“Smith has always been prepared to challenge orthodoxy and get up the noses of liberal Britain. An example is his support for the army during Britain’s early-Eighties war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands (he comes from an army background) and the reaction his stance caused in the music industry.
“Attacked for failing to toe the accepted left-wing line, he retaliates: ‘I can’t abide all that forced liberalism. In a strange way, they’re like fascists: walled off in their own little groups, not listening to people if they’re slightly right-wing. How closeted is that?’ He has his very contemporary finger on it there –- exposing the intolerance of many of those who pay lip service to tolerance, but only so long as it does not offend anyone or cross the line. But if there is one constant in the story of MES, it is one of dogged cussedness and fearless libertarianism. And he has an unerring ability to keep putting his finger on it.
“Smith is quite happy to irritate followers of a wide variety of contemporary causes. In April, he suggested that he would happily ‘set about an endangered red squirrel with a set of professional hedge-clippers’, provoking outrage from animal rights activists who can’t get a joke