Marrgate: Attacked with an Open Letter

On the 25th of January 2022, Morrissey Central published an Open Letter from Morrissey to Johnny Marr requesting him to stop talking about him.

This is not a rant or an hysterical bombast.  It is a polite and calmly measured request:  Would you please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?
Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music?
If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?
The fact is: you don’t know me.  You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings.  Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.  We haven’t known each other for 35 years – which is many lifetimes ago.  When we met you and I were not successful.  We both helped each other become whatever it is we are today.  Can you not just leave it at that?  Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything … from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin ? 
You found me inspirational enough to make music with me for 6 years.  If I was, as you claim, such an eyesore monster, where exactly did this leave you?  Kidnapped?  Mute?  Chained?  Abducted by cross-eyed extraterrestrials?  It was YOU who played guitar on ‘Golden Lights’ – not me.
Yes, we all know that the British press will print anything you say about me as long as it’s cruel and savage.  But you’ve done all that.  Move on.  It’s as if you can’t uncross your own legs without mentioning me.  Our period together was many lifetimes ago, and a lot of blood has streamed under the bridge since then.  There comes a time when you must take responsibility for your own actions and your own career, with which I wish you good health to enjoy.  Just stop using my name as click-bait.  I have not ever attacked your solo work or your solo life, and I have openly applauded your genius during the days of ‘Louder than bombs’ and ‘Strangeways, here we come’, yet you have positioned yourself ever ready as rent-a-quote whenever the press require an ugly slant on something I half-said during the last glacial period as  the Colorado River began to carve out  the Grand Canyon.  Please stop.  It is 2022, not 1982. https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/open-letter-to-johnny-marr

Marr replied on Twitter linking Morrissey to Donald Trump to reinforce the myth that Morrissey is right-wing.

He was against Trump.

But guilt by association doesn’t need you to actually associate – so there was a pile-on. Marr underlined it by changing his profile picture to his Simpsons character. Morrissey’s character had been depicted as a fat, gay, meat-eating racist. And showing how closely the homophobia is entwined with the racism allegations the Simpsons had violated their own diversity casting policy by hiring a straight actor, and had boasted about a homophobic ad-lib.

With no stand out word or phrase in the letter to demonise him with, it was denouced wholesale as bitchy, moany, odious (Rocks Back Pages emailed their subscribers the NME’s homophobic hit piece to remind them that Morrissey is a racist) & untruthful – with journalists insisting that Marr has to be cajoled into talking about Morrissey as if Morrissey should know that esp as Marr is cajoled nearly every time.

It’s not quite clear what Johnny Marr said recently to piss off Morrissey, but it resulted in an extremely bitchy “open letter” from the former Smiths singer to his one-time guitarist and songwriting partner. (Rolling Stone, January 2022)

Plus the return of the Lucky Dip from the List of Word Crimes – pioneered by Sounds to label Morrissey a paedophile for Reel Around the Fountain and perfected by the NME in their homophobic hit piece – he’s only committed two atrocities – touching a flag for two minutes and wearing a badge twice.

The Guardian chose Hitler, Brexit, Rape Apologist, Immigration, Merseyrail, and For Britain. The Independent chose For Britain, Hitler, Own Race and Khan’s Accent. Consequence went for Con-Vid and For Britain.

He’d last mentioned For Britain – a party he didn’t vote for, join, or give money to – in May 2019.

Side Note 1: The NME kept it general with ‘controversial‘ Morrissey & ‘legendary‘ Marr. Which is fitting. By about 1988 Morrissey was too erratic to become an A-list star and they decided to invest in Marr.

I must admit, pestered Marr. A relentless mixture of journo and fan… the true story of The Smiths has become a prisoner of Morrissey’s whimsical memory and busy tongue, and, worse, the loaded imaginings of hacks… Marr has steeled himself and agreed to do a once-and-for-all, no-holds-barred interview about the band that, more than any other, illuminated ’80s Britpop.
He has chosen his moment with care. The imminent release of Electronic’s second single (‘Get The Message’); and the album that’ll quickly follow, will place Marr at the creative crux of his second great band. It will confirm him as one of the most gifted and influential musicians of the last decade. Maybe the most.
Before we start, one more thing needs making crystal clear; Johnny Marr is a Very Happy Man. And why not? At 27 years of age (27? Shocking, isn’t it?) he has it all, sorted. A career on the very brink of new pinnacles: a blessed marriage to Angie; a collection of guitars vast enough to satisfy even as voracious an axe-freak as he; a car too big for most of the streets of his native Manchester; a studio refuge in the depths of his home. Did I say ‘happy ? This, people, is the proverbial pig in shit.
But best of all, though, is Johnny Marr’s healthy relationship with his past. He has refused to let it haunt or hinder him. Nor is he cramped, like some, by an undue reverence for Morrissey. Indeed, he (like all the Factory mafia) now refers to his former soulmate as ‘Dorissey’ and has re-christened the limpid lad’s last 45 (‘Our Frank’) as ‘Alf Wank’. (Danny Kelly, NME, April 1991) https://mycuttings.blogspot.com/2021/03/1991-04-20-johnny-marr-nme.html

Side Note 2: if Morrissey mimicked a Black artist it would have been in his List of Word Crimes:

This is nervy, routine business-avoidance. We’re here to talk Smiths. Start at the start.
“I was born a poor black chile …” he grins, in one last attempt at stalling. (Danny Kelly, Johnny Marr, NME, April 1991)

Side Note 3: more evidence that straight male rock stars can say anything.

