.
Even when seriously denouncing racial prejudice, he was wont to admit that he disliked Pakistanis. “I don’t hate Pakistanis, but I dislike them immensely”, he wrote in one letter of the time. It was a flippantly blunt adolescent observation. The basis of his aversion (they give off odorous aroma) was crudely stereotypical and completely out of step with his general philosophy. Then again he may simply have been indulging himself in an ironic joke, expressed in his characteristically haughty tone.
The letter has never been published, so we only have Rogan’s version to go on. Racists in the 1970s were highly unlikely to use Pakistani over the four letter offensive short form & it’s structured as a joke.
It was only highlighted because of the “race row” in 1986 – when Frank Owen’s framing of Black pop as everything dumb & dancey went unchallenged while Morrissey was condemned for remarks about reggae & mid 1980s American soul.
In August 1992 the NME used it as part of their “evidence” that Morrissey was racist. A student protest, under a Union Jack on the outside of EMI’s offices, cited it as their biggest reason that Morrissey had a “case to answer”. To the NME. In an interview.
The NME also used Morrissey’s sarcastic joke about Rogan to suggest he was no longer “gentle & kind” & his career had taken a wrong turn.
Equally, his recent response to the publication of Johnny Rogan’s Smiths book The Severed Alliance, was at best distasteful, at worst illustrative of a severe lack of perspective. Rogan’s book, which Morrissey was asked, but declined, to co-operate with (as Johnny Marr already had), is a well researched if slightly worthy account of the greatest British group of the ’80s. There seemed precious little in it for Morrissey to get upset about; indeed, members of his family have written to Rogan congratulating him on the book. Yet in an NME news story, Morrissey, while admitting that he’d never even read it, condemned the book, and said that he hoped Rogan died in a car smash on the M3. Asked in a more recent interview if he’d really meant that, he said no, what he really meant was that he hoped the journalist would meet his end in a hotel fire! Is this the same man who, in The Smiths’ finest moment (‘I Know It’s Over’) wrote “It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind”? Sadly, yes. The same man but now displaying a cruelty and lack of deftness that makes his golden days seem light years away. (NME, 22 August 1992)
Rogan either felt he couldn’t disagree with the NME (then the most powerful music publication in the UK) or he was influenced by the coverage, because in a letter to them he claimed he knew Morrissey was in trouble the moment he saw the Union Jack.
The moment Morrissey unfurled that Union Jack I knew he was in trouble. I assumed that the ‘Is Morrissey A Racist?’ debate was a discredited old chestnut, but now it’s back, bigger than ever… It’s the other trappings that I find irksome – particularly the Union Jack. Perhaps he regards the flag as a suitable prop to emphasise the sentiments of ‘Glamorous Glue’, but he well knows its other connotations. (Johnny Rogan, NME letters page, 29 August 1992)
Morrissey held the flag for less than 2 minutes, he scrunched it up & threw it away. There is absolutely no way a British Nationalist would interpret an effeminate Irish Catholic chucking away a Union Jack as a sign of support.
The people who threw missiles at him were calling him a “poof”. They started before he thrashed the flag about & they kept going long after. They weren’t interested in the flag at all.
Not to mention that any negative “connotations” were confined to squabbles on the hard left. To the vast majority of British people, it was just the flag.
Every year, including 1992, it was on prime time UK television at the Last Night of the Proms.
It was on bunting, and party hats & respectable people wore it while raising money for charity.
On the 2nd October 2017 on BBC 6 Music Live, Morrissey made a mordant joke about Anne Marie Waters losing the UKIP leadership election:
I was very surprised the other day, it was very interesting for me to see Anne Marie Waters become the head of UKIP. Oh no, sorry, she didn’t, the voting was rigged. I forgot.
Morrissey had been falsely accused of racism since 1992 when he was attacked by homophobes at Finsbury Park & the NME accused him of inciting it because of his sexuality. The false accusations – misleading quotes and paraphrasing, guilt by association, negative framing – colossally increased after NME journalist Tim Jonze rehashed the 1992 article in 2007, then became the Guardian’s music editor in 2010.
Anne Marie Waters is a lesbian, an Irish immigrant, a feminist & a vegan. She started out on the left of politics, and had been in the Labour Party, the National Secular Society and One Law For All, a campaign to stop religious laws from overruling human rights. She had been complaining that she was driven out of the left and smeared as a racist by the media. https://www.secularism.org.uk/one-law-for-all/
Ukip MEPs Hold Secret Meeting To Discuss How To Block Anti-Islam Candidate From Leadership Contest. Anne Marie Waters is a controversial figure in the party… (Owen Bennett, Huffington Post, 11 July 2017)
My core aim is to challenge and dismantle this entire mess of media (Anne Marie Waters, Express & Star, 7 September 2017)
The MSM has, in general, lazily covered people like Waters, preferring to sneer and smear – racists, far-right, bigots, idiots et cetera… She will reply that she is in fact the anti-fascist candidate, fighting the homophobia and misogyny of Islam… And next time there is a grooming case – and there are more coming – or a terrorist attack, it will be served up as proof of spineless liberals’ virtue signalling crap. (Jamie Bartlett, Little Atoms, 24 August 2017) http://littleatoms.com/society/ann-marie-waters-versus-media
The press reaction to the joke was relentlessly negative – with a consensus building that he ‘is no longer the voice of the oppressed, but sympathetic of the oppressor.‘ (Kat Manos, the Pop Break, 28 November 2017)
Morrissey’s latest outburst – a conspiracy theory about anti-Muslim politician Anne Marie Waters – ought to be the final straw for right-thinking fans of his music (Stuart Heritage, the Guardian, 3 October 2017)
In March 2018 he was particularly wounded by the Independant and the Guardian.
