Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Morrissey's NME

Neither a racist, not a victim. Questions the NME should have asked.

Last week some serious sleep was lost in Britain. Tabloids and papers alike were at pains to figure out if:
a) Morrissey may truly be a BNP-courting racist or:
b) liberal Britain has lost its marbles once and for all as they throw hissy fits each time the word i-m-m-i-g-r-a-t-i-o-n is uttered.

As always, once the flurry of catchphrases, simple formulas and panic buttons is cast aside, it becomes clear that reality is neither black nor white. But whoever thought the NME was going to fare any better than that is, forgive me, a bit of a pranny.
And so I don't believe Morrissey is a racist at all. Nor did he use "inflammatory language" (everything's become "inflammatory" in today's Britain, you start wondering how those poor firemen cope). More, I don't even think he's a Tory and, anyway, does it matter? By the same token, I don't happen to think the NME is part of the world conspiracy that a long time ago set out to victimise poor-old Morrissey. He's been in the game too long -25 years and still counting- not to be aware that (especially) British papers have a natural inclination to sensationalise and misrepresent. You fart and the headlines proclaim that, shock/horror (!), you shat yourself; you put on a pound and you turn out the salad dodger.
So, if you don’t want to take that risk, simply, turn them bloody interviews down.

The NME's fault -and a big one at that- is that it totally failed to challenge Morrissey with REAL, factual and intelligent arguments. And a lot was there to be said. In that respect, Morrissey nailed it right on the head when he wrote in his subsequent statement (3 December) about the dreadful dumbing down of the weekly music rag. What Moz called "the relentless stream of 'cheers mate, got pissed last night ha ha' interviews" is a faithful depiction of today's NME. Then again, had Morrissey stayed in England, he'd have also noticed that "fuckin'ell, mate, got paralytic last nite, I'm so 'ungova" is by far today's young Brits' most likely topic of conversation.

So what could the NME have said to stand up to Morrissey's remarks instead of simplistically spurting out talks of "inflammatory language", Enoch Powells and BNPs?

Firstly, for instance, by pointing out that the true victims of an open-immigration policy are always gonna be those at the lower end, no matter what ethnicity, creed or religion. Have a look at the prophets of labour casualisation. You'll note their tendency to remark about too many foreigners on English soil goes hand in hand with their distinct reluctance to employ people on a decent competitive wage. Cue legal and semi-illegal agencies having a field day as they contract out vulnerable immigrants who'd take anything (and also share a room with ten others) so that their British bosses' profits can get even fatter. As immigrants are unaware or too afraid to claim their rights, wages are fast driven down. Ken Loach's latest film, "It's A Free World", as well as a recent BBC undercover investigation , both highlight the gravity of the situation. Incidentally, ask the Tory voter in Sutton Coldfield who'd grunt about bloody foreigners if he/she is quite happy to employ an English housekeeper on a proper wage instead of their current Ukranian one on four quid an hour. Local authorities and government can patronise us all by robotically going on about 'inclusion', 'equal opps' and 'black history' exhibitions, but factual reflection on the UK's inner city ghettos and the true plight of the lower classes - of all races, I maintain- is forever going to be blighted by cries of "racism" and "inflammatory language".

Also, did anyone sense a whiff of hypocrisy when the Irish Blood, English Heart singer spoke of "every accent under the sun, except British, in Knightsbridge"? Worse, when Mozza remarked that "if you travel to Germany, it’s still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are", that -on his part- is naivety at the very least. How Anglo-centric (and blind) can you be? Doesn’t it click that his is the typical simplistic view of the post-colonial little Englander abroad? I'm sure to the eye of a sov-donned Brit getting pissed in the Mediterranean, tacky Torremolinos feels "distinctly" Spanish, or central Paris quintessentially French (and by the way, why not ask an old Frenchman in central Paris if the place "hasn't lost its identity?"). Ask the week-package language student in Brighton and he'll tell you how "very English" it all is.

But, the question is, would Morrissey care to ask the few Spaniards left in Marbella or Benidorm if the place doesn't feel overrun? What about 'loss of identity' when you walk up and down la calle only to stumble upon an English pub or a chippie after the other? It's alright when a million (and counting) ex-pats grab hold of Spanish homes driving prices through the roof, isn’t it? It's alright when Brits move to Spain en-masse without bothering to pick up a single word of the local language...What would the locals have to say about foreign accents there? Or how about, not registering as local residents (hence dodging tax) but still making full use of hospitals, rubbish collection and other public services all along the Costa Blanca? So, you see, dear old Moz, loss of identity is happening everywhere, Germany, Sweden and Spain included. It isn't like the Daily Mail would hint, that "they all wanna come here".
It's not just about hearing accents down the street.

