Posts Tagged ‘Hypocrisy’

Post promotes “vandal thug”

June 12, 2009

The fucking hypocrisy! Today, Bristol’s own Banksy opens his massive new show at the City Museum. As part of the PR hype the artist has given an “exclusive” to the Evening Post.

Although it isn’t really that exclusive. Internet rumours of a Banksy summer show in Bristol have been flying around for ages; Venue magazine reported the rumours weeks ago. Last night Twitter was burning up with Tweets revealing the venue to be the City Museum and a local blogger actually managed to get a sneak a picture through a gap in a door. Even Radio 4’s Today programme had reported from the Banksy V Bristol Museum show before the Post revealed its “exclusive” online at 0930 (presumably to meet the PR’s embargo instructions).

And what a load of gush the story is; someone at the Post this morning must have very wet undercrackers:

The world’s most famous living artist is coming home. Banksy has sneaked his biggest ever UK exhibition into Bristol.

The Bristol Evening Post can exclusively reveal that the mysterious artist, best known for his subversive stencil graffiti work, has taken over much of Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery.

We even have a world exclusive in publishing a picture of the outlandish installation that will greet the hundreds of thousands of art lovers who are likely to descend on the city through the summer from around the world.

. . .

Speaking exclusively to the Bristol Evening Post, Banksy said: “The people of Bristol have always been very good to me – I decided the best way to show my appreciation was by putting a bunch of old toilets and some live chicken nuggets in their museum.

. . .

Many of his most iconic pieces of graffiti have become landmarks in Bristol – from the distinctive Mild, Mild West mural in Stokes Croft, to the naked adulterer apparently hanging from a window on the wall of a sexual health clinic in Park Street.

But this exhibition will be the greatest gift he could have presented to his home city . . .

Banksy personally requested that news of his latest show should be revealed in his home city’s local newspaper.

We have also been offered an exclusive sneak preview of the show today, ahead of its opening. There will be more pictures to follow, and don’t miss your copy of the Bristol Evening Post tomorrow.

[. . . pukes]

But can this really be the same Evening Post which in 2004 ran an “exclusive” photo which “unmasked” Banksy along with this accompanying comment:

So the graffiti artist Banksy is unmasked.

After years of hiding behind a full-face balaclava his identity is revealed.

With his loss of anonymity has gone much of his mystique.

For he thrived on the majority of us not knowing who he was.

Perhaps now we have seen his face we can focus upon whether he is an artist or a common vandal with a talent for using a spray can.

. . .

Raising an aerosol in the name of art may be a way of celebrating free speech but it has a damaging impact on the environment.

For graffiti spawns graffiti and there is no guarantee of its calibre.

. . .

And as Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo rightly remarked the other day, it scars communities.

If we tolerate graffiti then it will occur everywhere. And that means on walls, buildings, shops, pavements and bridges.

It doesn’t bring colour and interest to an area – it desecrates that area.

And as graffiti grows so people’s pride in the area dwindles.

Someone like Banksy has to understand that and take responsibility for it.

And the same Evening Post which in 2007 said:

Bristol City Council deserves great credit for its plans to tackle graffiti.
It spoils and devalues the look of the city in which we live. And the people responsible for it are nothing more than vandals.
So the city council’s plans for undercover surveillance of the most frequently targeted places is exactly the right approach.
Graffiti artists operate by stealth, so let’s catch them by using the same tactics.
Don’t be fooled by people who bleat about graffiti being a form of self-expression. Nor by those who hold up the likes of Banksy and claim him as a great artist.
Talented he may be and some are willing to pay ludicrous prices for his work but by his own definition he is a vandal.
So let us not make any exceptions. Let’s tar all of those who daub graffiti on buildings, walls, bridges and trains with the same brush.
They are breaking the law and they should be prosecuted.
The city council’s surveillance plans must be the first step. When they have identified the people responsible then it is crucial that they are prosecuted. And it is equally important that if convicted they receive a harsh sentence – whether it’s a fine or a jail term.
No one should shy away from coming down hard on these people. They deface the world around them, they make our environment a poorer place, not a better one.
They are not artists, they are just thugs with spray cans who have found a way to put two-fingers up to society and it is about time society hit back.

Of course, as Banksy has become more popular, famous, rich and establishment, the Post have gradually come around to appreciating his art.

This is obviously philistine bollocks; defining art by its cash value or its celebrity endorsements. It leads to the ludicrous debates we see regularly in the Post about whether a particular piece of graffiti is or is not “a real Banksy”: a paternity test to divine its value and decide whether it is art to be praised or vandalism to be scrubbed away by the council, trashed and forgotten like yesterday’s Evening Post.