The Independent printed an extreme Hate Piece so loaded with vile bile that it almost choked on its own endless capacity to be appalled… When the print media are lost for a reply, they simply change the subject by naming their opponent as ‘racist’, which is the perfect ploy because most people are naturally appalled to be called racist, and they step back in silence, and the debate collapses unresolved… Is civilization over? The cannibalistic mobile grave known as The Guardian suggests so… I am neither Loony Left nor Far Right. I am a humanitarian. I have not ever once voted in a British election because I have not ever discovered a party that represents my views. My main social concern is the abolition of the abattoir, the continued existence of which in modern times is beyond sane belief. I confess that my life in music has been stunted by shyness, and this remains. I am too interior, and this can often seem like bone splitting arrogance. But it is not… I have been criticized in the UK for so long (nowhere else!) that anything said about me no longer strikes me as a threat because I am still, after all, here… Katie Boyle, who very sadly died this week, said “you have to accept [the press] telling complete lies about you. You can’t take legal action because that fans the flame.” I see what she means! (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 28 March 2018)
For Britain had been launched on the 15th October 2017 – so sometime after March 28th and before the 20th of April (23 days) – someone or something convinced him that Anne Marie’s party would abolish the meat-trade. Although he mentioned other issues in passing – “Labour are no different from the Conservatives in that they do not object to FGM, halal slaughter, child marriage, and so on. There is no moral clarity with these people” (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 16 April 2018) – it came from a sense of bewilderment that he was so vehemently condemned for anything that could be related to race or immigration – his political focus was always animal rights .
I despise racism. I despise fascism. I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me. In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security. That party is For Britain. Please give them a chance. Listen to them. Do not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist – please believe me, they are the very opposite!!! Please do not close your mind. Labour is hopelessly naive. Theresa May’s policies have turned Britain into a international target. The BBC has closed down. The Loony Left is concerned only with victim culture. For Britain will keep British society together. Violence is not the way forward. There are many problems in modern Britain that have become too large for Theresa May to deal with – mostly because she created them in the first place. The press appear to deal only in fashionable outrage; inflammatory and unjust comments against any new party that threatens the same old bloody pointless two-party system. Please give For Britain a chance. They will bring an end to the modern Westminster mania for self-destruction. For Britain is the bulldog breed that will never surrender. Both Labour and Conservatives have already sold you down the river into righteous oblivion. This is my last political strike. No wish to upset anyone! But the time has come to fight, and Labour and the Conservatives have their backs to the sea. Are you capable of change? Thank you, and peace for all of us. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 20 April 2018)
The reaction was the usual:
There are no excuses left for the former Smiths frontman’s repugnant political views… Morrissey’s opinions on race and immigration have been troubling fans since at least the early Nineties… his opinions are clear enough. He is sympathetic towards Farage, Waters, Brexit and celebrities accused of sexual assault. He dislikes immigration, multiculturalism, the EU, political correctness and “the loony left”. He has a particular obsession with Islam… Yet it is still startling how proudly Morrissey advertises that intolerance. (Dorian Lynskey, the New Statesman, 27 April 2018)
So he didn’t believe it.
I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters. It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless. For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say “you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.” People can be utterly, utterly stupid. Anne Marie Waters seeks open discussion about all aspects of modern Britain, whereas other parties will not allow diverse opinion. She is like a humane version of Thatcher … if such a concept could be. She is absolute leadership, she doesn’t read from a script, she believes in British heritage, freedom of speech, and 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… I know the media don’t want Anne Marie Waters and they try to smear her, but they are wrong and they should give her a chance, and they should stop accusing people who want open debate as being ‘racist’. As I said previously, the left has become right-wing and the right-wing has become left – a complete switch, and this is a very unhappy modern Britain. (Morrissey, Tremr, 5 June 2018)
In May 2019, he wore a For Britain badge twice, once at a New York gig, once on US television.
The press outrage was global.
And that was it. He dropped Anne Marie and For Britain. And everything he has ever said about them is in this post.
In early old age could I please express very sincere thanks to BBC Radio 2 for their broad-shouldered support given to “California Son”, “Wedding Bell Blues” and “It’s Over”. Whatever the future brings, I will always remember Radio 2’s steady support during these rocky weeks – especially from Jo Whiley. I am sorry the UK print media’s contorted interpretation of who and what I am has gone all wrong. In these days when most people are afraid to even whisper, the print media write as if someone is coming to get them. This aching nervousness brings on the vengeful and paranoid. Inventing Britain’s doomsday is the preoccupation of the tabloids, and they can hate you for having lived. I straighten up, and my position is one of hope. The march backwards is over, and life has begun again. With voice extended to breaking point, I call for the prosperity of free speech; the eradication of totalitarian control; I call for diversity of opinion; I call for the total abolition of the abattoir; I call for peace, above all; I call for civil society; I call for a so-far unknowable end to brutalities; “No” to Soviet Britain; prayers not to gods but to forces; an end to disingenuous media cluelessness; the people have the power; hatred and beheadings belong in the furnace of history; music might still be your only friend; for every shade and persuasion … we shall always be alongside each other – everyone’s culture of value; no more fashionable outrage; cows are friends to humans – don’t kill them; beware of those who write in headlines; moral fiber means holding on … to your friends; give up on inferior arguments; God gave you your life to enjoy – you will cry for your life in years to come … death always answers back; do not be a nobody; you have survived this far in order to make the remainder peaceful and funny; your very survival proves that you have a right; ignore the cold eyes of fascism; your life is Art. (Morrissey, 24 May 2019)
I am not an activist, I have never voted for a political party, I do not belong to any political party… I do not believe that the most important thing about a person is the colour of their skin. (Morrissey, Kipper Central, June 2019)
It didn’t end the drama.
The media continue to write about him, linking him to the far right, giving the far right mainstream publicity.
In June 2019, his then manager, tweeted about the badge on Morrissey’s Twitter account.
In October 2019, his then manager, posted a response to an LA Times hit piece, written by For Britain’s Pakistani heritage, ex-Muslim, deputy chair, Khadija Adam, on Morrissey’s Facebook page.
For Britain believes in 1) British sovereignty outside the EU, 2) tightly limited immigration and 3) stopping Britain becoming an Islamic state, which on current demographic trends must happen in the middle third of this century… Islamism is a supremacist ideology that seeks to supplant the West. Anyone who supports Western liberal values such as free speech, gender equality and non-violent punishments for offenders should be anti-Islamist. The largest poll in the UK of it’s type revealed over half of UK muslims believe homosexuality should be a criminal offence. Do you therefore not understand why this may be an issue to the leader of a party who is gay herself?
On Morrissey Central, in June 2019, his nephew belatedly posted an interview from April 2019 that mentioned Anne Marie.
I think Anne Marie Waters is the only British party leader who can unite the left and right. I don’t know any other party leader who even WANTS to do this. The UK is a dangerously hateful place now, and I think we need someone to put a stop to the lunacy and to speak for everyone. I see Anne Marie Waters as this person. She is extremely intelligent, ferociously dedicated to this country, she is very engaging, and also very funny at times… My political stance is simple: I oppose barbarism … from the left from the right, or from the centre… a fascist would never have recorded “Wedding Bell Blues”, but, you see, the press choose their targets, and ignore what it suits them to ignore. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, April 2019)
And, again on Morrissey Central, 27 July 2020, his nephew, posted Anne Marie’s vlog from a Live Export protest.
