In the wake of the Manchester bombing on Monday night, the political parties agreed to suspend campaigning for the General Election and, an unspoken agreement this, wouldn’t try to use the horrific events for political point-scoring.
As I’ve mentioned before, you expect certain people (Hopkins, Piers) to ignore that, but there was one other notable person who decided to comment.
One Steven Patrick Morrissey.
On his Facebook page, he wrote this:
“Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.
For what reason will this ever stop?
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. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa. 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.
23 May 2017.”
There’s a lot to unpack there. Firstly, it’s pitched as a personal affront, as if the bombing really ruined his birthday.
Secondly, I’m not sure that the family of Jo Cox, the MP murdered in the build-up to the EU Referendum, would agree that politicians live in a protected bubble.
Also: “Everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private” is clearly a reference to immigration, but overlooks the fairly basic fact that the Manchester bomber was born in Britain.
I’m no royalist, but why criticise The Queen here for doing exactly what we’ve all pledged to do: carry on, regardless. Or Khan and Burnham for that matter?
Oh, but wait. Let’s not forget this interview Morrissey gave in 2013 where he said “I nearly voted for Ukip. I like Nigel Farage a great deal.”
He has a history of making inflammatory statements, and, for that matter making records (post-Smiths) which cause a justified eyebrow to be raised. The songs you can explain away, just about, but it’s by the skin of your teeth, if I’m honest.
It’s not him, he’s writing in the third person on “The National Front Disco”, “Asian Rut” and “Bengali in Platforms” (all actual song titles he has penned, the latter containing the line “Life is hard enough when you belong here”). It’s a character, I have argued, that is forcing us to confront prejudices, not our Mozzer.
But no more. We’re done, me and you, Morrissey. I have loved you since I was a teenager, but I can defend you no longer.
Me Choca Cuando Mis Amigos Triunfan, as they say in Mexico.
Build a wall around that, if you like.