The War of the Morrissey Fans continues as the former Smiths singer continues to stir controversy. Moz’s outspoken support for the far-right For Britain party and quotes like “everyone ultimately prefers their own race” have divided one-time devotees. Some, like Nick Cave and and The Killers’ Brandon Flowers have attempted to separate the art from the artists, while those like Billy Bragg haven’t pulled punches about their disappointment in the hard-to-love singer. Now, Bragg has once again slammed Morrissey, while also taking Flowers to task for his support.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Bragg points to a video Morrissey reposted on his website under the title “Nothing But Blue Skies For Stormzy … the gallows for Morrissey”. Though the clip has since been pulled, Bragg describes it as a “white supremacist video” that borrowed clips from Stormzy’s headlining Glastonbury performance “while arguing that the British establishment are using him to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture.” The video was posted from a user whose other clips focus on the “Great Replacement Theory,” a conspiracy belief that mass immigration and cultural warfare is being used to eliminate the white populations of Europe and North America.
“…[Morrissey] expresses support for anti-Muslim provocateurs, posts white supremacist videos and, when challenged, clutches his pearls and cries ‘Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me,’” writes Bragg. “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.”
(Read: Ten ’80s Acts to Check Out on Tour This Summer)
Bragg concludes his post by writing,
“Today it was reported that research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a UK based anti-extremist organisation, reveals that the Great Replacement Theory is being promoted so effectively by the far right that it is entering mainstream political discourse.
That Morrissey is helping to spread this idea – which inspired the Christchurch mosque murderer – is beyond doubt. Those who claim that this has no relevance to his stature as an artist should ask themselves if, by demanding that we separate the singer from the song, they too are helping to propagate this racist creed.”
He also notes that there wasn’t much media awareness about Morrissey posting the Stormzy video, with headlines instead focusing on Flowers saying he’s “still a king.” Bragg takes issue with that stance, arguing that much of Morrissey’s current discourse directly contradicts some of The Killers’ own music:
(Read: Classic Album of the Week: The Smiths’ Debut Remains an Album to Fall in Love with All Over Again)
“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?
Party leader Anne Marie Walters maintains ties with Generation Identity, the group who both inspired and received funds from the gunman who murdered 50 worshippers at a Christchurch mosque. How does that sit with the condemnation of mass murder by lone gunman in ‘Land of the Free’?”
Read Bragg’s full statement below. No word yet on how he feels about Interpol’s decision to tour with Morrissey, but if you’re still willing to catch those shows, look for tickets here.