Morrissey on British media: A "source of insanity"

The former Smiths singer blasts the government and news outlets for its pro-Thatcher bias

Published April 17, 2013 3:38PM (EDT)

Morrissey has released another vitriolic statement inspired by Margaret Thatcher -- this time chastising the British media and government for its pro-Thatcher coverage of her death.

In his diatribe, Morrissey singled out Prime Minister David Cameron for only caring about "his personal gain," the BBC for its censorship of "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead," a song that rose in the U.K. charts upon Thatcher's death, and the government for using public funds to finance a lavish funeral, taking place today.

He compares the biased coverage to censorship normally associated with tyrannical governments, writing, "BBC News will scantily report on anti-Thatcher demonstrations as if those taking part aren't real people. Lordly scorn is shown towards North Korea and Syria, and any distant country ruled by tyrannical means, yet the British government employs similar dictatorship tactics in order to protect their own arrogant interests."

His note begins:

I have listened and I have seen a lack of truth that we had dared not believe existed in modern Britain. Margaret Thatcher has left the order of the world, and she is not to blame for the reports of her own death - reports so dangerously biased and full of intolerant menace that we now wonder how we can possibly believe anything that has ever been recorded in British history books. The coverage by the British media of Thatcher's death has been exclusively absorbed in Thatcher's canonization to such a censorial degree that we suddenly see the modern British establishment as an uncivilized entity of delusion, giving the cold shoulder to truth, and offering indescribable disgust to anyone unimpressed by Thatcher. Even to contest Thatcher's worth is termed "anarchist", and this source of insanity - intolerant of debate, is spearheaded by the BBC reporting not on how things actually are on British streets, but on how they would prefer things to be. For those of us who survived despite Thatcherism, and who recall Thatcher as a living hell, The Daily Mail and The Guardian have a steadfast message for us: You are nothing. Our thoughts are further burdened by the taunting extravagance of Thatcher's funeral; the ceremonial lavish, the military salute, stripping Thatcher's victims of everything, and rubbing salt in wounds with teasing relish. It is all happening against us.

The former Smiths frontman has been a consistent -- and highly vocal -- critic of Thatcher since she came to power as U.K.'s prime minister. In 1988 his album "Viva Hate" devoted an entire track expressing his views on Thatcher, called "Margaret on the Guillotine."

Read Morrissey's full note here.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Activism Britain Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead Margaret Thatcher Media Morrissey