Sunday, February 21, 2010

Political Artist Goes for Brown


Political art is a subject which has allways been controversial. Yesterday an artist called Louis Sidolo got in touch with me to ask if I would like to feature some of his work on my blog. Here's what he said...

I'm a published artist with my work in galleries all around the UK including Harrods.

Although I'm not a member of any political party, I cannot face the thought of another 5 years of Labour. I recently felt inspired to create two pieces of 'Pop art' with a political theme for the forthcoming election. During Obama's campaign in the US, there were a huge number of artists creating work for his campaign, which really made an impact, but I haven't seen much party political art work over here. These are a bit different from the campaign posters that are currently doing the rounds since they are 'art' pieces. These images tell you all you need to know: 'This is Gordon Brown - the facts are staring you in the face - vote for someone else'

The first piece is called 'Reign of Error' . It is a play on words from the recent book which described Gordon Brown’s leadership at No10 as a ‘Reign Of Terror’. In this piece, he is ‘morphed’ into an image of Hitler! Of course it is provocative, but if you think about it, there are strong similarities: Both started out as chancellors, both bullied their way to the top and seized power without being democratically elected, both tried to rig the electoral process, both prone to flying into uncontrollable rages and both caused huge economic damage to our country etc...

The second piece called 'Psychologically Flawed' is not a caricature , it is a portrait derived from an actual photo. I have not distorted it in any way other than through the use of colour to symbolize his personality and mindset. In this piece, influenced by Warhol, he gets the 'satan treatment' with demonic lurid green face clashing with bright orange background, which hints that this person is truly diabolical! The red hand and cufflink symbolises the budget deficit / the red hand of socialism or 'being in the red'.

The left will no doubt go apoplectic with rage, but they should calm down and remember the hideous political art of the 1980s featuring Margaret Thatcher. This is mild by comparison.

Louis Sidoli has a website featuring more of his work HERE.




UPDATE: This seems to have caused a bit of a stir in the comments. Let's get a few things straight, shall we? I have reported the fact that a reasonably well known artist has created a bit of controversial political art. The key word here is 'reported'. I haven't given an approving opinion. There are a lot of double standards at play among those who have commented. By reporting something it does not imply approval. I didn't approve of people on the left comparing Margaret Thatcher to Hitler and nor do I approve of others doing the same thing. The point implicit in this piece is that Gordon Brown has achieved such levels of hatred, even among artists nowadays, that they produce pieces of art like this. I felt this was an interesting development and reported it without comment, allowing his own words to justify his art.

Feel free to continue shooting the messenger, but many of you are being blinkered, and reading into this what you want to.

UPDATE 12.54: At least one Labour MP has taken this in the right spirit... Geraldine Dreadful MP has written an open letter to me HERE.

UPDATE 16.50: Dizzy makes the point that no one got very excited when Beau Bo D'Or pictired Gordon Brown as Stalin for Channel 4. Come to think of it, no one got so excited when Vince Cable compared Brown to Stalin, did they? Seeing as though it is not me that's doing the comparing I maintain my view that the reaction to this is totally OTT and full of nauseating rank hypocrisy.

UPDATE Monday: Louis Sidoli has sent me a further comment following the reaction to his image...

"I find it incredible but predictable that some people should find my images offensive rather than a light hearted play on words. The image is called 'Reign of Error' so it is not suggesting that Gordon Brown's actions are the same as those of Hitler (Reign Of Terror) , it is referring to his mistakes and incompetence, though it does suggest that there may be similar character traits. Given all the newspaper revelations and denials over the weekend, it seems as if this analysis could be correct? After all, there is no smoke without fire. There have been so many negative stories about his character now, that you have to assume that at least some of them are 100% correct? Secondly, why is it the 'left' seem to have no sense of humour ? I mean, there are hundreds of images out there portraying George W Bush as Hitler. In the 1980's on 'Spitting Image' Thatcher was portrayed as a bullying fascist tyrant (yes sounds familiar) who would on occasion ask Adolph Hitler for advice, along with Norman Tebbit, her leather clad SS henchman who referred to her as 'leader' - And that was on primetime TV."

123 comments:

tory boys never grow up said...

"The left will no doubt go apoplectic with rage, but they should calm down and remember the hideous political art of the 1980s featuring Margaret Thatcher"

What a totally pathetic and childish justifcation - what did Pickles say about this being a dirty election campaign.

Grow up

Corporal Jones said...

Generally not a good idea to compare Brown with Hitler. When some compared Thatcher to Hitler, it was offensive. It is offensive to do the same now. I say this as a fan of Thatcher and a despiser of Brown.

tory boys never grow up said...

"Both started out as chancellors"

This remark alone demonstrates that Sidoli's understanding of the different political systems of the UK and Germany hasn't gone beyond even the most basic level - and that what he has produced is pure abuse and nothing to do with politics. All this needs to be borne in mind the next time Dale starts spouting off about German politics.

JuliaM said...

The Left certainly will go apoplectic. But since that's their default setting anyway, people stopped paying attention to them years ago....

Tom Harris said...

Really, Iain? Has Godwin's Law kicked in even here on your blog?

You justify comparing the British Prime Minister to Adolf Hitler by reminding your readers that the Left were not kind to Thatcher in the '80s. Did you approve of those "hideous" caricatures, or did you find them offensive? If the latter, why are you committing the same offence?

I know the polls have narrowed, but I didn't think we were at the "the other party are Nazis" stage quite yet.

tory boys never grow up said...

Message for Mr Sidoli - playing around with Photoshop doesn't make you an artist either.

