If Morrissey ever gave up music, he could easily forge a second career as the sort of Telegraph-reading, wobbly-jowled splutterer who sits in the Question Time audience all night just so he can make one disparaging remark about the Polish.
Because, 17 years after he almost fatally wounded his career by jigging about in front of several National Front members wrapped in a Union Jack, Morrissey seems to be at it again. Apparently Morrissey has used an NME interview to tell the world how much he hates immigrants and how "England is a memory now." Quite why Morrissey would want to stir up such a political hornet's nest in the first place is beyond us, although we suspect that Morrissey is simply playing the shock anti-immigration card to promote his pensioner-targeted new album Is It Me Or Are Policemen Getting Younger? and its lead single I'll Put A Bloody Knife Through That Ball If It Comes Over My Fence Again.
For the simple reason that he's managed to release two solo albums in a row that weren't so awful that we wanted to saw our ears off – which we think is a first for him – Morrissey seems to have forgotten why people went off him in the first place.
That reason, if you needed reminding, was that Morrissey went a little bit doolally in the early 1990s and started writing songs like The National Front Disco, We'll Let You Know, Bengali In Platforms and Asian Rut, then danced in front of some skinheads in Finsbury Park with a Union Jack wrapped around him in a way that some people say was deliberately stoking racial divides. Plus he was wearing a gold shirt that was just horrible.
From then on, fewer people bought Morrissey's albums because it looked like he was a bit of a racist – and that's the way it stayed until the NME started interviewing Morrissey again and he was fairly contrite about the whole racism thing. Since then, Morrissey has done well to keep his opinions to himself, only allowing the occasional embarrassing dad statement about the FBI or animal testing to slip out in between releasing his mediocre singles.
But now? Now Morrissey has decided to speak out about immigrants. Specifically how shit they all are. Whoops. Morrissey told the NME:
"England is a memory now. The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in. 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. Travel to England and you have no idea where you are. It matters because the British identity is very attractive. I grew up into it and I find it very quaint and amusing. Other countries have held on to their basic identity, yet it seems to me that England was thrown away. 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."
However, Morrissey is now claiming that the whole interview was a "hatchet job" and is threatening the NME with lawsuits and whatnot. So maybe Morrissey was misquoted, and he was actually talking about his literal house and using England as a metaphor for his downstairs toilet or something. We just don't know.
It's worth remembering, though, that Morrissey knows a lot a lot about immigration because he is one. Right now Morrissey lives in Rome and before that he lived in Los Angeles. So perhaps Morrissey isn't completely racist and anti-immigration, but he's just doing that ridiculous ex-pat thing where you spend a few months living abroad listening to nothing but The Kinks and Blur, slowly convincing yourself that England is a quaint little picture postcard of a ruddy vicar cycling along a country lane to umpire a village cricket match, and then getting a bit pissed off when a hoody happyslaps you for your chips a day after you return.
Either way, racist or not, we're starting to see why Morrissey wasn't allowed to do Eurovision this year – we can't imagine that the sight of a middle-aged bloke with a quiff singing a song called Push Your Knysza Up Your Arse You Polish Tit would have gone down particularly well in mainland Europe.