Morrissey, the former lead singer of The Smiths, likened British society during the coronavirus pandemic to a slave state while slamming government-imposed restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.
“The bigger problem is that nobody can any longer agree with anyone else, and this is the main outcome of Con-vid,” Morrissey said in an interview published on the British singer’s website Monday.;
“It has brought the worst out in people, and we weren’t ever in this together,” the mononymously-known artist, born Steven Patrick Morrissey, told his nephew, photographer Sam Esty Rayner.
“We are deprived of seeing and hearing other people, and above all, you want to be with others who see and hear what you see and hear, because this is basic oxygen for the human soul. Take it away and people are dead,” the 62-year-old singer said.
Morrissey subsequently agreed when his relative seemed to compare living in Britain amid the coronavirus pandemic with the forced enslavement of people.
“Covid Society is also the precise description of slavery, yet we are supposed to be in a time when anything connected to slavery must be blown up or thrown in a canal in Bristol,” the interviewer said.
“Precisely,” Morrissey responded. “And more people are now forced into poverty which is another form of slavery, as is tax and Council Tax and all the other ways in which we are pinned down and tracked. Our present freedom is restricted to visiting supermarkets and buying sofas. The government act like Chinese emperors.”
The interview was published the same day British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to end soon all restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Mr. Johnson said the British government intends to scrap coronavirus-related social and economic restrictions July 19 and will make a final decision on the matter next week.
“We must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves when will we be able to return to normal?” Mr. Johnson said Monday.
Morrissey co-formed The Smiths in 1982 and fronted the influential alternative rock group until it dissolved around five years later. He has led a successful career as a solo artist in the decades since.
The outspoken singer has repeatedly made waves in recent years, including for a 2019 television appearance where he performed while sporting a symbol used by the far-right For Britain political party.
At the time, Spillers Records, the world’s oldest record shop, responded by halting sales of Morrissey albums from its U.K. stores.
Speaking to his nephew, the singer claimed such “canceled” acts throughout the course of his career have made him free to speak his mind.
“You can’t cancel someone who has always been canceled. When did you last see me on television, or hear me on the radio? I unintentionally invented the condition of being canceled!” Morrissey said.