Daily Record: "Morrissey used to be a charming man..."

The Daily Record placed this article behind a survey/advertising question, so I've taken the liberty of reproducing the entire thing here.
Written by / all credit: John Niven.

Morrissey used to be a charming man. Now it's more big mouth strikes again. And again. And again - Daily Record
John Niven muses on his teenage idol who has fallen off his pedestal in recent years as his political views have changed.

“Pictures of Strummer that fell from your wall, and nothing was hung in their place...” So sang Roddy Frame on Aztec Camera’s single Walk Out to Winter, all the way back in 1983.

I always took that lyric to be about the death of teenage hero worship.
Funnily enough, 1983 was about exactly the year the pictures of Strummer finally did fall from my wall, but, back then, at the age of 17, it was pictures of Morrissey that hung in their place for the next couple of years.

I worshipped the Morrissey of 1983 -1985. Every NME interview was an occasion, every Smiths Top of the Pops performance a jaw-dropping landmark moment of your teens. (A bush you could actually have hidden in hanging from his back pocket when they did Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, the words Marry Me scrawled across his chest during William It Was Really Nothing.)

He hated Thatcher, played benefits for the GLC and openly praised CND.

It would have been hard indeed for me to connect the Morrissey of then with the Morrissey now, who a week ago said: “Last night Marine Le Pen easily won the French Election debate. Today both the BBC and CNN say Macron won the debate.

"This is precisely the reason why mainstream news media outlets cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Their private agendas are more important than facts, reality, or their duty to the people.”

It’s hard to know where to start with the unpacking of all this.

What’s most infuriating? Is it the parroting of the Trumpian “fake news” and “mainstream media lies”?

Or is just the fact that he’s expressing any kind of admiration of Marine Le Pen at all?

This is the Marine Le Pen who very recently pretty much denied France’s role in deporting Jews to the concentration camps.

The Marine Le Pen who worships Trump and Putin and who thought Brexit was great and who would have pulled France out of the EU too, had she not been (thankfully) defeated at the polls.

The same Marine Le Pen that any right-thinking person believes is about as close to an actual fascist that you would want to get.

Then you cast your mind back to Morrissey’s comments last year. He said: “As for Brexit, the result was magnificent, but it is not accepted by the BBC or Sky News because they object to a public that cannot be hypnotized by BBC or Sky nonsense.”

Or, a couple of years before that, when he said in a Loaded magazine interview: “I like Nigel Farage a great deal. His views are quite logical – especially where Europe is concerned.”

Well, as Father Ted said to the man with an enormous collection of Nazi memorabilia: “They say you do get more right wing as you get older...”

It has reached the point where Morrissey fills pretty much the same function for me as the Red Hot Chili Peppers do for Nick Cave.

The Smiths feature on an NME front cover from 1984:

In case you don’t know the quote, Nick Cave famously said: “Whenever I’m near a stereo and I say, ‘What the hell is this rubbish?’, the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” NB He didn’t say “hell” or “rubbish” but this is a family newspaper, kids.

Similarly, whenever I hear an outrageous racially sensitive quote and I say: “Dear God, what idiot said that?” The answer is almost always Morrissey.

If you’d told the 17-year-old me back in 1983 (the me who would have taken the proverbial flying bullet for Morrissey) that his Labour-campaigning, vegetarian, pro-CND, Thatcher-hating god would one day be a Farage and Le Pen-loving Brexiteer, he wouldn’t have believed you. He’d probably have attacked you.

But that’s hero worship for you, always tending towards disappointment in the end.

Or, as Julie Burchill once said: “The same pop star that you would have laid your life down for at the age of 15, a couple of years later you’d have to be coaxed across the road with red hot pokers to pour water on them if they were on fire.”

NB She didn’t suggest using water to put out the flames, it was another liquid. But this is a family newspaper, kids."

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Herpes Harmonica

That's the only thing I have against him.

No seriously, the only reason why so few kids realise that Hitler was a socialist is because media have used the word nazi and not national socialist.

That name calling kind of backfired a bit.


Such a hypocrite...he adores the "Mexican" community so much and they adore him. Then he comes out agreeing with people that would try to deport them all back to Mexico. The only thing this new populist movement has in common with Morrissey is the anti immigrant stance. They would jail him for being a homosexual if they could and force feed him hamburgers....but hey, he want s to spout his "patriotic" views without being accused of racism or partiality... so he sides with them...well except when it comes to doing his shows in LA...then it's Mexissey.

Tim Joseph

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Morrissey never campaigned for the Labour Party...

He played a gig for Red Wedge in 1986 (admittedly at Johnny Marr's behest) and did a benefit for the left-wing Ken Livingstone's GLC in 1984.


"A bit iffy" ★★☆☆☆ - AV Club
He played a gig for Red Wedge in 1986 (admittedly at Johnny Marr's behest) and did a benefit for the left-wing Ken Livingstone's GLC in 1984.

Morrissey initially refused to do the Red Wedge tour, but relented and did the last date, probably mainly because he didn't like the idea of Johnny and Andy playing with Billy Bragg.

Morrissey (quoted in Tony Fletcher's book) said:
I wasn't particularly impassioned by the gesture. I can't really see anything especially useful in Neil Kinnock. I don't feel any alliance but, if one must vote, this is where I feel the black X should go.

He was arguably right about Kinnock, but I think the Labour/left-wing benefits were about Johnny occasionally getting his way over something. Morrissey might have been less right-wing back then, but I don't think he was ever a lefty.

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