Manchester attack: Morrissey criticised for 'forgetting' Jo Cox in rant about politicians' 'bullet-proof bubble'

'That's just insulting and I suggest you re-think your words'

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Wednesday 24 May 2017 08:21 BST
Former Smiths frontman Morrisey
Former Smiths frontman Morrisey (Getty Images)

Morrissey has been criticised after he posted a rant against UK politicians following the Manchester Arena attack that left 22 people dead.

Posting on Facebook, he wrote that he had been celebrating his birthday as news of the terror attack broke and said the "anger is monumental".

"Theresa May says such attacks "will not break us, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues," he continued.

"Also, 'will not break us' means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken - thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says 'London is united with Manchester' but he does not condemn Islamic State [Isis] - who have claimed responsibility for the bomb'.

"The Queen receives absurd praise for her 'strong words' against the attack, yet she does not cancel today's garden party at Buckingham Palace - for which no criticism is allowed in the free press. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an 'extremist'. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?"

Morrissey concluded in the post: "In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections."

While there was plenty of support for his statement, many fans and critics were also quick to point out that he appeared to have forgotten the many historical - and recent - attacks against politicians.

"I'm sure the family of murdered MP Jo Cox would disagree with your statement that 'Politicians are never the victims'," one wrote. "Or is it not terrorism when it isn't a Muslim?"

Another wrote: "You make some good points but seriously, telling Jo Cox's family that politicians are never the victims. That's just insulting and I suggest you re-think your words."

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Brendan Cox, the widower of the MP who died after being shot and stabbed in her constituency by a far-right extremist last year, urged people to come together following the attacks.

He praised Prime Minister Theresa May for her "powerful" response and said he was "thinking of every family whose lives have been destroyed by a cowardly hate filled attack. So much pain and so pointless".

"They try to divide us," he continued. "But we will not divide. We will pull together and live our lives...

"People who use this to push hatred are doing exactly what the terrorists want. Division and hate makes us weak, unity and resolve makes us strong."

The attack by a suicide bomber at Manchester Arena on 22 May killed 22 people and dozens more were injured.

On 23 May British officials identified the Manchester Arena bomber as Salman Abedia, a Mancunian of Libyan descent. He was known to security services but was not part of an active investigation or regarded as high risk.

At least one person, a 23-year-old man from Manchester, has been arrested in connection with the bombing.

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