Fintan O’Toole: Irish blood, English heart – and white skin?

Morrissey was once an Anglo-Irish critic of Britishness, but he is now a far-right icon

Morrissey has given support to Brexit, and the far-right party For Britain

Morrissey has given support to Brexit, and the far-right party For Britain

On either side of the accession to power of Margaret Thatcher, two great songs acted as harbingers of the long, slow death of the British state. Both used the Queen to personify it. In God Save the Queen, Johnny Rotten/John Lydon snarled the prophetic lines: “There is no future/ In England’s dreaming”.

In The Queen is Dead, Morrissey wailed “The Queen is dead, boys/And it’s so lonely on a limb”. Both Lydon and Morrissey were children of the new Anglo-Irish, the hybrid people who were, for most of us in Ireland, our first cousins barely removed. Lydon spent his childhood summers on a farm in Co Cork. Both of Morrissey’s parents are from my own patch of Crumlin in Dublin and his siblings were actually born in Dublin.

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