The Guardian defends Neil Young’s right-wing homophobic phase:

Politically-speaking, its hard to exorcise the ghost of his 1980s pronouncements, when he swung hard-right behind the Reagan presidency and lashed out at gays (“you go to the supermarket and you see a faggot behind the fucking cash register, you don’t want him to handle your potatoes”) and welfare spongers. “Stop being supported by the government and get out and work,” Neil advised. “You have to make the weak stand up on one leg, or half a leg, whatever they’ve got.” Set against all this, however, is some of the finest music of the last 30 years; a body of work that’s at once earthy yet haunting. Marshalling the case for the defence I would direct the jury, in particular, to listen to Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After the Goldrush, the wonderfully sepulchral Tonight’s the Night, choice portions of Harvest, Zuma and Rust Never Sleeps, and the whole of On the Beach (recently reissued and every bit as good as I remember it) (Xan Brooks, the Guardian, September 2003) https://www.theguardian.com/music/2003/sep/17/popandrock.neilyoung

And fabricates Morrissey into a right-winger because of a couple of out of context quotes. Morrissey had expressed support for left-winger Bernie Sanders in June 2016 and left-winger Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015 and had released a political manifesto that was all about animal welfare in March 2016 when he considered running for London mayor on behalf of the left-wing Animal Welfare Party.

Did he and Morrissey have similar politics? “Yeah, we did back then.” And now? “I wouldn’t expect so. Probably not.” In recent years, Morrissey has made headlines for suggesting that immigration is compromising British identity; he sued the NME (successfully) for defamation, releasing a statement that “racism has no place in our society”. In a 2010 interview with this magazine, he described the Chinese as a “subspecies” when it came to their treatment of animals. Marr prefers to talk about the days when Morrissey reserved his bile for Margaret Thatcher. (Simon Hattenstone, the Guardian, October 2016) https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/29/johnny-marr-the-smiths-morrissey-simon-hattenstone

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/mar/07/morrissey-considers-running-for-london-mayor-animal-welfare-party-boris-johnson

https://www.nme.com/news/music/morrissey-16-1200365

https://www.nme.com/news/music/morrissey-48-1224576

England’s Quare Cancer – Morrissey and Nostalgia

Morrissey was born into an Irish Catholic family, grew up as part of the minority Irish Catholic community and lived between Dublin and Manchester. He talked about his struggles to belong and make sense of his Irish and English identity in light of Ireland’s colonisation by England/the British Empire. He comforted himself with the idea that even if he felt out of place, English people also had life hard. And he knew the pain of parting as family members moved abroad.

It was a constant confusion to me why I never really felt ‘This is my patch. This is my home. I know these people. I can do what I like, because this is mine.’ It never was. I could never walk easily. (Morrissey, Melody Maker, September 1986)

my sister and I growing up, never really felt we were Mancunians. My Irishness was never something I hid or camouflaged. I grew up in a strong Irish community. Of course, early on I’d be teased about it, I was called `Paddy’ from an early age… this was back in the 1960s when it was a bitter and malevolent slur. But that’s how Manchester people are – they’re extremely critical of everything and everybody… I used to come back to Dublin… the people seemed happier and more carefree and Crumlin seemed so open – certainly more so than the confines of Hulme. We were quite happy to ghettoise ourselves as the Irish community in Manchester, the Irish stuck rigidly together. (Morrissey, Irish Times, 20 November 1999) https://www.irishtimes.com/news/paddy-english-man-part-1-1.252576

Obviously the Irish feel resentment towards England because England has historically been so appalling to Ireland. So it was somewhat confusing for me growing up… England has been a bully and is a bully. (Morrissey, Mojo, June 2004)

We had waved goodbye to Mary at Manchester Airport, a US emigree in her nineteenth year, and to never again be a Manchester lass. We all cry uncontrollably as Mary’s flight is called – a much loved branch hacked away. (Morrissey, Autobiography, 2013)

In Viva Hate every protagonist is dislocated in some way, and they’re all harried. Bengali in Platforms is consistent with the album, his lived experience of not fitting in, & Ireland’s vein of wistful, bittersweet, cautionary songs about the ‘curse of emigration’.

There’s a graveyard in Tir Conaill,where the blossoms sadly grow, There’s a sorrow stricken mother,kneeling o’re that lonely grave. My Noreen,oh my Noreen its lonesome since you’ve gone, Twas the shame of emigration,laid you low my Noreen Bawn. (Neil McBride, folk song, from Donegal, Ireland, 1910) https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/songs-of-irish-emigration-exile

The NME said it was a “convoluted diatribe against assimilation” (22 August 1992) and reprinted Q’s assessment from March 1988 that: In Morrissey’s mind, (‘Bengali In Platforms’) may be a profound statement about personal alienation, but unfortunately it would go down very well at a singalong after a National Front picnic.

