Demon of Britpop

Britpop was a 1990s musical style that favoured an ‘ironic’ or flattened version of working-class British life inspired by the 1960s – booze, birds and ‘having a good time’.

There is a myth that the movement had to save Union Jack iconography from Morrissey’s fascism.

To recap – in August 1992 Morrissey played 1 of 2 gigs at Finsbury Park, London with the band Madness, who allegedly had a strong skinhead following. While singing Glamorous Glue, Morrissey thrashed the Union Jack around the stage as the crowd reportedly yelled homophobic slurs at him and threw missiles. He refused to play the second gig. The NME interpreted this as Morrissey being racist.

In contrast, The Rolling Stones hired Hell’s Angels to be security at their gig in Altamont, San Francisco in 1969. While they were singing Sympathy For The Devil, a fight broke out and the Hell’s Angels stabbed to death an 18 year old black audience member, Meredith Hunter. This was interpreted by everyone as ‘the end of the 1960s’.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidchiu/2019/12/03/altamont-at-50-the-disastrous-concert-that-brought-the-60s-to-a-crashing-halt/?sh=3ddd92ab1941

The Union Jack had always been used extensively in UK pop promotion.

In 1990 New Order released a song for the World Cup with the English football team. Its chant ‘En-ger-land’! became popular without any agonising about it encouraging England’s underbelly of football hooliganism and racism.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19596766

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/feb/08/english-football-is-consumed-by-racism-and-hatred-can-the-cycle-be-broken

The 90s would see two more hit football anthems, Three Lions (Football’s coming home) by Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds, and Vindaloo by Fat Les (We’re England, We’re gonna score one more than you, England!).

Sentimental longing or arrogant bragging, both songs were celebrations of fandom.

Morrissey’s football song – from Your Arsenal, the same album as The National Front Disco – was ‘We’ll Let You Know’ – sinister, mournful, violent – it was anything but a celebration.

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 ’til 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
Oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah

We will descend
On anyone unable to defend
Themselves
Oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah, oh-wah

And the songs we sing
They’re not supposed to mean a thing
La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la

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’ve ever known
We are the last truly British people you will ever know
You’ll ever, never, want to know

Morrissey was excluded from Britpop not because he was the dark side, but because he reminded them that the dark side existed when they wanted to use the fig leaf of irony to enjoy the pride and thrill of being loutish, lustful and national.

I crave extremes. I want to be THAT famous, or THAT known. The only reason I’m in this is to make great rock’n’roll records, for the hell of it, and I’m concerned that everybody thinks I’m this politically correct, right-on woman. (Louise Wener, January 1995, Melody Maker)

We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes. (Peter Mandelson, New Labour strategist, October 1998, Financial Times)

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cool-britannia.html

He Said Hitler Was Left-Wing!

In a Morrissey Central interview with ‘John Riggers’ published in April 2018 there was the following exchange.

JOHN: Your last album was dedicated to Dick Gregory, yet a question of racism has always chased you through the press. 

MORRISSEY: People accuse, yes, but they can’t penetrate or illuminate. The sole point of all of those NME slurs was to turn my audience against me. I recall one NME piece many years ago which addressed its readers with ”we just can’t turn you off him, can we ?”. That said it all. And as far as racism goes, the modern Loony Left seem to forget that Hitler was Left wing! But of course, we are all called racist now, and the word is actually meaningless. It’s just a way of changing the subject. When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is ”hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it, so perhaps if I distract you by calling you a bigot we’ll both forget how enlightened your comment was.” 

https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/there-is-a-light-that-must-be-switched-on

His remark that Hitler was left-wing was widely condemned by people who believed that they couldn’t misrepresent words on his own website that they’d taken out of context and made the worst interpretation of.

It really wasn’t such an unfounded thing to say.

The Observer reviewed ‘Liberal Fascism’ by Jonah Goldberg in 2009 and was persuaded that there was a case for fascism being on the left.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/feb/08/goldberg-liberal-fascism-review

In 1998 The Independent said, “It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National Socialism was not hypocritical.” 

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/hitler-and-socialist-dream-1186455.html

And as it was prompted by his dedication to Dick Gregory, an American civil/animal rights activist & comedian, who said “Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel, and brutal taking of life. We don’t have to be a part of it”, it was unlikely to be some twisted way of justifying racism.

But Dorian Lynskey decides this interview proves Morrissey has repugnant views:

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/observations/2018/04/morrissey-so-much-answer

And accuses him of having an obsession with Islam, when he’s barely mentioned Islam & was only calling the left ‘loony’ because he didn’t understand why the left had become so censorious and had made some topics, like Halal slaughter techniques, taboo.

It’s fair to say Morrissey has tunnel vision about animal rights & is so ardently opposed to authority that he has a terrible taste in marginal politicians – but everything else is just wanting him to be normal.

He’s still a sensitive, humane champion of the marginalised and vulnerable. Far more sensitive and humane than the journalists who pretend that his muddled remarks make him a racist rape apologist.

You’re just never going to get a sane, coherent, workable political manifesto out of him.

California Son

Pingate (wearing the badge of UK fringe party For Britain) happened as Moz was releasing California Son – a selection of left-wing protest songs from his childhood – plus genderqueer covers of Jobriath, Melanie & 5th Dimension.

A tiny bit of research would have revealed that Moz had always loved these artists, even when he was almost behaving himself by being a socialist & wanting to guillotine Margaret Thatcher, who he still hates.

(From his autobiography, published in Penguin Modern Classics, 2013)

He also thought the Beeb had it in for Buffy – so it’s not just white Indie artists he thinks get excluded – it’s anyone with a message that disturbs the establishment.

& that tiny bit of research would have revealed that whatever he thought he was doing, he didn’t think he’d gone to the far right. You can’t disguise a fascist party with an anguished plea, it’s absurd to think anyone would try. But you can, esp. in our world of disinformation overload, be mistaken.

https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/i-ve-been-dreaming-of-a-time-when-the-english-are-sick-to-death-of-labour-and-tories

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

20 April 2018

A few articles explaining how & why the deeply unlikely leader of For Britain, Anne Marie Waters (lesbian, vegan, secularist, ex-Labour, Irish immigrant) had turned to the Far Right would have been useful journalism but the call of the clickbait & the thrill of the witch-hunt was too strong.

The Guardian (24th May, 2019) claimed to hear slimey trolling – in what is, a very sweet & sincere album (there is no decade of contentious proclamations, there’s a decade of them sifting through his interviews & on-stage patter to find half a sentence to condemn him for, usually connected to his belief in animal rights or dislike of Monarchy).

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/may/24/morrissey-california-son-review-clumsy-covers-troll-like-spirit

Merseyrail removed the poster. Indie record stores banned his records. DJs stopped playing him. The press tried to harass his collaborators into denouncing him. And the moral panic got into full swing.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyrail-orders-removal-morrissey-posters-16321633

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/morrissey-smiths-record-shop-banned-16313914

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/mar/01/morrissey-collaborators-respond-to-his-politics