Brexit war: Mayor of London Boris Johnson racially insults the US President as he visits Britain and dares to give his opinion on Brexit – 22 Apr 2016

P4100002 1800pxThere is a statiscal possibility that there are some people in the UK who may have accidentally locked themselves in an old chest freezer on their local land-fill site, or who may have been stranded on a barren rock in the Northern Atlantic Ocean 150 miles west of the Shetland Islands following a harrowing stag party, who are still blissfully unaware of the looming national referendum on Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union on June 23rd which has been the subject of the most acrimonious, bitter, divisive political campaigning that Britain has witnessed since 1973, when we voted to join the EU.

The referendum was given the go-ahead by a beleagured David Cameron following the 2015 General Election to honour a desperate electoral bribe offered before the election to stop the Conservative vote haemorraging further as thousands of traditional Conservative voters jumped ship in 2014-2015 to join the right-wing populist UK Independence Party (UKIP) which was created in 1991 with the sole intention of taking Britain out of the EU.

Political artist Kaya Mar outside Parliament shows his painting of UKIP leader Nigel Farage standing naked in a huge glass of beer

Political artist Kaya Mar is pictured in front of Parliament with his painting portraying UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, standing naked in a huge glass of beer.

Led since 1993 by charismatic bar-fly Nigel Farage who campaigned exhaustively on an often borderline racist fearmongering anti-immigration platform,  UKIP’s membership had sky-rocketed since 2013, and in the two Local Government Elections prior to the 2015 General Election an energised UKIP won a shockingly high number of local council victories. Suddenly there were 497 UKIP councillors in office up and down the country – predominantly at the expense of ousted incumbent Conservative councillors. Farage’s aggressively Euro-sceptic party was already the dominant British contingent in the European Parliament, providing 11 out of a total 24 British MEP’s.

At Conservative Party Headquarters massive existential panic ensued, and David Cameron had a massive UKIP problem to deal with. His position as leader of the Conservative Party was on the line. Something had to be done to save his skin.

BD189844 CamUKIP

Farage seemed to be unassailable. His meticulously crafted plain-speaking “Man of the people” persona was expertly aimed at his target demographic – disaffected, powerless working and middle-class voters from across the political spectrum who had seen their wages and standards of living drop and drop since the Tories had taken power in 2010 and imposed their punitive “Austerity” ideology on a nation already weakened by the financial crash of 2008, and who were readily persuaded by the charismatic Farage that the source of all their troubles was (and always had been, and always would be) an interfering, unaccountable, bloated European Union dictated to by bloody Germans, and the free-flow of hordes of swarthy EU citizens allowed to enter Britain to work and live which had, Farage preached, seen unskilled economic migrants “pouring in” from Europe’s poorest countries, flooding our labour market, taking our jobs and driving down wages because they were willing to work for less money in this Land of Milk and Honey than any self-respecting British worker would.

"Nigel Farage - A storm in a pint pot" (2014) 102 x 76 cms, oil on canvas

“Nigel Farage – A storm in a pint pot” (2014) 102 x 76 cms, oil on canvas

Relentlessly tapping in to the darkest reaches of the insular British psyche, Farage’s lurid Enoch Powellian speeches threatened that, for example, the first day that newcomer Romania became an EU member there would quite literally be a tsunami of 17 million eligible, desperate, devious Roma gypsies heading to Britain to live off state benefits and be immediately given free council housing. Farage’s fear-laden racist rhetoric appealed massively to those on the far-right and, increasingly, the Tory base. UKIP was already littered with former British National Party and National Front members, and Farage knew that if he could clean up UKIP’s tarnished image enough he could convince disaffected Euro-sceptic Conservative voters to the UKIP cause.

Political artist Kaya Mar takes paintings of Cameron, Miliband and Farage to Rochester one day before the bye-election

Political artist Kaya Mar visited Rochester, Kent, with three satirical paintings of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage one day prior to a bye-election hotly contested by the UK Independence Party (UKIP) which saw Conservative defector Mark Reckless gain the Parliamentary seat.

Following the attention-grabbing defection of two Conservative MPs to UKIP which triggered Bye-elections and produced UKIP victories for Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless – on the promise by Nigel Farage that if the public voted for UKIP in the General Election he would demand an EU referendum – Farage’s star was in the ascendant.

