A conference season fantasy about the Bristolian graffiti artist from the Borkowski poet in residence, whose will to live has been worn to breaking point whilst watching the political shenanigans and posturing from Brighton and Manchester.
If Banksy were Prime Minister
and policy ran on stunts
that were cleverer than baby kissing
and opening up new fronts
in an endless war on terror
to keep the people afraid
and only voting for the men
who started the crusade
the world would be a happier place,
happier and more surreal.
The proverbial elephant in the room
would suddenly become real.
Painted in the brightest red
like a loud wallpaper design,
it would trample wrath, like grapes,
into a vintage wine
and trumpet out new policy
as it ploughed a fresh political field.
Isn’t it time to see what crop
such ballyhoo might yield?
Political speeches could be sprayed
on the walls of every street
and voters could tag responses
in a torrent, in a sleet,
turning the political process
into an actual art.
Such democracy might lack substance
but it would at least have heart.
Banksy would bring to politics
a better class of spin.
He’d be on the streets and active,
not in Whitehall sipping gin.
and although a PM whose identity
is kept secret at all times
would unnerve the general populace,
he’d at least avoid the crimes
of personality politics
and stolid under-achieving.
Politics should be faceless,
should be about giving, not receiving.
If Banksy were Prime Minister,
even conference would be fun.
There’d be no MPs looking
to plant a smoking gun
or bickering interminably
about what the country wants –
all the delegates would be learning that
by staying in graffiti artist’s haunts.
It’s doubtful Banksy’d take the job –
it involves too much compromise –
but it doesn’t hurt to wish he would
and gently fantasise
about a world where Gordon Brown
could dethrone Mr. Blair
with just a spray can and a stencil
of Tony dressed as Yogi Bear.
A world where palaces house the homeless
and policemen all wear pink,
where bombs are filled with flour
and tanks learn how to think,
where empty promises are stuffed
with miles and miles of tissue
and celebrities are forced out of doors
to sell copies of the Big Issue,
where freedom is unlimited,
and everyone plays their part
while the whole of the old guard blanches
then departs quickly in a cart.