A letter to Morrissey: please, please, please shut up about the Falklands
Photograph: Amanda Schwab / Rex Features
Those crowds that stretch out their hands in the hope of touching yours probably seem like faceless masses all these years. It’s understandable. You’ve been a living idol to your fans since you were the floppy haired frontman with the expensive gladioli habit. You’re a different man now, deep into your Rock Hudson years, all faded glory with a strong chin and a good line in quips.
I have been one of those hands reaching out of the crowd, screaming for you. I have shimmied my way through the crush to see you close up. Your lyrics, Johnny Marr’s guitar lines, (whisper it) Andy Rourke’s muscular bass lines and Mike Joyce’s drumming got me through some tough teenage years.
Your solo work has stuck with me now I am what passes for an adult even if your flirting with nationalism and habit for making distasteful comments have shaken my faith plenty of times. I still loved you though Moz.
Even after the John Lewis advert, after the pointless spats, after you dragged Quantick through the shit for an album review you didn’t like, I loved you. But now your pandering to nationalism has gone to a very personal place for me. And I’m more disappointed than I have ever been in you. More disappointed that the first time I heard Maladjusted.
For all your preening and strutting through the tropes of Britishness, Englishness and Irishness, you played to the crowd at the Orfeo stadium in Córdoba this week. You played right in to Argentine nationalism by talking about the Falklands, declaring:
“The Malvinas Islands, everybody knows they belong to Argentina. So please don’t blame the British people, we know the islands belong to you.”
You pretended to speak for Britain then crashed into Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want, presumably singing it in the character of Argentina’s hot-headed hottie president, Christina Fernández de Kirchner.
I’m surprised to see you joining her fan club beside George Galloway, Roger Waters and Sean Penn, the type of querulous bores you once sung should “get off the stage”.
I know I can love the songs and ignore you entirely but I can’t let these comments go unchallenged. It’s cheap grandstanding to your Argentinian fan base and it’s beneath you. You’ve played with the imagery of working class male existence for decades and hundreds of those men died to defend the Falklands.
They were right to do so and your cheap quips demean their sacrifice and turn a complex issue into a pathetic intro for a brilliant song. You’re as qualified to burble on about foreign policy as you were to dismiss reggae.
I’ve been disappointed by you so many times before Moz but this time, well, heaven knows I’m miserable now.
Still a fan of the music.
Read my previous piece on The Falklands, my dad and why Sean Penn should shut his spluttering cakehole.