You may think that showing a bottle of Chanel in 9 differnt colours makes you an iconic artist - 99.9% of the rest of the population will have a different view.

Dino Fancellu said...

Class.

Riversider said...

I despise Gordon Brown, but these are not criticisms of his neoliberal bail-out-the-rich policies, just personal jibes.

Political art should be political, otherwise it teaches us nothing.

Alison said...

Not worthy of you. This is sick and has no place here.

canvas said...

iain, you don't need to stoop this low. it's undignified.

raise your game.

Span Ows said...

Pity the Brown image next to Hitler isn't MORE like Brown, I think the hair throws immediate identification of it as Gordon Brown. That said I like both images! Well done Louis...

Iain Dale said...

How very typical some of these responses are. I have reported the fact that this renowned artist has decided to go for Brown. I repeat. Reported.

This is a political blog, which covers developments in politics.

Does anyone seriously imagine the likes of Tom Harris wouldn't cover similar images of David Cameron.

Some people need to examine how touchy they are getting.

canvas said...

Also, Iain, do you think stupid posts like this one will actually help you become an elected politician? Never in a million Sundays...pull yourself together and post something intelligent.

We are all aware that you know nothing about art or culture. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Gordon Brown is unpopular but you're only helping him out with pathetic posts like this. David Cameron will not be impressed. You're hurting your own party by participating in this kind of crap.

Iain Dale said...

Canvas, when I want advice from you I will ask for it. Strangely enough I do not spend every waking hour plotting how I can get selected as a candidate.

I know very little about art, I freely admit. But when a renowned artist produces a work like this, and explains his reasons, I think it is entirely reasonable to report it.

Chris said...

The problem with the posters during Obama's campaign was that the hitler posters made his opposition look racist and extermist.

The latest conservative posters have already earned them the title of the nasty party, a title which was previously reserved for the BNP and is not really a club they want to join!

Tom Harris said...

@Iain Dale at 10.09: Does anyone seriously imagine the likes of Tom Harris wouldn't cover similar images of David Cameron."

No need to imagine it, Iain - I absolutely would not. I hope that clarifies my position.

canvas said...

Renowned artist? Really, Iain? LOL

Nothing justifies stooping this low. It's just gutter press.

Robin Horsley said...

Iain,

Delete this post now. It's the activity of the Nasty Party. Withdraw it and issue an apology.

This guy Sidolo is an idiot. I just looked at his website at his portfolio.

If I started right now, working in Photoshop with a bunch of royalty free images from the web I could deliver you a portfolio of the same quality and quantity by the end of the day. Instead I will spend the day more productively scratching my arse.

This guy is not an artist. He does not exhibit skill or insight - just pretentious idiocy.

I know my art and I know my politics and this is fit only for the wastebasket.

Moriarty said...

I find it amusing that a poster comes on here to decry dirty politics with the username "tory boys never grow up". Self-insight not your strong point?

john in cheshire said...

I quite like the images. But, they are not nasty enough. Contrary to Teresa May's assertion that the Conservative party is perceived as being the nasty party, it is and always has been the labour party. I can't remember a time when the socialists in general and the labour party in particular have not been viscerally cruel in their treatment of those who disagreed with them. It's time the Conservative party gave them a very strong dose of their own medicine; 13 years long overdue in my opinion.

OxfordSpring said...

I think that Louis Sidolo has missed the point. What made the Obama campaign art was that it was based around hope (whether false or not) and the promotion of a candidate. It was not based around the deformation of McCain.

It is very easy to write a sad and depressing love song; it is very difficult to write a song that makes the listener truly happy.
So it is with posters.

I would rather Louis Sidolo save his art for great works of Cameron like Yeo did.

Ben said...

Are we entirely sure this is actually Louis Sidoli? The text is politically nonsensical, and the art isn't like his other pieces on display at his website.

Are you sure you aren't being had?

On the other hand, I have no problem showing Brown as psychologically flawed, as I've always thought so.

Paul said...

Although I am not a Conservative voter and most likely never will be, I have always had a lot of respect for you Iain; this blog post has diminished that respect.

To condone the comparison of Brown with Hitler is really scrapping the barrel and something that perhaps you should look inside yourself and ask is it wise or is it fair?

Does Brown (or any other UK politician) really merit comparison with a man whose actions and ideology caused the death and suffering of over 50 million people?

As they say on the internet, the moment you bring Hitler of the Nazi’s into a discussion you have lost the argument; I think this blog post proves that.

Ciraric said...

Very interesting reporting Iain.

Personally "Reign of Terror" would have been better with some sort of Napoleanic War reference or something (I was never very good at History).

canvas said...

@ Robin Horsley "Iain, Delete this post now. It's the activity of the Nasty Party. Withdraw it and issue an apology."

Good advice!

James said...

This is just rather childish.

As others have said, the fact that some people have produced similar "art" about Thatcher doesn't make it right to publish an uncritical post about this. If it was wrong to stoop to that level with her, it's wrong to do so with others too.

Your "I'm only reporting" line doesn't wash. You make editorial decisions about what to publish and what not to publish on your blog, and what comments of your own you place around it.

Not your finest hour.

tory boys never grow up said...

"renowned artist" - where other than in his own PR ?

Perhaps you should have applied a slightly higher level of critical appraisal to his views than you do to missives from CCHQ? I can only presume that they haven't got any policy pronouncements this month.

Victor, NW Kent said...

This is rubbish and demeans all Conservatives by its existence on a Tory blog.

Chief of the Inner Station said...

Yeah, stop all this freedom of expression stuff right now.

Making nasty pictures of politicians is hurtful and undemocratic.