David Stubbs, thought all black and Asian people were interchangeable, and hit on the Irish stereotype of the Thick Paddy.

The appalling Bengali In Platforms, quintessentially Morrissey, Morrissey the Diana Ross hating Morrissey… dumb… embarrassing… a caring call to the sartorially inept Asian… appallingly patronising… deals with an outmoded stereotype… [should be about] the snappily-dressed Punjabi…. [Morrissey is] our last idiot. (David Stubbs, Melody Maker, 19 March 1988)

Along with temper, aggressiveness, deceit and a natural penchant for alcohol, one of the oldest and most enduring putative characteristics of the Irishman was his atavistic ignorance or, at best, his inveterate illogicality. The Irishman’s intellectual deficit, characterised by bulls, blunders and malapropisms, made him a lamentable figure of fun. (James McCabe, Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2008) https://books.openedition.org/pufr/5076

A consensus formed that Morrissey was telling immigrants to get out of the country.

the lyrics to Bengali In Platforms (“It’s hard enough when you belong here” – implication: you don’t) had long rubbed liberals up the wrong way, even though he was simpy addressing what he’d seen around him in multicultural Manchester. (Andrew Collins, his blog, 28 November 2007)

And that he was nostalgic for “an enclosed world that ends in roughly 1964, at some sort of point just before large-scale migration from the cotton districts of south Asia into the cotton districts of the North West of England” (Owen Hatherley, Verso, 31 March 2020).

In fact, South Asians arrived in the 1950s, and lived in the same immigrant slums as the Irish. And it was those immigrant slums that Morrissey was nostalgic for, never recovering from the trauma of the slum clearances, as communities were ripped apart by nice, well-meaning, middle-class people for their own good, and exiled into “ugly new houses”.

In a way it was like having one’s childhood wiped away. In Queen’s Square, my grandmother occupied the fourth house. We occupied the fifth house. And the sixth house was occupied by my mother’s sister and her family. So it was a very strong community and it was very tight. Very solid. And it was also quite happy. Well there’s nothing at Queen’s Square now… everything has just vanished. It’s just like the whole thing has been completely erased from the face of the earth. I feel great anger. I feel massive sadness. It’s like a complete loss of childhood. Because although I’ve always lived in Manchester, and I’ve always lived relatively close to here, to this part of Manchester, now… it’s just so foreign to me. And that’s quite sad, I think. (Morrissey, Oxford Road Show, BBC 2, 22 March 1985)

Morrissey’s lost England

In the Smiths his nostalgia was part of his oddity – because he was camp (the gay antiques dealer being a common stereotype) or because he was a nerd obsessively collecting pictures of old dead film stars, or a congenital idiot.

We afford [Morrissey] the sort of license that’s normally extended to children and idiots; sensing the presence of an innocence and simplicity that’s been civilised out of the rest of us. (Paul Du Noyer, NME, 16 February 1985)

The accusation that he’s nostalgic for a Green and Pleasant, white, Nationalist, Little England comes from the NME’s 1992 homophobic hit piece.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating England or Britain… but… once you start cavorting with the Union Jack, with all its ambiguities, and surrounding yourself with the paraphernalia and imagery of the skinhead cult, then that celebration has moved… into… dangerous territory. And that territory is not the green and pleasant land of Morrissey’s dreams... “Take me back to dear old Blighty…” So sang Cicely Courtneidge in The L-Shaped Room, as grafted onto the evocative intro to ‘The Queen Is Dead”s opening title track. The ’60s kitchen sink movie is one of Morrissey’s pet favourites; the use of the patriotic pub singalong a mere atmosphere-setting quirk on an album littered with ambiguous pro/anti-nationalist signals. But, as ever with the controversy-courting bard of Whalley Range, it conjures images of Old England, Dunkirk spirit, British bulldog nostalgia and — stop us if you’ve heard this one before… (NME, 22 August 1992)

Morrissey advocates a cricket green England, an England where we tolerate immigration in small numbers, an England where it’s exotic to have a ‘brown’ neighbour… ‘Shelve your Western plans’ is a synonym for ‘England for the English’. It’s ‘go home P***’ in more poetic language with a prettier tune. (Martin Rossiter, the Quietus, 26 May 2017)

After that any reference to England in his work was heavily policed and maligned.

We are, this time round, spared any dubious songs about Bengalis who don’t belong here or visits to fascist discos. (“I didn’t invent the Union Jack” he sulked to a journalist recently, adding that he “didn’t understand the fascist implications of it”. Morrissey didn’t invent being an issue-fudging twat either.) There are no ballads. The twinkling insouciance of ‘Kill Uncle’ and the razor glam of ‘Your Arsenal’ are absent. Instead, Moz and the gang give RCA what they want, which is a loud mess to sell to America… In the end, there’s no reason why anyone who already owns a record made by Morrissey – or, more particularly, The Smiths – should even want to hear this record, let alone buy it. Its maker should call himself The Morrissey Formerly Known As Artiste. (David Quantick, NME, August 1995)

Certainly, the paper-thin caricature Englishness of much of Maladjusted is likely to go down much better with Americans, for whom the title-track’s mentions of the Fulham Road and “a Stevenage overspill” might yet retain a little declasse glamour. (Andy Gill, the Independent, August 1997)

In an era when every other UK artist was dripping in Union Jacks he was disparaged for writing a gay love song set in a part of London where he had lived.

