There are many who find it hard to believe that John Lydon could have been involved in a racist scuffle the other week, and who will be looking to their hero to prove that he's not the sort of tiresome old twit who attempts to defend unpleasant reactionary attitudes by pretending he's just so refreshingly anti-PC.
He's had his chance, in an interview with the Daily Record.
He starts off having a go at Pete Doherty for being a "coward":
"Another fool who is given a golden opportunity to do something wonderful in his life and he'd rather be selfish and cowardly. Drugs are the modus operandi of the coward.
"Pete is a fine lad that needs to sort himself out. This is Mister Rotten telling you I waltz on stage sober because no drug in the world is as good as being absolutely 100 percent honest with your audience. Nothing compares to that emotion. People like him and Amy Winehouse are getting it wrong as usual."
Given that the Sex Pistols' fame is built, to a large degree, on Sid Vicious and his heroin habit, while Lydon might have a point, you could perhaps fill a couple of sides of an ethics class exam asking if it's more cowardly to be addicted to drugs, or to allow your band to carry on exploiting someone addicted to drugs until they die.
Still, a bit of low-grade hypocrisy is only to be expected. Lydon seems to blame Sid's death all on the record company and the stress they put the band through - although didn't Johnny brag to the Star the other week about how he'd never danced to a record label's promotional schedule? - and says that he still misses Sid, so that's alright then.
However, having had his thoughts turn to Winehouse, he decides he's got more to say:
Aimless Winehouse! Oh, how amusing.
"And the cover up for her which is probably the guilt trip is that she requires vast amounts of drugs to hide the fact that she is fake."
There's just so many reasons why he's wrong, but let's just take the implicit suggestion that white people shouldn't play jazz, and the explicit statement that jazz (which Lydon identifies as a solely black form of music) is "a cover for a lack of talent." Ghettoising and damning an entire genre just to stack up a weak pun based on Amy Winehouse's name.
As if there was any point, he then goes to have a pop at gays as well:
Lydon doesn't explain - and the Record doesn't seem bothered to ask - why waving a gay flag is in some way absurd, or, indeed, if the freedom to wave a flag that reflects your sexuality wasn't meant to be one of things that punk was supposed to have been about in the first place. Lydon doesn't explain if he's uncomfortable with having gays in his audience (although we bet he'd respond that he's got several good-ish gay friends), or merely he thinks that gay pride in itself is absurd. To be honest, I don't much care. I can't wait until the US economy stabilises and he can go back to selling flats to the retirement market or whatever his day job is meant to be.