With legacy and social media ablaze, Anne Marie became one of the most important far right leaders, which she immediately ruined by becoming a white nationalist. Of sorts.
In August 2019 she appeared at a conference held by Generation Identity UK, a now defunct neo-Nazi group – under the bizarre impression that the room was full of moderates who would stop neo-Nazis using mass immigration to neo-Nazi. She had come to the conclusion that Europeans are biologically secular, non-Europeans are biologically religious, Europeans are white, non-Europeans are not white, therefore the way to stop Europe being taken over by Islam is to have the UN declare that white people are the indigenous people of Europe and that mass immigration is colonialism.
She was probably groomed into this absurd belief online.
She was upset that her own side – the left – were mostly denouncing her as a bigot.
Groups like the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe are using real concern about Sharia law in order to promote their racist and anti-immigrant agenda. Like the Islamists, they blame everyone who they consider Muslim for the crimes of Islamism. Pro-Islamist Left groups like Stop the War Coalition, United Against Fascism and Respect Party are no better. They excuse and justify Islamism at the expenses of the lives, rights and freedoms of innumerable people. (Maryam Namazie, One Law For All: Enemies Not Allies Seminar, 29 January 2011)
Around this time she became Twitter friends with Tommy Robinson – who offered to help One Law For All get greater traction. Tommy was part of the counter-jihad – a weird mix of vulnerable minorities (gay people, Jewish people, ex-muslims, vegans…) using the far right to hold back Islamism (which is like napalming your face to cure acne), and the far right using vulnerable minorities to mainstream white supremacy (while struggling to conceal their contempt). Confusingly the far right were also cosying up to Russia, Iran and the hard left to oppose ‘organised Jewry’/the Israeli Lobby/Corporate America/Bankers/Capitalists/Zionists/Jews – so you could scroll Twitter and find a Neo-Nazi account sharing a list of Jewish people who work in the media with a Marxist.
As you all know, Co-Spokesperson Anne Marie Waters resigned in November 2013. What you don’t know is that her resignation followed more recent political disagreements on some key issues, including One Law for All’s refusal to collaborate with the members of racist and far-Right groups and our insistence on the need to distinguish between Muslims/immigrants and Islamists. (Maryam Namazie, One Law For All press release, 7 May 2014)
In 2013 she made a disastrous appearance at the Oxford Union arguing against the motion: this house believes Islam is a religion of peace. Ignoring that freedom OF religion is as important as freedom FROM religionshe argued that ‘it is the moderate Muslims who must “dance around meanings” and “stretch interpretations” when confronted with the fundamentally violent ideology of the Qur’an’. (Oxford Union, YouTube, July 3 2013)
In November 2013 she left One Law For All and the Labour Party.
I joined the Labour Party because I believed that all people should have equal rights, and should never be disadvantaged as a result of characteristics that they cannot change. I believed that people should have the same rights and protections irrespective of their gender or skin colour. I believed in fairness and in justice. I believed in civil liberties and a government run by the people for the people… I still believe in those things, which is why I cannot, in any good conscience, remain a member of the Labour Party. (Anne Marie Waters, Dispatch International, October 2013) http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/anne-marie-waters-and-dispatch-international-one-more-time/
She set up Sharia Watch UK, a right-wing version of One Law. It was launched in the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Cox.
She wrote for counter-jihad journals like Dispatch International, failed to set up a branch of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) in the UK with Tommy Robinson, then joined UKIP, hoping to make opposition to Islam their main issue. https://www.radicalisationresearch.org/guides/pegida-uk/
UKIP’s anti-Islam leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters can be revealed as a strike-supporting socialist and trade unionist who played an active role in the Labour Party for a decade and described her political views as “standard left-wing”. Waters is the supposedly hard-right, Tommy Robinson-endorsed candidate in the UKIP leadership race. UKIP figures are concerned she is a Walter Mitty character, self-publicist and entryist who has taken a less than credible political journey. (Team Order Order, Guido Fawkes, July 4 2017)
Marxist Lesbian activist Anne Marie Waters, attempts to hijack UKIP for her Zionist backers (Jack Sen, Nick Griffin, Resistance Radio, 16 July 2017)
Over the past few years Ann-Marie Waters, an Irish LGBT activist, backed by Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media, Tommy Robinson and a cabal of Jewish nationalists with irrefutable ties to American Neoconservative organisations, has advanced upon the British political scene… On every last issue — abortion, non-Islamic immigration, gay rights, mandated teaching of homosexuality in schools, etc. — Ms Waters is a dogmatic Bolshevik to the core. (Jack Sen, Occidental Observer, 25 August 2017)
After a couple of months, I began to tutor Waters on media and presentation. Although she was a natural, I encountered a point during this intense period of training, where she seemed to exhibit an unnerving bias and hostility against men … Her delivery, in my personal opinion, was aggressive and spiteful. She was a bitter woman and not a patriot for England. (Winston McKenzie, a former UKIP organiser, quoted by Jack Sen, Occidental Observer, 12 September 2017)
When she lost the UKIP leadership election she set up For Britain. It became a magnet for far right activists, esp from the BNP, hoping to slip into power behind a civic nationalist facade.
Many Whites are, sadly, progressives. We won’t win our war for racial survival without bringing some of them around to White separatism. If that means appealing to feminists by pointing out Muslim misogyny, or environmentalists via facts about immigration and overpopulation, so be it. Whatever works. (Lord Shang, Counter-Currents comment section, 16 May 2019)
Pragmatic neo-Nazis were impressed that she would talk about The Great Replacement – the conspiracy theory that white people are being replaced in their ancestral homelands, which includes the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and South Africa, by non-white people – but didn’t see her going anywhere.
Though we might disagree with much of Ms Waters’ ideology and sometimes doubt her political choices, no one can doubt that she is a genuine, committed, and often courageous campaigner… at one time it seemed that civic nationalism with an anti-Islamist, pro-Zionist edge was the way forward, at least for those prepared to swallow their ideological objections in the interest of electoral ‘strategy’. That argument no longer holds water. (Admin978, Heritage and Destiny, 23 July 2021)
Purist neo-Nazis didn’t see why they had to put up with a lesbian if she wasn’t going to lure in unsuspecting voters with ‘legitimate concerns’. And moved in on Morrissey’s name, trying to claim his art as their own, a thing made vastly easier by left & centre commentators referring to A FAR RIGHT PARTY, or Britain First (an openly racist, anti-Irish-Catholic, party) in order to damn Morrissey as much possible.