Your leg came to rest against mine
Then you lounged with knees up and apart
And me and my heart, we knew
We just knew
For evermore
Where taxi drivers never stop talking
Under slate grey Victorian sky
Here you’ll find, my heart and I
And still we say come back
Come back to Camden
And I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good (Morrissey, lyrics Come Back to Camden, from the album You Are The Quarry, 2004)

The Smiths currently cast a longer shadow over British alt-rock than at any time since their 1987 split. You can hear their echoes in Franz Ferdinand and British Sea Power, while the Libertines appear to have been formed specifically to appeal to Morrissey: songs about a lost Albion and an on-stage penchant for gorblimey shirts-off male-bonding that frequently leaves them looking less like a rock band than something invented by Joe Orton… the lyrics seem trapped in the past: not the mythic pre-Beatles England that Morrissey’s songs usually evoke, but the less romantic environs of the mid-1990s… Irish Blood, English Heart makes a fuss about “standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial”, unaware that everyone else worked that one out around the time Geri Halliwell turned up at the Brits wearing a union flag miniskirt. Come Back to Camden offers a vision of Englishness so caricatured it would have caused the lowliest Britpopper to scoff: cockney cabbies, bad weather, tea. The urge to hit fast-forward before he mentions bowler hats, Yorkshire pudding or lovable chimney sweeps is quelled only by the song’s enrapturing melody. (Alex Petridis, the Guardian, May 2004)

A song about his clashing Irish-English identity had the Irish erased.

There’s a perfectly good anti-racist argument for allowing English ethnicity to speak its name, after all. The assumptions (expressed sotto voice, but unmistakably there) behind so much multi-culturalism weirdly duplicate those of imperialism: other people have ‘cultures’; we are normal. (Mark Fisher, K-Punk, July 2004) http://k-punk.org/slate-grey-victorian-sky/

This is the sort of ambiguous comment which seems to invite an assenting nod of the head but could easily have been uttered by Nigel Farage. Similarly, ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’, in which he sang, I’ve been dreaming of a time when/ To be English is not to be baneful /To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful/ Racist or partial/ Irish blood, English heart, this I’m made of /There is no one on earth I’m afraid of/ And I will die with both of my hands untied.” Ever since then, dog whistle by increasingly unsubtle dog whistle, living in splendid isolation from his home country and the consequences of his remarks, Morrissey has put himself beyond, and further beyond the pale. (David Stubbs, the Quietus, 4 July 2019)

Aptly the pale was a fence around English controlled areas of Ireland – beyond it was the savage Irish.

Morrissey was both cast out of & made to represent everything evil and wrong about England & the British Empire.

Morrissey is now, of course, almost a stateless person, although his seven years in Los Angeles don’t appear to have brought any great insight into either his new homeland or his old one. (Andy Gill, the Independent, 14 May 2004)

Morrissey has long since ceased to be worthy of cultural assessment; he no longer deserves to be part of that conversation. He has come to represent… something nasty, reactionary and dangerous in our culture, a poisonous voice at this critical point in Britain’s island history. Something has hardened like a tumour inside him over the years; what was once whimsical, amusing, pop-culturally apposite, is now the stuff of disease. (David Stubbs, the Quietus, 4 July 2019)

There followed the usual trawls through his cuttings file, where plenty of material awaited. From 1986: “To get on Top Of The Pops these days one has to be, by law, black.” Circa 1992: “I don’t really think … black people and white people will ever really get on or like each other.” And what about this peach, uttered three years ago? “The higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears.” As ugly as they seem – and to be more generous than he perhaps deserves – his views are not a matter of vicious, programmatic racism, but the same thinking that lies behind the more hard-bitten calls to Radio 4’s Any Answers: achingly conservative, terrified of difference, and in mourning for a lost country even the angriest white man might not actually like to live in...
Unlike plenty of other genres, its practitioners tend to pride themselves on an inclusive, liberal outlook, seen in an admirable campaign called Love Music Hate Racism (to which Morrissey made a donation in 2008, after the hoo-ha about his views on “British identity”). Indie’s home turf is urban bohemia, where diversity and difference are taken as read. But in his own gruesome way Morrissey embodies its contradictory collective id: a bundle of conservatism, parochialism and generic navel-gazing... In keeping with his catholic tastes, Albarn – a passionate fan of the music of west Africa – was performing alongside Bobby Womack, the rap trio De La Soul, and Snoop Dogg, but swarms of people soon departed the main arena in search of something more comforting. Presumably they were after some of the plodding, conservative fare that defines most of the rock aristocracy, and is an obligatory part of the outdoor ritual.
Morrissey, it’s fair to say, would have gone down a storm. (John Harris, the Guardian, Thu 9 Sep 2010)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/sep/09/morrissey-race-indie-back-yard

Morrissey is an extreme example of a common type [Fascista proudly racist Little-Englander… with] a nostalgia for misery, a longing for boredom… The ignorance. The pollution and the soot. The gay-bashing and the paki-bashing. The murders on the Moors… And who stands in the way of this self-aggrandisement through re-enactment? The Asians, especially the Muslims. The young. The left. The “woke”. And here, Morrissey is truly the voice of a generation. (Owen Hatherley, Verso, 31 March 2019)

And his work was stolen for the enrichment of the culture he was excluded from.