8 comments:

AndrewGMooney said...

Anonymous said:

"I think the most depressing thing is that Morrissey GENUINELY wasn't trying to be xenophobic but a few characters jumped on his words and say they "support" what he said!

When I saw uber right-winger Mr Kavanagh "on Morrissey's side" in The Sun I was almost sick.

Take a look at this article about Moz v the NME
http://www.mymarilyn.blogspot.com
Anonymous -- Tuesday December 11 2007, @08:32PM (#288137)

As the world’s greatest-living Brummie, after Ozzie Osbourne, of course!
Thanks for that link to a Birmingham-focussed cultural analysis forum.

Whilst not agreeing with all the points concerning Morrissey’s views on 'i-m-m-i-g-r-a-t-i-o-n': It certainly knocks the socks off the so-called 'journalistic' investigation by the NME.

Morrissey can’t be held responsible for Mr Kavanagh’s interpretation of his words or for his ‘endorsement’ of them. Don’t read The Sun! Or The Times (same paper, really). Both should carry a health warning:

“Reading this meretricious trashy propaganda may permanently damage your ability to think rationally”

Has anyone seen Jonze back in London yet? ‘Where’s The Tape?’
It’s on my t-shirt as I write.
Is Jonze wandering up and down Oxford Street with a placard saying ‘Get yer Evidence here!’:

Distributing free cassette copies, to 'prove' the validity of the points he recorded, then did/didn't -write/endorse/retract/-retrospectively legitimise?

Where's The Tape: Morrissey-gate?
'All The NME’s men‘ : Coming to a cinema near you?

Will Robert Redford play Jonze in the film? Or Connor?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/

Text copyright: AndrewGMooney 11.09.1960

Also posted to Morrissey-Solo.com.

Tess said...

I don't think Morrissey would disagree with you about Spain being overrun by the British. He'd probably say that area of Spain has lost it's identity.

Quentin S. Crisp said...

"It's alright when a million (and counting) ex-pats grab hold of Spanish homes driving prices through the roof, isn’t it? It's alright when Brits move to Spain en-masse without bothering to pick up a single word of the local language...What would the locals have to say about foreign accents there? Or how about, not registering as local residents (hence dodging tax) but still making full use of hospitals, rubbish collection and other public services all along the Costa Blanca?"

Personally, I don't think that's all right, and there's no reason to believe that Morrissey think's that's all right, either, although he might, I suppose.

But nice post overall. Thanks.

Ivanhoe said...

But, the question is, would Morrissey care to ask the few Spaniards left in Marbella or Benidorm if the place doesn't feel overrun?

I dont see that as "the" question at all. I'm sure had he been asked in the "interview" for his comments on the international ramifications of migrating brits he would have commented, what would of been reported back on the other hand is anybodys guess. The main question here is why is lazy, cliched, jingoistic journalism accepted and tolerated so readily? Any amazement or disillusion to it is treated as naivety thus perpetuating the monster.

Anonymous said...

Spain and other EU countries have a stricter policy about letting in the new EU members from the former Eastern Bloc countries. Only the UK, Ireland and Sweden opened their borders and gave the right to work etc. Yet apparently we are the bad Europeans! Perhaps if France, Germany etc had done the same not so many would have flocked to the UK.

Claude said...

Anonymous, that is bollocks.
Though I'm not denying that hundreds of thousands (a million maybe?) of Eastern Europeans arrived in the UK, have a walk round places like Milan, or Berlin, or Barcelona and tell me if you don't see LOADS of Eastern European.

The cliche' that "they all want to come to Britain" is just so ignorant.

According to some figures Britain is currently 4th (some others suggest 5th) in the EU in terms of number of number of immigrants, behind Spain (a country with an open immigration policy with Latin Americans), France, Germany and possibly Italy.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Claude.

I'd like to add, though, that Morrissey often speaks with an often amusing but, admittedly, occasionally absurd amount of hyperbole. Too much is being made of his Knightsbridge comment. It's not that your reponse is wrong or unfair, but I think Morrissey's views on these matters are more reasonable than his public quips would lead us to believe.

And that is where I most agree with you regarding the NME. Better-worded questions and less hostility would have elicited the saner thoughts most of us believe Morrissey possesses. A better journalist and maybe one or two more pages of copy would have ended this nonsense before it began. As it is, we can't really know.

Anonymous said...

Come down to Leicester and take a walk through the city centre, its had much money spent on it, its still a dump. Look at the people, the way they dress, their faces (many are obviously immigrants) and see the emptiness and lack of character.

However I do not think it is immigration that is to blame, it the policy of the Bankers, both globalists as well as local and divide and rule that is to blame. Morrisey has a point, though he is a twat.