Morrissey has made an extraordinary – even by his standards – series of pronouncements in a new interview published on his website, attacking halal meat producers, Theresa May, Diane Abbott and Sadiq Khan, among others.
The former Smiths frontman – already infamous for his statements on race, animal welfare and more – criticised halal meat production, the Islamic method of animal slaughter. He claimed that “halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of Isis”, and described it as “evil”. He also described Jewish kosher food production as “very cruel”, and called for it to be banned.
Halal slaughter involves live animals having their throats cut and their blood drained. The vast majority of halal meat producers stun the animals before killing them, just as they do in non-halal production. To carry out halal slaughter, you must be a Muslim with a certificate of competence from the Food Standards Agency, and work in an approved abattoir. “I am not saying that stunned slaughter is acceptable, because it couldn’t ever be,” Morrissey added. “If you use the term ‘humane slaughter’ then you might as well talk in terms of ‘humane rape’.”
He criticised prime minister Theresa May for calling the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival a “joyous celebration” … “as millions of animals had their throats slit to mark the occasion. I wondered what kind of compassion she could possibly have.” He also said May was “incapable of leadership. She cannot say her own name unless it’s written down on a cue card in front of her.”
Accusations of racism have long dogged Morrissey, who once referred to Chinese people as a “sub-species” and said that British identity was under threat from immigration. “As far as racism goes, the modern loony left seem to forget that Hitler was leftwing,” he says now. “When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is: hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it, so perhaps if I distract you by calling you a bigot we’ll both forget how enlightened your comment was.” He argues that the worst form of racism is against animals: “If you eat animals, isn’t it a display of hatred for a certain species? And what gives you the right to eat another species or race? Would you eat people from Sri Lanka?”
Elsewhere in the interview, he describes UK politics as “a moral disaster on every level. Even Tesco wouldn’t employ Diane Abbott [Labour’s shadow home secretary].” London mayor Sadiq Khan is also criticised: “London is debased. The mayor of London tells us about ‘neighbourhood policin’’ … this is the mayor of London! And he cannot talk properly!”
Morrissey instead throws his weight behind For Britain, the far-right party set up by former Ukip member Anne Marie Waters, someone he namechecked in a recent concert on the BBC. He said he was supporting the party because “they have the best approach to animal welfare”.
On the subject of Brexit, he argues that it “did not happen. The EU wouldn’t allow it to happen. It is now a dead issue. People wanted to leave the EU because of the complete erosion of freedom under EU rules, and the fair-minded majority now see in even more frightening ways how very much they are hated by the EU, not to mention the British political elite.” He suggests that a second referendum on EU membership would lead to a stronger mandate to leave, though he himself has “never voted”.
Regarding the once widely longed-for Smiths reunion, he scotched the idea, saying the band “was beautiful, but it’s gone”. He also stated that “nothing I say is provocative. They are just facts.”