Who the hell does Brian May think he is?

The Queen guitarist doubted reports that foxes attacked twin babies, reacted angrily to his critics, and now threatens to quit the UK unless we can all behave

He is rock royalty, though his Queen days are behind him. He is worth an estimated £70m and he shares a suitably splendid home (and, let this be true, hair curlers) with his second wife, the actress Anita Dobson, in a grassy part of Surrey where summer fêtes, village greens and horticultural shows are a way of life. He has a PhD in astrophysics and more than a passing interest in Victorian stereoscopic photography. But how does Brian May, 62, choose to pass his time, these days? By shooting his mouth off before he is in full possession of the facts, that's how.

It is, of course, one of the hazards of new media that we can all tweet and status-update faster than we can say: "Hmmm, maybe I should think this through." But May had time to consider his latest outburst. Nine-month-old twins Lola and Isabella Koupparis were attacked by a fox at their Hackney home at 10pm on Saturday 5 June. May held off until the Monday to post the following on his "Save Me" Facebook page dedicated to all things cute and cuddly. "Fox attacks babies?" he wrote under the heading "Brian's Soapbox". "Sure! And monkeys will fly... out of my butt. Ha ha. And I suppose there is proof?!!!"

Erm, try bite marks and the fact that one of the twins has bruising consistent with the mother's story that the fox had tried to pull the baby out of her cot through the bars. Oh, and the photograph that one of the first police officers to arrive at the scene took on his mobile phone of a fox at the family's patio doors.

The Sun was quick to point out that May "appeared to accuse the devastated Koupparis family of lying", but child protection is not May's thing. The protection of animals is. And he is starting to give it the kind of attention he used to reserve for the guitar solo in "We Will Rock You".

He quickly followed up that first post not with an apology, but with an entry entitled "HEAVY HEART" that, while it did concede that "our hearts go out to the two little children", soon found its real cause for concern: "Our country," he wrote – or "ranted" as the red-top press would have it – "is now run by a set of animal-hating people, already straining at the leash, slavering with a lust to kill and cause pain to animals. And now this. One very questionable case ... no proof, no trial. And suddenly half of the country is after blood."

Because May's increasingly monomaniacal behaviour is centred around the belief that the new government is actually nothing more than a front for the Countryside Alliance and is capitalising on this story to repeal the anti-hunting law as a matter of some urgency.

That the Lib-Con coalition seems to have more pressing matters on its hands does not fool May. In fact, in the run-up to the general election, he was running a campaign that he called "Bollocks to the Economy" wherein he got a selection of his showbiz pals – Francis Rossi of Status Quo, the astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, the Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and, er, a Nolan sister – to turn to camera and say the word "bollocks".

May had already had a run-in or two before the election, not least with David Parsons, leader of Leicestershire County Council, who, in a letter to the Leicester Mercury newspaper had written that "people in rural communities are not going to take lectures from a cosseted London rock star". May, and this will surprise no one, was quick to reply. "I live in the country too, you ignorant man. I know exactly what I am talking about." And, in case Parsons should think he was getting personal, May added: "You are a disgrace to your office. Countryside tradition, my arse. If you ever come within sniffing distance of me I'll have your guts for garters, you pathetic, arrogant, jumped-up, snivelling little dweeb."

Such people skills were little in evidence in May's glory days. Back then there was Freddie Mercury to steal the limelight. In his absence, May has occasionally felt the need to dust off the hits and take to the road with the blues singer Paul Rodgers on vocals. Such occasions really give May the chance to shine. In 2008, he opened a show at the temporary Wembley Arena Pavilion with the following: "We all deeply apologise for this godforsaken shit heap of a building ... but we are going to make it rock!"

And rock they no doubt did. Though such opportunities may soon be in short supply. Because in a post on Save Me a couple of days ago, May appeared to have had enough, reflecting on the aftermath of the fox attacks as an "appalling climate of fear and lies and propaganda and cruelty and insanity". Later, as he got into his slightly scary stride, he asked: "Where is God? How come the bad guys, the cruel guys, are now getting all the breaks? For God's sake, we are now ruled by them. I am seriously beginning to wonder at times if I can go on living in this country."

To which the response could possibly be: "Bri, animals are lovely and all, and most of this country loves them disproportionately, as you do. But if you feel this is worth leaving the country over, don't let anyone stop you now."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz