U.K. Parliament took a strange detour on Wednesday as politicians invoked The Smiths during a debate about the fallout from the country’s recent vote to exit the European Union.
According to NME, Prime Minister David Cameron took a rhetorical shot at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by purposefully distorting a lyric from The Smiths’ “Cemetry Gates.” “As someone about to enter the political graveyard,” Cameron said, “perhaps I could misquote my favorite man and say, ‘let’s meet at the cemetery gates!'”
The Smiths came up again while Cameron engaged with Labour MP Kerry McCarthy. “[If] the Prime Minister is going to dig out his copy of The Queen Is Dead album, he might want to depress himself even further by listening to my favorite track, ‘I Know It’s Over,'” McCarthy quipped. “Although as far as the Labour Party is concerned, [the favorite track] is ‘There Is A Light And It Never Goes Out.'”
After getting her Smiths-related dig in, McCarthy made an abrupt segue back to political matters: “Can you assure us that cities on the international stage will not be dimmed during this negotiation?”
“I will certainly do everything that I can to stand up for Bristol,” Cameron responded, before returning to musical references. “I was interested that the Labour Party’s favorite Smiths’ song is ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,'” he said, “because it actually involves a double suicide. I think the lyrics are, ‘If a double decker bus crashes into us, there’s no finer way than by your side.’ I think. I think I’m right in saying … you’ve obviously got to look for inspiration elsewhere.”
Regardless of whether the Prime Minister garbles the lyrics or not, former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr does not approve. In 2010, Marr tweeted, “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.”
David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) December 2, 2010