Politicians are sensitive people and are only concerned with our wellbeing. That's why they don't bother to ask us what we want or tell us what they're really up to - it would only upset us.

no longer anonymous said...

Can't say I'm impressed but I can't understand what all the self-righteous moaning is about. Just ignore it.

fugitiveink said...

'Renowned artist'? Slightly odd, then, that he has to send press releases - send them personally, not through his team of gallerists - to people he doesn't know. Can you name many other 'renowned artists' who do this?

I am no fan of Brown, to put it midly, but comparing him with Hitler actually has the perverse effect of reminding one what a relatively decent, sane and civilised chap Brown is.

And no, I don't particularly expect a publicity-starved no-hoper to care about this - hint: actual 'renowned artists' tend to sell their work through Marlborough or Jay Jopling et all, not Harrods! - but I did think you were a bit more responsible.

Will fae London said...

Louis Sidoli - never heard of him before, and I don't think we'll be hearing from him again.

tl said...

Quite surprising.

Interesting that the artist in question described the usage of art in the Obama campaign. This is unfortunate as the loony rightwingers also used artwork to describe Obama too in a similar fashion.

Just checkout obama / hitler in google images...
http://images.google.co.uk/images?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=obama+hitler&btnG=Search&aq=&oq=obama+hitle&start=0

Of course those rightwingers came off as similarly crass.

Iain Dale said...

What a pity it is that a Member of Parliament, and many other people commenting here, seem to be unable to distinguish between reporting and endorsing.

Chris said...

Would CCHQ actually approve of this blog? It's a very bad habit of conservative MPs to promote their own personal views which don't seem to be supportive of policy. How can the public be expected to believe the policies if their getting mixed messages from conservative MPs?

Does "I'm only reporting" go hand in hand with "I was only following orders"? Delete is probably excellent advice.

Events dear boy, events said...

How can you possibly justify comparing Brown with Hitler?

For example, Brown is not anti-semitic and hasn't murdered 6,000,000 people.

Some explanation from you for making such an unjustified comparison would be most welcome.

Tom said...

I'm not a member of any political party, but I am writing to protest about your publishing pictures and an article comparing Brown to Hitler. It is a ludicous suggestion. And it is deeply offensive. No doubt you think it will help the cause of the Tory party, and you are so desperate to get elected, that you think anything is justifiable. I suspect you are in error. This will just disgust people, and make them less likely to vote for a party that resorts to such despicable tactics. Shame on you, Mr Dale.

Paddy Briggs said...

Iain

Truly disgusting - and you know it. It has no place on your blog, you should remove it.

I write not as a "leftie" but as someone with taste!

DespairingLiberal said...

Riversider, despite their endless slagging off of Brown, I think you will find that most Tory bloggers would agree with Brown's neoliberal, pro-corporation and pro-hedge fund profiteering. It's just a matter of style they object to - Cameron will simple be a more acceptable face of capitalism.

I don't find much that is funny in simplistic and naive comparisons with those two wicked dictators of the 20th century, Hitler and Stalin. It's just cheap-laugh fodder for the undereducated and you should know better Iain.

canvas said...

Iain Dale says in his comment "people commenting here, seem to be unable to distinguish between reporting and endorsing."

In Iain's original post he says "The left will no doubt go apoplectic with rage, but they should calm down and remember the hideous political art of the 1980s featuring Margaret Thatcher. This is mild by comparison."

So, Iain thinks this crap is "mild by comparison" and he chooses to put it on his blog.

This sounds like an opinion and an endorsement to me. Why pollute your blog with this kind of rubbish? Why promote all this hatefulness?

>Oh, up the Tories!< Nice work, Iain. Just hold your hands up and say sorry. This is as low as you can go.

richard.blogger said...

Sinking rather low today Iain?

I remember in the 80s there was a flurry of pictures showing Margaret Thatcher as Hitler or Stalin or Mao. They made a small section of the Left feel smug, but their effect on the rest of the population was counter-productive: they were seen as juvenile and spiteful and if anything they increased the support for Thatcher.

Of course Thatcher had a large lead in the polls, and those spiteful actions were acts of desperation from a campaign that could not succeed. Prescient, eh?

Chris said...

Iain you posted "Yesterday an artist called Louis Sidolo got in touch with me to ask if I would like to feature some of his work on my blog" you accepted his work and posted it on your blog, instead of just deleting it.

Since you did publish it on your blog why do you seem suprised when people start to believe you actually like it and agree with it, your now actively promoting his rubbish. If you hadn't agreed with it wouldn't you either just delete the email or politly informed them that you couldn't touch it with a ten foot barge pole?

Dino Fancellu said...

Well Iain,

The response from the Left was fairly predictable.

Attacks upon you, attacks upon the artist.

Funny how they feel they have the right to tell you how to run your blog and the bare faced cheek to offer you 'advice'.

Remember, when they have a go its them telling it like it is, when anyone else has a go then its those nasty nasty Tories.

As ever, people will have to use their own judgment over what they feel when looking at those pictures, I just find it funny when the Left demands that you should not have mentioned it, or should censor yourself after the fact.

fugitiveink said...

Well, Iain, unless you choose to 'report' every press release you're sent, I suppose we assume that you employ a degree of editorial judgement - and in this case, I think, in giving publicity to an obscure and insignificant attention-seeker, you made a surprisingly irresponsible choice.

Nosemonkey said...

Wow. That's the most insightful piece of political satire I've *ever* seen.

Christ, this election campaign is pathetic.

Newmania said...

