Could alternative rocker Morrissey become the mayor of London?
The Smiths' frontman and famous cat-lover said he's seriously considering running for mayor in London as the face of the Animal Welfare Party.
Come May, the Smiths may not be Morrissey’s biggest legacy.
The alternative rockstar is seriously considering running for the mayor’s office in London as a candidate for the Animal Welfare Party, according to True to You, a magazine dedicated to all things Morrissey.
“There must be a governmental voice against the hellish and archaic social injustice allotted to animals in the United Kingdom simply because those animals do not speak English,” the singer said in a statement published on True to You’s online publication Friday.
Mr. Morrissey has been a longtime champion of animal rights and vegetarianism, dating back to the Smiths’ 1985 “Meat is Murder” album. Last year, he was the recipient of three international awards for his advocacy. In 2012, he was part of a PETA campaign promoting the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs.
“The abattoir is the modern continuation of the Nazi concentration camp, and if you are a part of the milk-drinking population, then you condone systems of torture,” he added.
Morrissey was initially approached by the Animal Welfare Party, he said, and the political faction has since confirmed its bidding, though the musician has yet to officially accept.
"[The] Animal Welfare Party has asked Morrissey to consider standing as a candidate for us in the upcoming election for Mayor of London," Party leader Vanessa Hudson wrote in a statement to CNN.
"We'd like to see the mayoral contest include the views of a candidate who would seek to champion London not only as a world leading city for people but for animal welfare too."
According to its website, the Animal Welfare Party is a growing alliance of international politicians and activists dedicated to animal rights. Founded in 2006, it was inspired by the Dutch Party for the Animals, or PvdD, which has had substantial success in gaining political sway. In its home country, the Party for the Animals holds two of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and two of the 75 seats in the Senate. Its European Union Parliament candidate successfully ran for office in 2014.
The Animal Welfare Party-affiliated German group, Tierschutz Partei, also has a member in the EU Parliament.
In history of modern politics, a number of high-profile politicians held past careers as musicians – even bona fide rock stars of Morrissey’s caliber. Rock guitarist Ted Nugent, for instance, may be one of America’s most famous – or infamous, depending on your politics – musicians to harbor political ambitions. He has campaigned alongside Republican candidates such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
R&B singer Wyclef Jean is another singer-cum-political aspirant. He attempted to run for president in his home country of Haiti in 2010, but his ballot was ultimately rejected by Haiti's Electoral Council.
Krist Novoselic, the bassist for Nirvana, has had more success in politics. The grunge rock musician was elected as a Washington state committeeman several times and was the chairman of a voting reform group. He has also considered running for lieutenant governor of Washington.
And in Australia, Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett successfully became minister for environmental protection, heritage, and the arts in the country’s parliament.
To be an official candidate on ballot papers, Morrissey will need to collect 330 signatures before the May election.
“The slaughterhouse effectively means that none of us are safe,” Morrissey concluded in his statement. “Just investigate the appalling effects of meat production on our climate, environment, fields, forests, lakes, streams, seas, air and space. Your eyes will pop. No bigger global disaster could possibly be devised.”
The question is, what will his campaign theme song be? The Smiths' "Bigmouth strikes again?"
Or perhaps, "There is a light that never goes out?"