Banished to the Land of Sorrows?

Excellent choice of winner of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’s Hugh Casson drawing prize, called Iraq triptych, showing Tony & Cherie Blair outside No.10 posed as Adam and Eve; not that I’ve seen the competition. The drawing is based on images of the banishment from the Garden of Eden, so it’s appropriate Tony is naked outside the cosy comforts of No.10, presumably banished by the electorate, and exposed by the media, amidst the carnage his thinking has brought about. I think it’s both well conceived and beautifully realised, what with the deflated, stern Tony and the wrought expression of Cherie.

There’s an implicit association between democracy (as it’s currently conceived) and God, for me, the implicit question about the limits and imperfections of democracy. As the 1932 election in Germany and the 2000 election in USA testify, democracy doesn’t work perfectly in practice; despite some of, if not the, largest protests in November 2002 and February/March 2003, the people’s voice displayed on the streets of London fell on deaf ears. The sooner voters can vote on issues rather than political parties the better, and this will be a move that’ll presumably be facilitated by the internet. As will, I hope, more systemic forms of policy definition.

I also wonder how prescient the award-winning picture will be. Will Tony and Cherie’s future be equivalent to Adam and Eve’s on the other side of Eden, I wonder, banished to the land of sorrows? Somehow I doubt it. Blair’s farewell tour, emitting over 700 tonnes of carbon emmissions, footed by the UK taxpayer, has presumably been arranged partly to bolster his post-Downing Street prospects. It’s good that conversational pathways between the post of PM and other countries’ leaders are maintained, but I can’t help feeling the tour to be a self-centred exercise designed to underline how much everybody will miss Blair when he’s gone. Then again, maybe he’s sharing out handy hints on how to overlook the Slick Wedge of Style that’s presented by Gordon.

(I wonder what kind of conversational dynamics will be occurring at the G8 summit this week, what with Bush’s declaration that the US will do something about global warming – but with non-Kyoto Protocol countries – and Putin’s declaration that he’ll aim missiles at Europe if the US puts missiles in Poland. Hmm, what will it do for Blair’s – and everybody else’s – future? I wonder.)

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