Oh well, Bob’s had to remove his post about my post after the Tories kicked up such a stink that it made the BBC’s website - slow news day, guys?
Still, its nice to the see the fine old art of the political witch-hunt is alive, well and thriving in Dave’s new realm of Torydom.
As for your truly, the post stays and if anyone want’s make an issue of it with the Police, the Commission for Racial Equality or anyone for that matter, then feel free to do so. I more than happy to defend the image and my reasons for posting it, just as I’m happy to debate its content with those who come armed with something more than faux outrage and sanctimonius indignation. Mr Angry of Tunbridge Wells is also alive and well, it seems, and as pig ignorant as he ever was.
It also stays on this site because without it the issues it seeks to raise and the debate it is beginning to engender now that the half-arsed politicking has (hopefully) come to an end, remain as valid as they were when I posted it, and without that image an important element of context would be lost from the debate.
One of George Orwell’s most famous comments is ‘Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear’ - or indeed show them images that make them uncomfortable and cause a modicum of offence, and that concept has to the be the starting point for any serious and meaningful discussion about the politics of race, ethnicity and identity.
What this last couple of days shown, however, is just how we still are from being able to hold such a debate, and how quickly opportunities for debate can dissipate in the face of hypocrisy and (politically) venal self-interest. I wonder how many of those who’ve been tut-tutting over the weekend about this image were also those running off at the mouth about liberty and the importance of free expression over summer during the course of the ‘Mo-toons’ controversy? As most of the complainers are Tories, quite a lot I expect.
Well get this, folks. You can’t have it both ways, certainly not if you plan on getting all self-righteous about racism.
You can’t wrap yourself in a flag of liberty and tell Muslims that they’ve no right to complain or protest when you insult their religion and tell them that they’re threatening your freedom of speech, and then kick off a witch hunt when someone takes a satirical shot at your own party leader. It doesn’t work like that - you either have to accept that more or less anything goes (the exceptions being libel and incitement to violence) or you tolerate censorship in a form that elevates the ‘right’ not to be offended above the right to express yourself freely, even if what’s being said contains a grain (or significantly more) of truth.
You may be fine with the likes of Christain Voice dictating what you can and can’t see on TV, read or listen to - I’m not!
There seems to be the odd idiot, still, who wishes to contend that ths image itself is racist.
In fact is has little or nothing to say on the subject of race and racial identity except, perhaps, a little something about Black culture is routine appropriated by white people to suit their own ends and how stupid and banal white people frequently look when they do just that. The image is about pretence and fakery, about trying to create the appearance of being something (or someone) that you’re not, which seems an apt metaphor for our current political culture.
It’s been asked ‘What would Labour Party members have said if the Tories had produced an image like this?’.
What? Of David Cameron? I’d have laughed like a drain, of course. I’d also have done the same if a Tory had given Tony Blair the same treatment. I can’t speak for other party members, some of who would undoubtedly made the same kind of fuss that Tories have been making this last couple of day, but that doesn’t mean that I have to follow the herd. In fact, as most of my readers should know very well, following the herd’s not really my kind of thingin any circumstances.
I mean, for fuck’s sake have you not seen the cartoon commissioned by Keith Vaz to promote the party’s ethnic minority taskforce?
Check out the close-up - it’s even better.
Don’t this just say it about the utter banality of current political culture?
I get pilloried for trying to make a serious point - or rather Bob Piper does because, as a councillor, he’s a bit more newsworthy, while Keith Vaz thinks that a nice, jolly way to promote an Ethnic Minorities TaskForce is a cartoon of John Prescott in a fucking turban. At least what I was trying to do had an actual fucking point to it!
Exactly what was it I was saying about how dumb it looks when people try to appropriate the cultural artifacts of other communities to their own purposes? Never mind, for now, we’ll pick up that particular debate when all the fuss has died down.
Okay, so I can appreciate why a few Tories got so upset about an attack on Cameron’s image - it can’t be easy living with the fact that you’ve got no policies, so you have to jealously guard his image, because that’s all you’ve got, but really all this fuss?
Anyway, I’ll just a say big hello to all the visitors coming in from the BBC, and if its racism you’re looking for then I’d recommend you try this article, which will tell you all about a man who used to call himself ‘Steve Freedom’, who he is and what he thinks of Jews, Black people, Women, Footballers and Aliens, or this one, which explains how a story that made the Front Page of the Sun in October turned out to be almost a complete fabrication.
(Might as well get some value out of all these extra visitors - you never know, I might even top Guido for a couple of days and wipe a trace of smugness from his lips… it’s an ill wind, as they say…)
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Mail On Sunday’s reporting that £50,000 a year buys you meeting with Cameron, Pinochet’s dead (and about fucking time too), oh, and Thatcher’s ’saddened’ apparently, and the news ticker at the Telegraph has John Reid claiming that a terrorist attack at Christmas is ‘highly likely’ (no link yet) so that one will be boring the tits off everyone on the Brekkie News in the morning.