The Killers frontman, Brandon Flowers, has defended Morrissey amid the former Smiths frontman confirming his far-right political stance.
Sitting down in conversation with NME following their momentous headline performance at Glastonbury Festival 2019, Flowers began listing prominent figures of music of whom he considers to be “kings” in reference their legacy.
“Liam [Gallagher] is one of them,” Flowers explained before adding: “Don Henley, Peter Gabriel, Morrissey would be a king, Bono would be a king, Springsteen would be a king.”
During The Killers’ performance on the Pyramid Stage, the band invited former Smiths frontman Johnny Marr on stage to perform ‘This Charming Man’ and, given the controversy surrounding Morrissey’s comments on racism and his support for far-right extreme political part ‘For Britain’, Flowers clarified: “I forgot he [Morrissey] was in hot water though, so I shouldn’t have brought him up.”
Flowers also said of Morrissey: “He’s still a king. He’s unparalleled in what he’s achieved and his prowess and his lyrics and his sense of melody, it’s just incredible.”
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.
The final straw however, if we haven’t experienced the final one already, came when Morrissey emphatically branded the term racism as “meaningless” and claimed that people generally prefer their own race. “If you call someone racist in modern Britain you are telling them that you have run out of words,” he said in a recent interview. “You are shutting the debate down and running off. The word is meaningless now.”
He added: “Everyone ultimately prefers their own race… does this make everyone racist? The people who reduce every conversation down to a matter of race could be said to be the most traditionally ‘racist’
“Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond. If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order.”
Most recently, Morrissey has been thanked by For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters, thanking him and the Daily Mail for their support: “Thank you so much for your support since the UKIP leadership election,” Waters said in a new YouTube video. “Thank you for giving us so much publicity.”
Perhaps more concerning, Waters went on to suggest that the popularity of the political movement has grown substantially since Morrissey’s show of support: “I can tell you that the traffic to our website exploded with the story breaking of you wearing the For Britain button badge, which you have been wearing everywhere from what I can see. We have sold out of those, but the good news is we have more, and they have been selling like hot cakes, so thank you very much for doing that,” she added.
Signing off her YouTube video, Waters thanked both Morrissey and the Daily Mail for spreading the word about For Britain: “Thank you, Morrissey. I hope to meet you one day,” said Waters. “Thank you, Daily Mail. Keep up the hysterical smearing. It’s having the opposite effect. You are driving people to us.”