… you might have realised that our traditional national identity is crumbling around us. Any sense of imperialist superiority is disintegrating with every export barred or expat shipped home. Start a conversation with anyone with a Union Jack in their Twitter handle and you might be surprised at how little grace, discernment and gallantry ensues. Divided, exploited and at each other’s throats, we’ve so lost sight of who we are as a nation that we’re in danger of winning an international footballing semi-final on penalties. Which is why we should be protecting our prime cultural treasures at all costs. Exhibit one: The Smiths. Misery, isolation, melodic moaning, idolising American film stars and mainlining Coronation Street – could there be a more quintessentially British band? Yet over the years their legacy has been tainted by Morrissey’s support for far-right politics (among other pronouncements) and one of our greatest musical achievements has been at risk of being tipped into the ‘consequence culture’ canal. (Mark Beaumont, NME, April 2021) https://www.nme.com/features/opinion/the-smiths-morrissey-the-simpsons-2923272

Much of it driven by nostalgia. By branding Morrissey a racist they de-gay the Smiths, avoiding the discomfort of identifying with One Of Them, relegating him to an asexual ghost, rebounding on to the heterosexual axeman, replacing him with Brandon Flowers & Rick Astley.

The Smiths manifesto of vengeance on the world through disability, withdrawal and asexuality (it was impossible to imagine that Morrissey actually had a penis) was immensely attractive. (Simon Price, Melody Maker, 15 August 1992)

a lifetime of world-weary bitterness has soured the soul of Morrissey. This makes me sad, especially when one of his songs genuinely shook my self-centred 16-year-old self. In 1986 I was deeply affected by ‘I Know It’s Over’ from The Queen Is Dead and the lines “It’s so easy to laugh/ It’s so easy to hate/ It takes guts to be gentle and kind.” It would appear that, for Stephen Morrissey, hate will always be very much alive. (John Freeman, the Quietus, 13 March 2013)

… it’s time for an intervention. Johnny Marr, protector of all that is right and good about the Smiths, we need you like never before. If you can banish Cameron to the wastelands, forcing him to salvage whatever meagre delights he can from the Mighty Lemon Drops, surely you can do the same to Morrissey. Just one tweet, that’s all it would take. “I forbid Morrissey from liking the Smiths.” That’s it. Then we can band together, Samwell Tarly and all, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our enjoyment of a perfectly good band won’t once again be tainted by the lunk-headed ravings of a professional irritant like Morrissey. (Stuart Heritage, the Guardian, 3 October 2017)

Morrissey embodied a more sensitive form of masculinity for the young me – but was I just kidding myself?… The Smiths are okay, as they predate their singer’s consistent insensitivity, but solo Morrissey isn’t. (Jordan Bassett, NME, 7 August 2019)

yeah that’s the thing. ‘reggae is vile,’ panic, bengali…it was always right there. (J Edgar Noothgrush, ilxor, 24 January 2022)

Right-Wing Conspiracy Site

Morrissey’s website, Morrissey Central, went live on the 28th March 2018.

It’s run by his nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, a photographer.

SER in the orange dungarees

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.

Way of the World is a neo-Nazi account.

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.

from a post on fan site Morrissey Solo

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.

Morgoth’s circle getting into the Twitter pile-ons to scoop up views

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.

2nd image: Twitter, 22 October 2021

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.

He Said He Prefers His Own Race!

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.

Morrissey replied:

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.

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

The Guardian had published similar arguments.

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)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/29/reaction-to-rotherham-typical-british-blame-game

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)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/05/racist-racism-racially-white-ethnic-minorities

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)

https://www.vox.com/2014/12/26/7443979/racism-implicit-racial-bias

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.

ad infinitum…

Pingate

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.

https://sdscreenprinting.net/2019/05/18/the-tonight-show-with-jimmy-fallon/amp/

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.

Alt News Media, January 2019

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 political debate, which, if anything, highlights its importance. (Morrissey, True-to-You, 2016)

https://folk-devil.com/2021/09/05/sexually-ambiguous/

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)

The New European, 25 June 2018

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.

Pervert

On the 5th September 1983 the Sun ran a story with the headline, “Ban Child Porn Song Plea To Beeb” that accused Morrissey of writing songs that were pro paedophila.

The NME hyped the drama, but was on his side.