Fascists like me get to keeping liking Morrissey while liberals have to burn all his records. Ha ha! Suckers!!! (Travis LeBlanc, Counter-Currents, 13 May 2019)
On 17 June 2019 Anne Marie made a YouTube video complaining that people on “our side of the political divide” were using Morrissey for attention while failing to name-check For Britain.
Patriotic Alternative’s Laura Towler declared herself a fan on nationalist podcast The Absolute State of Britain (2 November 2019)
‘Village Smiths’, apparently a Patriotic Alternative activist, tried to launch a culture zine dedicated to the coming ‘Britnat music scene’ on Morrissey Solo (it didn’t come) –
Conformity in the UK: The Unbearable Wokeness of the UK Punk Scene – While not a ‘punk’ in the traditional sense, Morrissey is a rare example of a musician not holding back in attacking the sacred cows of the liberal establishment… His increasingly nationalist views have divided fans of The Smithsand made him the target of a witch hunt in the mainstream media and music press in recent years. (Lewis, Vile Media, 20 April 2020)
On the 10th April 2020 Anne Marie made a YouTube video accusing Mark Collett, of neo-Nazi group, Patriotic Alternative, of being a racist, a misogynist and a homophobe – concluding with “If you want a manifesto that is solely about throwing black people out of the country then by all means do go and join Patriotic Alternative.”
There was a backlash from her milieu.
The problem is, you just spent five minutes in a hysterical, emotional outburst… You have not addressed the foundation of concerns for For Britain people who are moving to PA (Ralph Masilamani, YouTube, 10 April 2020)
I have often wondered how an Irish Lesbian felt she had what it takes to lead an in the main English Nationalist party? I supported For Britain from the sidelines, feeling that it was better than nothing… will it be ‘For Britain ’, pro Israel, Pro gay lead by someone who strikes me will take the money and toe the Jewish line. Or will they vote for P.A. A party lead by pair of decent English Patriots who arent gay, arent pro Israel and are uncompromising when it comes to policies which harm our people? I pray to the good lord that it is the latter… because ’we are here, we are not queer get used to it’. (Patriot, Patriotic Alternative blog comment, 10 April 2020)
In a livestream on the 13th of April 2020 she had to deny that she had any connection to Israel.
It wasn’t enough.
Weird Dyke Anne Marie Waters Launches Hysterical Attack on Patriotic Alternative… A dyke will never get on board with right-wing ethnonationalism because dykes are useless and sterile… Waters is a filthy dyke Jew puppet who we should laugh at and scold like a misbehaving child until she stops her destructive behaviour of worshipping white-hating Jews (Anon, Martinez Perspective, 22 April 2020)
On 14 May 2020 she uploaded a video titled ‘Our Demographic Destiny’ in which (somewhat hilariously given her strong Dublin accent) she stressed that as Prime Minister she would permanently remove anyone not sufficiently British.
On 30 September 2020 in a YouTube video – panicked by actor Laurence Fox’s billionaire-backed hard right Reclaim Party – she implied she had no celebrity support and For Britain was ‘for the people, by the people’.
In April 2021 a Simpsons episode branded Morrissey an anti-immigrant fat gay meat-eating racist. Anne Marie jumped to his defence on social media, highlighting animals in the hashtags, while asserting in a video that he supported her immigration policy, something he’s never mentioned.
Morrissey blanked her, but it didn’t stop his detractors from spreading her message.
And so it seems it will go on, world without end.
Side Note One: Anne Marie maintains – and probably believes – that For Britain is a Centre right, anti-racist party. And it does have a diverse – albeit emotionally unstable – membership.
Side Note Two: the left struggles to coherently oppose Islamic extremism, while the right often finds it agrees with it – leaving many victims of extremism with nowhere to turn.
He must have been startled too by the venomous contempt directed at him in England, both from the nativist Right and the multicultural Left. One of Margaret Thatcher’s closest colleagues, Norman Tebbit, damned Rushdie as a man whose “public life has been a record of despicable acts of betrayal of his upbringing, religion, adopted home and nationality.” A fine historian, Lord Dacre (Hugh Trevor-Roper), joined in, I’m sorry to say, mused whimsically about the possibility that some Muslims who deplored Rushdie’s manners might “waylay him in a dark street and seek to improve them.” And John Le Carré said – in a comically inapt phrase – that “Nobody has a God-given right to insult a great religion.” There was much more in that vein from self-appointed friends of Islam. What some of these effusions illustrated all too vividly was the intellectual and moral tangle that “multi-culti” had got itself into. For one thing, in the case of “The Satanic Verses” and others since, sauce for the Muslim goose was plainly not sauce for the Christian gander. The very same people as those who affected such horror at Rushdie’s blasphemy against Islam derided anybody who claimed to be upset by blasphemy against Christianity. In the case in London some years earlier when Gay News published a lurid (if not very good) poem about a supposedly homosexual Jesus, chattering-class opinion unanimously supported the magazine. As to those who asserted that criticism of Islam was akin to racism, they were if anything the real racists, albeit unconscious. They not only willfully confused race with religion, they patronizingly applied different standards to dark-skinned Muslims, from whom, it seemed, nothing better than mindless violence could be expected. Most poignant of all was Rushdie himself. Behind the spiteful Tory sneers was the memory that, for years before the fatwa, and not content with his literary success, he had tried to parlay his Third Worldliness into a career. (Geoffrey Wheatcroft, the New York Times, November 3 2009) https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/news/13iht-edwheatcroft.1.20172827.html
The useful label ‘the pseudo-left’ has been knocking around the internet political blogs since 11 September, and it is high time it was brought into the mainstream media. It’s a shorthand description of the spectacle of left moving to the right, often to the far-right, and embracing obscurantists, theocrats and, in the case of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and its Baathist ‘insurgents’, classic fascists. (Nick Cohen, the Observer, 20 February 2005)
