Warning signs were louder than bombs

PUBLISHED: 09:21 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 25 June 2018

The Smiths performing live on The Tube   Photo: Getty /Pete Cronin/Redferns

The Smiths performing live on The Tube Photo: Getty /Pete Cronin/Redferns

Redferns

Morrissey’s recent outbursts have been hard to defend. But here Smiths diehard, and Remainer, GAVIN FEARNLEY attempts to do just that

Morrissey performing at Finsbury Park in 1992
Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty ImagesMorrissey performing at Finsbury Park in 1992 Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

“You are sleeping, you do not want to believe,” drones the voice of parapsychologist Dr Gephardt Frye on Rubber Ring by The Smiths.

Many people have been. Wasn’t it clear enough when Morrissey channelled the (fictional) David in The National Front Disco, shouting “England for the English”?

Couldn’t people see Morrissey’s pride in wearing t-shirts daubed with ‘England’?

Morrissey has been saying the same thing all along. He of Irish-immigrant stock has always been fiercely protective of England. Famously, his first solo album included the controversial Bengali in Platforms with the advice to a potential immigrant to “shelve your western plans”.

You are sleeping if you thought Morrissey would suddenly change his ways and start toeing the line in order to please those of us in his fan base who are hardened Remainers.

You do not want to believe, if you think Morrissey is simply a racist. One of his heroes is the African American writer James Baldwin. He loves the man so much he plays videos of him before concerts.

But what about the Chinese being a “subspecies”? Let’s get one thing straight: This comment was made in the context of burning dogs alive for food, a point often missed. So here is the quote made to the Guardian: “Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.” The language is ugly. But surely, the imagery of living animals being immolated is equally so?

You are sleeping if you didn’t already know Morrissey couldn’t care less about the human race. He doesn’t care about your or my feelings. “Come Armageddon come,” he sang in Everyday is Like Sunday. To Morrissey, our own self-inflicted demise can’t come quickly enough. Then, the grim reality of factory farming – Morrissey’s true sworn enemy – would end.

If you abandon Morrissey due to his stance on the EU you might as well burn your science books, too, if we are to believe that Einstein – as he apparently set out in his travel diaries – didn’t much like the Chinese either.

It’s time to wake up and listen. Morrissey, one of a kind, deserves to be heard – his work must not be lost to his current anti-EU agitprop. As the man himself sings, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”.

Too right we will.

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