Following allegations made by overweight Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens (described by Private Eye as the “Lothario of the dancant”) that ‘Handsome Devil’ was a song explicitly about child-molesting, Mancunian four-piece The Smiths were reportedly under scrutiny by the BBC. However, the claim, reported in The Sun by Nick Ferrari, turns out to be totally unfounded. Asked to comment, Scott Piering at Rough Trade said that he viewed the allegations “seriously”: “Morrissey made it clear that none of the songs were about child-molesting, and Ferrari accepted this, and then he went and wrote it anyway.” Added Morrissey, “this piece makes me out to be a proud child-molester and I don’t even like children. ‘Handsome Devil’ is entirely directed towards adults”… (NME, September 10th, 1983)

Sounds wanted him banned.

Garry Bushell, Sounds, September 10th 1983

Singer Sandie Shaw worried that he’d harm her baby.

‘Morrissey would die to meet you’. At that point I was unaware of Morrissey’s penchant for melodrama and that Geoff was talking literally… The following day a hysterical story broke in ‘The Sun’ saying that the Smiths were releasing songs based on iffy subject matter: ‘Reel around the Fountain’ was supposed to be about child molesting or something, and another, ‘Suffer little children’, to be about the Moors Murders. I rang Geoff to cancel. ‘I can’t have a pervert in my home with my kids’… ‘Look, I’ll come with him to chaperone’… I uncancelled the appointment… I scrutinized Morrissey. He didn’t look like a child molester to me. Amie seemed to feel otherwise, and again I began to question my wisdom in meeting him. All my worst nightmares vied with the sweet angelic vision seated before me. As soon as he managed to mobilize his mouth and speak, all my fears subsided. He was the perfect gentleman… (Sandie Shaw, The World At My Feet, ‎HarperCollins, 9 May 1991)

The BBC removed Reel Around the Fountain from a show.

However fatuous and fantastic The Sun article was, it did succeed in its dirtying The Smiths name (for reasons unknown). It also ensured that the session, which wasn’t being “investigated,” was censored and that a six minute version of “Reel Around The Fountain” was removed. According to Mike Hawkes, the producer for David Jensen’s show, the specially commissioned track was removed purely as a precautionary measure. (David Dorrell, NME, September 24th 1983)

The scandal burned out, but left a lingering sense that there was something sinister and sick lurking in Morrissey’s lyrics.

Sandie Shaw & Morrissey

This was a era when gay or “sexually ambiguous” men were considered a threat to children. The gay age of consent was 21. And legislation was introduced to stop homosexuality being mentioned in schools.

It was also an era when underage girls were sexualised. Glamour model Sam Fox posed nude while still at school. The Police had a number one hit with a song about a male teacher having an affair with a female student. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones dated 13 year old “wild child” Mandy Smith.

Sam in the Sun, 1983

I wanted to write a song about sexuality in the classroom… I’d done teaching practice at secondary schools and been through the business of having 15-year-old girls fancying me – and me really fancying them! How I kept my hands off them I don’t know. (Sting, L’Historia Bandido, 1981)

Scottish Daily Mail, 4 May 2019

The prejudice resurfaced when a contingent and provisional conversation with Der Spiegel was reported as a robust defense of sex offenders.

Which stirred old stereotypes.

And slid unquestioned into the idea that parents had to protect their children from his music.

Anti-Anti-Racist Protesters

On September 30th 2019 Morrissey played a gig in Portland Oregon. Two protesters held up signs, one with the logo of UK political party For Britain under a stop sign (giving them yet more publicity – Morrissey stopped supporting them in May 2019, four months previously), and one saying ‘Bigmouth Indeed’.

The press had been following Morrissey’s North American tour to report low sales (they exaggerated, it did ok) and listen out for problematic stage “outbursts” (they got nothing but a fleeting reference to Faith Goldy and a Fuck The Guardian t-shirt).

Morrissey made the protesters leave the gig and a flurry of articles condemned him for being anti anti-racism and waxed lyrical about his supposed new far right political direction (he didn’t believe the party was far right, he thought their vegan leader was being lied about) or dipped into the list of distorted quotes pioneered by the NME in their homophobic hit piece in 1992, to prove that: He Has Always Been Like This (he wasn’t, he isn’t).

In fact, he’s sensitive about hecklers, throwing out particularly distracting ones, or walking off-stage if he smells a burger.

https://www.nme.com/news/music/morrissey-244-1307847

The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I just couldn’t bear it. (Morrissey, returning to the stage at Coachella, April 17th 2009)

I didn’t want to return to Brisbane because I’ve played there twice and on both nights I was heckled, which doesn’t bother me that much, but even if I reply with something snazzy, the heckler always wins because the night has been soured and we no longer feel welcome. That’s life. (Morrissey, news.com.au, August 2016)

A further scandal occurred when his nephew posted a picture of an audience in San Diego with the text:

no ‘politically offended protestors’ (as paid for and planted in the crowd by the British press) in sight … (Sam Esty Rayner, Morrissey Central, October 2019)

It was reported as a statement by Morrissey, though he tends to have his name attached. Whether he believed it was a stunt or not is unknown.

Side Note : In my notebook I’ve jotted ‘viva love crap from Dave’. Make of that what you will.

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 for less than 2 minutes before throwing it away. 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 (a band that had used Nazi iconography and slogans in their previous incarnation, Joy Division) 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 National 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 patriotic.

