Morrissey wrote 'panic' in response to English disc jockey Steven Wrights ill-timed playing of Whams! 'I'm your man'. While you could argue that anytime a Wham! or George Michael song is played it is ill-timed and in bad taste, this instance was particularly bad due to the fact that it immediately followed a news flash recounting the nuclear disaster that had occured in Chernobyl earlier that day. It was widely assumed that Wright was dismissing the event as just another trivial overseas event. Through the song Morrissey tells of what would happen should a nuclear meltdown occur in the UK, and also an attack on the music that was being played on radio one. In a concert later that year Morrissey appeared on stage at Carlisle's Sands Centre wearing a Steve Wright t-shirt and swinging a noose. Later that year in an interview with Melody Maker's Frank Owen he posed the question "is the Smiths' music racist?" to which the Mozzer responded:
"Reggae, for example, is to me the most racist music in the entire world. It's an absolute total glorification of black supremacy... There is a line when defense of one's race becomes an attack on another race and, because of black history and oppression, we realise quite clearly that there has to be a very strong defense. But I think it becomes very extreme sometimes. But, ultimately, I don't have very cast iron opinions on black music other than black modern music which I detest. I detest Stevie Wonder. I think Diana Ross is awful. I hate all those records in the Top 40 - Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston. I think they're vile in the extreme. In essence this music doesn't say anything whatsoever. I don't think there's any time any more to be subtle about anything. You have to get straight to the point.Obviously to get on Top Of The Pops these days, one has to be, by law, black. I think something political has occurred among Michael Hurl and his friends and there has been a hefty pushing of all these black artists and all this discofied nonsense into the Top 40. I think, as a result, that very aware younger groups that speak for now are being gagged.The charts have been constructed quite clearly as an absolute form of escapism rather than anything anyone can gain any knowledge by. I find that very disheartening because it wasn't always that way. Isn't it curious that practically none of these records reflect life as we live it? Isn't it curious that 93 and a half percent of these records relect life as it isn't lived? That foxes me! If you compare the exposure that records by the likes of Janet Jackson and the stream of other anonymous Jacksons get to the level of daily airplay that The Smiths receive - The Smiths have had at least 10 consecutive chart hits and we still can't get on Radio 1's A list. Is that not a conspiracy? The last LP ended up at number two and we were still told by radio that nobody wanted to listen to The Smiths in the daytime. Is that not a conspiracy? I do get the scent of a conspiracy.
And, anyway, the entire syndrome has one tune and surely that's enough to condemn the entire thing."