Prime Minister’s Questions turns into Smiths reference contest

In keeping with his image as a younger, hipper kind of Tory leader, British Prime Minister David Cameron has often expressed his appreciation for the music of legendary ’80s band, The Smiths. The indie rock pioneers aren’t all that appreciative of his support, however, with guitarist Johnny Marr tweeting last week,  “David Cameron, stop saying ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
560828_101209_smiths2.jpg
560828_101209_smiths2.jpg

In keeping with his image as a younger, hipper kind of Tory leader, British Prime Minister David Cameron has often expressed his appreciation for the music of legendary '80s band, The Smiths. The indie rock pioneers aren't all that appreciative of his support, however, with guitarist Johnny Marr tweeting last week,  "David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don't. I forbid you to like it."

Sensing an opportunity at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Labour backbencher Kerry McCarthy used Marr's rebuke as the premise for a jab over Cameron's support for raising university fees:

'As someone who claims to be an avid fan of The Smiths, the Prime Minister will no doubt be rather upset this week that both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have banned him from liking them.'

In keeping with his image as a younger, hipper kind of Tory leader, British Prime Minister David Cameron has often expressed his appreciation for the music of legendary ’80s band, The Smiths. The indie rock pioneers aren’t all that appreciative of his support, however, with guitarist Johnny Marr tweeting last week,  “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.”

Sensing an opportunity at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Labour backbencher Kerry McCarthy used Marr’s rebuke as the premise for a jab over Cameron’s support for raising university fees:

‘As someone who claims to be an avid fan of The Smiths, the Prime Minister will no doubt be rather upset this week that both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have banned him from liking them.’

She continued: ‘The Smiths are, of course, the archetypal students’ band. If he wins tomorrow night’s vote [on tuition fees], what songs does he think students will be listening to? Miserable Lie, I Don’t Owe You Anything or Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.’

But McCarthy’s plan backfired when Cameron was ready with a quick comeback:

He said: ‘I accept that if I turned up I probably wouldn’t get This Charming Man and if I went with the Foreign Secretary [William Hague] it would probably be William It Was Really Nothing.’

Bigmouth strikes again!

Hat tip: The Awl

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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