A t one level this piece is only Godwins law in graphic form at another it is matter of ownership. The reminder that Hitler was very much a man of the left is always welcome and the reconfiguration of the 2oth century over due .Tory Boys is outraged,but has himself gleefully thrown allegations of racism at Conservatives, such allegations have a force precisely because of the history of the 20thn century.
Hitler was a Nationalist , true and in this way has something in common with Conservatives as well was 19th century Liberals . The same could be said of the PLO and the IRA ,let us hope we are not blamed for them.He was also a socialist. Gordon Brown with his “Back to basics” socialism and frequent flag waving combines these elements as do his rivals the BNP. His style of politics relies on crisis and his will to power is terrifying . Like Hitler he combines a single minded genius at acquiring power with a childish incompetence at using it . The Nazi state was in fact a shambolic turf war. Like the endlessly replicated quangos he loves .Like Hitler he has a n evil plan to unite Europe … and was quick to turn on the blameless Poles (in the Crewe By Election) in a disgraceful campaign I shall never forget by the way ., something lese he has in common with the old devil
The irritation of a Tpry Boys is not so much at the insult it is that the artist has taken their favorite insult .It is the proprietorial rage of the famer spying tykes on his land . Stalin he could live with but this …this is ours !!

It is in short a major work by a magnificent artist

Newmania said...

A t one level this piece is only Godwins law in graphic form at another it is matter of ownership. The reminder that Hitler was very much a man of the left is always welcome and the reconfiguration of the 2oth century over due .Tory Boys is outraged,but has himself gleefully thrown allegations of racism at Conservatives, such allegations have a force precisely because of the history of the 20thn century.
Hitler was a Nationalist , true and in this way has something in common with Conservatives as well was 19th century Liberals . The same could be said of the PLO and the IRA ,let us hope we are not blamed for them.He was also a socialist. Gordon Brown with his “Back to basics” socialism and frequent flag waving combines these elements as do his rivals the BNP. His style of politics relies on crisis and his will to power is terrifying . Like Hitler he combines a single minded genius at acquiring power with a childish incompetence at using it . The Nazi state was in fact a shambolic turf war. Like the endlessly replicated quangos he loves .Like Hitler he has a n evil plan to unite Europe … and was quick to turn on the blameless Poles (in the Crewe By Election) in a disgraceful campaign I shall never forget by the way ., something lese he has in common with the old devil
The irritation of a Tpry Boys is not so much at the insult it is that the artist has taken their favorite insult .It is the proprietorial rage of the famer spying tykes on his land . Stalin he could live with but this …this is ours !!

It is in short a major work by a magnificent artist

JuliaM said...

Judging by the shitfit thrown (as expected) by the usual suspects, this chap Sidoli is on to something... ;)

Paul Halsall said...

This is disgusting Iain.

So try this:
Spitting Image 1987: Tory "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReIAna459sg

Anthony Z said...

Your weaselly self-justification makes it worse. At least have the honesty to say that you chose to publish it, you think it's cool, and everyone else can go hang.

If a renowned artist - not available in any galleries, call this number now - presented you with a picture of a porn star in flagrante with David Cameron's face amateurishly photoshopped over the top, would you 'report' on that? Of course you wouldn't, because it would be a childish piece of tat and you would know it.

Everyone chooses what they publish, and to choose it is to take responsibility for it.

Paul Halsall said...

The real problem for you as a "liberal conservative" blogger is that under Cameron Tories have tried to avoid being the Nasty Party.

And above all they have tried to avoid being like the Tea Partiers in the US - who want a religious state, demonise gays, and KEEP SAYING OBAMA IS HITLER.

At a stroke you have demolished this effort.

And if Sidolo is such an important contemporary artist why does his name not appear in the first 49 googles of his name.

The 50th reply is a citation from you.

That's how famous he is.

Newmania said...

For example, Brown is not anti-semitic and hasn't murdered 6,000,000 people.


It is a caricature but many on the left have accused him and Blair of being mass murderers over Iraq .His attack on the shadowy forces of "International Usury" and traditional l;eft wing dislike of Zion are both continuation of long socialists tradition. Of which Hitler was a part.
Margaret Thatcher was frequently attacked in viley misogynist terms and we know from the Mc Bride affair of which Brown ws entirely aware , that there is no mud he will not sling . This seems to me to be rather more thought provoking than the hilarious spitting image accusation that Margaret Thatch had testicles .

Jess The Dog said...

The 'Reign of Error' picture is striking. I'm not an artist but was thinking about something like this earlier, before seeing the image.

There are similarities between Hitler, Blair and Brown.

Hitler mesmerised the German people (to disastrous effect as we know) in the years before the war and many spoke of his magnetic personality. Perhaps like Blair....

After 1941, the tide turned and Hitler shrank into himself, exhibiting indecision and extremes of temper. Perhaps like Brown....

I was thinking of a montage of Hitler, a series of images, Hitler's face merging into Blair on one side (right) and then into Brown on the other (left).

Gratuitously insulting of course, but perhaps a visual reminder that charismatic leadership and over-riding ambition is immensely dangerous and that Hitler was a human rather than some aberration of nature. Someone could come up with some artistic blurb worthy of Private Eye!

Newmania said...

Iain

Truly disgusting - and you know it. It has no place on your blog, you should remove it.

I write not as a "leftie" but as someone with taste!

February 21, 2010 11:27 AM

I notice you took Paddy Briggs side and deleted me the other day. Are you going to delete yourself ?

Neil Ward said...

Well Iain I for one support you REPORTING this as we after all live in a free and democratic society where people are allowed to create and report such pieces of art.