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

National Front Disco

In 1992, Morrissey’s album Your Arsenal, had a track called The National Front Disco.

The National Front was a fascist political party founded in the UK in 1967.

In the 1970s they tried to appeal to youths via social events like football matches and discos, eventually becoming associated with punks, skinheads and hooligans.

They were violently homophobic & opposed Irish Republicanism.

Every adult in Morrissey’s family had been born in Ireland – it’s abusrd to think that he would be singing ‘England for the English’ as a political statement.

And Your Arsenal’s homoeroticism is obvious.

It had a variety of inspirations or antecedents – Bill Buford’s Among The Thugs that described a homoerotic National Front Disco in Bury, Nick Knight’s photoessay Skinhead, skinhead bands like Bradford, Angelic Upstarts, & Cockney Rejects, the photographs of Derek Ridgers, Derek Jarman’s film Jubilee & the pulp novels of Richard Allen.

And it’s a narrative about family and friends losing a young man to the attractions of Nationalism. If they’re losing him, they must see Nationalism as repulsive. So you could easily imagine it as family and friends in a homophobic society losing a young man to the hedonism of the gay scene.

Art comes from clashing opposites and Morrissey’s celibate kindess has always run alongside his facination with sex & violence. A juxtaposition that makes sense when you consider that gay feelings were so taboo during his teenage years in the 1970s that they had to be exlored through male friendships, psychology, crime and celebrity scandal. The people who hated and policed gay people, made them the most visible.

In the Smiths his celibate kindness was foregrounded, in his solo years there was increasing moral panic about the nature of the sex & violence.

The faint hint of homoeroticism around ‘The Last of the International Playboys’, the first promotional video on ‘Hulmerist’, opens a whole different can of worms. Is the tee shirt thing a big, sick joke – the celebrated celibate getting his kicks sticking to the sweaty skin of every boy and girl in the hall? (Steve Sutherland, Melody Maker, 26 May 1990)

In August 1992 Morrissey played a gig with Madness at Finsbury Park. It was reported that the crowd threw missiles and yelled homophobic slurs like ‘poofy bastard’. Morrissey finished his set, but refused to return for the next date. This refusal was widely condemned in the music press culminating in the NME running an article accusing him of encouraging racism with his ‘fascist iconography’ – a union jack and a picture of two female skinheads – and citing The National Front Disco as the latest of a series of racist statements in his interviews and lyrics, none of which are actually racist.

In The Observer, December 1992, Robert Chalmers, thought he was ‘perversely attracted to the iconography of the far right.’

Morrissey said: ‘I like the flag. I think it’s very attractive. When does a Union Jack become racist?… The National Front interests me, like it interests everyone. Just as all manner of sexuality interests everyone. That doesn’t mean you necessarily want to take part.’

Billy Bragg was guoted saying ‘I don’t think Morrissey has ever quite got his politics worked out… The real problem with neo-fascist symbolism’ – that’s two girls and the UK’s official flag on a stage with a poofy bastard – ‘is that it is extremely difficult to retain an attitude which is neutral or ironic, which is what I think he is attempting to do.’

Except Morrissey’s politics were clear at the time. He hated Mrs Thatcher. He said he was a socialist. Much of the left shared his dislike of American hegemony and saw the European Union as a continuation of Imperialism. And while he was never keen on benefits and boycotts, he had dutifully turned up.

Beyond wanting to give him a kicking for not fulfilling professional engagements, and a desire to protect the reputation of men’s men, Madness, there was a suspicion that it was a kink.

Unlike safe showbiz gays who played into gay stereotypes (Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes to Hollywood) or kept their inclinations private (George Michael, Freddie Mercury) Morrissey was queering masculine things like football & gangsters – violating boundaries that were put in place to reassure men that they were men. One way to rationalise the discomfort was to put him ‘beyond the pale’ – smear him as a child molestor or a racist – or contain him by framing it as ironic or neutral.

Morrissey of course – cannot be contained.

On A Side Note: the media doesn’t even try to hide their double standards – homophobia runs so deep that it’s like breathing.

They’re happy to wax nostalgic about larky bad boys regardless of violence, homophobia and David Icke conspiracy theories:

Mark himself had once had his head banged repeatedly against a wall by Elvis Costello’s combative manager, Jake Riviera; one of his former NME colleagues was set on fire by Rat Scabies from The Damned, and another was left gaffer-taped to a tree in a desert by The Stranglers… Being “duffed up” (as Mark put it) by disgruntled rock stars was, I realised, a journalistic rite-of-passage. Still, he recommended I call (Ian) Brown’s record company and tell them that their “talent” was going around threatening critics… Within two weeks of our phone “chat” came the infamous air-rage incident, when he threatened to cut off the hands of a British Airways stewardess, then hammered on the cockpit door as the flight came into land… Brown was arrested. (He was eventually sentenced to four months in Strangeways, of which he served eight weeks.)… And, a few months later, Brown launched into a bizarre homophobic rant… ”I don’t trust the British fascination with homosexuals… Violence comes from Romans, Nazis, Greeks – they were all homosexuals.”… How did the lead singer of such an epoch-defining band become a swivel-eyed Covid-denier and online truth warrior? Well, one could plausibly point to a heady cocktail of toxic masculinity, over-inflated ego and drug use… A more sympathetic reading is that the 57-year-old divorced father-of-three might not be feeling quite himself in this new normal™, as is the case with many of us right now. Brown’s “me against the world” complex could be heightened by his counter-cultural leanings, instinctive anti-establishment beliefs and estrangement from his former bandmates. (Michael Hogan, October 2020, The Telegraph)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/gonna-give-proper-manchester-kicking-ian-browns-journey-violence/

