Sunday, May 02, 2010

another place, another face

Gordon Brown calling a bigot a bigot got him labelled as a hypocrite, someone who'll pretend to like what the voter likes when really he thinks something else. Maybe he's been coached by a certain Conservative candidate.

Several years ago I wrote about Another Place, Antony Gormley's installation of lifesize iron statues on Crosby beach in north Liverpool. It's a beautiful, evocative and unpretentious piece of public art.

It's become an iconic image for the area, and indeed the whole city.

The statues stand in the constituency of Sefton Central. The website of their Conservative candidate, the TV shopping channel presenter Debi Jones, has a picture of the statues as the banner on her home page.

Up till now, as her website makes clear, Jones has been a councillor in the area. In that capacity she was one of the most vociferous campaigners - there wasn't much competition - against the Gormley statues as, apparently, they might be a danger to shipping, or people might run out to the further ones and drown. Her old website contained allegations that the mainstream media were deliberately ignoring stories of the dangers.

It would have been merely funny. But Jones who, like the Gormley statues, has a haunting and almost human appearance, got herself on to the Planning Committee of Sefton council and tabled a successful motion to get the statues removed.

After the ensuing outcry and concerted campaign, five months later Jones was moved from the planning committee and within a week they'd voted to keep the statues.

Four years on, everyone loves them and they're part of the cultural and physical landscape, part of the area's identity. So Jones, the statues' greatest opponent, uses their image to cosy up to your vote. If only she'd cosy up to an actual statue with an incoming tide.

1 comment:

merrick said...

There's some inference in that BBC report that the defacing of her posters might be somewhat unsavoury and personal. Mind you, when someone has the scale of vanity to have Jones' level of plastic surgery, it seems only fair to give them a swipe for it.

It's hilarious that her opponents report no similar attacks. Shame they try to make out nobody likes this sort of thing. There's a Facebook group dedicated to Vandalised Conservative Billboards - it's happening all over the country and clearly lots of people love it.

In the last election, the husband of Jones' opponent, outgoing sticky-fingered hyper-expenses Labour MP Claire Curtis-Thomas, got convicted of defacing Jones' posters.

Almost enough to make you like Curtis-Thomas. Almost.