Lately, Morrissey has been talking a whole lot of shit, and he’s been extremely vocal in support of For Britain, a far-right fringe UK political party. Morrissey wrote an essay endorsing For Britain. He wore a For Britain pin when he performed on The Tonight Show. And he said more in support of For Britain in an interview with his nephew, posted on his website. In that same interview, he seemed to denounce the very idea that racism is a problem: “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’ because everything in life is NOT exclusively a question of race, so why make it so?” As you might imagine, this does not sit well with everyone.
Speaking to The Big Issue, Billy Bragg, the veteran singer-songwriter and leftist activist, said exactly how he feels about Morrissey’s recent statements:
I think he’s decided that he wants to betray everything he ever said in the Smiths, and he’s broken the hearts of a lot of people…
The Smiths expressed a lot of people’s own sense of disconnect with society and helped them to find their own identity, and he’s totally trashed that. I’m heartbroken for them because I’m a big Smiths fan, too. And I’m heartbroken for Johnny Marr because he’s genuine, a lovely guy, and he doesn’t deserve to have his legacy dragged through the dirt…
I have no sympathy for [Morrissey], no respect for him, but I have a lot of sympathy and respect for his audience.
Meanwhile, Interpol recently announced a tour with Morrissey. And when asked about Morrissey’s recent statements in a Hot Press interview, Interpol frontman Paul Banks basically refused to address it: “We thought it would be a good show for our band. That’s how I’m looking at it. I don’t get too much into the other stuff.”
A version of this article originally appeared on Stereogum.