Oxford Mail. 29 May 2006.
Star launches attack over lab.
By Tim Hughes
Cult singer-songwriter Morrissey branded Oxford "the shame of
England" in an attack on Oxford University's controversial animal
The pop star spoke out against the laboratory, being
constructed in South Parks Road, during a show at the New
The musician, a strict vegan and animal rights advocate, also
issued a warning to anyone planning to work at the
laboratory. "Make no mistake," he told the audience at the
packed theatre, "for anyone working in the labs, we are going
to get you."
The former frontman of 80s band The Smiths was in Oxford as
part of a national tour to promote his critically-acclaimed
new album Ringleader of The Tormentors.
When a member of the audience praised the Manchester-born
artist for defending animals, he responded by telling the
crowd, "if you agree with vivisection, go and be vivisected
upon, yourself." But he put down one vocal fan who called for
vivisectors to be killed. "Oh, I see," he replied, "it's that
simple is it?"
Steven Morrissey has been a public supporter of animal rights
and vegetarianism since the release of The Smith's 1985 album
Meat is Murder. Earlier this year, the artist who now lives
in Rome, was criticised for comments attributed to him on fan
website True To You, in which he appeared to back what he
called "animal rights militia," saying violence was the only
language fur farmers and laboratory scientists understood.
This prompted Tory home affairs spokesman David Davis to call
for a police investigation. Referring to the media's
reporting of his outspoken views, he told the Oxford
audience: "Because I have no identity I rely on the press to
Morrissey also sparked controversy in June 2004 when he broke
the news of Ronald Reagan's death to fans at a gig in
Manchester, saying he wished it had been President George W
Bush who had died.
Robert Cogswell, Speak spokesman, described Morrissey as a
very vocal supporter of their campaign and said the group had
been invited to have a stall at the Oxford gig. He said: "We
agree with everything he said." But Mr Cogswell made clear
that when Morrissey said "we will get you" he did not mean
that people would be hunted down, but that they would be
exposed for what they do. He added: "What they indulge in is
actually animal abuse."
A representative for Morrissey, Stephen Ewashkiw, said that
there would be no further comment from the singer about the
comments made in Oxford. No one from Oxford University was
available for comment.