Four years after the event, singer and former Smiths frontman, Steven Morrissey, has decided to sue the New Musical Express (NME) magazine for libel in connection with an article where he was criticised ‘for allegedly telling a reporter Britain had lost its identity due to high levels of immigration’.
Lawyers for the former Smiths frontman told the high court on Monday that the singer “continues to suffer” reputational damage from a controversial interview he gave to NME magazine four years ago in which he complained about an “immigration explosion” leading to a loss of British identity.
In a written submission, Morrissey said his comments received “a barrage of press” at the time, and added: “Question marks over my being a racist have never since receded”.
This is the latest instalment of a
bitter standoff that spans almost two decades – in 1992 NME accused him of “flirting with disaster” and racist imagery after he wrapped a union flag around himself while on stage in Finsbury Park, north London . . . .
In the opposite corner, however, Catrin Evans, acting for the magazine, takes the view that:
“[t]he fact that [Morrissey] has spent the three years since March 2008 recording albums, touring, promoting his new work and presumably doing well enough commercially to be able now to contemplate funding this libel claim, shows that his reputation has been unaffected. His fans apparently still love him,” Evans told the court. She pointed out that the offending interview had never been published online and continues to exist “only in Morrissey fans’ bedrooms”.
In 2007 Morrissey was quoted by the NME as saying
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.
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
Following which, in a follow-up interview, he
is alleged to have added that he did not think his comments were inflammatory, but were “a statement of fact”.
It says something about the Left, and indeed about the politics of the mainstream music industry, that even Morrissey’s perfectly reasonable and accurate observations were deemed, according to Tim Jonze, the journalist who interviewed Morrissey, ‘offensive’, and according to the NME, racist. These people are so far to the Left that they will only be seen when instruments able to detect the cosmic gravitational wave background are invented. (The predicted redshift is in excess of z > 1025.)
Be that as it may, one cannot help but wonder why, if Morrissey believes that successive governments’ policy on immigration has had a negative impact in Britain, he cares about the opinions of those who supported that policy.
I certainly don’t. Do you?
On the other hand, it is difficult to ascertain Morrissey’s real attitudes an intentions, given that in 2004 he was a founding signatory of the violent terrorist group United Against Fascism, and that the year following his ‘offensive’ remarks he donated £75,000 (some $150,000 at the time) to a campaign sponsored by the aforementioned group, Love Music Hate Racism.
As to his politics, Morrissey is known to have criticised conservative politicians and to have been rooting for Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry in the U.S. presidential elections of 2004.
Thus this seems the case of a Leftist suing other Leftists for using Leftist reputational weapons because of his criticism of Leftist policies.
Put another way, this seems a case of Leftists seeking to redistribute wealth among themselves and contribute a big chunk to fattening their lawyers.
I hope the legal process proves detailed and comprehensive, and that they spare no funds, and leave no stone unturned, unearthing every document, taking as many years as are needed, in their search for the truth.