Lesbian and gay activists have called on The East London Mosque and its adjoining London Muslim Centre to prohibit homophobic speakers on its premises. The move has re-ignited controversy over the issue in Tower Hamlets with allegations being made by different groups of both anti-gay Muslim extremism and Islamaphobia. The latest furore follows an open letter posted online by 12 LBGT campaigners, including writers Julie Bindel and Paul Burston, which lists a series of events hosted by the East London Mosque allegedly attended by anti-gay Muslim clerics. These included Abdullah Hakim Quick, a supporter of the death penalty on gays and Abdul Hattin who incorporated a ‘Spot the Fag’ contest into his sermon in 2007. The letter follows the recent conviction of 18-year old Mohammad Hasnath who plastered ‘gay-hate’ stickers across East London, calling for the death penalty on homosexuals; Westminster Magistrates fined him just £100 for public disorder. Last month, four men were convicted of a brutal attack on a religious studies teacher, because they disapproved of his teaching. At the weekend, the Sunday Telegraph reported what it claimed to be number of previously unreported cases of hate crime which it claimed suggested police were allowing Muslims to ‘Islamicise’ an area of London. Reporter Andrew Gilligan cited several examples of Muslims and non-Muslims being threatened or ‘brow-beaten’ because they have been deemed to breach fundamentalist Islamic norms. (Christina Adamidou, East London Lines, June 14 2011) https://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2011/06/gay-activists-challenge-east-london-mosque-over-extremism/
Like so many liberals, I have started to self-censor to avoid the wrath of my politically purist friends… Because I find myself holding a “transgressive” body of beliefs and doubts alongside my blue-chip leftwing ones that are liable to get me branded a misogynist, an Islamophobe and a Little Englander – at least by people on my Twitter feed, and others of my peer group. (Tim Lott, the Guardian, March 11 2015) https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/11/mainstream-left-silencing-sympathetic-voices
It is said that while it is hard to stand up to your enemies, it is even harder to stand up to your friends. I spent many years at the heart of left wing politics and discovered, to my cost, what can happen when you begin to take a different view, when you do your research and realise that the accepted consensus isn’t necessarily correct; speaking out on this can result in rejection, expulsion from the club. There is no area where this so robustly applies among the hard left than that of the state of Israel. Support of or sympathy for Israel can make you an immediate enemy to many. Israel is the untouchable issue; the consensus from which you cannot veer. The fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which gay people enjoy anything resembling freedom or human rights is apparently a fraud — because the anti-Israel left demands that it be so… In the Gaza Strip, ruled with an iron fist by Hamas, not only are women subject to appalling treatment, but homosexuality can result in death. In 2011 Hamas cofounder, Mahmoud Zahar, said, “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?” Attacks are frequent in the Gaza Strip and gays live in fear; so much so that LGBT Palestinians commonly flee to Israel. (Anne Marie Waters, her blog, July 2015)
In November, MEND’s chief executive, Sufyan Gulam Ismail, announced to a Manchester mosque: “We don’t want the government to fob us off with some phony thing called Tell MAMA, which has got a pro-Zionist pretty much heading it, or in a very senior capacity, and is making all sorts of comments we might not agree with when it comes to homosexuality, to be recording Islamophobia.” (Nick Cohen, the Observer, 4 October 2015)
Morrissey’s website, Morrissey Central, went live on the 28th March 2018.
It’s run by his nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, a photographer.
Aside from the occasional interview with Morrissey or a statement with Morrissey’s name & the date, most of the content is taken from social media.
By this point Morrissey had already been completely dehumanised as a racist Pariah, and Central was scrabbling around for support, not surprisingly finding it on the right with the Spectator, the Post Millennial, the National Review & alt-right YouTubers.
Someone more pr savvy would have avoided right-wing sources, but it’s a fair bet a site with James Baldwin on the landing page and a list of animal charities they’d like you to support, isn’t trying to further white supremacy.
As no one was making fair bets, it was chum in the water for Far Right activists already excited by the amount of times they were being told by the press that Morrissey rants against immigration, is an extreme English ethno Nationalist and hates black people.
On the 30th May 2019, the Guardian, published yet another roundup of why Morrissey is despicable with Finsbury Park – the gig where Morrissey was the target of a homophobic hate crime that resulted in him being the only artist in British history to be branded a racist by the press for touching a Union Jack – as its keystone.
Waving the union jack during his show at Madness’s Madstock festival in Finsbury Park, London, in 1992, felt like a more aggressive move (this was before Britpop’s Cool Britannia-era reclamation of the flag, and its association with the far right was still strong). And it was done in the knowledge that the Madness crowd contained a significant fascist/skinhead element. (Tim Jonze, the Guardian, May 2019)
On the 3rd of June 2019 Central posted a link to a response to the Guardian article by Fiona Dodwell that concluded with:
Using an old image of the former Smiths frontman from 1992, in which he is depicted onstage holding a Union Jack, Jonze asks his readers, “True Colours?” As if beholding a flag of one’s own country is somehow a barbaric act, rather than one of pride. Where were the offended writers when Geri Halliwell made headlines by wearing her Union Jack dress on stage? Or are we to set different standards for different public figures?
On the 28th June 2019, rapper Stormzy, headlined at Glastonbury wearing a Union Jack vest. Neo-Nazi Morgoth made a video comparing the positive reaction to Stormzy’s Union Jack (which he claimed was promoting multiculturalism) to the negative reaction to Morrissey’s Union Jack (which he claimed was promoting white pride).
Morgoth’s circle had already been trying to link themselves to Morrissey online.
And Central is known to post things that have been recommended to them.
On the 30th of June 2019 Central posted the video without comment under the headline Nothing But Blue Skies For Stormzy… the Gallows for Morrissey.
Morrissey has never mentioned Stormzy or Morgoth. Central posted a picture of Kirsty MacColl on the same night and then nothing until July 8th when Morrissey penned a sweet tribute to Blue Rondo.
Morrissey is too locked in his own world to give the far right reach, so it must have delighted them that Billy Bragg took up their cause. Taking their ideology – which Morrissey has never espoused – to as wide an audience as possible as he sought to have Morrissey and his art entirely erased from public life.
Naturally Finsbury Park was brought up.
Which he’d also used to call Morrissey a hypocrite for being against the flag-waving jingoism of the London Olympics.
His campaign had started before the video.
And no one in the UK arts and media establishment has decried the Spectator’s TV critic, James Delingpole, for having Morgoth on his podcast.
Central has stayed a source of controversy, mainly because of the determination to interpret everything Morrissey says as racist, and SER’s interest in anti-vaxx.
… Morrissey’s official website, which is increasingly reading like the work of a conspiracy-driven right-wing nutjob. (Ryan Leas, Stereogum, 16th November 2020)
The alt to far right has mostly given up on Morrissey. Sometimes a post or trending topic raises their hopes but it passes.
Morrissey talked about his emotional breakdown after the death of his mother and his life-long depression.
