'In an Ideal World', with Artist Taxi Driver

Well it’s our tenth issue, and a lot of shit’s gone down lately. So we wanted someone special to do our ‘In an ideal world’ feature, and someone who loves nothing more than a rant. Well, we could think of no one better than YouTube sensation, artist and taxi driver Mark McGowan aka Artist Taxi Driver. So we were over the moon when he Facetimed La Bouche from his taxi to tell us the way forward….

 

 


 

LB: Oooh, can you see us?

ATD: Yeah but I’m kind of driving so…

LB: Okay, yeah... don’t crash on our behalf.

ATD: So, what’s this about then?

LB: Well, we wanted you to tell us about an ideal world, cos you know, we’re always complaining about stuff, but we need positive solutions, visions to aspire to, etc…

ATD: Well I’m someone who likes to complain a lot, so…

LB: Yeah, but we love your complaining, so complain but tell us about an ideal world.

ATD: Okay.

LB: Great thanks, so in an ideal world… who would rule it?

ATD: The people.  You would take all these politicians out of the picture because they don’t know what they’re doing. In an ideal world it would be the people. A bit like something like Occupy… you know with the jazz hands?

LB: Oh yeah, lol.

ATD: You’ve got the government, the media, corporations all working together to make things happen their way.  I mean, look at the by-elections last week.  Theresa May travelled to Copeland and four times she did not oppose the closure of West Cumbria maternity ward and she basically said pregnant mothers from Whitehaven would have to travel to Carlyle to get care. And people voted for that.

LB: Yeah, people seem quite into all that for some reason.

Yeah they do, but we’re living in very right wing times – and a lot of people are very frightened. There’s a lot of hatred at the moment. You go on the internet and people are being really horrible. They think they have a licence to be really cutting towards minorities, women and people from the LGBT community.  But what I’m saying is a lot of this comes from the more powerful: the media and the government. And this racism and misogyny comes from the top. It is being passed down.

So I think in an ideal world, you could maybe ask the people at the start of every year, what are we going to do on education? What are we going to do on healthcare ...?

LB: And we could all text back answers on our phones?

Yeah….

LB: Okay, in an idea world, would there be Tories?

Well, it’s difficult to say because, that’s what is beautiful about the world… it’s not fascism, because fascism isn’t beautiful but it’s that people have different ideas. If you take the Grime scene for example… do you know Giggs?

LB: Giggs?!

Yeah he’s from Peckham. Giggs is from the Grime scene. So anyway, the Grime scene is really conservative, it’s very kind of materialistic and you know, they want to drive a BMW, and it’s misogynistic but at the same time they look after their mums and understand that that their mum goes to church.

So, anyway.. I just think now people are talking about identity politics and using it as a tool for power. It’s not identity politics it’s prejudice. And they do it because they understand there’s majorities.  And it’s not even a new thing, I mean, in most countries in the world you’ve got conservative thriving parties, and they play on this. It’s all about creating an enemy to make you feel scared, and have someone who they can protect you from. And those enemies, quite often, are the minorities, and people who are excluded. It’s an awful thing to do, because it has a real impact on people's lives. Imagine, because of the colour of your skin, people are looking at you because you’ve taken their house or their job. What a fucking terrible thing to put on anyone’s shoulders.

And that’s conservatism, to push more extreme views, in order to get more power and in order to keep the power. It goes back to Marxism, and the battle between capital and labour. So, you’ve got people who are not only trying to hold onto our jobs and the money that people create, but they also want to provide services. They want the money that’s collected in taxes because they know it’s a lot of money. So they want to get into the NHS, they want to get into education. They don’t care if it’s spaghetti or a hospital; they’re interested in making money.

Feeding into what you’ve been saying about minorities, what would happen with immigration then, in an ideal world? Open borders?

Of course!  We are the only country that counts EU citizens coming through our country as migrants. If Italian people come here, they’re migrants.


Anywhere else in Europe they’re counted as free-movement of people. They’re not counted as migrants. Engand is a little bit racist. This is the main problem with the UK, I think. England. It’s like a seeping wound pining…. Look at the EU as it is: two hundred thousand something, net migration. That’s nothing. There was a YouGov poll, and people were asked a set of questions. The questions were; ‘Should EU citizens have the freedom of movement be able to go and work in England?’ and something like sixty per cent said ‘No’, and then there was a question where it said, ‘Should British people have the freedom of movement to go and work in the EU?’ and about sixty percent said ‘Yes’. So there’s your demographic. British people think they’re a little bit more special.


I mean, obviously we live in London, but I’ve been up to Stoke and I’ve been to Hull [Artist Taxi Driver is making a new movie ‘Brexshit’] and they’re Brexit capitals, and they’re quite kind of white, and they’re still worried about immigration.  And it is due to the politics. It’s the politics that creates the fear of immigration. Immigration is not a problem. Immigration is good.

 LB: So, a lot of kind of ‘Divide and Conquer’ going on?

Yeah, but like I say, it really does have an effect on people’s lives. And it’s sad to see.


What about banks? Would there be banks in an ideal world?


Yeah, but like…. I mean… it’s about how money works... Why do we even have jobs? I’d love someone to tell me that. Why do we need money? Why do I have to work? Well, these are serious questions. Lots of people are working all week, and just about surviving. Other people are working all week and having to claim housing support. People are working all week and just spiralling into more debt. It’s controlled and it is a joke and so when we talk about banks, we’ve got to talk about debt. The banks make their money from debt.


 

Indeed. So no jobs in your ideal world?


No, I mean there’s this thing I done before called ‘The Right to be Lazy’. It was based on a pamphlet by Paul Lafargue who was Marx’s son-in-law. He was in prison and he was writing about the workhouses and how they never had time off or a break. And if you look at now, when you see people making books or a film, you have to think that it’s only the people who have the time on their hands who can really do this. Fantastic photographers and painters, or people who should be making music can’t. They can’t because they can’t get a break from their work. A lot of is pointless and really mean. So talking about pay and about debt, well debt is an asset, it’s a commodity. People buy debt because it’s worth a lot of money because of the interest. So they want maximum amount of people in debt, because when you’re in debt you pay a lot of interest. That’s the only way banks make money, right? So it is important that people are in debt. Long-term debt, like mortgages and things. It’s about control and that is the economy. Debt is the economy. Students being fifty grand in debt. That’s purposeful. That’s a lot of money when you’re just when you’re starting out in life. So it’s difficult to come up with an answer to that question about banks. Obviously there’s got to be a system of exchange. If someone’s creating something there’s got to be a value for it, but the only thing is, you don’t want some broker in between who’s going to cream a fucking profit. LB!

	

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