Morrissey wades into David Cameron row

By Ian Dunt

Legendary pop singer Morrissey has waded into a row between his former Smiths bandmembers and the prime minister.

The online spat started last week when former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr demanded that David Cameron stop telling everyone how much he liked the band.

“Stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I forbid you to like it.”

The comment prompted a spate of Twitter messages connecting the coalition government’s fortunes with Smiths lyrics but there was criticism of Marr in some quarters, arguing that he should not try to reject listeners on the basis of their political beliefs.

But former Smiths lead singer and committed vegan Morrissey waded into the row today, saying he backed his former band mate.

“I would like to, if I may, offer support to Johnny Marr who has spoken out to the media this week against David Cameron,” he wrote on his blog.

“To those who have expressed concern over Johnny’s words in view of the fact that David Cameron has pledged immense allegiance to the music of the Smiths, I would like to try to explain why I think Johnny is right not to be flattered.

“It is true that music is a universal language – the ONLY universal language, and belongs to all, one way or another. However, with fitting grimness I must report that David Cameron hunts and shoots and kills stags – apparently for pleasure. It was not for such people that either Meat is Murder or The Queen is Dead were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence,” he continued.

“I recall some years ago a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative party where David Cameron spoke directly to camera as an LP copy of The Queen is Dead proudly displayed itself on the wall behind his right shoulder.

“It is, of course, a fantastic thrill when the music you make is acknowledged by virtually anyone at all. But David Cameron is not just anyone.”

Morrissey explained that he had pulled out of an invitation to appear on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show because he would have had to line up alongside the prime minister.

“This was because I knew, then, that David wanted to repeal the Hunting Act, which would mean the brutal killing of foxes, hares, deer, badgers, otters – just about anything that moves,” he explained.

The Smiths, widely considered one of the greatest British bands of the 1980s, incoporated several songs about animal rights into their repertoire, but also featured several damning attacks on Conservatives, including Margaret on the Guillotine, a song imagining Margaret Thatcher’s execution.

During an appearance on Desert Island Discs, Mr Cameron said This Charming Man was one of his favourite songs.