Obviously the left are not pleased but thats nothing new. I do wonder though weather they would react like this if it was Cameron in the firing line.

Clive said...

Nice to see Louis has the courage to publish them on his own website. .

Ah,nope, no images of Brown there. And they look more like Photoshop compositions than Sidoli's usual glass work.

Classing it as reporting rather than endorsing is a bit disingenuous in light of the fact that you chose to publish the images rather than link to them. Oh, but how silly of me, they're not on Sidoli's website are they.

And that "Reign of error" juxtaposition isn't even original. There's a post at http://fifudalur.blog.is/blog/fifudalur/ that includes an image of Brown as Hitler. Just check the October 2008 archive.

Not apoplectic at all, just another example of you defending your poor judgment rather than holding up your hands. Par for the course really.

Clive said...

Oh, and Sidolo isn't a political artist. He's a contemporary glass artist and, unless I'm mistaken, derivative pop-art images of the Rotunda, Madonna and Bob Dylan, done in glass, don't constitute political comment.

Líam said...

People on the Left with no sense of humour SHOCK! This is almost as surprising as learning about the PM being an unstable mentalist.

Water, duck's back, all that, Iain. Nothing to see here, just the bleating of a desperate Labour party with a teaspoon of humour between them.

Robin Horsley said...

Iain,

Are you sure you are not being setup here?

Are you sure it was Sidoli that contacted you?

Is it purely a coincidence that MyDavidCameron has shutdown saying leave the nasty stuff to the right - we are getting out town because we are lovely funny people who do nice satire and the nasty Tories do the ugly stuff?

Hmm.

Old Holborn said...

Should have used Saddam

I believe they have killed roughly equal numbers of innocents in Iraq, both managed 100% turnouts (with postal votes) and have similar views on civil liberties and democracy

Jim_Watford said...

Well the left haven't disappointed, telling others what to do and insulting those they disagree with as usual. As for the picture I think it's both offensive and rubbish but if Iain wants to bring it to our attention then that's his right. Anyway this kind of thing is nothing new, didn't George Bush get the same treatment? I don't remember the left jumping up and down about it.

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/4584/sameshit5620698.jpg

Ian said...

Iain - I would have respected a defence that was something like, "It's a joke, get over it". But your "update" is wince-makingly disingenuous. There are plenty of nutjob "artists" doing all sorts of crazy stuff on the web - this example isn't "news" that demands to be "reported". You chose it because it amused you. Further, you don't refer to the work - and post examples of it - with anything other than approval. That's OK, but just be honest about it! Please don't then say you "disapprove" of this stuff. Finally, it's such a puerile excuse to say "Well LEFTIES did it, so WHY CAN'T WE?".

Chris said...

Actually I'm wondering if we are not seeing what I would describe as either the Dan Brown or Rushdie effect. Where particularly in the case of Dan Brown, perhaps not in the case of Rushdie, a unknown and rather run of the mill artist seeks publicity by producing what they know will be a controversal piece of what barely can be described as art?

Twig said...

This seems to have hit a raw nerve with Brown's supporters.

More of the same please.

HeadsonPoles said...

I liked it.
I hate the left.
They don't like it up 'em.
Tough.
Carry on, that is all....

Tom Harris said...

Iain Dale at 11.17 am: "What a pity it is that a Member of Parliament, and many other people commenting here, seem to be unable to distinguish between reporting and endorsing.:

Iain Dale in the original post: "Louis Sidoli has a website featuring more of his work HERE."

Hmm.

Iain Dale said...

Truly desperate stuff Tom. You and I both link to sites every day we might not agree with or endorse.

The Lakelander said...

Actually, I think Gordon Brown looks more like Susan Boyle than Adolf Hitler.

DespairingLiberal said...

Tom is right. It's hardly just an unendorsed link is it Iain? More like a full-page ad.

I don't get and never have got this aspect of what you do. You are a clever, well-informed and generally fairly centre-right journalist. Yet this kind of thing paints a distorted picture of you.

Is this just student-politics high-jinking, or do you genuinely have sympathy with extremist smearing? If the latter, why do you continue to protest? If the former, why not just say "oops" and try not to descend into the gutter quite so much? Leave the student politics to the students...

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

No doubt you are also merely reporting that someone called Paul Flynn has a book out. In no way should this be taken as an endorsement. Who dear? Me dear? No dear.

Rabid Racoon said...

I liked it, it works because it is so obviously shocking... its like post-godwin, the comparisson is so obvious that nobody says it and then BAM he went there.
The caption also softens the comparisson - its not like it says Brown comitted genocide it just says that he is so incompetent that he couldn't even manage to kill an ants nest

Stuart said...

Just another idiot who thinks he knows better than everyone else, trying to inflict his views upon the rest with frankly offensive images. This cannot be compared in anyway to the David Cameron spoofs and is a sad indictment of some of the people that have an influence in our country.

Lord Lavendon said...

Hmmm, how would some of the people here have coped with 18 century politics?

The satire there was even worse than some of the people protesting about this one. There was one well know cartoon in which Charles Fox birches William Pitt, whilst his supporters urinate into a pan stirred by the devil. Imagine how people would react if this was Brown and Cameron?

Perhaps some people need to get over the Victorian ? Also perhaps the left need to be reminded of the satire of the 1980s- on Spitting Image thatcher and the tories were often put into nazi uniforms. Just look at you tube in you don't believe me.

So not quite sure why people are being so 'prudish' here. All this is - however offensive- is political satire. Which has been part of british politics for at least 250 plus years.

Jimmy said...

"I know very little about art, I freely admit..."


...but you know what you like.

The Purpleline said...

