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Winston Marshall quits Mumford & Sons following controversial tweet

By | Published on Friday 25 June 2021

Mumford & Sons

Winston Marshall has announced that he is leaving Mumford & Sons so that he can write a load of articles about how Antifa are a bunch of bastards. Being in the band was fun though. Also, he’s not a fascist, so stop saying that.

That there is a summary of a very very long blog post Marshall published yesterday, explaining why he has decided to leave the band, three and a half months after endorsing a book by right-wing commentator Andy Ngo.

Back in March, Marshall tweeted at Ngo directly, congratulating him on his latest book ‘Unmasked’, calling it an “important book” and dubbing the author “a brave man”.

Noting that he’d previously tweeted about books he liked several times during the pandemic, he writes in his new blog post: “I believed this tweet to be as innocuous as the others. How wrong I turned out to be. Over the course of 24 hours it was trending with tens of thousands of angry retweets and comments. I failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the far left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent far right”.

This then reflected badly on the whole band, he goes on, because “despite being four individuals we were, in the eyes of the public, a unity”, and therefore his tweet now suggested that the group as a whole had right-wing sympathies. I mean, that and the fact that back in 2018 Marshall and other members of the band were photographed in the studio with right-wing commentator Jordan Petersen.

Still, engaging with a range of political ideas – and interacting with people with different political viewpoints – doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person. Marshall writes: “Though there’s nothing wrong with being conservative, when forced to politically label myself I flutter between ‘centrist’, ‘liberal’ or the more honest ‘bit this, bit that’. Being labeled erroneously just goes to show how binary political discourse has become. I had criticised the ‘Left’, so I must be the ‘Right’, or so [my critics’] logic goes”.

But anyway, why is he leaving the band for good? After all, he did apologise and explain himself at the time, while announcing that he would take a little time “away from the band”. Though, he adds in his new essay, that only brought him another wave of hate. And, you see, despite all the controversy, he’s very keen to carry on talking about all this stuff. But, as we’ve already established, whenever he speaks as a member of the band, it’s generally assumed that he’s speaking for the band.

“For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble”, he says. “My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning”.

“The only way forward for me is to leave the band”, he goes on. “I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best. I have no doubt that their stars will shine long into the future. I will continue my work with [non-profit organisation] Hong Kong Link Up and I look forward to new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be”.

If you’re thinking this news story is all a bit long and waffly, let me assure you that I’ve cherry-picked just a tiny fraction of his full statement. I know you want to stop and get on with your day, but I still have to tell you about Mumford & Sons’ response to this. They put out a statement too, see. So we’re going to be here a little while longer.

“We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man”, they said in a tweet.

That’s it. You can go now.