Morrissey, a musical legend beloved of trendy liberals, has come under fire for his surprisingly forthright response to the Manchester terror attack.
The Manchester-born artist, a soloist and former lead singer of The Smiths, attacked British politicians for their hesitance in linking the fatal bombing to Islamic ideology.
In a blistering Facebook post he attacked London’s left-wing mayor Sadiq Khan and his Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham, also of the Labour Party, for ignoring the religious aspects of extremism.
He added that politicians are “petrified” to address Islamic extremism directly and, anyway, have no need to because they have security teams to protect them from terrorism.
Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb.
The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press.
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
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.
Fans – some who might now consider themselves former fans – rushed to social media to disown Morrissey in light of the statement.
One said: “Funny how your heroes end up disappointing you. Shut the fuck up #Morrissey”
Another said: “Ugh, wish #Morrissey would keep his ignorant gob shut. Totally ruining my appreciation of #TheSmiths hearing such narrow view points”
Another added: “I would remove all the Smiths from my shop playlist, but he probably doesn’t get the money anyway #morrissey #baristalife”
Another, Tony Edwards, added: “From idolised to despised in one small statement. Drop the act #Morrissey”
Many also responded by pointing out that British politicians are not immune to terrorism. Labour MP Jo Cox was shot dead in the street last year by a far-right extremist, while the IRA killed four MPs between 1979 and 1990.
Morrissey has offended polite society before – which often comes as a surprise to fans given the maudlin sentimentality which made him famous as the chief lyricist of The Smiths.
Fans expressed similar horror when he celebrated Britain’s decision to leave the EU, which he called “magnificent”.
He has also criticized mass immigration. In a 2007 interview he complained of an “immigration explosion” in England.
He told music magazine NME: “England is a memory now. The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in.”