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New Banksy immigration mural destroyed because it was racist


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So Banksy’s new immigration themed mural in Clacton — where Douglas Carswell has resigned as Conservative MP to stand in a by election for UKIP — has been destroyed by the local council before anyone else even knew it was there on the grounds that it was “offensive” and “racist”.

Stop the world, I want to get off now please.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


5 Responses

  1. Blimey! Never thought I’d disagree with you but there’s a first time for everything. I love Banksy and this is one of his best but seriously, if you worked for a council that had a policy of removing racist graffiti in 48 hours and someone phoned to say there’s one just gone up that says “Migrants not welcome” and “Go back to Africa” what would YOU do? BTW – I am not related to James-no-mates-Brokenshire. Not the same species and possibly not even from the same planet.

  2. I’ve often thought that satire of racism can only be attempted with a totally explicit statement preceding it that explains in very simple terms what satire is and what its intention is. There are always people who miss the point and see it as being finally the ‘straight talk’ they’ve been waiting for. Of course, of course the cartoon is satire. But just as Alf Garnett and the Pub Landlord are jokes that go over (or under) the heads of many people, so has this. Maybe if Banksy stencilled a big winky face beside it, more people would have understood. No, too subtle probably…

  3. I am black and born and brought up in racist south east london in the 70s. Alf Garnett made me squirm with discomfort as did Love Thy Neighbour and Rising Damp (which I love now I am over 40). This was such a brilliant anti-racist mural and so clever. The beautiful but different bird attacked by the crowd of all the same birds. If you were not an active anti racist and/or didn’t know Hitchcock’s film, you might be offended. It was terrible to destroy it. Better if the Council had preserved it and explained its meaning for those who didn’t understand. I hope Banksy does some more like this. I wouldn’t have seen it were it not for this brilliant website.