Monday, 26 May 2014


It doesn't really matter if this conversation happened or not; that's not the point:

Did you enjoy the show?

Yeah, I really did, I thought it was awesome.

Did it make you angry?

Yeah, it did make me angry. I mean I was angry before and I spent a long time feeling really angry about all these things, and yes, the show brought that up again. But, actually...


I'm not sure how to say it

Go on

Well, I was really moved, too. Like, some of those words were so completely disgusting; that speech about troubled families - it's so fucking violent. But watching the way that it was performed, and looking at Lucy Ellinson's face, especially after the minute of rage for Paul Reekie. It was kind of beautiful, too. And really sad and upsetting. But...


I don't know, I don't know how to say it

Go on

I just can't help thinking that there might be people in this room - people who saw the show - who would say that they thought it was really powerful and necessary but who would also, when pushed, reveal some pretty dubious political views about some things. That's what makes me angry about this stuff. Do you know what I mean?


Definitely. Do you not think so?

I don't know. I mean most of the people here are artists

So? Tracey Emin's  an artist


I'm not necessarily saying that there are people here who are openly right wing. I mean, maybe there are, but that's not the point I'm making; I'm just saying that often, when you get down to the bare bones of stuff, people tend to reveal what they really think, don't they? I mean, I've had lots of conversations with people who have told me that they hate the government and that they identify as left wing and that they're passionate about equality and justice. But then, some of those people, when questioned beyond a certain point, have said stuff about welfare and immigration and women and education and the poor that completely goes against the politics they say that they identify with. And I'm talking about people who call themselves left wing artists. And the worst thing about it is that it doesn't really surprise me. And, yeah, I'm probably being judgemental, and maybe I'm wrong, but one of the things I was thinking when I was watching the show tonight was, I wonder how many people here might just be a bit of a Tory underneath it all. Maybe not people in this particular room, but in rooms like this. You know?

I don't know about that, dude. Do you really think that? In a room full of people like this?

Yeah, I really do. But I also think - and maybe this is arrogant and patronising - that a lot of the time, these views come from a place of genuine ignorance and fear

What do you mean?

Well, I've had quite a few conversations with people who say they identify as left wing but who have then displayed right wing views around immigration, for example, and then it becomes clear, as the conversation has developed, that they literally don't know what they're talking about and their facts are completely wrong and that they're just saying the things they're saying because it seems to make sense in a kind of A to B sort of way. The same goes for conversations about welfare and race and feminism. People are afraid to say, 'actually, I don't know what I think about that' so they just start talking without thinking things through. And I reckon that there will have been people who watched the show tonight who will tell you that they thought it was brilliant but who might, on another day, in a conversation about social policy, tell you that they think the Human Rights Act should be scrapped

I don't know. I think that's pretty negative. It's a pretty negative thing to say about the show as well, no?

Yeah, It is negative. It's really negative. But, the negativity isn't about the show. It's a thing that I think happens a lot in all sorts of contexts. And I think it happens for loads of reasons like propaganda and laziness and the fact that people are easily influenced and scared to challenge and be challenged and all that stuff. But I think one of the main Tory hooks is the language that's used in all the rhetoric; like 'hardworking people' and all the weird stuff they say about 'fairness'. I was talking to one of the performers earlier about that 'problem family speech' and we were talking about how the phrase 'problem family' is just another way of saying 'scum'. And these are people who have nothing; they're completely disenfranchised. That speech was like an act of violence against those people because they can't fight back. And the reason they can't fight back is because they don't have a fucking voice.

I'm getting a drink now.