Prominent indie forefather Morrissey is no stranger to controversy, whether it includes incidents where he called Halal Certifiers “Isis Supporters,” made claims that Hitler was “left-wing,” or defending accused sexual harasser Kevin Spacey, and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein (it should be noted, at the time of publication that neither men have admitted to any kind of sexual misconduct, and Weinstein’s case is still ongoing).
This time the former Smith’s frontman has once again generated controversy, this time by wearing a pin from the far-right British political party “For Britain,” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night. This incident occurred while the singer was performing a cover of Jobriath’s “Morning Starship,” off his California Son covers album.
This is not the first time that Morrissey has supported the political party publicly, back in 2018 he announced his support for the group on his website in a piece entitled “I’ve Been Dreaming Of A Time When / the English / are sick to death of Labour and Tories”. Although the group has made extreme comments regarding Islam and its worshippers, Morrissey claims that the group is not racist or fascist.
“I despise racism. I despise fascism,” he began before claiming, “I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me…In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security. That party is For Britain.”
He also took time to criticize what he called “the mainstream media,” for these comments, which he also did when addressing his comments defending Spacey and Weinstein. “Please give them a chance. Listen to them. Do not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist – please believe me, they are the very opposite!!! Please do not close your mind,” he wrote on his website.
For Britain was founded by prominent “anti-Islam” figure Anne Marie Waters, who has advocated for the reduction of Muslim birthrates, ending immigration from Muslim migrants and accusing the EU of conspiring to turn Europe into an Islamic state. In addition, Waters, along with far-right figures Tommy Robinson and Paul Weston formed a British chapter of the anti-Islamic group Pegida, which originated in Germany.
The group has been labeled by many other critics as a racist and fascist group by multiple critics however, including far-right and former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who called the group “Nazis and racists.”