I suppose I should have been more prepared. A monumentally horrific terrorist attack occurs in the centre of Manchester, dozens of children murdered – it was very unlikely Morrissey wasn’t going to have something stupid/offensive to say about it. He’s become as reliable as Katie Hopkins in this regard.
“In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.”
He was inundated with responses pointing out the obvious, most notably the example of Jo Cox. Or the fact that there was a terrorist attack on parliament only a few weeks ago, one in which an MP could have easily been harmed or killed had the timing of the attack been worse. But no, Morrissey thought it was the right time to have a go at politicians, as usual getting his timing precisely wrong for such a thing.
What was even more interesting to me, however, were the other bits of Morrissey’s post on the subject. He has a go at Sadiq Khan because he “does not condemn Islamic State”; a pop at Andy Burnham for not being openly anti-Islam in his speech on the attack (“Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”) – so all of this was in a sort of solid UKIPy terrain. But earlier on he focuses on Theresa May, where he has a mumble about her immigration policy:
“Theresa May says such attacks ‘will not break us’, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, ‘will not break us’ means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration.”
Given May’s policy on immigration is ending freedom of movement from Europe and keeping overall immigration into the country to a five figure sum every year, Morrissey’s criticism of it rubs sharply against the tone of the rest of what he is saying. Unless he thinks May is too light on immigration, a la Farage? I don’t know, perhaps I should stop trying to make any sense of what Morrissey has to say.
He really reminds me more and more, with every passing year, of Jack Kerouac. A geeky guy who wanted to not just be cool but an icon of cool, who very wisely surrounded himself at an early age with a gaggle of cool blokes, all while keeping his politics fluid so as to seem “mysterious”. A chap with real identity issues who succumbed in his old age to the right-wing crankiness there were always hints of underneath the surface. Both of them talented men who couldn’t sort themselves out before middle age came to a halt, and subsequently ended up ranting about minorities supposedly buggering things up for everyone else.