Irish Republican

In the Melody Maker, November 1984, Morrissey said:

The sorrow of the Brighton Bomb is that she (the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher) 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… They want us to believe that such attacks can only work in the government’s favour but I believe that’s utter nonsense. 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.

He’s mostly annoyed that Thatcher was on television denouncing her own methods and the implication is that the IRA usually pick their targets badly, but the first sentence (usually the only one quoted) was enough to have him denounced as a terrorist sympathiser. The Smiths received death threats from Loyalist paramilitaries, the Irish Government insisted they play a scheduled Irish tour, and the IRA, not fussed about the ‘for once’, took it as a compliment.

https://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/the-smiths-were-ordered-to-play-the-north-by-irish-govt-26719453.html

https://lostinbelfast.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/13-barbarism-begins-at-home/

In May 2011 he was in trouble with conservatives in Ireland and the UK for saying the Queen should give the six counties back.

https://www.hotpress.com/opinion/the-existence-of-the-queen-is-against-any-notion-of-democracy-7901992

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/morrissey-tells-queen-to-hand-over-six-counties-1.573354

https://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/921

Even the UK left-wing press was sniffy – choosing to highlight his comparison of a constitutional Monarch with a dictator.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/may/18/morrissey-compares-queen-muammar-gaddafi

In April 2013 he got flack for mocking Thatcher’s death and for using a crass picture of the Queen.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/morrissey-belfast-singer-under-fire-after-show-mocked-margaret-thatcher-and-the-queen-31094269.html

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/apr/10/morrissey-statement-margaret-thatcher

In a statement on True To You, 9th April 2013, he said:

The difficulty with giving a comment on Margaret Thatcher’s death to the British tabloids is that, no matter how calmly and measuredly you speak, the comment must be reported as an “outburst” or an “explosive attack” if your view is not pro-establishment. If you reference “the Malvinas”, it will be switched to “the Falklands”, and your “Thatcher” will be softened to a “Maggie.” This is generally how things are structured in a non-democratic society. Thatcher’s name must be protected not because of all the wrong that she had done, but because the people around her allowed her to do it, and therefore any criticism of Thatcher throws a dangerously absurd light on the entire machinery of British politics. Thatcher was not a strong or formidable leader. She simply did not give a shit about people, and this coarseness has been neatly transformed into bravery by the British press who are attempting to re-write history in order to protect patriotism. As a result, any opposing view is stifled or ridiculed, whereas we must all endure the obligatory praise for Thatcher from David Cameron without any suggestion from the BBC that his praise just might be an outburst of pro-Thatcher extremism from someone whose praise might possibly protect his own current interests. The fact that Thatcher ignited the British public into street-riots, violent demonstrations and a social disorder previously unseen in British history is completely ignored by David Cameron in 2013. In truth, of course, no British politician has ever been more despised by the British people than Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday will be heavily policed for fear that the British tax-payer will want to finally express their view of Thatcher. They are certain to be tear-gassed out of sight by the police. United Kingdom? Syria? China? What’s the difference?

No one in the UK press has tried to explain why they believe he was an IRA supporter AND a supporter of their enemies, the UK far right.

Anecdotal evidence from Twitter
UK far right magazine, founded 1999
UK far right leader, has tried to win over Irish Catholics, but finds it hard to hide his anti-Irish sectarian racism.

On a side note – The Guardian had to apologise for employing an IRA supporter who used his platform to smear a rape survivor.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-56292056

And on an even sider side note – in a weird quirk of fate – Scottish comedian Limmy, whose brother was jailed for anti-Irish Catholic sectarian racism, could drag Irish Catholic Morrissey for British Nationalism. It’s funnier if you’re Glaswegian.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/tv-comic-limmys-brother-jailed-3006790

Brexit

Morrissey was sympathetic to Brexit for left leaning reasons.

In the same way that he’s in favour of Catalonian Independence:

“British singer and songwriter Steven Patrick Morrissey has used images of the police violence during the Catalan independence referendum on 1st October last year during his world tour to illustrate his song Who will protect us from the police. This isn’t the first time that the singer has referred to Catalonia. Three days after the referendum, during a concert presenting his new album, he said: “Free Catalonia from Spain. Free the bull from Spain. Free everybody from Spain.”” (March, 2018)

https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/morrissey-images-catalan-referendum-attacks_245703_102.html

Scottish Independence:

“Morrissey, known for his penchant for making controversial statements, has become the latest personality to wade in on the Scottish independence debate. The World Peace is None of Your Business singer has placed himself firmly in the “yes” camp, according to an interview with Ireland’s Hot Press magazine. “They must cut ties with the United King-dumb,” he said. “I love Scotland, and I love the Scottish spirit and they do not need Westminster in the least.”” (August 2014)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/scottish-independence-morrissey-urges-scots-leave-united-king-dumb-9659984.html

& The Arab Spring:

“I think it’s important not to assume that the government represent the wishes of the people. This is actually very rarely the case, hence the Arab Spring. It’s not the case in England, and it’s not the case in Israel. All presidents and prime ministers love war and conflict, because they see it as an easy way to garner patriotic support. Thatcher was never happier than when she was killing Argentinians, and Bush was delighted to bomb just about anyone. War is great business for governments, and the people usually have no say. I had an offer to play in Damascus, but do you turn it down because of the Assad regime? As we now know, Assad’s control over Syria has been Hitleresque, and the people have no basic human rights.” (August, 2014)

https://www.hotpress.com/music/a-piece-of-his-mind-morrissey-interview-12107062

He’s deeply opposed to governments & the class system:

