Austerity Nostalgia Watch
Wow. These are worth a whole Zizek book in themselves, for their remarkable ideological sleight of hand. These new police posters, based of course on Keep Calm and Carry On, play with the clichés of an aggressive, obnoxious police force which thankfully endure in a country which surely has more abusive terms for the standing army than most. Then, underneath, is the pun, the pay-off, in small print, reminding us that really the police force are all about helping old ladies across the road: 'the police now pledge to listen...' The truth, of course, is in large print, given the recent suspension of Habeas Corpus. So while this ironic gesture claims to play with the brutally state-protecting image of the Police, it also says, very loudly (even more so than these Stasiesque incitements to vigilance) that the rules no longer apply, that the state of exception is fully in force, as anyone who wants to photograph a policeman on Saturday and April 1 may find out.
(photo taken in Nottingham by the inestimable Mr Anderson)