Billy Bragg: long statement re: Morrissey on Facebook (7 July, 2019)


"Last Sunday, while much of the British media were lauding Stormzy’s Glastonbury headline show as epoch defining, Morrissey posted a white supremacist video on his website, accompanied by the comment ‘Nothing But Blue Skies for Stormzy...The Gallows for Morrissey’. The nine minute clip lifted footage from the grime star’s Pyramid Stage performance while arguing that the British establishment are using him to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture.

The YouTube channel of the video’s author contains other clips expressing , among other things, homophobia, racism and misogyny - left wing women of colour are a favourite target for his ire. There are also clips expounding the Great Replacement Theory, a far right conspiracy trope which holds that there is a plot of obliterate the white populations of Europe and North America through mass immigration and cultural warfare.

My first thought was to wonder what kind of websites Morrissey must be trawling in order to be able to find and repost this clip on the same day that it appeared online? I came home from Glastonbury expecting to see some angry responses to his endorsement of white supremacism. Instead, the NME published an interview with Brandon Flowers in which the Killers lead singer proclaimed that Morrissey was still “a king”, despite being in what Flowers recognised was “hot water” over his bigoted comments.

As the week progressed, I kept waiting for some reaction to the white supremacist video, yet none was forthcoming. Every time I googled Morrissey, up would pop another article from a music website echoing the NME’s original headline: ‘The Killers Brandon Flowers on Morrissey: ‘He’s Still A King’. I’m well aware from personal experience how easy it is for an artist to find something you’ve said in the context of a longer discourse turned into an inflammatory headline that doesn’t reflect your genuine views on the subject at hand, but I have to wonder if Flowers really understands the ramifications of Morrissey’s expressions of support for the far right For Britain Party?

As the writer of the powerful Killers song ‘Land of the Free’, does he know that For Britain wants to build the kind of barriers to immigration that Flowers condemns in that lyric?
Party leader Anne Marie Walters maintains ties with Generation Identity, the group who both inspired and received funds from the gunman who murdered 50 worshippers at a Christchurch mosque. How does that sit with the condemnation of mass murder by lone gunman in ‘Land of the Free’?

As an explicitly anti-Muslim party, For Britain opposes the religious slaughter of animals without the use of a stun gun, a policy that has given Morrissey a fig leaf of respectability, allowing him to claim he supports them on animal welfare grounds. Yet if that is his primary concern, why does he not support the UK’s Animal Welfare Party, which stood candidates in the recent European elections?

Among their policies, the AWF also aim to prohibit non-stun slaughter. If his only interest was to end this practice, he could have achieved this without the taint of Islamophobia by endorsing them. They are a tiny party, but Morrissey’s vocal support would have given the animal rights movement a huge boost of publicity ahead of the polls.

Instead, he expresses support for anti-Muslim provocateurs, posts white supremacist videos and, when challenged, clutches his pearls and cries “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me”. His recent claim that “as a so-called entertainer, I have no rights” is a ridiculous position made all the more troubling by the fact that it is a common trope among right-wing reactionaries.

The notion that certain individuals are not allowed to say certain things is spurious, not least because it is most often invoked after they’ve made their offensive comments. Look closely at their claims and you’ll find that what they are actually complaining about is the fact that they have been challenged.

The concept of freedom pushed by the new generation of free speech warriors maintains that the individual has the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want, with no comeback. If that is the definition of freedom, then one need look no further than Donald Trump’s Twitter feed as our generation’s beacon of liberty. Perhaps Lady Liberty should be replaced in New York Harbour with a colossal sculpture of the Donald, wearing a toga, holding a gaslight.

Worryingly, Morrissey’s reaction to being challenged over his support of For Britain, his willingness to double down rather than apologise for any offence caused, suggests a commitment to a bigotry that tarnishes his persona as the champion of the outsider. Where once he offered solace to the victims of a cruel and unjust world, he now seems to have joined the bullies waiting outside the school gates.

As an activist, I’m appalled by this transformation, but as a Smiths fan, I’m heartbroken.

It was Johnny Marr’s amazing guitar that drew me to the band, but I grasped that Morrissey was an exceptional lyricist when I heard ‘Reel Around the Fountain’. Ironically, it was a line that he had stolen that won my affections. “I dreamt about you last night and I fell out of bed twice” is spoken by Jimmy, the black sailor, to his white teenage lover, Jo, in Sheila Delaney’s play ‘A Taste of Honey’.

The 1961 movie, starring Rita Tushingham was an early example of a post-war British society that would embrace multi-racial relationships (and homosexuality too). By pilfering that particular line for the song, Morrissey was placing the Smiths in the great tradition of northern working class culture that may have been in the gutter, but was looking at the stars. Yet, by posting a white supremacist video in which he is quoted as saying “Everyone prefers their own race”, Morrissey undermines that line, erasing Jo and Jimmy and all those misfit lovers to whom the Smiths once gave so much encouragement.

A week has passed since the video appeared on Morrissey’s website and nothing has been written in the media to challenge his position. Today it was reported that research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a UK based anti-extremist organisation, reveals that the Great Replacement Theory is being promoted so effectively by the far right that it is entering mainstream political discourse.

That Morrissey is helping to spread this idea - which inspired the Christchurch mosque murderer - is beyond doubt. Those who claim that this has no relevance to his stature as an artist should ask themselves if, by demanding that we separate the singer from the song, they too are helping to propagate this racist creed."


Regards,
FWD.

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gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
Where once he offered solace to the victims of a cruel and unjust world, he now seems to have joined the bullies waiting outside the school gates.

What about the young white girls raped in towns all across England whilst the police and social services turned their backs and did absolutely nothing because the perpetrators were Muslim? The girls were victims weren't they? Billy and the left won't even discuss such events.