He also mentioned a murder committed by an Albanian, knife crime (often associated with black teenagers in the press) and the Manchester bomb.
But he didn’t use a startling enough phrase so scandal-mongers had to make do with Con-Vid & slavery.
SAM: We now live in Covid Society which is gleefully inflicted on the British public – or should I say the poorer elements of British society, so why do you think the public take it lying down? M: Because they are quite used to the political scene being dominated by someone whom they can’t stand. The bigger problem is that nobody can any longer agree with anyone else, and this is the main outcome of Con-vid. It has brought the worst out in people, and we weren’t ever in this together. We are deprived of seeing and hearing other people, and above all, you want to be with others who see and hear what you see and hear, because this is basic oxygen for the human soul. Take it away and people are dead. SAM: Covid Society is also the precise description of slavery, yet we are supposed to be in a time when anything connected to slavery must be blown up or thrown in a canal in Bristol. M: Precisely. And more people are now forced into poverty which is another form of slavery, as is tax and Council Tax and all the other ways in which we are pinned down and tracked. Our present freedom is restricted to visiting supermarkets and buying sofas. The government act like Chinese emperors… “We will allow you to live as we do if you behave yourself.” SAM: Will there be a revolution? M: No, because the tanks would be turned against the people immediately. The police are already trained to believe that every answer you give them is a lie. This is all nothing to do with me. It’s just the way it is.
SAM: Nine: will the UK ever be out of Lockdown? M: It isn’t really in Lockdown except for people at the lower end of the social ladder. People who have wealth are not remotely affected by rules and regulations. Their lives are as they always were. The police only fine people who live on council estates. Haven’t you noticed?
Sam had been posting a variety of anti-vaxx memes and videos on Central, but Morrissey himself had said nothing about masks or vaccines, hadn’t called it a scam and hadn’t demanded that restrictions be lifted.
His observation that the rich didn’t comply with the UK’s restrictions is true.
On a side note – Morrissey loves puns, so had referred to Covid as Kung Flu. And had also felt vindicated by widespread criticism of China’s inhumane wet markets. (He’s never quite grasped that he was accused of genocidal hatred when he figuratively used “subspecies” & seems convinced people thought he had falsely accused China of animal cruelty.) But surprisingly it was Paul McCartney who copped the Sinophobia scandal.
During this fascinating period of Big Brother conformism … otherwise known as Kung Flu, a lot of people have adopted Everyday Is Like Sunday as the summing-up of our times. (Morrissey, 25 April, in the year 2525 – in reality 2020)
… until the United Nations (who?), and the EU and the WHO announce STOP EATING ANIMALS – which they never will! $£$£$£$£ ker-ching! ker-ching! – the earth and its humans have only one word to say to each other: Joigin! Dovidenja! Sbohem! Farvel! Tot ziens! Nagemist! Na Kemiin! Au revoir! Auf wiedersehen! Ya sou! L’hitraot! Namaste! Viszlat! Vertu saell! Sampai jumpa! Slan! Arrivederci! Sayonara! Annyeong! Ha det bra! Zegnaj! Adeus! La revedere! Adjo! Gorusuruz! Do pobachennia! Hwyl fawr! (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, April 2020)
I offer loud applause to Paul McCartney and Brian May, both of whom I love and respect greatly, for calling for a complete ban on China’s so-called ‘wet-markets’ … which is just a gentle name for hell on earth. There is enough footage of China’s ‘wet-markets’ on You Tube to enlighten you and sicken you at the same time. As with the British abattoir, such places are an evil torment that have no excuse in a civilized world. But is this world civilized? If I, on the other hand, made a comment on China’s ‘wet-markets’ the British press would set fire to my mother’s hair. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, April 2020)
Chinese outlets have wasted no opportunity throughout the year to highlight the United States – and to some extent the UK’s – poor handling of the virus, and how these have exacerbated divisions. This has happened to such an extent that it has become popular for Chinese netizens to call Covid-19 the “America virus” or “Trump virus”.
A messy argument with a Johnny Marr fan on Twitter over Johnny calling Morrissey, ‘Dorrissey’, resulted in an accusation of anti-Asian propaganda because of a work by Brazilian artist, Rodrigo Pires, reposted from Instagram. So it could yet make headlines.
On the 16th November 2020 Morrissey Central announced that Morrissey had been “dumped” by BMG. The post, probably written by Sam Esty Rayner, mentioned a new executive & his diversity plans.
BMG have appointed a new Executive who does not want another Morrissey album. Instead, the new BMG Executive has announced new plans for ‘diversity’ within BMG’s artist roster, and all projected BMG Morrissey releases/reissues have been scrapped.
This was interpreted as Morrissey blaming Diversity.
Morrissey clarified that he meant that BMG wasn’t being diverse. To tumbleweed.
When the new BMG Executive says he now wants a label of ‘diversity’, what he actually means is he wants all of his artists to be exactly the same. Make no mistake, the word ‘diversity’ is already trailing in the dust as an overused catchword that in fact means tighter restrictions and a fierce exclusion of individuality. I have been dumped by BMG because I am TOO diverse for them. They cannot cope with an artist such as Morrissey … who is, in fact, the very essence of diversity … whose lyrical concerns are multiple, different, and who has been writing about all of our human differences since 1982. So, please don’t be fooled into thinking theword ‘diversity’ means varied and open; it has been warped to mean exactly the opposite. With these absolutelyincomprehensibly senseless new guidelines, I’ll be surprised if BMG still exists in 18 months time. Or, if they do,they’ll be a label that no true artist would want to sign to. Perhaps this is what BMG prefers – a roster of artistswho are so diverse that you’ll never be able to distinguish one from the other?” (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, November 2020)
In fact Morrissey & his band tick all of the identity diversity boxes – he’s LGBTQ+, his mental health issues are a disability, he’s from an Irish Catholic immigrant community that faced discrimination in the UK & his band includes people of colour.
In April 2019 Morrissey was interviewed by his nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, who runs Morrissey Central.
The interview was posted on June 24th 2019.
In April Morrissey was still loyal to gay Irish vegan, Anne Marie Waters, who had set up For Britain. An oddity in UK politics she had started on the left as a secular feminist and moved to the right to oppose legal religious exemptions.
Sam asked Morrissey why he supported her and followed up with:
sam: The obvious press assessment is that she is racist, but I haven’t heard her say anything racist.
