White Power, Political Correctness and Black Free-Thinkers

I recently had an interesting discussion on race and political correctness with a black friend I shall describe as a political agnostic. A successful banker by day, he called me to complain about a black work colleague who, when recently stopped by a white traffic cop for breaking a driving rule in London, had promptly whipped out the race card: ‘Why did you stop me? Is it because you saw a black man driving an expensive car?’

Weaponising victimhood

Trevor Phillips once said to me – only half joking – that newspapers should have identity correspondents, just as they have economics or environment correspondents. Certainly there appears to be an inexhaustible appetite on the part of media outlets for stories that focus on social divisions, real or imagined. Usually these are framed as moral parables featuring virtuous victims, usually female, ethnic minority or gay, and contemptible wrong-doers who are male, white or straight. Sometimes the perpetrator is institutional – often, as with the Windrush generation controversy, the British state itself.

Portraits of our mothers

Over a number of years, the artist, Franklyn Rodgers, photographed his mother Loretta and her close circle of friends, building up an extraordinary series of large-scale portraits. The size and grandiosity of the works combine with a remarkable intimacy, achieved by the artist’s close relationships with these women.

Artists4Brexit: Response to Matthew Parris

It has long been a curatorial fantasy of mine to organise a re-staging of a boxing match that took place in 1972 between the German artist Joseph Beuys, regarded as a giant of modern art, with a local art student of his.