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Fri Apr 17, 2015, 10:29 AM

Post-UK debate photo seems to indicate leftward movement ...

at least, I hope so! Fun article ... and perhaps a hopeful omen for us in the US in 2016.

Oil paintings are probably the only evidence not introduced by party spin doctors as they tried to claim victory for their leaders – even the ones who weren’t there – after last night’s BBC televised debate of the 2015 general election. Yet looking at the debate’s closing image of Ed Miliband shaking hands with Nicola Sturgeon as Nigel Farage stands isolated to our far right, I cannot help thinking of some grand narrative painting of a moment in history.

This handshake has the formal, momentous quality of, say, the meeting of Dutch and Spanish generals in Velazquez’s painting The Surrender of Breda. Sturgeon seems almost to bow, as the Spanish leader does in that masterpiece of history painting. All it lacks is someone looking out of the picture, catching our eye, commenting silently on the falseness of the moment, the complexities behind a simple image of friendship and possible alliance.

Perhaps some will see that ironic commentator as Farage, who voiced his discontent with the event itself and the composition of its audience, and claimed to be uniquely addressing the real audience watching at home.


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