“As an activist, I’m appalled by this transformation, but as a Smiths fan, I’m heartbroken"
Morrissey has come under repeated attack for his political beliefs in recent years. In an interview last month, the former Smiths singer said that Nigel Farage would make a good Prime Minister and that the leader of the far-right For Britain party, Anne-Marie Waters, is the only politician capable of uniting left-wing and right-wing people in the UK. Earlier this summer, he was criticised for wearing a For Britain badge while performing on a US chat show.
After The Killers’ Brandon Flowers hailed Morrissey as “a king” at last weekend’s Glastonbury, Bragg has highlighted a post shared via Morrissey’s website, which argued that headliner Stormzy was being used to diminish “white culture”.
Posting on Facebook today (July 7), Bragg wrote: “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 singer-songwriter said that the nine-minute clip used footage from the Grime star’s Worthy Farm show, “while arguing that the British establishment are using him to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture.”
Bragg explained that the YouTube account the video was published to also contained much more problematic content. He said that the clips in question promote “homophobia, racism and misogyny” and target “left-wing women of colour”.
“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?” Bragg continued.
Referencing the comments made by The Killers’ frontman that same weekend, the singer questioned whether Flowers “really understands the ramifications” of Morrissey’s recent For Britain support.
“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?” said Bragg.
With Morrissey recently claiming that The Guardian has a “hate campaign” against him, Bragg also hit out at his “cries [of] ‘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.”
Bragg added: “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,” Bragg said. Read the full statement above.