“From my own experience England cannot be democratic because it has a self-elected superstructure that has decided that they are to be known as ‘the royal family’. Forty-five per cent of the UK want the monarchy, 55% do not. The Queen is the richest woman in the world, yet still takes £200 million every year from the working British people. Her presence alone symbolises repression, and her work – whatever it is – fails to mean anything… There must be because people are absolutely fed-up with the idea of a Prime Minister whom no one ever likes. British politics has never quite been so unconvincing, with Prime Minister’s Question Time looking like a scene from Brideshead Revisited.” (August, 2014, link above)

He didn’t vote for Brexit:

“I’m non-political. I always have been. I’ve never voted in my life.” (November, 2017)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/morrissey-brexit-will-never-happen-westminster-doesnt-want/

& has never supported UKIP:

sam:
Can we just sort out your political position because I’m sick of reading about how you’ve had a ‘controversial outburst’ when I know that you aren’t seen anywhere and you don’t ever speak to anyone. I’ve known you for 35 years and I’ve never heard you outburst. Are you actually a supporter of UKIP? 

M:
No. Never. 

He’s also never supported Nigel Farage – although being Morrissey he managed to get serious flack by also saying Farage would make a good PM, which from Moz is like saying he’d be a good serial killer:

sam:
Of Nigel Farage? 

M:
No, no, no … but it’s obvious that he would make a good Prime Minister … if any of us can actually remember what a good Prime Minister is. 

By ‘good’ he means memorable:

[Margaret Thatcher’s] policies I thought were the work of the Devil. I thought she was purely, intentionally evil. But you can’t deny that she was a phenomenon, and you couldn’t help but overdiscuss her… John Major is in nobody’s mind a Prime Minister; he seems to have no human presence at all. [ Gossip from Steven Daly ] Well, that’s the first interesting thing I’ve heard about him. Now he deserves to be Prime Minister. (Morrissey, Spin, April 1991)

His objections to the EU are his objections to all governments:

sam:
But you are a Brexiteer? 

M:
I didn’t vote in the referendum although I can see how there is absolutely nothing attractive about the EU. My view has always been that the result of the referendum must be carried through. If the vote had been remain there would be absolutely no question that we would remain. In the interest of true democracy, you cannot argue against the wish of the people. Without the people, nobody in high office gets paid. 
(June, 2019)

https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/234417-the-interview

And it’s linked to his serious distrust of legacy media (unsurprising considering how bad his own coverage is):

“What has happened is that news media can no longer attach any nobility to old-style politics because although politicians do not and cannot change, the people the world over have changed. What could be more grotesquely stupid than the Clinton-Trump coverage? As for Brexit, the result was magnificent, but it is not accepted by the BBC or Sky News because they object to a public that cannot be hypnotised by BBC or Sky nonsense. These news teams are exactly the same as Fox and CNN in that they all depend on public stupidity to create their own myth of reality. Watch them at your peril!” (October, 2016)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/morrissey-brexit-magnificent-britain-leave-european-union-a7379361.html

Some journalists know they’ve simplified his position to give it an outrage news angle – the others cut and paste.

Side Note : Lexit.

It’s been astounding to witness so many left-wingers, in meltdown over Brexit, resort to parroting liberal economics. Thus we hear that factor mobility isn’t about labour arbitrage, that public services aren’t under pressure, that we must prioritise foreign direct investment and trade. It’s little wonder Labour became so detached from its base. Such claims do not match the lived experience of ordinary people in regions of the country devastated by deindustrialisation and disinvestment. (Joe Guinan, The New Statesman, July 2017)

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/brexit/2017/07/lexit-eu-neoliberal-project-so-lets-do-something-different-when-we-leave-it

My view of the EU has always been not that I am hostile to foreigners but I am in favour of democracy. I think they are building an empire and want us to be part of that empire, and I don’t want that. (Tony Benn, Labour Party MP)

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26575258

the EU emerged through the rescaling of governance to inter-elite networks insulated – by design – from popular control, which lock in anti-democratic and conservative policies. Restoring popular control has to involve leaving the EU and revitalising national democracy in a progressive, internationalist direction. (Ros Taylor, LSE Blog, June 10th 2016) https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2016/06/10/the-eu-locked-in-neoliberalism-and-locked-out-its-people-brexit-is-the-alternative/

Progressives should be appalled by European Union’s ruination of Greece. It’s time to reclaim the Eurosceptic cause…
“Everything good about the EU is in retreat; everything bad is on the rampage,” writes George Monbiot, explaining his about-turn. “All my life I’ve been pro-Europe,” says Caitlin Moran, “but seeing how Germany is treating Greece, I am finding it increasingly distasteful.” Nick Cohen believes  the EU is being portrayed “with some truth, as a cruel, fanatical and stupid institution”. “How can the left support what is being done?” asks Suzanne Moore. “The European ‘Union’. Not in my name.” There are senior Labour figures in Westminster and Holyrood privately moving to an “out” position too. (Owen Jones, the Guardian, 14th July 2015) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/14/left-reject-eu-greece-eurosceptic