LEGENDARY record label boss Tony Wilson once said that his tastes were so broad he was able to love both Morrissey, lead singer in The Smiths and Norman Tebbit.

When Wilson made this bold assertion three decades ago it seemed almost impossible for one to appreciate both the wild, Wildean opinions of a militant vegetarian who revelled in the fact he had never held down a ‘proper job’, and one of Mrs Thatcher’s most loyal enforcers who urged the jobless to get on their bikes to find work. In the 1980s this was akin to saying you liked both PW Botha and Desmond Tutu, or Greenpeace and the French secret service - a contradiction in terms.  

It is widely claimed that as we shed the idealism of youth we become more conservative. One would have thought that was barely possible in the case of Lord Tebbit but hardly a month goes by before he finds a new way to shock liberal sensibilities.

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This week he’s turned his fire on the anti-fracking protestors; people who fear the controversial drilling technique will threaten the finely balanced beauty of the North York Moors. Protests about fracking should be “put down” according to the former Tory Party chairman, who also reckons anyone considering campaigning against housing developments in their area should shut up as well.

What nonsense!

This is the same Lord Tebbit who condemned the rights of EU citizens to keep jobs after Brexit despite employing immigrant workers in his own home. He was once so vehemently critical of food banks that he claimed people only used them to save money for junk food. But after visiting one, in a dramatic volte face, the outspoken Tory peer admitted to being forced to eat a plate of humble pie.

Morrissey, who has called Chinese people a “subspecies”, the Brexit result “magnificent” and says Nigel Farage is a "liberal educator" has also become a dreadful old windbag.

In his latest single he tells listeners to ignore the news, which he believes spreads fear and “makes you feel small and alone”. You would hardly expect the Echo to back such a daft idea.

There was a time when the words of Morrissey and Tebbit mattered. They were men who's words possessed grativas, but that time has gone and they're now sounding off in a desperate attempt to be heard above the social media hubbub.  

Once the unlikeliest of bedfellows it is heartbreaking to see that Tebbit and Morrissey are now like hand in glove.