The picture is a Banksy mural. It was painted on 30 September 2014, and erased by the end of 1 October 2014.

The story was reported by UK media on 2 October 2014 as being “erased after ‘racist’ complaint“, with the implication being that – despite its clear antiracist message – minority groups were offended because they’re idiots who can’t take a joke.

This is unlikely.

Clacton-on-Sea is one of the whitest places in England. Of the 1,688 people living in the seaside postcode area, 29 are non-white.

It’s also one of the most bigoted places in England. Its Tory MP recently defected to UKIP, and is expected to win a resounding victory in his new incarnation as a Kipper – which is presumably why Banksy chose the place as the site for his mural. Like many eastern England coastal towns, it is full of bitter angry old white people (much of the Economist’s analysis on Tilbury stands in here, although Clacton is far further from London and was never a dock town) and low on jobs. Despite featuring very few immigrants, because nobody in their right mind would choose to live there, the residents blame the lack of available jobs on them anyway.

So let’s consider the probabilities of these two scenarios:

1) one of the 29 non-white people saw the piece, assumed it was racist rather than anti-racist, complained to the (bitter, angry, old, white) staff at the right-wing, Tory-controlled council, and was taken seriously in an example of PC Gorn Mad.

2) one of the 1,659 white people saw the piece, didn’t like its message, complained to the (bitter, angry, old, white) staff at the right-wing, Tory-controlled council about Anti-White Racism, and it got taken down in an example of humourless jobsworth-ery with a possible side dish of bigotry.

My money is heavily on scenario 2 (and I made a few bob on my last excursion into political betting, so I’m feeling lucky if anyone wants to take me up on that one…)

4 thoughts on “Not a case of political correctness gorn mad

  1. I’d say you slightly out in your analysis. My guess would be that ‘hideously white’ Clacton wouldn’t complain about it as ‘anti-white’ because they’d probably agree with the sentiment, and miss the obvious satire on themselves. My guess would be the complaint would come from someone who while probably realising the satirical nature of the piece, didn’t want to encourage the locals in their prejudices. And the council, being spineless as all local authorities are when anyone (with or without any justification) cries ‘Racism’ immediately removed it as a sort of kneejerk reaction.

  2. I think there are more people in Clacton than 1,688. Quite a lot more actually. And what’s wrong with being ‘white’ or ‘old’? Seems a bit vitriolic to me. Especially considering that their grievances (however absurd or mis-guided) are not race driven but rather they are born from a perceived (correct or otherwise) intrusion of EU powers.

    1. a) the link clearly shows the seafront statistical area I was using (where the graffiti was); feel free to break the National Statistics data shown there however you choose, but the ratios are about the same for the town, the parliamentary constituency, and the council region.

      b) no, the vast majority of UKIP voting has very little to do with opposing the EU. See my analysis of the Ashcroft polls in Eastleigh.

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