They will collect together anti-Morrissey songs that include homophobic lyrics because paraphrases of his ‘inflammatory’ statements make him fair game:

All you do is hate life and tell me about it. You’re a homosexual, just keep me out of it. All your music sounds the same
I don’t even like your art fag name. Cause I hate The Smiths and Steven Morrissey
(I Hate The Smiths, Ween)

That crybaby son of bitch, no-talent motherfucker/Bastard-ass dickhead, ball-flapping dicksucker/Baggy-shirted depressed Dean-loving bonehead/Making lots of money with boring songs like Suedehead. (Morrissey Rides A Cockhorse, Warlock Pinchers)

Slap that fag with a toe tag , If you won’t do it then I will. (Morrissey Must Die, Meatmen)

Shaking hands with Morrissey, Sucking cock in East Africa, Ask a lesbian for a fuck, Take a shower in…Auschwitz (Deathtime, Turbonegro)

https://music.avclub.com/viva-hate-15-anti-morrissey-songs-1798222021

They print homophobic anecdotes without fear of denting anyone’s career:

When Julian Casablancas (Strokes) has a drink” Jimi (Goodwin, Doves) warns “he goes nuts.” He launches into his favourite Strokes anecdote. Apparently the two bands were in LA having post-gig drinks in a British theme bar. None other than Morrissey was nearby, at a table with 3 girls. “It was fucking strange, man” Jimi laughs “He kept sending these girls over to say ‘Morrissey is sat in the corner if you’d like to talk to him’. He is dead shy, but it was like he was holding fucking court. We were like “We’re cool, tell him to come over and join us”. So he came over and sat down, and Julian started calling him a fucking faggot. I was like “just leave it out, Julian” and he was all “Jimi’s upset with me, man – what’s the problem?” and then he kept doing it! (NME, August, 2001)

Straight male rock stars can routinely demand everything from drugs to groupies, but Morrissey can’t get a towel:

‘He’s a woman in a man’s body… I remember a feeling of absolute revulsion standing at the side of the stage at the palace watching Stuart James, who’s a brilliant engineer, a good producer and a fine young man, scurrying across the stage with eight freshly cleaned towels for Morrissey.’ (Tony Wilson, The Severed Alliance by Johnny Rogan)

Their casual racism is just a snappy lead:

OK. So it’s not the same as having millions of Muslims baying for your blood, but being at the receiving end of a fatwah issued by Pop’s most vehement star is not an uninteresting circumstance in which to find oneself. (Hot Press, March 2001)

Captions can be in bad taste:

The Smiths, Johnny Rogan, 1994

And they never need to Pariah another hack:

No, because your Rabbi respects PIG ISLAM. (Julie Burchill, Independent, September 2014)

Julie Burchill, the funniest, brightest writer I ever met… (David Quantick, Le Document, July 2020)

It does in a way, and it’s nice in a way… but the change in England is so rapid… I would like the freedom to go around the world and be anywhere. So you have to allow others the same freedom, really. So I’m not sitting here saying it’s a terrible thing. (Morrissey, NME, December 2007)

I loathe him with a passion… Morrissey is a vile scumbag… a nasty, nasty man… I’ve been waiting years for Morrissey to trip himself up in the media. (David Quantick, Richard Bacon Show, Five Live, November 29th 2007)

The National Front Disco

David, the wind blows,
The wind blows
Bits of your life away.
Your friends all say,
“Where is our boy?
Ah, we’ve lost our boy”.
But they should know,
Where you’ve gone,
Because again and again you’ve explained
That you’re going to . . .
Oh, oh, oh, going to . . .
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
“England for the English”,
“England for the English”.
David, the wind’s blown,
The wind’s blown
All of my dreams away.
And I still say,
“Where is our boy?
Ah, we’ve lost our boy”.
But I should know
Why you’ve gone,
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’re going to the National . . .
Ah, to the National . . .
There’s a country,
You don’t live there,
But one day you would like to.
And if you show them what you’re made of,
Ah, then you might do.
But David, we wonder,
We wonder if the thunder
Is ever really gonna begin,
Begin, begin
Your mum says,
“I’ve lost my boy”.
But she should know
Why you’ve gone,
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’re going to the National,
To the National,
To the National Front disco,
Because you want the day to come sooner,
You want the day to come sooner,
You want the day to come sooner,
When you’ve settled the score.
Oh, the National,
Oh, the National,
Oh, the National,
Oh, the National,
Oh, the National