Belfast Telegraph

Morrissey's Xmas truce with Queen

Morrissey has claimed he turned down the chance to deliver an alternative Christmas Day speech because he said he did not want to "be trading slaps" with the Queen over the festive period.

The controversial singer said he had been approached to deliver Channel 4's alternative Christmas message, which has been given in the past by Quentin Crisp, Jamie Oliver and the parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Writing on a fan website, he said: "My view that the monarchy should be quietly dismantled for the good of England is reasonably well-known, but I don't think Christmas Day is quite the time to be trading slaps.

"The Queen should be allowed the impassioned trance of her annual address to the British people, if only to once again prove that, in her frozen posture, she has nothing to offer and nothing to say, and she has no place in modern Britain except as a figure of repression; no independent thought required.

"The Queen very well might be the most powerful woman in England, but she lacks the power to make herself loved, and the phony inflation of her family attacks all rational intellect.

"All over the world highly civilised peoples exist without the automatic condescension of a 'royal' family. England can do the same, and will find more respect for doing so."

However, broadcaster Channel 4 said it was unaware of the chart star being asked to take part.

A spokesman for the station said: "We are not aware of any approach having been made to Morrissey to deliver Channel 4's alternative Christmas message."

The former Smiths frontman has taken several swipes at the monarchy over his career, including releasing an album called The Queen Is Dead during his time with the Manchester-based indie rockers.

The singer, a dedicated vegetarian, is also famous for his views on animal rights.

The two separate causes came together earlier this year when Morrissey branded the Duke of Cambridge a "thickwit" for taking part in a hunting trip the day before launching a campaign to save endangered animals.

Morrissey famously left the stage at California's Coachella Festival several years ago after complaining about the smell of burgers, telling the crowd he could smell ''burning flesh''.

His devotion to the cause also led to a run-in with the broadcaster when Channel 4 used one of his songs without permission in an advert for a Gordon Ramsay show.

They eventually paid him £10,000, which he donated to an anti-foie gras campaign.

His memoirs, released last year, were a surprise best-seller with more than 100,000 copies being bought in its first week.

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