John Lydon: Donald Trump, Theresa May and The Great British Bake Off

Anarchy in the UK… and everywhere else. The world according to John Lydon

John Lydon has been a contrary voice with much to say for 40 years. He takes aim at the state of the nation. Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May and The Great British Bake Off best get their tin-hats on…

TRUMP
He deeply concerns me. It reminds me of when I was very young. The Cuban Missile Crisis, how tense that was. And if this maniac gets in we will be there all over again in a flying fart’s second. He is not a deep thinker. What he is, he’s a businessman, which means greedy and selfish. So he is only interested in considering his own point of view – which in his case is only his ego. And that makes him very, very irresponsible to the rest of us.

I can vote in this election, I have lived in America long enough

I am anti-politician me, fully. So I understand that a lot of Trump’s supporters are disenfranchised. They are fed up with politics as usual. Unfortunately, a lot of that has been hijacked with racism and God knows what other innuendo Trump can fly. He is a confusionist. I can vote in this election, I have lived in America long enough. But I think everyone in the world should be able to vote in an election like this. Because all our lives depend on feckless idiocy or a deceitful bureaucrat. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

MAY
I am horrified that Theresa May is trying to reintroduce grammar schools. That is class separation again. Divided by money. It is steps backwards. And it is not the time to be using the mess of Brexit to build up an old Etonian Empire. That is going to cause a real serious problem. Hello? Riots on the way.

The most shocked person of all was Boris. He looked dumbfounded

BREXIT
There was no information. The lasting image I have is of Bob Geldof in one boat and Nigel Farage in the other, yelling abuse on the River Thames. You couldn’t make it up. That is Carry On… And Farage was as shocked as anyone. The most shocked person of all was Boris. He looked dumbfounded: “God, people actually listen to me! How did that happen?” If May gets her way, England is going to be full of those kind of toffs. They are the generals who lead us into trench warfare. They shouldn’t be holding responsibility.

CORBYN
He is a frightening prospect. Again, he is grammar school and so stuck up his own opinionator he can’t see the wood for the trees. It is too far left and extremist – and it doesn’t make sense when the rhetoric is more important than the reality. What you have with Corbyn and May is, unfortunately, what Britain was before it joined the EU.

The extremism of Labour and extreme right wing of the Tories taking us back to a divided nation, and neither side is offering anything conciliatory. I like to see things as they are, rather than pontificating in loaded, double-barrelled sentences. Hidden in political rhetoric and half-witted, ill-informed philosophies. I’m dead against that. I’m neither extreme left nor right. I need two wings to fly! I fear for the future, I really do. It is turning into the Great British Dust Bin.

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REVOLUTION
Revolutions begin at home – change yourself before you start telling the rest of the world what to do. Lead by example. If your example of how to live your life is good, people will be impressed and alter themselves in their own good time.

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF
I’ve got tuppence to say on this. The two presenters, Mel and Sue, were the best bit about it. If they are going, it is not worth watching. It is their comedy lines and routines that kept the show of any interest at all. And the doddering old dowager – her cake reviews are pretty special.

AGEING
Britain has one major flaw that affects everything: ‘Act your age’. You hear that all the time. The most self-destructive, worst piece of advice you could be given. But the UK wallows in that approach, it is what keeps you small-minded.

THATCHER
At least with ‘this lady’s not for turning’, you knew she was solid as a rock in her beliefs. It gave her some kind of strength, even though her beliefs were politically very bloody dangerous. But then she did turn, and that is the way they all go in the end. You can’t follow political rhetoric forever – sooner or later you have a day off and that is the day you go down. At the same time, it is what the Pistols (below) definitely needed. We had a beautiful backdrop of chaos, with endless rubbish piling up on the street. That was inspirational.

I didn’t want to be another pop star making millions. It is just boring

FAME
I am not a pop star. I deliberately walked away from that side of life, which was there, open and willing to accept me. But I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to be another pop star making millions. It is just boring. Impossible. I couldn’t justify it because I question myself all the time about whether what I am doing is the right thing. And once you have sold your soul to the money bags, that is it. You can’t buy it back. I’d end up another one of those horrid comedians that do those chat shows.

DEATH
My mum and dad may have died but they are still very much alive in my head. And their expectations and beliefs in me won’t go away easily, if ever. It is what keeps me sane. There is so much more I wanted to say to them. And that is the conversation I have in my head. The same with people who died around me, mostly unnecessarily, through taking drugs. People don’t go away from me, they stay forever. That is very important, especially when they are dead. When they are still alive they can fuck off!

Public Image Ltd (PiL) reissue the albums Metal Box and Album as super-deluxe box-set editions on October 28. They are also touring during November: Salisbury, City Hall (15th), Leamington Spa, The Assembly (16th), Birmingham, 02 Institute (18th), Leicester, 02 Academy (19th), and Sinner’s Day Festival, Hasselt, Belgium (20th)