Iain the artist is simply wrong to compare Brown to Hitler, I prefer to use the picture of Stalin and Mandelson as Geobels.

These give a true reflection of their politics and actions.

Compared to Brown Hitler was sainted for his economic performance, creating the Volkswagen, the first Motorway, saving a country from financial ruin to prosperity.

Ok he may have had a hang up with Jews, but when you see Israels Mossad at work one wonders if the strategy was wrong, he should have just stopped their progress not killed them, if he had simply banished jews from Germany and conquered lands he would have gone down positively in history and might have won the war.

It would most certainly have stopped the Jews holding such power over us at the BBC,Press and all government policies.

Rob said...

Iain,
You make this rubbish ten times worse by insisting you're just reporting news. Your site isn't a 24 hour rolling channel, you pick and choose what you put on here very carefully. You have been known not to post at all on headline news when it favours the left. Please don't justify your choices with "I'm just a reporter", as everyone knows that's a nonsense. This is beneath you.

hesspartacus said...

I'm mildly annoyed, Iain, but a nice wedge of twenties (not too skinny, mind) in a brown envelope should keep my lawyers from looking you up.

Oh, and Mr. Sidoli's contact details in the same package would naturally soften the financial blow.

Still, at least you got the Fabians in a foam-flecked ferment.

(How's that for alliteration?)

Have a nice Sunday.

Little Black Sambo said...

Boo-hoo, we don't like the tone of this blog. Stop upsetting us. Boo-hoo!

Nigel said...

Art - fail.
Satire - fail.
Choice of story to report - fail.

This was Jimmy level stuff.

Sorry, Iain, you usually do better than this.

Neil said...

The work is not original, and the "political" comment that accompanies it is simple.

Perhaps you should have commented further than saying something childish about lefties.

Do you agree with the Louis or not? Do you think the work is good and/or appropriate?

(And Louis: Harrods is not an art gallery.)

Christopher said...

I can remember comparing the Tories to Nazis. That was in the early 1980s and I was about 12.

The Grim Reaper said...

I'm full of praise for you today, Iain. I think political art like this is something you should include more on the blog - there's a hell of a lot of it doing the rounds.

We all enjoyed taking the piss out of Call Me Dave when his ridiculous poster was released, but the moment anyone dares to have a pop at the Prime Mentalist, it's suddenly out of order according to some people.

I don't think you're comparing Broon with Hitler, personally. After all, I've studied History and can find no newspaper reports saying that Hitler used to throw things at his staff or assault them...

Unsworth said...

Great. The lefty tossers don't like it. That in itself is sufficient endorsement for me. They're quite happy to use the old 'Tory Toffs' epithets - amongst many others. They're very happy to watch Spitting Image puppets portraying Thatcher as Hitler etc. But they don't like this stuff?

Anyway, who the hell do they think they are? They don't like what's posted here? Well, they certainly don't have to be here, do they?

Even for an MP, Harris shows an interesting naivety. Perhaps he ought to grow up a bit before the next election. Is he standing again or is he one of the scores who are 'standing down' complete with large pension and sundry other benefits? His voting record tells you quite a lot:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/tom_harris/glasgow_south
I'd suggest that his comments here are yet another manifestation of the old Left Wing control-freakery.

Of course there's always the Off button, isn't there?

tory boys never grow up said...

Newmania

I have not accused Conservatives, as such, as being racists. It is perfectly possible to be a Conservative without being a racist. Some people who are Conservatives are racist and a greater number take nationalism too far - and I will point this out when it happens but I don't believe these to be universal afflictions among Conservatives.

On more that one occasion I have defended Cameron, often from members of his own party, when he has taken a stance against racism.

As for Mr Dale I notice that artist has now been downgraded from "renowned" to "reasonably well known" - we should reach "rubbish" eventually.

Right Hon. said...

This sort of tawdry blog post is counter-productive. Committed Conservatives will approve or try to defend it or shrug it off. The uncommitted (like me) will probably find it distasteful and will elicit some sympathy for Brown and wonder about the integrity of the people who promote this type of pseudo-intellectual tripe.

scotch said...

BBD's pic was funny, insightful, satirical, relevant and did I mention funny?
Iain, you change your position like you're sitting on a box of crabs.

And by the way folks, Iain never deletes posts. Or comments. Oh no.

David Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas said...

Ah gee. My first ever deleted post. I dont swear and I dont insult. I either agree, disagree or question.

Which one was too close to the bone for you Mr Dale?

Iain Dale said...

I havent deleted any comments on this thread from you.

scotch said...

Ahh... smell that? That's serindipity that is. Feel free to bask in it.

The Grim Reaper said...

I don't think Iain's ever deleted any of my comments. He did refuse to publish one, probably on the grounds he could get into some legal trouble if he had done. Which was fair enough. Those of you complaining about the moderating, kindly shut up.

I'm still waiting for someone to post a comment explaining why this is so seemingly offensive. Perhaps let them dry the foam off their mouths first.

Vienna Woods said...

Why is everyone so serious! Lighten up!

Oh, and by the way, It was barely a month ago that the Pre-Budget report enlightened us that Pensioners would still receive an increase in state pensions this year in contrast to other benefits which would be frozen. Days later it was revealed that our beloved Führer had lied again and had frozen SERPS (Graduated Pensions) for 10,000,000 pensioners. Who but a Stalinist dictator would treat his own people like this!

der Herr ist ein Trottel!

DiscoveredJoys said...

My only criticism of the artwork (tasteless and offensive as it is to some) is the 'Reign of Error' tag.

