Legendary former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who visits Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on Wednesday, 14 October, used his hometown show at Manchester’s Albert Hall this week to slam British Prime Minister David Cameron for ‘inhuman’ treatment of disabled people.
Marr, who is currently on a UK headline tour, played two gigs in Manchester on Wednesday and Thursday, while Cameron, who has said in the past he is a huge fan of The Smiths, has also been in the English city for the Conservative Party conference.
During Wednesday’s sell-out gig, Marr said Cameron’s cuts for disability funding are “inhuman” following recent reports that the Tories plan to cut disabled benefits by £30 a week.
“Hello Mr Cameron, it’s Johnny Boy. You know Johnny, from The Smiths – that band you like so much. No, not ‘Going Underground’, ‘This Charming Man’…etc etc,” Marr said during the gig.
“Seeing as you’re in our city I’d just like to ask you about the Brentwood school for disabled children in South Manchester. I want to ask you why autistic children between [the ages] 16 and 19 have had school buses cut because of your cutbacks.
“Do you know what it means for an autistic girl to have to get on a public bus to go to school every single fucking day?”
Marr went on: “It is inhuman. This is not fair. This is not the way we want to do things in Manchester, whether you are a red or a blue, a Tory or if you are Labour. We don’t do things like that up here, Mr Cameron, because we are fair and we’re Mancunians.”
Marr proceeded to dedicate a cover of The Primitives’ Crash to Cameron, singing: “Shut your mouth ‘cos I’m not listening any how, I’ve had enough of you, enough to last a lifetime through”.
Johnny Marr, Liquid Room, Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Wednesday, 14 October, doors 7pm, £27.25, 0131-225 2564