He Ended The Smiths

Morrissey has never wanted the Smiths to get back together.

I don’t know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion! But, no, there aren’t any bands I like to see again because your memory of them is how they were in their prime or at their best or at their most desperate, and you look to them to be someone that they no longer are. (Morrissey, Billboard, February 2014)

But despite that, Will Hodgkinson, in a review of the Smiths tribute band, the Smyths, has blamed a political party that Morrissey doesn’t now support.

The Times, January 8th, 2022

Which is another way of gaslighting Morrissey after the NME spent 30 years (& counting) smearing him as a racist because of his sexuality.

Let’s not forget that the adolescent Morrissey used to be chased through the streets of Manchester at night by leering beer-boys, some of whom may have held NF sympathies, simply for being ‘different’. And he definitely spent a lot of time in Whalley Range, a multi-racial area. Is he now identifying with his former oppressors? Has he changed from the persecuted to the persecutor? Or, is he fascinated by the idea of racism, by the look of violent skinheads, to the extent of being oppressed so much he falls in love with his oppressors? (NME, August 1992)

Which led to his misplaced (& shortlived) faith in the leader of For Britain, a gay Irish immigrant vegan, called Anne Marie Waters, who had been in the Labour Party, the National Secular Society and feminist charity One Law for All and who was (and still is) complaining that she was smeared as a racist for campaigning against sexist, homophobic and cruel religious exemptions.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/jul/05/sharia-law-religious-courts

I have been subject to an avalanche of lies and smears from people who don’t understand the issues (or the difference between race and religion) and don’t have the courage to. (Anne Marie Waters, BBC Wales, August 2017)

It was obvious that Morrissey didn’t believe she was far right, and that his values are left-wing even if he believed the modern world had somehow switched the labels. He’s supported George Galloway, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, the Animal Welfare Party and Dick Gregory… because of animals or an opposition to the class system.

He wore the For Britain party badge twice, and mentioned her and/or her party 4 times. He didn’t join. Or vote for them. Or contribute. He stopped supporting her in May 2019.

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, June 2018)

I despise racism. I despise fascism. 
I would do anything for my Muslim friends and I know they would do anything for me.
… the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist – please believe me, they are the very opposite…  This is my last political strike. No wish to upset anyone!  (Morrissey, Central, April 2018)

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)

I still haven’t ever voted for a political party in my entire life. I haven’t ever belonged to a political party… I’ve never been on a political rally and I’ve never given a political speech so my apparent position as a political voice is… nonexistent.
(Morrissey, Central, July 2021)

He has no big money, reach or clout. He isn’t online. He doesn’t go to celebrity events. He hasn’t pivoted to a right-wing audience. He’s very unlikely to ever speak to the media. His nephew will occasionally type up an interview or statement for his website, Central, which will either be plundered for damning misquotes or ignored.

His critics meanwhile have spent 5 years (& counting), acres of print, thousands of social media posts, bits on radio/television, and dis tracks, knowingly promoting the far right with the dedication of a groyper and the piety of the Witchfinder General.

The Times is owned by Rupert Murdoch, whose media Empire has been accused of destabilising democracy and furthering white supremacy and yet no hack or celebrity has to fear social death if they work for him. Or any other mainstream right-wing outlet.

Attacking a socially dysfunctional outsider for wildly misrepresented ‘crimes’ in perpetuity is bigotry, doing it while stealing his work is horrifying.

The Murdochs own Fox News but rarely get the scrutiny they deserve for bankrolling racism and hatred.

https://theintercept.com/2020/10/24/fox-news-murdoch-family-media/

Mr. Murdoch and his feuding sons turned their media outlets into right-wing political influence machines that have destabilized democracy in North America, Europe and Australia.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/03/magazine/murdoch-family-investigation.html

On a side note – even Church of England vicars have no charity. Will gladly serve an institution with a history of colonialism, tyranny, corruption and child abuse – can’t listen to This Charming Man because Morrissey.

The song I can no longer listen to
This Charming Man. Much as I like the song, Morrissey has ceased to be charming for me. (Rev Richard Coles, The Guardian, January 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/jan/10/no-jacket-required-would-be-the-soundtrack-of-hell-the-rev-richard-coless-honest-playlist

Anti-Royal

On the 4th of March 2012 Morrissey played a concert in Argentina in which his band wore ‘I hate William and Kate’ t-shirts and supported Argentina’s claim to own British colony, the Falkland Islands, then a source of renewed tension between Argentina and the UK (the nations had been to war over it in 1982):

You know of course the Malvinas Islands, everybody knows they belong to Argentina so please do not blame the British people, we know the islands belong to you… The government, the governments, never listen to the people, to their pain.

He got a wave of flack in the British press.

