Voices: Please don’t let Piers Morgan ruin Taylor Swift for the rest of us

‘I’ve seen better singers and musicians than Taylor Swift in my time, but she has something that blows other stars away,’ Piers wrote  (Getty Images)
‘I’ve seen better singers and musicians than Taylor Swift in my time, but she has something that blows other stars away,’ Piers wrote (Getty Images)

First, it was Rishi Sunak and his Adidas Sambas. Then Nigel Farage and his Gazelles. Now Piers Morgan has gone and tainted Taylor Swift for us – will the horror never end?

In a gushing column, the controversial TV host wrote: “I’ve seen better singers and musicians than Taylor Swift in my time, but she has something that blows other stars away.”

This kind of public endorsement by unpopular figures can be the death knell for stars like Swift.

While I’m not a diehard Swiftie, I’ve always enjoyed her – but now, following in the wake of Donald Trump and Rishi Sunak, Morgan’s fawning after attending one of her Eras concerts and I feel a bit… well… sullied. That might sound petty. It might sound petulant. It might even sound a touch dramatic, but Morgan’s popular cultural tastes are pretty off-point – and now I’m doubting mine.

Not content with spoiling Baby Reindeer with his “excruciating” and “unethical” intervew with the “real Martha” Fiona Harvey and then turning my stomach with his constant mawkish deferential gushing over anyone in the royal family – apart from Meghan and Harry, obviously – he’s now smeared Swifties with the same mucky brush.

Now, I know it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Morgan’s turned Swiftie. She is one of the most prominent celebrities of the 21st century – and her concerts are amazing. But can’t we just have one thing? Piers Morgan must not be allowed to “do a Rishi” and singlehandedly take down a beloved cultural classic like Sunak in his Sambas.

Where will it end? Matt Hancock’s already tried to infiltrate TikTok – and let’s not even mention the time he claimed to be a grime fan who “knew the power of the UK’s urban music scene”. David Cameron tried to ruin The Smiths – too late, Cameron! Morrisey already ruined them for us. Then Theresa May tried to take down the mighty ABBA with her jaunty co-option of the “Dancing Queen” classic.

What next? Jacob Rees-Mogg sporting a Kendrick Lamar t-shirt? Suella Braverman stanning Jarvis Cocker? Esther McVey bopping to The Clash? Is nothing sacred anymore?

Through 14 years of Tory rule, we’ve stood for plenty: the desecration of the NHS. The collapse of mental health care. An education system in crisis. Children in living in poverty. Nurses using food banks. We’ve stood for all this and more. But now… they’re coming for our pop culture. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it, anymore.

But perhaps that’s the problem? Taylor Swift has taken hold of the political centre. Loved by the right wing and lefties alike, she’s become the great pop cultural harmoniser – and giver of popular clout for politicians and pundits alike. Swift’s cultural influence has become so pervasive that it’s even been suggested that she could swing the 2024 presidential election.

Well, Rishi and friends certainly need a bit of that sparkle in the run up to the elections. Sunak, too, claims he’s “a devoted Swiftie” and reportedly saw her in concert in LA last year. And then Keir Starmer posted a selfie of him and his wife at Swift’s Wembley concert last Friday. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the Swift these days. But neither of them, as far as I’m aware, have topped former prime minister Liz Truss and managed to snag a selfie with the legend herself.

After being politics averse for much of her career, Swift is also becoming more vocal. In 2016-2016, you might remember, there were loads of conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift’s links to white supremacy. But Swifty put paid to that by publicly embracing leftist politics. The far right may have rejected her – in fact, Trump supporters are declaring a “Holy War” on her, apparently.

Still, Piers Morgan’s new found admiration for Taylor Swift may be short-lived: just look at his sustained campaign of hatred against Meghan Markle. Doesn’t matter, though, Taylor will just shake it off. It’s what she does best.