I do wonder if the deliberately lax immigration rules, the ducking of manifesto pledges, the tax credit bureaucracy, the throttling of private pensions, id cards, the underfunded foreign military action, and yes, even the unchecked boom leading to financial control of major banks are all part of a cunning plan to build a client state.

No error just control freakery.

Not Adolf, just Baldrick.

Jimmy said...

"I didn't approve of people on the left comparing Margaret Thatcher to Hitler and nor do I approve of others doing the same thing."

Does that mean that the article that appeared the other day under your name comparing John Denham to Hitler was the work of a hacker?

p.s. Nigel, that was uncalled for.

Iain Dale said...

Jimmy, I said Denhams abolition of elections was Mugabe-esque. I did not compare him to Hitler.

scotch said...

OK Iain: as you've been kind enough to reply to my email to you, I will try to repeat my comment that didn't get published. Mysteriously.

"Smell that folks? That's the smell of serendipity. Feel free to bask."

I think it was funnier the first time.
What do you think?

Paul Halsall said...

Iain,

I would not expect you to delete comments, as one post hardly defines you.

Labour politicians risk being compared to Stalin (as Brown is in Private Eye). Right-wing ones risk being compared to fascists. Most of us understand that such comparisons within the context of UK politics are hyperbole at best, just nasty at worst. And sometimes (as in P.E.. it can be funny).

But, while no doubt Brown shows stress sometimes, he has been PM for 2.5 years now and he has not acted like Hitler; nor, despite an apparent loneliness, has he gone insane.

I think it fine to post anything as a parody and, why not, just to prickle the opposition.

But this post went a bit far. That's all.

Iain Dale said...

Clearly you can't see very well, as the comment was published.

I don't publish each comment individually as I am not permanently by my computer, strange though it may seem. So some comments are published all at the same time in a block.

If some of your friends and allies weren't so irreponsible I wouldnt have to moderate at all, of course.

Just sayin'

scotch said...

What?
Please could you define the makeup of these "friends and allies" so I have a clue what you're talking about?
That was a strange reply, Iain.

Jimmy said...

My apologies Iain, I was mixing your Mugabe comparison with the Hitler comparison of one of your commenters. Clearly my suggestion of an inappropriate and hysterical comparison was well wide of the mark.

tory boys never grow up said...

Grim Reaper

The simple reason why comparisons of democratic politicians to the likes of Hitler and Stalin is so offensive is because whatever their weaknesses they do not set up concentration camps or gulags, and are they are the best protection against their reoccurrence. Perhaps the best way not to insult those who were murdered in the concentration camps and gulags is demonstrate a little bit of intelligent thought about how it happened in the first place.

As for Gordon Brown I think you will find that he is not over worried by such negative campaigning - as he is probably be more than aware that it will do little to convince floating voters (although perhaps some of his MPs forget this from time to time)

PS has anyone else noticed how Tory bloggers have become much nastier since Chairman Pickle's blogfest?

Allan said...

Seems to be a rip-off of an old SSP poster (with images of Thatch morphing into Blair) to me.

Tisk tisk... poor taste, terrible comparisons... would your artist like a shovel or something larger to get themselves out of the hole they have dug?

Twig said...

@tory boys

Based on Gordon's reluctance to give the voters a say on Lisbon, the fact that he bullied his way to the leadership without a vote, their record on postal vote fraud and the appointment of placemen like Mandelson and Sugar I think the term "democratic politicians" is possibly a little on the generous side.

King Athelstan said...

Don't remember all this fuss about the "Downfall" videos.

Vienna Woods said...

Words and, for that matter pictures too, never hurt anyone, but bloody missiles do!

I would reckon that a Nokia thrown by that bad tempered maniac, could have caused serious injury if an unwitting person moved into its flight path.

Having had a school friend seriously injured by a lunatic teacher throwing a wooden board duster at another pupil (many years ago!) I am rather apprehensive about quick tempered people in enclosed spaces. For a Prime Minister to be engaged in that sort of behaviour is disgraceful.

Sandra said...

OBAMA and Bernanke are featured in a movie-- about greedy hedge funds called "Stock Shock." Even though the movie mostly focuses on Sirius XM stock being naked short sold nearly into bankruptcy (5 cents/share), I liked it because it exposes the dark side of Wall Street and revealed some of their secrets. DVD is everywhere but cheaper at www.stockshockmovie.com

Newmania said...

T Boy Said -It is perfectly possible to be a Conservative without being a racist. Some people who are Conservatives are racist and a greater number take nationalism too far - and I will point this out when it happens but I don't believe these to be universal afflictions among Conservatives....


Really :
Labour voters who say the BNP is their second choice - 35%
Conservatives who would vote for the BNP... virtually none

So I think I can do without your faint praise and incidentally Fascist was an Italian idiom for Trade Union or collective.
Brown may not be Hitler yet but then Mussolini was so popular into the 30s that the original version of "You're the tops" included this verse which was later dropped

Your the Tops
You`re the great Houdini
You`re the tops
You are Mussolini


Do you really think it is impossible that Brown could become a dictator if no-one stopped him ? Do you really ?Luckily we do not have to find out.

DiscoveredJoys said...

Looking at the picture of Gordon with the Hitler hair-cut again I reckon that there is a greater similarity with Tony Hancock.

A comparison between Brown and the character played by Tony Hancock seems much more enlightening.

If you read the Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Hancock you'll pick out many similarites....

But I offer:
Bill Kerr - Alistair Darling
Sid James - Alan Sugar
Mandleson - Kenneth Williams
Harriet Harman - Hattie Jacques

In the end Tony Hancock fell out with everybody.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Geraldine Dreadful is right.

