Billy Bragg Weighs In on the Morrissey Debate: "I Have No Respect for Him"
"I think he's decided that he wants to betray everything he ever said in the Smiths"
Published Jun 27, 2019ICYMI Morrissey and his views have been stirring up more trouble than usual recently. Not only did the former Smiths singer try to teach us about racism (and fail miserably), but he decided to show support for a far-right political group on national American television. Now, politically minded U.K. musician Billy Bragg has let us know what he thinks of it all.
Spoiler: Billy Bragg no longer has any respect for Morrissey.
Speaking to The Big Issue, the proudly leftwing Bragg weighed in on the whole Moz debate, saying the following:
I think he's decided that he wants to betray everything he ever said in the Smiths, and he's broken the hearts of a lot of people…
The Smiths expressed a lot of people's own sense of disconnect with society and helped them to find their own identity, and he's totally trashed that. I'm heartbroken for them because I'm a big Smiths fan, too. And I'm heartbroken for Johnny Marr because he's genuine, a lovely guy, and he doesn't deserve to have his legacy dragged through the dirt…
I have no sympathy for [Morrissey], no respect for him, but I have a lot of sympathy and respect for his audience.
That said, when Interpol leader Paul Banks was asked about his band doing a tour with Morrissey, he had little to say.
"We thought it would be a good show for our band. That's how I'm looking at it. I don't get too much into the other stuff," Banks told Hot Press [via Stereogum].
As recently reported, Morrissey published an interview earlier this week with his nephew where he voiced support again for Anne Marie Waters, the leader of the For Britain party — a group criticized for its anti-Islamist policies and even labelled "Nazis and racists" by fellow far-right figures.
Moz also had this to say about racism:
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.
If you didn't already get a refund, Morrissey is scheduled to play a series of postponed Canadian tour dates later this year in support of his recent California Son album, which Exclaim! gave a 1 out of 10.