Morrissey and British immigration

February 25, 2008

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I followed a controversy late last year regarding Morrissey’s views on immigration in Britain and Identity politics. It stemmed from an interview he did with the NME, where he complained that Britain had lost its cultural identity due to its excessive multicultural policies and open immigration.

Here are some of his quotes on the issue:

“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.”

“You have to be sensible about everything in life. You can’t say ‘Everybody come into my house, sit on the bed, have what you like, do what you like’. It wouldn’t work.”

He also stressed his anti racist position, claiming there is a difference between the loss of National cultural identity through over immigration and that of racist beliefs, which Morrissey claims he finds absurd and untenable.

Having been to London four times over the past 20 years …the last in 2004. It is hard to disagree that the England of Empire and political standing the world, of its National cultural, artistic and even pop culture significance … is now dead or dying. As a colony or outpost of this former Empire, where do we in Australia stand in this quagmire?

Here are two articles on the Morrissey controversy.

Article 1

Article 2

Morrissey songs in the past had hinted at his interest in right wing ideas with tracks like Bengali in Platforms about an immigrant who doesn’t “belong here” and National Front Disco with its catch cry of “England, for the English”. All these issues now seem to have embroiled him in the UK immigration debate.

It raises interesting issues…

Where do you draw the line with immigration? A limited multiculturism like in Australia is acceptable, but how long should it be allowed to continue unchecked? Until a nation’s whole identity is altered?. Should a country to loose its cultural identity with excessive influxes of refugees from any culture, any where in the world? Isn’t Japan great because its full of Japanese people in touch with their own culture? There is also the issue of originary population’s general acceptance of multiculturism? And the issue of cultural hegemonic integrity raised by new immigrants sticking exclusively to their foreign national, cultural and ethnic values and not even adopting, say, the National language? Or the issue of harboring religious ideas at odds with the Wests current campaign against extreme Islam?

The influx of refugees from future resource wars, third world misery and poverty and the potential of global warming displacement is clearly a sign of the times.Above all this an ominous Malthusian concern for general human overpopulation and its sustainability on our Gaia. All these issues need to be explored beyond the blinkered impulses of talk back radio shows and other forms of reactionary media, they need to be raised in youthful, new, vital and invigorating political paths, realities and discourses.

I hope to explore some of these issues here on Idea Fix in the future.

In the meantime enjoy Morrissey’s new Greatest Hits, out now and featuring a cool new song “That’s How People Grow up”. Indeed!

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