M: Neither have I. But if you call someone racist in modern Britain you are telling them that you have run out of words. You are shutting the debate down and running off. The word is meaningless now. Everyone ultimately prefers their own race … does this make everyone racist? The people who reduce every conversation down to a matter of race could be said to be the most traditionally ‘racist’ because everything in life is NOT exclusively a question of race, so why make it so? Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond. If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order. 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.
Later Morrissey said:
The Independent reported how people are walking out of my concerts … which was a lie. It’s all very KKK, isn’t it? … share our views or we’ll smash your face in… My political stance is simple: I oppose barbarism … from the left from the right, or from the centre.
What Morrissey was saying is that each group might prefer their own ways but to get on with each other there are some things we have to agree on. These debates are being shut down by accusations of racism. And the people who shut down the debates are racist because they make everything about race.
He then mentions two things he’s been labelled a racist for – border chaos and halal slaughter.
This certainly indicates a difficult problem, whereby people are more troubled by the idea of being accused of racism than they are of being racist. It’s the absolute definition of racism to allow your responses to people to be governed wholly by their ethnicity… Closely linked to this story is that of “multiculturalism”, whereby all sorts of unsavoury activities have been allowed to flourish unchallenged in immigrant communities, because we all had to respect each other’s differences. My own perception was that the dangers of multiculturalism had been fully acknowledged back when it became plain that radical Islam was finding enthusiastic adherents in Britain, which we know it still is. I’m minded to imagine that these men considered themselves to be fighting their own little jihads; their war not to establish a caliphate but influenced by their idea that decadent westerners, even children, were getting what was coming to them. Multiculturalism’s most miserable miscalculation was that respect would always be mutual. (Deborah Orr, the Guardian, August 2014)
In fact, though, everyone – of whatever colour – is racist. As part of a TV documentary I’ve been working on, I’ve seen how our brains have a tendency to automatically associate our own race with good and other races with bad, whoever we are. (Mona Chalabi, the Guardian, Mon 5 Oct 2015)
And Implicit bias theory is part of Diversity training.
despite our best intentions and without our awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions creep into our minds and affect our actions… That’s why implicit racial bias has been called “the new diversity paradigm — one that recognizes the role that bias plays in the day-to-day functioning of all human beings.” (Jenée Desmond-Harris, Vox, August 2016)
But despite that social media and the press ripped out Prefers Own Race and there was a vast amount of comment condemning him for preferring his own race – i.e. claiming he said he prefers white people.
They also failed to notice the discrepancy in the dates.
Morrissey had already dropped For Britain and tried to explain that he wasn’t against multiculturalism following the intense backlash against wearing a badge on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.
for every shade and persuasion … we shall always be alongside each other – everyone’s culture of value; no more fashionable outrage; cows are friends to humans – don’t kill them; beware of those who write in headlines; moral fiber means holding on … to your friends; (Morrissey, 24th May 2019)
He would try again shortly after Own Racegate:
I am not an activist, I have never voted for a political party, I do not belong to any political party… I do not believe the most important thing about a person is the colour of their skin. (Morrissey, Kipper Central, 30th June 2019)
But it made no difference. To date (April 2022) he is still referred to as far right, racist, a For Britain supporter, a Pariah, Persona Non Grata and Public Enemy Number One.
On May 13th 2019 Morrissey appeared on The Tonight Show hosted by Jimmy Fallon. His band wore Animal Liberation t-shirts from animal rights organisation Total Liberation New York, but the press noticed a tiny For Britain pin badge.
For Britain is a far right political party run by Anne Marie Waters, a gay, Irish, vegan, feminist who insists the party is centre right & that she had to leave the left-wing Labour Party because she was falsely accused of racism.
She was heavily pushing women’s rights and animal rights on her social media and had recently promoted a radical set of animal welfare policies.
Morrissey is obsessively opposed to animal slaughter and had been falsely accused of racism since the NME published a homophobic hit piece in 1992.
The meat industry, after all, shows no compassion towards the planet, towards climate change, towards animals, towards human health. It is diabolically contrived and is the world’s No 1 problem. It is also the No 1 issue stifled from any politicaldebate, which, if anything, highlights its importance. (Morrissey, True-to-You, 2016)
The NME rehashed the article in 2007 this time distorting some comments he made about London’s rapid gentrification to make him appear anti-immigration.
This is not the first time that Morrissey has trod clumsily into the area of immigration… On August 22nd 1992, NME’s cover featured an image of Morrissey prancing around onstage at Finsbury Park with a Union Jack flag… (Tim Jonze, NME, December 2007)
This scandal – and the relentless repetition of out of context words and phrases – subspecies, subspecies, subspecies – meant that his concerns about animals were dismissed as a cover for fascism.
He dropped Anne Marie almost immediately but the ferocious backlash – oiled by decades of homophobia – is still raging.
for every shade and persuasion… we shall always be alongside each other – everyone’s culture of value; no more fashionable outrage; cows are friends to humans – don’t kill them… (Morrissey, Central, May 2019)
I am not an activist, I have never voted for a political party, I do not belong to any political party… I do not believe the most important thing about a person is the colour of their skin. (Morrissey, Kipper Central, June 2019)
Side Note: transcript, Animal Welfare, Anne Marie Waters, Alt News Media, January 2019:
Mahatma Gandhi once said that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Britain has a long and proud tradition of kindness and respect towards animals, it was part of our greatness, but like this greatness generally, our kindness to animals is rapidly disappearing. For Britain intends to bring it back.
For Britain proposes a unique and comprehensive package of proposals to reform animal welfare in our country, and we know that we have widespread public support. Britain cares about animals, and so do we.
There is growing public disquiet for example about the terrible and unnecessarily cruel religious slaughter of farm animals, and we at For Britain demand that this is brought to an end. The law requires that animals are stunned to unconsciousness prior to slaughter, however an EU imposed religious exemption is in place – allowing both halal and kosher un-stunned slaughter to continue. This renders the law entirely meaningless. Why create a law to protect animals and then provide the very people who want to flout that law with an exemption? It makes no sense. It is political trickery.
For Britain will ban ALL un-stunned slaughter of animals without exception. We will remove the religious exemption and give the law its teeth. This is not a matter of religious oppression but of the protection of animals from unnecessary suffering. Animal welfare trumps religious belief.
Furthermore, we will take action to punish those guilty of the abuse and neglect of animals. Those found to be engaged in dog-fighting for example will be jailed or deported. There will be zero tolerance of cruelty.
We will end the experimentation on animals for cosmetics or commercial products, and severely restrict and regulate any medical testing until this can be phased out altogether.