The bullies are the establishment that tell us we must all love mass immigration. The bullies are the media hounding Moz for refusing to tow the establishment line.
 
T

The tormentor

Guest
I love Morrissey. Greatest artist ever imho. Close for me also McGowan (sadly f'd) Jeff Magnum, and Cave imperious.... Such a body of work... Such an impression on our collective consciousness... U anti people forget the greatest icon vote ... Wish to forget what kitchen sink Britain really means ... Don't see how a test in a stab vest protraying the entirety wrong sentiment... Stabbing as a fashion artistic statement .. see today's news ?
 

ForgotHowIGotMyName

Well-Known Member
The bullies are the establishment that tell us we must all love mass immigration. The bullies are the media hounding Moz for refusing to tow the establishment line.

Exactly. Bullies pick on people who can't fight back. People can say whatever they want about white people while white people can get banned from the internet for defending themselves. White nationalists are the opposite of bullies.
 

the_kaz

Active Member
Only cuz she can't get away with it.

Kindly old church-going Mavis from Dorset doesn't think too highly of the gays and neither does Fatima who immigrated to London in the '80s, but both of them don't care all that much about people's private business and don't make a big deal about it.

Listen, I think Islam is a medieval religion that hasn't caught up with the modern world - unlike Christianity, which I respect for having evolved (well, some branches of Christianity at least... Though, for that matter, some branches of Islam are also less backwards than others). But most of my family are Muslims and I'm telling you for a fact that most of them don't have strong views on homosexuality either way and I don't personally know anybody who thinks gay people should be thrown of a building just for being gay (and I know a lot of Muslims). In fact, my mum (a Muslim who doesn't wear a hijab, who raised me speaking English and didn't force me into any religion) thinks gay men are the best and probably secretly wishes I was gay so she could show off to her friends that she has a gay son.

You have a really skewed idea of what most practicing Muslims are like, which is a real shame because these are your fellow humans who you have to share the planet with...
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
Kindly old church-going Mavis from Dorset doesn't think too highly of the gays and neither does Fatima who immigrated to London in the '80s, but both of them don't care all that much about people's private business and don't make a big deal about it.

Listen, I think Islam is a medieval religion that hasn't caught up with the modern world - unlike Christianity, which I respect for having evolved (well, some branches of Christianity at least... Though, for that matter, some branches of Islam are also less backwards than others). But most of my family are Muslims and I'm telling you for a fact that most of them don't have strong views on homosexuality either way and I don't personally know anybody who thinks gay people should be thrown of a building just for being gay (and I know a lot of Muslims). In fact, my mum (a Muslim who doesn't wear a hijab, who raised me speaking English and didn't force me into any religion) thinks gay men are the best and probably secretly wishes I was gay so she could show off to her friends that she has a gay son.

You have a really skewed idea of what most practicing Muslims are like, which is a real shame because these are your fellow humans who you have to share the planet with...

I've known Muslims. I went to Uni with them. I played with them as a kid. I reckon your mum is a rare exception. One of my best mates was Pakistani Muslim. He was our dope dealer. Then he went home and became the dutiful religious son.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Christianity is highly tolerant of homosexuality these days. Some may say, too far. What they are not doing is advocating violence against anyone. You don't see Mavis from her Dorset church wanting to chuck anyone off a high building.
What do you say, clown-shoes? Should we add homosexuals to the list of the non-bangers and mash crowd who frighten and offend you, pussy?
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
I live in London. Every day I interact with people who are from every corner of the world, with every religious faith and no faith. Every one I meet I try my best to treat with courtesy and respect. I have no hatred for any one because of who they are or where they are from. But I also think that mass immigration is destroying Britain, and Europe too for that matter. I do not blame migrants. I blame those in power for whom mass immigration and dissolution of national borders is clearly part of a game plan. How those on the left can't see this astounds me.
 

ForgotHowIGotMyName

Well-Known Member
But I also think that mass immigration is destroying Britain, and Europe too for that matter. I do not blame migrants. I blame those in power for whom mass immigration and dissolution of national borders is clearly part of a game plan. How those on the left can't see this astounds me.

They can see it and want it to happen.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You still don't understand what free speech means. I 'm using it now to call you a brainless Nazi c***, and there's nothing you can do about it. And now it's my pleasure to put you on block. f*** off you thick, uneducated, brainless shit.

And how does that get us anywhere?
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
I've known Muslims. I went to Uni with them. I played with them as a kid. I reckon your mum is a rare exception. One of my best mates was Pakistani Muslim. He was our dope dealer. Then he went home and became the dutiful religious son.

So your best mate was a dope dealer and now he isnt. Cool story bro'. I mean being your best mate as well as no longer being a "dope" dealer. Dope, dope, dope
 

the.legend

My life is opera
Very soon we will get to the point where any criticism of mass immigration is just not allowed - in Germany and Sweden this is pretty much the case already, and Britain will follow. Scary.
That’s not true. I’m living in Germany and criticism of mass immigration is still allowed and will always be. What’s not allowed is to discriminate people because of sex, parentage, race, gender, homeland and origin, faith, religious or political opinion...or because of disability.
 

womble

Member
Nope!

UK population: 45m ( registered voters)
Brexit: 17.4m
EU: 16.1m

Non voters: 11.5m

So, only 38% voted to leave.

Fair enough - 38% voted to leave, 36% voted to stay, and we don't know what 26% wanted.

Either way, 38% is a significant number of people, and a larger in size than the group of people who voiced an opposite opinion.

38% is sufficient to reject the characterization of "Britain wanting to stay British" as a sentiment that only exists in the margins.
 
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