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Morrissey!!

September 25, 2009

”You’ve managed to deduce that I’m a racist from 1) my lyrics (Bengali in Platforms: “Don’t blame me, don’t hate me, just because I’m the one to tell you that life is hard enough when you belong here”). The transvestite Bengali will never ‘belong’ in Britain but that’s not my fault; it’s society’s fault. It’s not my prejudice; it’s everyone’s prejudice. It’s my ode to the outsider. No racism here.

2) the Finsbury Park gig. I draped myself in the Union Flag (see The Who, The Jam, Bowie, the Spice Girls etc.) during the height of Britpop. So very sorry if that denotes racism.

3) my comments. I have lamented the death of a palpable British identity. See Gordon Brown on the same issue last year: “I am not alone in believing that a stronger sense of patriotic purpose would help resolve some of our most important national challenges, make us more confident about Britain’s role in Europe and the world, and would help us better integrate our ethnic communities, respond to migration and show people the responsibilities as well as rights that must be at the heart of modern citizenship.”

So where does that leave your claim? You’ll be hearing from my solicitors.”

Dear Mr Morrissey(?),

I completely accept that I did not see you eating a pork pie outside Harrods. I have never stood outside Harrods, and you appear to be a committed vegetarian. That was a joke. I am deeply sincerely very very sorry. As for my statement that in my opinion that you are a racist. Yeah, I kind of stand by it.

The difficulty with artistic interpretations of your deeply ‘ambiguous’ lyrics, as ‘ode to the outsider’ is that they are very much that. Open to interpretation, and I dont interpret ”The gates of england are flooded. The country’s been thrown away’, and your statement that ‘bengalis dont belong here’ as an ode to the outsider, I dont interpret it like that at all.

And if you are going to make your statements as odes to the outsider, it may be best to try a little harder not to sound like Enoch Powell.

As for palpable english identity-which ‘identity’ would that be? As a country which has been formed by immigration, and emigration, since the days of Picts, Celts, Anglo Saxons, Normans, right through to Eastern European, and South Asian immigration, I struggle when confronted with people who use the example of immigration, as some kind of threat to this ‘identity’. If you would like to further define this ‘identity’, then please, enlighten me. As the granddaughter of immigrants, I would like to know how I fit into this identity. I do drink a lot of tea, and listen to Radio4, does this help?

When your ‘ode’ to the outsider, is combined with this deeply held concern, about british sense of identity- I am afraid, Mr.Morrissey- that I do not interpret your lyrics as an ‘ode to the outsider’ at all. I find more paralells to Enoch Powells river of blood speech-your ambiguous lyrics, become altogether LESS ambiguous.

As for your draping yourself in the Union Jack. As a flag, which in its very design, amalgamates several countries flags, to create one national identity, I have always found it ironic that you feel that the draping of this flag could be perceived as racist. I cant think of a better celebration of the way that the british identity has been formed, through evolution, immigration, and the co-opting of this flag by so called ‘nationalists’ has always amused me greatly, although saddened me.

I apologise for saying you ate a pork pie- you clearly didn’t. But as for the rest- there you go. You write ‘ambiguous’ lyrics, you contextualise them with rants about the ‘british identity’, and ‘gates opening’ and ‘throwing the british identity away’, and your artistic interpretation of your lyrics differs from mine. My interpretation of your comments is that they are in fact, racist, and the day I cant call someone a racist, when they express racist views, for fear of upsetting them, is the day political correctness has ‘GAWN MAD’.

As for hearing from your solicitors. I currently have £17.57 in the bank, sue me, you can have it. If you really want to spend your time taking legal action against me, then you clearly have more need of something constructive to do with your time than I.

“The gates of England are flooded. The country’s been thrown away”

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7 comments

  1. First, to stop you from flattering yourself, let me point out that I am obviously not Morrissey.

    Second, opposition to the free movement of labour is not a racist tenet. As a superficial Marxist I am concerned about the free movement of labour and it’s remarkable ability to end the age-old conflict between bourgeois desires to keep costs down and workers’ desires for higher wages. When the minimum wage is relatively good to a rural Pole, the bourgeoisie rub their hands together in delight. I am categorically not a racist. No ifs or buts.

    Morrissey has a similar point. He is not worried about diversity but rather homogeneity. When he grew up – in the household of Irish immigrants, it is worth noting – his whole family lived on the same street. Mancunians worked in Manchester; fathers worked with sons, mothers with daughters. There was a Mancunian identity. Those houses have gone, his family have gone and, with them, the identity has gone. He is only guilty of nostalgia. Regionalism is, for better or worse, dying. The north-south divide is being ameliorated. It is being replaced with a ‘British’ identity.

    But what is a ‘British’ identity exactly? As you highlighted, it’s hard to pin down. Is it Radio 4 and tea? Is it tolerance and neighbourliness? Is it looking out for the underdog? Esteemed historians like Linda Colley argue that it is forged with reference to ‘the other’. Its elusiveness renders it weak. If strong regional identities are replaced by this weaker, ‘now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t’ identity, should someone be chastised for wishing the clocks were rolled back? Morrissey makes a clumsy link between immigration and the loss of identity but to liken him to Enoch Powell is incredibly lazy thinking on your part.

    Last, from The Guardian:

    “Explicitly denying that immigration is the reason he doesn’t want to live in Britain, he damns this country over the cost of living and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, admits that managed immigration “enriches” the country, says his favourite actor and singer are from Israel and Iraq, says he finds racism “very silly” and supports the Love Music Hate Racism campaign. Indeed, he wanted the slogan on the (now withdrawn by NME) free single.

    Although the use of language like “the gates are flooded, anybody can have access to England” is perhaps unfortunate when taken out of context, in the context of the interview his position is remarkably similar to that adopted by all three mainstream political parties in this country – that immigration is beneficial but shouldn’t be a free for all, nor should it be contrary to the retention of a firm and recognisably British national and cultural identity. Without wishing to sound like his hero Kenneth Williams, the latter is the central thrust of Morrissey’s position.”


    • Why are you still signing as Morrissey? Ya daft sod.


  2. I am bored too, y’know?


    • Sick child today. V V bored! What ails you?


  3. Had the dog put down on Tuesday. Been in a self-destructive mood ever since. Thinking up everything that ever made me sad, angry, envious, jealous, frustrated etc. and giving it a good ol’ dwellin’ on.

    I just cheered myself by reading back those old posts though.

    “Morrissey eats pork pies and is racist”
    “No, he isn’t”
    “Yes, he is”
    “No, he isn’t – and neither am I!”

    Hahaha!

    Hope your child gets better soon.


    • Ouch, that doesnt sound nice. Would be devastated if my stinky moggy had to be put down, even if he is a stinky fleabag, who probably has worms.
      If its any consolation I just had this conversation which was equally pointless ‘Mummy I did a sweetcorn poo’, ‘darling you haven’t had sweetcorn’ ‘Oh it must be peas then’. ‘Mummy, I left some on the floor, can you clean it up’.


  4. But cheers for letting me expand on why the odious prick, is, in fact, a racist!



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