MORE THAN three decades since he wrote the punk anthem Anarchy in the UK, John Lydon has declared that he no longer believes in the controversial political philosophy he so boisterously espoused in 1976.
In an interview that might confound many of his fans, the former Sex Pistols frontman also revealed that, these days, passive resistance is his philosophy and that police "are human beings too".
He told The Guardian: "I don't believe in anarchy, because it will ultimately amount to the power of the bully, with weapons."
Discussing British politics, Lydon said that the only political movement that currently impressed him was Occupy Wall Street. "They had no leaders, which was genius. But unfortunately it always ends up with some hippy playing a flute."
Asked if the Occupy movement was a taste of the anarchy that he predicted in 1976, Lydon said that law and order are "not the real target".
"Understand that police are human beings too; so don't be willy-nilly throwing a brick at a policeman's helmet." He added: "Gandhi is my life's inspiration: passive resistance. I don't want to live in the Thunderdome with Mad Max."
The Sex Pistols launched their second single God Save the Queen by crashing the Silver Jubilee boat party, but Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, was never arrested. He got away with it "because the police stupidly asked me: 'Which one's Johnny Rotten?' I fingered Richard Branson".
The song is being re-released by Universal Music to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - and a group of fans have started a Facebook campaign to get the single to number one this weekend. Last month, Lydon claimed that Universal's decision "totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for". In a statement he said that he wanted "no part in the circus that is being built up around it".
Now 56, the punk icon also appears to have softened his stance on the Queen. "I never did it as an act of spite against the Jubilee," he told Official Charts. "I don't think that's quite completely been understood." The song, he has now said, was written to stop the English people from being "mistreated". ·