Banksing on keeping everyone happy?

Bristol Council has adopted a new policy to deal with the city’s burgeoning graffiti prob... I was going to say problem, but of course many Bristolians don’t view it as a negative issue. For many, it adds to the city’s allure; its attraction; its edge if you will.

You can see why. How many people have taken the tour round Brussels to see the magical Hergé characters and murals that adorn walls and back alleys – now ingrained in the city’s culture? And if he isn’t already, surely Bristol’s own Banksy should be a part of the culture. Or do we all have to arrogantly wait for him (or her) to pop (his) or her clogs until they become fondly remembered?

Like it or not, through the humble spray can, the artists of Bristol have layered another level of personality onto the city's image and indeed, its brand. The most famous is already responsible for not only raising the profile of Bristol, but also boosting the economy. And Banksy tours will be taking place on open topped buses within a decade I promise you. As a proud citizen of a famous northern town headed up by a stiff-lipped Council, I admire the boys and girls of Bristol Council for giving the go-ahead for Banksy’s brilliant exhibition at the city’s museum and even more so for their seemingly democratic handling of the graffiti issue in asking Bristolians to vote online for what should stay and what should be unceremoniously scrubbed out. Trouble is, and I risk a severe generalisation here, I fear the majority of the people who disapprove, and have as much right as anyone else to say so, will not have an equal say because they will have likely never used a computer in their lives - or at least think the only reason they need a poll is to help them walk.

Not quite so democratic then.