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An Open Letter to Morrissey

Dear Morrissey,

We write as active members of the underground music scene in Cambridge. Many of us have been inspired by your work in the past, others of us are certainly in awe of your achievements. But we are all very concerned and alarmed by the recent comments you seem to have made to the NME.

Along with the wealth of knowledge and cultures traditionally brought to Cambridge by visiting students and academics, there is also a thriving immigrant community in the outskirts of the City; people of Asian and African origin mix with locals and students in very popular areas like Mill Road, and this can only bring diversity, creativity and new things to discover. They bring with them more variety of music, food, beliefs, traditions, opinions and accents that massively brighten the outlook of what might otherwise be a rather dull, monocultural town. There's only one group of people who consistently resent, snarl at and sometimes physically attack this new ethnic enrichment - the Nazis, such as the British National Party.

This is not to say that everything is rosey in our town. Recently gone are the independent record shops and alternative bookstores, where in the past you could track down some obscure vinyl or an underground pamphlet. Even the health of small, independent live music venues is under threat. In fact, if you ignore the colleges, the town centre has become much like any other one, chain stores, theme pubs and burger bars replacing anything truly different and distinctive. This globalisation is the true erosion of identity that you talk about, the true blurring of distinctions. One that immigrants are certainly not to blame for. Unless you were including the owners of Starbucks, Burger King, HMV and Borders in your list of villains 'flooding' the country. Which I very much doubt you were.

So come on Morrissey. You've had a very good living from a culture which, from the very first time some piece of white trash adapted those 3 chords honed to perfection by black plantation gangs, has thrived on diversity, fusion and crossover. Many people of us in the past have with hung on your every word; many of the young bands in our City now cite you as a major inspiration. To all of these people, you owe an explanation.

We welcome your recent comments on the Love Music Hate Racism website, and your desire to work with the campaign in the future. In these very sensitive times we also need you to distance yourself from the comments attributed to you in NME, claim you were misquoted if it makes things easier for you, but you've got to make a stand, do something to prove that you really do Love Music and Hate Racism.

Otherwise people are bound to be asking…

Who played at the National Front Disco Morrissey? We need to know that it sure as hell wasn't you…


Resources on that Morrissey interview:

Spectator Who would have thought it?

Telegraph: Morrissey sues NME over racism claim

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