Morrissey turns on Obama and al Assad

Posted on June 25, 2012

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written by Robert Pollard

al Assad, Obama and the UN now the focus of Morrissey’s disgust.

In a music world full of identikit pop stars, Morrissey’s continued presence is refreshing respite. While most musicians toe the line during monotonous interviews, Morrissey provides us with honesty and opinion. His current world tour, which has so far seen frenzied scenes across South America, Asia and the USA, has become a platform for him to air his new songs and, as ever, his political views.

During his performance at February’s Vina del Mar festival in Chile, Morrissey’s band were clad in ‘ASSAD IS SHIT’ t-shirts, providing the first indicator that the Syrian leader, Bashar al Assad, is fast becoming the main target of Morrissey’s ire. In a recent interview for Juice Magazine in Singapore, Morrissey continued his assault on Assad and berated the role of the UN in world affairs:

“Like many people I’m currently preoccupied with Syria, and at the uselessness of the United Nations. who don’t appear to unite any nations. But whether it’s Assad in Syria, or the British so-called royals, all world leaders are dictatorships, and from what we’ve seen in the middle east, they will all not hesitate to turn the tanks onto their own people should anyone question their morality.”

Morrissey, who publicly backed Obama’s presidential bid in 2008, is now so disillusioned with the American president’s record that at a recent concert in Tuscon he told his audience:

“I no longer see the point of having a president. I no longer see the point of prime ministers. They’re all the same and they always, always hate the people….always. There has to be a new way”.

It’s a theme that Morrissey then returned to during the interview with Juice, saying:

“It’s only my personal view, but I think the age of the President or the Prime Minister is dead. People everywhere have lost faith in politics, and rightly so. Something different needs to happen. I think we were all initially swept along with the Obama win, but he’s proven to be simply a set of teeth, and useless in every other regard. Time and time again we see the same scenario whereby political figures only see the public as electorate, and once anyone is elected they appear to hate the people”.

His views on the monarchy were made clear in 1985 when The Smiths released their album Meat is Murder. In the track Nowhere Fast, Morrissey declares ‘I’d like to drop my trousers to the Queen; every sensible child will know what this means’ and his staunch republican outlook has not mellowed since. At the culmination of the USA leg of his tour he released a statement to his fans in which he denounced the royal family as ‘utterly useless’:

“The soul is tried all over again as the jackboot of dictatorship strangles England. This week, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee presents a new lesson in the force of tyranny, and is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor – and all done, quite naturally, at the public’s expense! It is degrading to anyone of intelligence. While dictatorships throughout the Middle East are gently condemned by the British government, there is no examination of the extremism enforced by the British ‘royals’, who remain the most overpaid and most utterly useless people on the planet. Having done nothing to earn our respect, they demand everything by return. It is a cunning and extravagant form of benefit fraud. I should mention that I am frequently asked to appear on BBC television’s Question Time to air my views. But is it possible to engage with the British media and not be carved-up? I doubt it.”

In the past, Morrissey’s political musings have courted controversy. He described the Chinese as a ‘subspecies’ because of their treatment of animals, and his comments on immigration into Britain were met with disgust by many, although an apology from the NME has finally arrived for their portrayal of his words. His latest remarks are less offensive but no less thought provoking. We may not always agree with Morrissey but in a music world so bereft of opinion how unusual it is to have an artist prepared to air his views no matter how they will be received by the public. Like him or loathe him, Morrissey gets us talking.

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Posted in: Music, Politics