The legendary indie singer Morrissey has been asked by the BBC to appear on Question Time. In a regular end of tour statement on his fan site www.true-to-you.net, Morrissey explained that he has been “frequently asked” to “appear on BBC television’s Question Time to air my views”. Morrissey then went on to outline his fears over accepting the invitation, posing the question “Is it possible to engage with the British media and not be carved-up? I doubt it.” Morrissey on Question Time would undoubtedly be of huge interest to lots of people, and though Moz is right to raise concern over the media response to his appearance, it would give him a platform to fully air his opinions without fear of underhand journalistic tactics that have previously misrepresented him. For many, Morrissey is up there with Bill Hicks in terms of fantasy Question Time panelists, and with the current Jubilee celebrations Morrissey would be the perfect republican counter to the hysteria. Perhaps Morrissey would be more comfortable in the more off-the-cuff and relaxed ‘This Week’, chewing the fat with Andrew Neil and the flamboyantly-shirted Michael Portillo about Blue Nun and Babestation.
People from the entertainment world are often features of the Thursday night politican panel discussion show. Jarvis Cocker, who appeared on Question Time in 2009, recently recounted his experience of the programme : “I got a feeling I was supposed to be in opposition to Peter Hitchens. So I was supposed to clash with him and get uppity every time he said something, but I ended up agreeing with a lot of it. And then I’d notice Dimbleby started twitching his eyebrows at me in a weird sort of eyebrow dance…he was signalling at me to come in with the opposite opinion, and I just thought: ‘No. Fuck off.’ It’s that thing that everybody thinks is great telly. Well, what would be great is if you have a discussion and at the end everyone agrees.”
Should Morrissey appear on Question Time? Would it be an accident waiting to happen or a rightful airing of a national treasure who’s stayed all too distant from the British media of late? Speaking also in the end of tour statement, Morrissey paid tribute to Matt Walker – his drummer of the last few years who has recently retired from Morrissey’s oustanding current band. Never one to let the Monarchy go uncriticised, Morrissey shared his thoughts on the state funding of the Queen’s Jubilee festivities: “The soul is tried all over again as the jackboot of dictatorship strangles England. This week, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee presents a new lesson in the force of tyranny, and is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor – and all done, quite naturally, at the public’s expense! It is degrading to anyone of intelligence. While dictatorships throughout the Middle East are gently condemned by the British government, there is no examination of the extremism enforced by the British ‘royals’, who remain the most overpaid and most utterly useless people on the planet. Having done nothing to earn our respect, they demand everything by return”. This verve of expression and acid tongue is exactly what would make Morrissey on Question Time such compelling viewing when juxtaposed with tired, grey and ultra-careful politicians fearful of stepping out of line set by their parties and advisors.