Dear Morrissey, this has to stop. Our relationship, which has been on shaky ground for some years, has reached breaking point. The clunky, quasi-political stage patter about the Falklands in South America last week (they “belong to Argentina”, you announced, boldly, to 15,000 Argentinians), combined with the prominent display of T-shirts bearing the preschool insult “We Hate William and Kate”, have been the last straw. In short, we are almost done as a couple. (Kevin Maher, the Times, March 2012)

The flack including – as always – the false racism accusations from Finsbury Park, a list of out-of-context quotes to “prove” that he’s racist or at the very least someone who has unacceptable outbursts, and homophobia…

And these are often corner boys and skinheads — male archetypes that he describes in hugely homoerotic ways, but never totally gay because Morrissey is, like, the third sex. And stuff. (Kevin Maher, the Times, March 2012)

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/morrissey-ive-tried-to-defend-you-but-a-we-hate-william-and-kate-t-shirt-has-pushed-us-to-the-brink-2nlfh382z99

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 to play 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’m not a royalist, but pictures of his band lined up either side of him on his recent Argentinian tour, wearing “We hate William and Kate” T-shirts, momentarily made me feel like becoming one. (Pete Paphides, music writer, The Guardian, March 2012)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/mar/10/debate-morrissey-national-treasure

Later that year he was appalled by the jingoism of the London Olympics, the winning bid being tendered by Boris Johnson, then London mayor, now (2021) the UK’s Prime Minister.

“I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event. Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism? The ‘dazzling royals’ have, quite naturally, hi-jacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. It is lethal to witness. As London is suddenly promoted as a super-wealth brand, the England outside London shivers beneath cutbacks, tight circumstances and economic disasters. Meanwhile the British media present 24-hour coverage of the ‘dazzling royals’, laughing as they lavishly spend, as if such coverage is certain to make British society feel fully whole. In 2012, the British public is evidently assumed to be undersized pygmies, scarcely able to formulate thought. As I recently drove through Greece I noticed repeated graffiti seemingly everywhere on every available wall. In large blue letters it said WAKE UP WAKE UP. It could almost have been written with the British public in mind, because although the spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain, the 2013 grotesque inevitability of Lord and Lady Beckham (with Sir Jamie Horrible close at heel) is, believe me, a fate worse than life. WAKE UP WAKE UP.” (Morrissey, August 2012, TrueToYou.Net).

Again it led to a wave of flack in the British press.

The Guardian wrote:

Far from providing a focus of national unity and good cheer, Morrissey, says the Olympics have created a situation in which “the spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain”.

As ever, he was also misquoted and paraphrased – this time to make him sound like a killjoy racist for NOT flag-waving.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/aug/06/morrissey-olympic-games

An anti-Royal stance has a certain moral glamour – but showbiz and the media love the Monarchy. They provide stories to write about, they host high profile events to show off at AND if you network hard enough they crown your career with an honour. Of course it’s all a ruse – they deliberately share their unearned limelight so they’re surrounded by people motivated to let them shine. Morrissey loudly refusing to be one of those people not only limits his opportunities, it makes everyone playing along feel dubious.

In 2021 after Harry and Meghan gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey where they accused the UK press and the Royal Family of racism and after the Black Lives Matter protests had led to calls for a reckoning with the UK’s colonial past, some of the same people who took potshots at him in 2012 changed their tune – about royals and patriotism, not Morrissey, who they now believe is an evil British nationalist.

Here Piers Morgan is referring to his Olympic remarks:

But…

The fallout exposed bigotry in the UK press – including homophobia, snobbery and anti-Irish racism.

A former colleague who did shifts on the newsdesk there in the 1990s recalls that there was a blacklist of people about whom the paper would not run stories, no matter how good the tale. Top of this list were foreigners and “lowlifes” – who included “anyone with a non-English name, Irish and the entire working class, unless a yuppie plumber”. There were no page leads about black people because page leads had to have an accompanying photograph and “photographers couldn’t take pictures of black people because you couldn’t see their features”.

Meanwhile, over at The Sun (and the News of the World) there was a dread of “poofs” and “queers”, from the “gay plague” and “despicable” gay kiss in “EastBenders” of the 1980s to the “gay mafia” running the country in the late 1990s – when it demanded that all homosexual MPs be outed, explaining: “Their sexuality is not the problem. The worry is their membership of a closed world of men with a mutual self-interest.” (Liz Gerard, March 2021, Press Gazette)

https://theconversation.com/the-royal-family-cant-keep-ignoring-its-colonialist-past-and-racist-present-156749

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/29/the-reckoning-the-toppling-of-monuments-to-slavery-in-the-uk

Boris Johnson, who organised the Olympic bid and had used racist and homophobic language which didn’t dent his career in journalism or politics.

https://www.businessinsider.com/boris-johnson-record-sexist-homophobic-and-racist-comments-bumboys-piccaninnies-2019-6

And in contrast to Morrissey’s press coverage, where he’s repeatedly condemned for things they’ve insinuated are racist, Prince Philip’s ‘off-colour‘ racist remarks have been consistently framed as ‘gaffes‘.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39806145