Hockney's Dressing Down for 'Prefect' Blair; Artist's Attack on Premier, Straw and 'Police State' Britain

Daily Mail (London), September 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

Hockney's Dressing Down for 'Prefect' Blair; Artist's Attack on Premier, Straw and 'Police State' Britain


Byline: JAMES MORRISON

DAVID HOCKNEY has launched a blistering attack on the Government, branding Tony Blair 'a prefect who thinks he's running a school'.

The self-exiled painter condemned the Premier for wearing a casual suit to the Queen Mother's 100th birthday service and accused him of being image-obsessed.

He also criticised the 'police state' mentality he feels is responsible for Home Secretary Jack Straw's threat to seize football hooligans' passports, and his refusal to consider legalising marijuana.

Mr Hockney - who moved to Los Angeles more than 20 years ago, partly because of his frustration with UK laws - was speaking out in an interview with Tatler magazine.

He said: 'Remember when Blair turned up in a lounge suit (rather than morning suit like everyone else) to the Queen Mother's celebration service at St Paul's?

'At first, it made you think, "a bit tacky". But then I thought, "No - they are concerned with image but, in being so, they are timid". I mean, wouldn't you put on a good suit for your mother's 100th birthday?

'They just don't have the guts or good manners. "Go on, Tony," I thought, "dress up".' The 63-year-old artist said the Government's determination to 'criminalise' foxhunting, while refusing to consider lifting the ban on soft drugs, was 'absolutely bonkers'. …

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