Politics and Image – Labour’s Emily Thornberry

Other, Photography, Politics

I woke up today to realise that perhaps politics is not all politics after all, fine I didn’t only just realise that but it’ll do as an opening. Anyway, Labour Shadow Cabinet MP Emily Thornberry has now resigned after making an idiotic mistake, Twitter. The fact that she posted an image entitled ‘image from Rochester’ including a white van and three England flags was met by many with offence.

This is the first incident I know of whereby a neutral image, even a patriotic one, taken by an old person, has been met with such moronic idiocy. I respect your opinion but when your opinion concerns reading ironic connotation from a picture and then accusing a whole political party of snobbery then come on.

Is a high ranking member of a party with a working class history going to, in election season, post a condescending image about a demographic on Twitter? Really? It wasn’t an accident, those aren’t her boobs she accidentally posted, it was in all logic a sincere post of respect. If it were derogatory in aim then surely she’d have been expecting people to respond with sneering tweets about people with vans who fly flags. To read into it in such an aggressive manner, with no respect for logic, replacing the world we live in with an ironic fiction whereby left-wing politicians hate anyone with a national identity is pure hypocrisy.

The fact that you can take such connotations from the image indicates that you must indeed be prejudiced in some way too. To read everything as a joke, whether it’s a good one or not is the trait of a comedian, and you’re the one making the joke here. You’re the one who is reading the implication because of what you know about England flags and white vans. To say that someone’s original intention was offensive is to state that you recognise a joke about working class patriotism in that photo, even if it isn’t there. And no, you can’t hypothetically compare that argument to recognising a picture of Hitler on a Neo-Nazi Twitter feed as offensive, because that picture is openly offensive, while this one was apparently covert, and you can see that.

My point, my overriding point, is that you’re reinforcing the stereotypes you ‘hate’ by calling a picture of a white van offensive. You’re aligning with the viewpoint you think miss Thornberry has and then going ‘hah! That’s offensive actually even if I was thinking it too!’ It’s a new turn in image politics, that is indicative of just how far gone the mentality of the online presence is. Not everything is a joke, not everyone is a tit and not everyone understands ironic postmodernism. So grow up. Yes you. Unless you agree, in which case vote for me in the next general election.

Also, check out this racist sunset.


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