If this Banksy picture scared anyone it must be because the pigeons’ views are just too close to real opinions in the air – the satire is so accurate that it can be mistaken for reality.
InClacton-on-Sea – where Tory defector Douglas Carswell is about to fight a byelection for his new party Ukip – after getting a complaint that it was “offensive and racist”. Was it?
Not in a million years. This is the best Banksy I have never seen: a clever and succinct satire on some currents of feeling in contemporary Britain, terrified of “migrants”, menaced by otherness. Far from being by any stretch of the imagination “racist”, it is – was – a witty putdown of the drab, dour vision of Britain touted by those who would push down diversity and hold back the tide of modern human movement.
A grumpy gang of grey pigeons aim their outrage at a beautiful green migratory swallow. “Migrants not welcome”, say their placards: “Go back to Africa”; “Keep off our worms.”
Did a member of the public really see these banners and take offence? If so, they misunderstood what is quite plainly an eloquent attack on racism.