“You’re not going to like the title”

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Morrissey – The National Front Disco

Morrissey is a racist and haven’t you heard it? It’s in everything he writes (in the papers, too), and most noticeably here, amongst the noise and crashes of Alain Whyte’s structured hysteria, amongst the forever unplaced inverted commas in the chant-like “England for the English.” And that was his first fault. Trusting the listener to hear the quotation marks in “England for the English”, trusting them to hear a voice not of Morrissey’s but of the countless Davids and their cat calls. Who writes like this anymore? Who writes with risk? Who writes for anything but for the flow of syllabic tongue run off; the dribble for the bleating sheep sing-along?

David, a young boy breeching the walls of manhood, succumbs to the promises of the far-right National Front, sharing in the vitriol for his land in is current state, the passing of its idolised commonality, the contrary flags of neighbours, and that lamentable howl of longing for what once was – or, most probably, the imagining of the ‘once was’. (“There’s a county, you don’t live there, but one day you would like to.”) It’s likely he’s found within the role model not available elsewhere to him. And that is the story.

This is not a call to arms. It’s hardly even shared sentiment on Morrissey’s behalf. It’s a study of those who have slipped into the noose. This is a bemoaning for those poor entranced fools, the stolen ones (“your friends all say” / “your mum says”), with their stench of sexual frustration, now so misplaced in their home and scornful. Twenty years on, “the National Front Disco” may now finally have more to offer in way of discussion than accusation – to be applied to all lands. “Your mum says, “I’ve lost my boy”, but she should know why you’ve gone because again and again you’ve explained.” Morrissey once told Whyte during a writing session for “the National Front Disco” that, “you’re not going to like the title.” There’s the give-away. The title held the intention for scandal, but it’s flesh and background and thrust hadn’t. He did not say ‘you’re not going to like the sentiment, the position, the posture of persuasion’. No, Morrissey is no racist. He’s a storyteller, and if he catches you suggesting differ he’ll poke your eye out with his Jack. [Your Arsenal.]

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