Edel Assanti organises photography exhibitions and events, such as London Gallery Weekend, in London and throughout the UK.
Established in London, the gallery works with international artists whose practices engage with the social, cultural or political realities of the moment in which they live. Our artists’ tendency towards interdisciplinary, research-led work demonstrates how artists are uniquely positioned to witness and distill the complex, ambiguous narratives that define our era. Our programme aspires to provide more than a generational context, creating a foundation from which artists are able to address these questions in an open and uncompromising forum.
Politics of the Dancefloor
In the UK people from the free party scene were often referred to as crusties, & some – trustafarians.
A friend, not now around, was in with the Hekate Sound System:
At times, the overlap between music & dissent was real.
I’ve been on some of the recent anti-lockdown protests.
Being illegal, just by listening to music in a group, is very early 90’s.
Once again we are blessed with corrupt Tory government.
And history that doesn’t repeat – but rhymes.
Criminalising gatherings & loud music simply forced promoters to commercialise.
‘Right Wing’ Cheesy Quavers
In the late 80’s Paul Staines of the very right wing Guido Fawkes blog associated with Tony Colston-Hayter, whom the Sun dubbed “Acid’s Mr Big”.
The following is an excerpt from the Guardian:
He (Colston-Hayter) also hired a bullish young publicist. Paul Staines had first met Colston-Hayter a few years earlier at a national video game tournament. A libertarian Conservative at university, he went on to work for former Thatcher advisor David Hart. “I was a fanatical, zealot anti-communist,” he told Collin. “I wasn’t really a Tory, I was an anarcho-capitalist.”
Staines found a new calling after he took his first E at one of Colston-Hayter’s Apocalypse Now parties. “It was pure MDMA, and I was so out of it, so in love with everybody,” said Staines who is now better known as the less loved-up political blogger Guido Fawkes.
As Sunrise and other big rave organisations flourished, moral panic ensued, with the Sun infamously claiming that ecstasy-addled ravers bit the heads off pigeons. (“How did they catch the pigeons?” retorted Colston-Hayter during a TV interview.) The police formed the Pay Party Unit, a new squad dedicated to clamping down hard on unlicensed parties. Some members of the government were dismayed that their opponents weren’t pierced-and-dreadlocked outsiders but well-spoken rightwing entrepreneurs who stashed their profits in an offshore tax haven. A baffled Home Office official once screamed at Staines: “You’re a rightwing Tory, why are you doing this?”
The Sunrise duo attempted to preempt a legislative crackdown by launching the Freedom to Party campaign at the 1989 Conservative conference in Blackpool. They presented themselves as innovative free-market mavericks, catering to a booming demand for all-night parties that couldn’t be met under existing licensing laws. “Maggie should be proud of us, we’re a product of enterprise culture,” said Colston-Hayter. However, Staines also liked to compare himself to Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and 60s Yippie Jerry Rubin, and Colston-Hayter wasn’t averse to stunts. During a late-night talkshow appearance, he handcuffed himself to an unamused Jonathan Ross and threw a glass of water over critic Paul Morley.
Two right wrong’ans
Now the lockdown sceptics are generally also Brexiteers.
At anti-lockdown events there is a noticeable, but far from overwhelming, far right presence.
Mostly identifiable by England flags and shouts of “Freedom”.
The far-right have no choice but to recruit at these events, where there is adequate opportunity for people to explore different versions of history.
It simply wouldn’t be freedom if they weren’t there.
Racists against Lockdowns
Just as dangerous is the idea that only racists are against the lockdown.
Take-up of the vaccine in “ethnic minorities”, my brown self included, has, due to scepticism, been lower than the government would prefer.
I have no trust in the NHS whatsoever. It is an unaccountable organisation.
Where the truth goes to die.
Neglect was high and scrutiny low well before the pandemic.
As mentioned previously on this site, Covid is the single greatest driver of digital health adoption in history.
This will lead to far more data sharing but less actual care or attention to patients’s needs.
Genomics / Eugenics
The following article appeared in last Sunday’s news. It looks like the Government are lying about public support for genomics in order to bring in Eugenics.
The same has been done with accurate GM food labelling in supermarkets.
Many people would prefer to know if genetically engineered components have been added to their food.
But the Supermarkets and Government have other ideas.
We are being readied for Biometric ID Cards, mandatory Genome Sequencing, Vaccine Passports, and Open Banking-style Surveillance Capitalism.
Austerity & Basic Income with conditions at the bottom of the pile, and bottomless QE, banking bailouts, and bonuses at the top.
KLF – Creative Destruction
Scouse artist and tune maker Jimmy Cauty of KLF fame is currently selling Chris Whitty Collages
Cauty presciently launched his Riot in a Jam Jar exhibition just weeks before the 2011 London riots.
Here’s Cauty envisaging the execution of former Lib Dem leader and deputy PM, current head of PR for Facebook, Nick Clegg.
I particularly like the Tyburn2 reference next to the CLEGG WANTED sign.
This is the KLF appearance at the Brit Awards in 1992, when they were making rather a lot of money, before they burned a million pounds, but apparently not particularly happy :
KLF biographer John Higgs on the 1994 burning of the million pounds:
Taken from Wikipedia:
The word was apparently coined in French in 1719 to describe speculators in the Mississippi Bubble who earned millions of livres in weeks before the bubble burst. (The standard French spelling is now millionnaire, though the earliest reference uses a single n.) The word was first used (as millionnaire, double "n") in French in 1719 by Steven Fentiman, and is first recorded in English (millionaire, as a French term) in a letter of Lord Byron of 1816, then in print in Vivian Grey, a novel of 1826 by Benjamin Disraeli. Earlier English writers also mention the French word, including Sir William Mildmay in 1764. The OED's first print citation is Benjamin Disraeli's 1826 novel Vivian Grey, The anglicisationmillionary was used in 1786 by Thomas Jefferson while serving as Minister to France; he wrote: "The poorest labourer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest Millionary".
The cycle of creation and destruction.
Were the KLF musical crypto-monetarists disguised as dystopian doomsters or, conversely, were they the world’s leading lefties shining a light on the lunacy of fighting inflation by attacking the money supply?
And didn’t the Bank of England already destroy billions of pounds for its own reasons?
Was Shiva, God of Destruction, a monetarist? I wouldn’t want to owe him cash.
Was Jezebel the Spirit of Destruction?
Speaking of two right wrong’ans at the Tory Conference back in 2011.
Boris was asleep at the wheel when the riots occurred, the phone hacking revelations were taking effect, and the head of the Met was forced to resign for taking bungs off operators within the Murdoch orbit.
Boris hardly even hiding that he is following City of London / MI6 / One World Government orders.
Don’t call it a comeback – more of the same thin prescient gruel . . .