Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Perhaps England's greatest living lyric genius, comparable, in his strange ways, to Bob Dylan, but far more contemporary, is Morrissey, of The Smiths, who were the greatest band of the 1980s, anywhere. Like millions of my generation, I loved him - and still love his songs. It therefore comes as something of a major disappointment to read that the man allegedly believes England has been "flooded" by immigrants, and that the UK's multicultural dynamism has swept away a whole way of "English" life. Move over, Larkin (another great miserabilist), is there still room in Little England for another grumpy old fart? What is is with the British? All their best male wits are essentially conservatives, at least traditionalists - including the irascible Mr. Fry, who thinks modern poetry is mainly rubbish. Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear of a male British genius wildly open to the new, the exotic and the foreign? Then again, if the songsmith has been misquoted (as we all must hope) by The NME, then maybe it is still Viva Morrissey!

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