There so much in these few quotes that’s awful, but I get the feeling that even in his “clarification” he doesn’t recognize half of it. I especially like that he plays the some-of-my-best-friends-are-black card. Or rather, and worse, the some-of-my-favorite-entertainers-are-black card.
MORRISSEY has sparked controversy by claiming the British identity has disappeared because the country has been ‘flooded’ by immigration.
The Manchester music legend suggested that immigration was one of the reasons he would not move back to Britain.
The former Smiths star, who has spent most of the last decade living in LA and Rome, told NME magazine countries like Germany still had their own identity and complained of not hearing `British accents’ on the streets.
Morrissey, the son of Irish immigrants, said: “Britain’s a terribly negative place. And it hammers people down and it pulls you back and it prevents you.
“Also, with the issue of immigration, it’s very difficult because, 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.”
He added: “It matters because the British identity is very attractive. I grew up into it, and I find it quaint and very amusing. But England is a memory now. Other countries have held on to their basic identity, yet it seems to me that England was thrown away.”
Morrissey said: “The change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country. “If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent. You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.”
Morrissey admitted he enjoyed `the freedom to go around the world … so you have to allow others the same freedom’ adding `so I’m not sitting here saying it’s a terrible thing, I’m saying it’s a reality and to many people it’s shocking’.
In a follow-up phone interview, Morrissey told the magazine: “I just think that it could be construed that the reason I wouldn’t wish to live in England is the immigration explosion.
“And that’s not true at all. I am actually extremely worldly and there are other reasons why I would find England very difficult, such as the expense and the pressure.”
He said: “My favourite actor is an Israeli, Lior Ashkenazi, and my favourite singer was born in Iraq and now lives in Egypt. So I’m not a part of Little Britain. And by that, I don’t mean the show, obviously.”
Asked about his parents moving to Britain, he said: “It’s different now. Because the gates are flooded. And anybody can have access to England and join in. Millions of people leave the country every year because they don’t recognise the place, so I’m not saying anything unusual. If you travelled to Croatia tomorrow for instance, and walked around Zagreb hearing nothing but Dublin accents, you’d find it shocking.”
He said ‘racism’ was ‘silly’ and `beyond reason’ and that he would be `pilloried’ for his comments.
But Morrissey added: “Whatever England is now, it’s not what it was and it’s lamentable that we’ve lost so much.”