Sunday, 14 April 2013

Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice

The authorities cover up and censor for a number of reasons. In the case of the 'BURN IN HELL MAGGIE' graffiti on a wall in the Waterloo underpasses it is rather apposite given the connection between the place and Thatcher's social policies of the early 1980s - cardboard city, so named after the cardboard boxes and cartons in which homeless people lived in the underpasses beneath Waterloo, in Central London, between 1983 and 1998.

"Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice" - Henry Louis Gates

In this instance the very notion of Lady Thatcher, the mother of today's neo-lib-greed-infested-Conservatives, should be thought of in any other way but with deep reverence is galling. Anyone who holds an opinion of Thatcher that does not claim her to be the greatest peace-time PM this country has known, is in denial. Anyone who does not accept that Thatcherism, far from redeeming this country from Socialism and putting us back on the world stage. Or that anyone who isn't mourning this great person is somehow or other in league with Satan and his minions, has led to a clamping down of anything anti-Thatcher.

Earlier in the week the BBC  Director General Tony Hall refused to ban 'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead', the Wizard of Oz song which became the focus of an anti-Thatcher campaign on Facebook. However, The Guardian on Friday 12th April reported:

"In a fudge unlikely to satisfy either the late Margaret Thatcher's supporters or those attempting to get the Wizard of Oz song to number one in protest at the former Conservative prime minister's policies, the BBC has decided instead to play a "short clip" of the track in a news item in Sunday's Radio 1 chart show explaining why it has suddenly leapt into the top 10."

Of course the BBC is doing what the BBC so often does in such circumstances, it is acquiescing to bully the tactics of the government and applying censorship to a song, no matter how distasteful it may or may not be, that has grown in popular popularity since the announcement of Thatcher's death.

A policeman Tweeting his, unflattering, views of Thatcher resigned once his bosses became aware of his views, thus pre-empting disciplinary action that was likely to lead to a severe sanction.

Thousands of people who took to the streets in cities across the UK to celebrate Thatcher's demise have been the focus of a great deal of pro-Thatcher anger. But, as the graffiti in Waterloo proves, Margaret Thatcher and her policies that divided this country while increasing the poverty gap, was roundly despised by a lot of people. And almost as folkloric stories of the Thatcher years have passed down the generations. Thus, we have youngsters unborn when Thatcher presided over the country coming out to party at the news of her passing on.

Having to censor songs, individuals' views and pop art on subway walls is a sign that this government cannot get its message of austerity across. Were this government succeeding with their plans to cut the deficit by 2015, they'd have the confidence to take criticism on the chin. No, they are anything but confident as we see virtually every time Iain Duncan-Smith appears on TV, usually frothing at the mouth as his arguments for welfare reform become weaker and weaker.    

No comments:

Post a Comment