All these people telling you what to do, Iain.

They don't like the Hitler job, but no-one has complained about the "psychologically-flawed" job, have they?

So, that's all right then!

A Cloaked Figure said...

I've read through a few comments and have come to the conclusion that if the right and wrong of this are based on whether Iain was endorsing or merely reporting it, then only Iain knows if this is a 'justifiable' post or not. As long as he knows in his own mind that he is simply 'reporting' the existence of this artwork then I don't see what all the fuss is about.

They are negative but I think some comments here are more negative and have gone a bit aboard about it.

Calm down.

But what if Iain did post it because he liked it and saw it as an electioneering tool. Is that wrong? I'm not sure. It may not be the best piece of satirical art you'll ever set your eyes on but not all people appreciate the same works of art equally.
I don't think I'm offended by this whichever was the reason. Does that make me a bad person? I find it hard to get angry about some things, and this is one of them.

You might think I'm not offended because I'm tory leaning. But I don't think I would be'offended'if the same had been done to Cameron's image. I believe Iain is being honest when he says he is simply reporting it.

Gordon Brown isn't Hitler. The creation or publishing of an image like this doesn't make Brown a leader who has caused the death of millions. The image won't affect the opinions people already have.

And when people talk of the 'nasty party'. In the nasty party stakes; for me, Labour wins hands down, even though I hated the tories in the 80s. The 'nasty party' tag has been ressurected by the left because that's almost all they have left to fight with. Repeat a lie enough times and people may start to believe its true.

tory boys never grow up said...

Newmania

I'll lay off the faint praise if you lay off putting words in my mouth.

PoliticalHack said...

Just because someone claims it to be art does not make it so. Just because you claim to report a fact does not make it anything other than a biased and deeply unpleasant comparison. Gordon Brown is not comparable to Hitler and this post is beneath you.

Good to see that the Tories really meant it when they promised an end to Punch & Judy politics.

Mike Law said...

Iain,

I'm a bit late with this, but I suggest that many of those who have commented here should read "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg.

Billy Blofeld said...

Check out this quote from Hitler in 1927.

If it hadn't been Adolf who said those words, Gordon couldn't have hoped for a better warm up act before jumping on stage to try and sell us his Tobin Tax.

................................. said...

Another similarity with Hitler is that his opponents didn't want to kill him off.

Operation Foxley, the SOE's plan to assassinate Hitler in 1944, was never carried out. The reason? His rash behaviour and bad decision-making was an asset to the Allies in the war, and getting rid of him would have made Germany's defeat more difficult.

So you can see the similarities with the Tories' approach to Brown.

angrysoba said...

Ho ho!

Gordon Brown as Hitler is very funny, but...

I'm so much funnier!

Jack Maturin said...

Hi Iain,

Your poor leftie readers really don't like it up 'em, do they? They really don't get it that Hitler was a socialist.

Or perhaps they do, unconsciously, and they can't bear the realisation that this socialist, vegetarian, environmentalist, anti-smoking nut was one of their own.

BTW, there's a great Downfall video, based on Brown, here:

=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbgwR1pA1k0

Or did Hitler travel through a crazy time machine to the Bunker at Downing Street, to base his own Berlin Bunker on the one currently behind the gates in Downing Street?

Rgds,
JackM

PS> BTW, the next time one of them mentions "Godwin's Law", ask them to show you a copy of the contract you signed agreeing to follow its provisions.

North Briton 45 said...

From a very deep trough, this is without doubt the most appalling blog you have ever posted. You should be ashamed.

OldSlaughter said...

At least Hitler made a proper crack at getting his army properly supplied.

Only kidding.

I thought the work was valid. It raised an important philosophical question regarding the morality of motivation compared to the morality of outcome.

The point of 'error' being that it was unintended. I do not consider the work as comparing Hitler's beliefs with Browns.

For any Labour person to complain on any level about personal abuse is frankly a joke after the non-stop personal hate politics they have maintained for years and years. Half their reasoning is based around the self-righteous belief that they are somehow the heroes against the villainous Tories who presumably are only doing this for the blood of virgins or somesuch.

This does raise a related point which bugs me. Communism has killed many many more people than Nazism or even all fascism. Yet your job prospects in this country are almost non-existent if you are a confirmed ex-fascist, yet if you are an ex-communist you are free to land half the high-powered jobs in the land.

Please explain to me, Tom Harris in particular, why folks are not so apoplectic when Brown is compared to Stalin every two weeks in Private Eye?

BTW Iain, the 'I was just reporting it' line is a bit shoddy. Especially as you reprinted the images. Sounds a bit like 'I was only following orders'... opps, Godwin's again.

Stefan said...

Gordon Brown is guilty of a Reign of Error. He and his comrades have changed this country beyond recognition without a proper mandate to do so. His financial incompetence has plunged future generations of this country into debt that is beyond comprehension or precedence. I find it most entertaining when the lefties get indignant at having their own type of spin turned against them. Keep up the good work Iain, Brown and his incompetent bullying comrades deserves all the opprobrium that can be heaped upon them.

douglas_bebb said...

hey I love the way you've hitlered Gordon Brown, we've hitlered David Cameron too.

Cameron's Downfall

Unsworth said...

@ douglas beeb

Ah, the sincerest form of flattery - but proving that art can indeed imitate art.

PP said...

"I have reported the fact that a reasonably well known artist has created a bit of controversial political art. The key word here is 'reported'."

No, you published them. You can't weasel out of it like that. You didn't provide a link. You included them.

I haven't got a huge problem with the images, but you can't wash your hands of the moral implications of including them.