At the end of December I wrote a piece on the decision by British Artist Patrick Brill aka Bob and Roberta Smith to stand in the General Election in Surrey Heath, welcoming his inclusion in the process and the debate.
Since then I’ve been following him on twitter to see some of the campaign artwork that he’s been producing and reading comments on his visits to Camberley.
20th January was Democracy Day and I saw a great tweet from Patrick giving a number of reasons why it’s important to vote, and providing a link to the Government web site where you can sign up to get on the electoral register if you are not already.
I happily retweeted this myself as it’s something I’ve been trying to impress upon people for a long time (I’ll write something more on this for another blog post).
However, a few minutes later I spotted this tweet from Patrick to his friend @rustyrockets – aka Russell Brand – asking people to vote to stop UKIP.
The irony of this was lost a Green councillor who happily retweeted Patrick’s anti-UKIP blast. Only when I pointed out the incongruous nature of the text in the tweet with the sentiments in the painting did she note that “the artwork was more positive than the tweet”.
So, first thought is whether Patrick is truly pro-democracy or just pro- his own version of democracy? Secondly, given that 33% of voters in Surrey Heath supported UKIP at the Euro elections last May, alienating one third of your potential voter base at the start of the campaign seems a bit short-sighted.
Anyway, I’m sure we’ll see and learn more from Bob & Roberta Smith as the campaign progresses.