Evening Post: Soft on (real) criminals

January 23, 2009

Oh to be a well paid middle-class Evening Post editor; sat moralising, judging and damning the poor to sate your middle class readers’ appetite for bigotry and vengeance.

“Have you noticed how few benefit cheats get sent to jail?”

This Post editorial (Cheats prosper, Jan 9th 2009) was the paper’s considered response to the case of master criminals Tracey and Anthony Eddolls. The Post’s report in the same edition screamed “£24k benefit scam couple spared jail” (Although the headline has been changed for the online version: A common practice by the Post where they don’t want their hysterical headlines and comments available to the world for eternity.).

The story is about a couple from Hartcliffe who were dragged off to court for benefit “fraud”. They were both found guilty of falsely claiming £24k in housing and council tax benefits over a period of six and a half years; about £300 per month.

Mrs Eddolls works part-time in a supermarket and is raising the couple’s three children. Her relationship with her husband is described as unstable; he “comes and goes as he pleases”. Basically, this sounds like a fairly typical state of affairs for millions of people in dysfunctional relationships trapped by economic circumstances.

Mrs Eddolls’ crime was to not inform the council every time her on-off husband stayed the night. Then, of course, she would have had to reapply for the benefit every time he left again. Have any of the Post’s editorial team been through the process of applying for benefits? Have any of them had to rely on benefits because of their shit wages and fucked up relationship?

If only we all lived in nice, moral, stable, cereal-packet families where Daddy goes out to work to provide for the family and earns a nice regular wage in his nine-to-five job. If only we all lived like the moral middle classes of newspaper editors’ imaginations.

But we don’t. And so Mike Norton and his Post cronies want to put this couple in prison, bang ’em up. 150 hours community service, a suspended sentence and the stress of a court case just ain’t enough for these blood thirsty shits. They want to ruin these people’s lives; ensure they’ll never get a proper job; fuck their kids up so they become dysfunctional. The Post demands vengeance.

What the fuck do they think prison would achieve? Set an example? Force people to stop being poor? Fuck off.

Have you noticed how few bankers get sent to jail?

And where are Norton and gang when it comes to the real fraudsters? Those bankers, traders and other corporate pigs who are bleeding us dry and destroying lives? What about those fraudsters and cheats, Evening Post? The ones who look like you and talk like you and went to the same public fucking schools as you? Those cheats really do prosper.

Have you noticed how few corporate killers get sent to jail?

Compare and contrast. Here’s the Post’s editorial from January 8th, the day before the frothing rant above was published (the Post’s frothing rant, not mine). The story is the death of a pensioner at the Concorde visitor attraction in Filton, Bristol. Mr Livall’s death was caused by multinational aerospace corporation Airbus (annual turnover £1.8bn) and its contractor BAC Trading Ltd who admitted installing an unsafe gantry walkway to the Concorde.

71-year old Mr Livall, a Concorde enthusiast, was killed in September 2004 after falling seven metres to his death through a gap in the gantry. The companies both admitted breaches of health and safety laws in court.

The Post report quotes the judge,

“Airbus should not have let the exhibition open without a safety assessment which would have made the risk glaringly obvious.

“They provided an unsafe structure in the first place and then handed it over to BAC, who were lulled into a false sense of security, expecting that what Airbus provided would be safe.”

The judge said the tragedy was “an accident waiting to happen” and Airbus could and should have done something about it after concerns were raised on three occasions about gaps in the gantry.”

The judge then handed Airbus (annual turnover £1.8bn) a fine of £200,000 with £58,000 costs. He also fined the group involved in running the attraction £10,000.

So, what does the Post say? Does it demand jail for those responsible for this pensioner’s death? Does it decry the injustice and the soft-touch court system? Does it ask why so few corporate killers get sent to jail?

No. The Post says that the investigation and prosecution were unnecessary. It says that Mr Livall should have accepted before he visited this attraction that there was a risk he could end up dead.

They say that a fine of £250,000 won’t make any difference to a multi-billion-pound company like Airbus, so they shouldn’t be fined at all.

Corporate killers prosper

That’s right, the Post thinks that if you are a rich corporation not only should you be able to get away with killing people, but you shouldn’t even be put through the hassle of an investigation.

Anyway, we couldn’t possibly bang corporate killers up in jail. We need the cell space for all those benefit scroungers, don’t we.