Morrissey blames immigration for 'disappearance' of British identity
Thursday 29 November 2007
Morrissey has made an unexpected and to some of his fans a thoroughly unwelcome contribution to Britain's loaded immigration debate. The musician has delivered a swingeing attack on what he perceives to be Britain's encroaching multiculturalism and the loss of national identity.
"England is a memory now," he says, in an interview with the NME published yesterday. "The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in."
He goes on: "Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. Travel to England and you have no idea where you are. It matters because the British identity is very attractive. I grew up into it and I find it very quaint and amusing. Other countries have held on to their basic identity, yet it seems to me that England was thrown away.
"You can't say, 'Everybody come into my house, sit on the bed, have what you like, do what you like.' It wouldn't work."
Morrissey, 48, whose parents were Irish Catholic immigrants to Manchester, left Dublin a decade ago to set up home in Los Angeles. He now lives in Rome. He denied his remarks could be interpreted as being racist or xenophobic. "Whatever England is now, it's not what it was and it's lamentable that we've lost so much," he said.
Morrissey's manager, Merck Mercuriadis, called in the lawyers and threatened the NME editor, Conor McNicholas, with court action. Ahead of publication, he accused the NME of a "hatchet job". Mr McNicholas received a letter explaining that Morrissey was "extremely concerned that the article will be defamatory of him, in particular carrying expressly or by imputation the false assertion that our client is a racist or holds racist views".
Mr Mercuriadis accused the NME of trying "to create controversy to boost circulation at the expense of Morrissey's integrity".
It is not the first time that Morrissey has fallen out with the music industry bible. The NME has questioned his lyrics in songs such as the "National Front Disco", and in 1992, it accused him of flirting with racist imagery following a concert at Finsbury Park in which he appeared draped in a Union flag when there were reportedly National Front supporters in the crowd.
A spokeswoman for the NME said it stood by its story and awaited a writ. "We haven't done anything to make the interview read in a more inflammatory way," she said.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
New York snow: Winter Storm Juno downgraded as 'one of the largest snowstorms in history' fails to show
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading digital agenci...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A chance to work for an extreme...