Morrissey has given his first public statement following the mass criticism of his controversial far-right political stance.

Only yesterday it was reported that Spillers, the worlds oldest record store, had banned the sale of Morrissey records due to his public support of far-right political movement ‘For Britain’. On top of that, Liverpool Merseyrail has today announced the decision to ban all Morrissey promotional posters from their property.

The ‘For Britain Movement’ is a political group—often described as extremist—founded by the anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters after she was defeated in the 2017 UKIP leadership. 

Morrissey had initially voiced his support of For Britain in an interview, saying: “For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation…I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say ‘you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.’ People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”

What has ensued has been a very public backing of the movement from the former Smiths frontman, which has included some high profile controversial comments and, twice in recent weeks, Morrissey has been spotted wearing a For Britain badge, most prominently during a performance on Jimmy Fallon’s major American TV show.

For Britain has been largely labeled as dangerous members of the political spectrum, Morrissey’s decision to support them has been heavily criticised by Journalist and ex-friend of Morrissey Dave Haslam: “My former friend sporting a For Britain badge, a party violently anti-Islam, filled with ex-BNP and ex-EDL, pro-privatisation, far right and prone to exploiting tragedies to disseminate divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric online, what happened to ‘It takes guts to be gentle and kind’?” Haslam reacted.

The news comes as little surprise given that Morrissey, in the recent past, has defended the likes of Tommy Robinson, suggested that Hitler was left-wing and hit out at London mayor Sadiq Kahn in a slur about his speech. 

Now, on the day Morrissey released his new album California Son, Morrissey thanked BBC Radio 2 for their support and then criticised the UK print media for their interoperation of his current political standpoint. “I am sorry the UK print media’s contorted interpretation of who and what I am has gone all wrong,” Morrissey began. “In these days when most people are afraid to even whisper, the print media write as if someone is coming to get them.”

He continued: “This aching nervousness brings on the vengeful and paranoid. Inventing Britain’s doomsday is the preoccupation of the tabloids, and they can hate you for having lived. I straighten up, and my position is one of hope. The march backwards is over, and life has begun again. With voice extended to breaking point, I call for the prosperity of free speech; the eradication of totalitarian control; I call for diversity of opinion; I call for the total abolition of the abattoir; I call for peace, above all; I call for civil society; I call for a so-far unknowable end to brutalities; “No” to Soviet Britain; prayers not to gods but to forces; an end to disingenuous media cluelessness; the people have the power; hatred and beheadings belong in the furnace of history; music might still be your only friend; for every shade and persuasion.

The former Smiths singer added: “We shall always be alongside each other – everyone’s culture of value; no more fashionable outrage; cows are friends to humans – don’t kill them; beware of those who write in headlines; moral fiber means holding on… to your friends; give up on inferior arguments; God gave you your life to enjoy – you will cry for your life in years to come… death always answers back; do not be a nobody; you have survived this far in order to make the remainder peaceful and funny; your very survival proves that you have a right; ignore the cold eyes of fascism; your life is Art.”

Read the full statement, here:

[MORE] – The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke defends Morrissey: ‘the world without him would be boring’

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