Billy Bragg has hit out at the likes of Morrissey and Brandon Flowers of The Killers, condemning them for either directly or indirectly supporting far-right ideologies.
If you’ve been keeping up with the constant stream of controversy that Morrissey has found himself mired in lately, then you’d be aware that it can all be boiled down to his public support of far-right political party For Britain.
After first publishing a bizarre interview on his website which saw him identifying with far-right politics, the former frontman of The Smiths appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon wearing a pin that supports the party, having been seen wearing the same pin during his New York residency.
Soon enough, the leader of the party publicly thanked the musician, before the world’s oldest record store banned his music from their shelves, and Morrissey himself doubled-down by reaffirming his support of For Britain in a new interview with his nephew.
Last week though, the controversy reared its head again after The Killers’ Brandon Flowers referred to Morrissey as a “king”, even after being reminded of his recent far-right controversy.
“He’s unparalleled in what he’s achieved and his prowess and his lyrics and his sense of melody, it’s just incredible,” Flowers noted. “I forgot he was in hot water though, so I shouldn’t have brought him up.”
Now, musician and noted far-left activist Billy Bragg has weighed in on the whole situation, sharing a lengthy statement on Facebook overnight which addresses both Morrissey and the support he has seen from the likes of Brandon Flowers.
Check out the post from Billy Bragg:
In his post, Billy Brag noted how Morrissey had shared a since-deleted video on his website recently which criticised Glastonbury performer Stormzy, contending that “the British establishment are using him to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture.”
“I came home from Glastonbury expecting to see some angry responses to his endorsement of white supremacism,” Bragg wrote.
“Instead, the NME published an interview with Brandon Flowers in which the Killers lead singer proclaimed that Morrissey was still ‘a king’, despite being in what Flowers recognised was ‘hot water’ over his bigoted comments.”
Focusing on Brandon Flowers, Bragg mused if The Killers’ frontman would still support Morrissey if he was made aware of the things that he actually stands for.
“I’m well aware from personal experience how easy it is for an artist to find something you’ve said in the context of a longer discourse turned into an inflammatory headline that doesn’t reflect your genuine views on the subject at hand, but I have to wonder if Flowers really understands the ramifications of Morrissey’s expressions of support for the far right For Britain Party?”
“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’?”
As Billy Bragg continues, he points to a number of ideologies and causes that Morrissey has stood behind in the past, before noting that the musician’s “willingness to double down rather than apologise for any offence caused, suggests a commitment to a bigotry that tarnishes his persona as the champion of the outsider.”
“That Morrissey is helping to spread this idea – which inspired the Christchurch mosque murderer – is beyond doubt,” Bragg concludes.
“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.”
At this stage, Morrissey is yet to respond to the statement made by Billy Bragg, nor has Brandon Flowers of The Killers.