We will transform dairy farming and end factory farming. We will incentivize farmers to return to organic and natural farming where cattle will roam freely and have access to their calves. We will also end the abhorrent practice of veal production. We will ban live exports and ensure that egg-laying hens roam freely and the caging of hens is brought to an end.
Animals are not items or objects, they are living sentient creatures who exhibit complex emotions and social practices. Animals clearly feel fear, joy, and attachment to each other. They are however entirely defenceless against human beings. The question therefore must be asked: how do we treat the defenceless? Do we act with mercy, or are we merciless? The answer determines who we are as people, and it’s an answer we should consider very carefully.
In 1986 Frank Owen accused the Smiths song, Panic, of being an attack on black music.
“Pop has never been this divided,” wrote Simon Reynolds in his much-lauded, recent piece on the indie scene, referring to the chasm that now exists between indie-pop and black pop. The detestation that your average indie fan feels for black music can be gauged by the countless letters they write to the music press whenever a black act is featured on the front page. It’s a bit like the late Sixties all over again with a burgeoning Head culture insisting that theirs’ is the “real” radical music, an intelligent and subversive music that provides an alternative to the crude showbiz values of black pop. Morrissey has further widened this divide with the recent single, Panic – where “Metal Guru” meets the most explicit denunciation yet of black pop. “Hang the DJ” urges Morrissey. (Frank Owen, Melody Maker, September 1986)
Owen had a theory that “white” music was intelligent and “black” music was physical.
[Black music:] What it says can’t necessarily be verbalised easily. It doesn’t seek to change the world like rock music by speaking grand truths about politics, sex and the human condition. It works at a much more subtle level – at the level of the body and the shared abandon of the dancefloor. It won’t change the world, but it’s been said it may well change the way you walk through the world. (Frank Owen, Melody Maker, September 1986)
But the general assumption was that Owen meant the lines “burn down the disco” and “hang the DJ” were literally about burning down a nightclub playing disco music and hanging a black DJ.
In reality it was inspired by the juxtaposition of cheery pop and a news report about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on BBC Radio 1.
A disco was any gathering where recorded music was played. Discos were regularly held in schools, village halls, universities and nightclubs all over the UK. Radio 1 had a live road show every Summer and their DJs played at live events throughout the year.
Miner’s Gala, Cannock Chase, 2nd June 1983:
When The Smiths came on it was quite obvious that there was going to be a bit of trouble. There had been numerous speeches by various mining union officials and Labour Party politicians, plus a rousing speech by Colin Welland which more than fired up the passions of the mainly male, largely drunk, audience. The Smiths were on stage for a couple of numbers before the verbal abuse started, most of it homophobic and directed at Morrissey. It was no surprise that the bottles and glasses started flying soon after and the band called it a night. (Nick Knibb, Passions Just Like Mine, http://www.passionsjustlikemine.com/live/smiths-g830602.htm )
But even if Disco meant the genre, Disco in the 1980s was primarily associated with it’s most ardent fanbase, gay men.
Between 1983 & 1985 born-again Christian Donna Summer caused intense outrage with an alleged series of homophobic remarks, including that AIDS is God’s judgement on homosexuals. Fans & some nightclubs boycotted her, the gay press condemned her, and Bronski Beat was under fire for covering I Feel Love.
Or just a play on Disco Inferno? (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down, (Burn baby burn) disco inferno, (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down.
Some journalists had their suspicions, but few seemed to twig that Frank Owen’s assertion was absurd.
The holier-than-thou aspect of Morrissey’s public profile has naturally enough tempted numerous journalists to try and bring him down, though none have met with any great success. Some have unsuccessfully tried to brand him as a racist, picking up on his ‘burn down the disco’ sentiments on black music… The other line has been to probe for a story on the man’s sexuality, taking their cue from the camp artwork on Smiths record sleeves and from lyrics like ‘I’m the eighteenth descendant of some old queen or another’. Perhaps the most “creative” of these investigations involved putting Morrissey together with his friend Pete Burns and “documenting” the outcome. (Stuart Bailie, Record Mirror, February 1987)
But that didn’t stop the press yet again attacking him for racism – and yet again bringing up the fact that he, a “poofy bastard”, touched a Union Jack – after an image of James Baldwin was paired with a Smiths lyric ‘I wear black on the outside cause black is how I feel on the inside‘.
The Manchester-born singer has found himself at the centre of a number of rows since the early 90s, after an incident when he wrapped himself in the Union Jack at a concert in Finsbury Park. (Danuta Keen, the Guardian, March 2017)
Baldwin would probably have understood the pairing though since both of them struggled with the gap between their self-perception and the way society perceived them esp in relation to their sexuality, ethnicity, and desire to be writers. And both have been denounced as inflammatory and excluded by supposed progressives – Baldwin was sidelined by the Civil Rights movement because he was gay, Morrissey has been excluded from his own work.
In America, the color of my skin stood between myself and me; in Europe, that barrier was down. Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. It turned out that the question of who I was was not solved because I had removed myself from the social forces which menaced me – anyway, these forces had become interior, and I had dragged them across the ocean with me… (James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son, 1961)
And on Twitter, two music journalists, decided the font and layout of a t-shirt was a homage to neo-Nazi band Skrewdriver.
Skrewdriver’s roadie, Nicky Crane, came out as gay a month before the Finsbury Park gig where Morrissey was attacked by far right homophobes and the NME accused him of inciting it because he was attracted to skinheads.
Nicky Crane had left the National Front because it was violently homophobic and Skrewdriver disowned him.
The far right were also violently opposed to Irish Catholics and Irish Republicans. Morrissey is an Irish Catholic and an Irish Republican.
It seems to me that most of the people that want to destroy the Royal family are either Irish or commies. (Ian Stuart Donaldson, lead singer of Skrewdriver)
Smash The IRA – Skrewdriver:
On the streets of Ulster, the battle rages on British people fighting for their land Fought in two world wars for us, fought and died for Britain Gotta help them, support the Red Hand
Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Remember the victims of their bombs
Gotta change our policies and hang the IRA Let the Army deal with them their way Corrupt politicians and sniveling left-wing scum Are quite content to let them get away Come on Ulster!
Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Remember the victims of their bombs
Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Remember the victims of their bombs
IRA supporters are marching on our streets Are we gonna let them spread their lies? Are we gonna let them march or are we gonna smash them? Laughing while the British people die Come on Ulster!
Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Smash! Smash! The IRA! Remember the victims of their bombs