Blur’s Damon Albarn has been drawn into commenting on the controversial political stance of former Smiths frontman Morrissey.
While Morrissey’s political stance has been quietly discussed for decades, his recent decision to publicly support far-right political movement ‘For Britain’ has edged pushed fans of The Smiths into the abyss. 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 was asked outright if he supported the party to which he answered in no uncertain terms: “Absolutely, yes.”
This clear position comes after months of flirting around the conversation. After wearing the badge of For Britain while performing live on US television, defending the likes of Tommy Robinson, suggested that Hitler was left-wing and hitting out at London mayor Sadiq Kahn in a slur about his speech, Morrissey has been letting his feelings known to full effect.
While his recent comment about “everyone preferring their own race” was met with fury by fans that have previously stood by him in their admiration for his art, Albarn has suggested that Morrissey’s views on British politics shouldn’t be taken seriously if the former Smiths singer still refuses to live in the country.
“Steven is a complicated soul,” Albarn began in an interview with NME, referencing Morrissey by his real name. Paul Simonon, former Clash bass player and current bandmate of Albarn in The Good, The Bad And The Queen, then interjected: “But does he live in England?” he asked.
Albarn replied: “No, he lives in California. He doesn’t care. He’s just doing it to wind people up,” he added in reference to the never-ending stream of controversial comments Morrissey has made in recent months.
Simonon then countered, suggesting that Morrissey’s perception of life in the UK has been warped because of the amount of time he was been living in the United States: “Sometimes if you are away and you don’t live in the country, then you’ve got a misconception of what the reality is from the ground up,” he said in the NME interview. “It’s the same as John Lydon—he’s sort of got to a certain level and he’s [entitled] to his views, but if you don’t live here, your vision of it is in a bubble.”
Albarn then replied in slightly stricter terms, suggesting that those who decide to leave the country and live elsewhere shouldn’t have such strong opinions on its politics: “Yeah, I totally agree. You shouldn’t even have an opinion. If you don’t live in the country, then you shouldn’t be dabbling in its politics because to have the sensitivity to understand, you have to live amongst the emotional world of the people as well, not just the idea of something. That’s a long way from reality.
“So I think if you wanna be miserable and English, you’ve gotta be miserable and English. You know – really be it,” he joked.