Europhile David Cameron and his strategists had no choice but to match Farage’s referendum promise to his own restive, dwindling Conservative Party membership. Cameron promised in his election manifesto that if he won the election Britain would have its referendum, and by doing so was successful in beating off the UKIP threat in the 2015 General Election. Mark Reckless lost in Rochester and Strood, leaving UKIP with the solitary Douglas Carswell in Clacton. Even though UKIP polled a massive 13% of the total votes cast nationally, sensationally, party leader Nigel Farage failed to win his contested seat in South Thanet and the Conservatives squeezed home to victory – but with a reduced majority.

David Cameron then embarked on a high profile PR campaign to try and renegotiate various elements of Britains obligations as EU members to further placate his increasingly stroppy Euro-sceptic MPs and the party’s influential financial backers. He made several visits to Brussels where he pitched his list of hissy-fit reform demands, trying to win over the powerful German Chancellor Angela Merckel and French President Francois Hollande with the repeated threat that Britain would leave if he didn’t get these concessions. Cameron failed miserably. There were key issues absolutely central to the core philosophy of the European Union which were not up for negotiation, like the free movement of labour across internal EU borders, adherence to the Human Rights Act, acceptance of rulings from the European Court of Human Rights and the level of Britain’s annual contribution to EU coffers.

53 David Cameron & Angela Merckel EU renegotiation

Like the pathological PR man that he is, David Cameron returned home claiming that he had won some important concessions on European Reform, but the truth was that though he had managed to score some minor victories, he had succeeded in alienating the political allies that mattered in Europe, and had been told in no uncertain terms that he had squandered all his political capital in Brussels and everyone was tired of his whingeing. Cameron was losing influence rapidly and becoming side-lined in Europe, and his future as Conservative leader was whispered to be on shaky ground.

"David Cameron - Tilting at Europe's Windmills" : 106 x 76cms oil on canvas

“David Cameron – Tilting at Europe’s Windmills” : 106 x 76cms oil on canvas

Back in London the 43 year long festering tribal divisions within the Conservative Party between pro and vehemently anti-European Union MPs opened up like fault lines across colliding tectonic plates, and so a date for the referendum was announced and a Referendum Bill passed in Parliament. There was to be state funding for both official “In” and “Out” campaigns and, rather than demand that his Cabinet Ministers observe collective responsibility to the Government’s official pro-EU membership position which would force Cameron to sack dissenting Ministers, or see them resign in a flurry of damaging press attention, Cameron had no option but to suspend collective responsibility and give his Ministers permission to campaign publicly for the “No” (or “Brexit” – British Exit) position if they wished.

By now it was estimated that 50% of his MPs wanted Brexit. The fight was on.

Michael Gove betrays David Cameron as he jumps ship to the Leave campaign.

After a power struggle between three rival Brexit campaign groups to become the official, richly-funded “Out” campaign, the matter was finally settled and the keys to the petty cash tin were handed to “Vote Leave”, on whose campaign committee sits (amongst others) Michael Gove MP, Iain Duncan Smith MP, Chris Grayling MP, Liam Fox MP, Priti Patel MP, Daniel Hannan MP and Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP – a committee comprised (strangely enough) largely of power-hungry Conservative MPs who are all jockeying themselves into position to get themselves nominated in the inevitable party leadership challenge and blood-letting if the internally-unpopular Cameron’s “In” campaign fails – none more so than dilettante faux-buffoon Boris Johnson, whose trophy-hunting plans for getting Cameron’s crown are widely known.

04 boris self interest EDIT

Parallel (but now only self-funded) campaigns are being run by the obscure “Get Britain Out” group and Nigel Farage’s UKIP-centric “Grassroots Out (GO)” campaign, fronted by Farage, Tory MP Peter Bone and (to the confusion and disbelief of just about everyone) controversial former Respect Party MP George Galloway.

In no time at all the various In and Out campaigns started bombarding the nation with their passionately held beliefs, backed up by a hurricane of highly selective statistics,  and dire predictions for the future of Britain if you didn’t vote for them.

06 Boris Farage racism

Soon after the official campaigns were launched, US President Barak Obama flew to London to lend his support for David Cameron’s ‘Remain’ campaign, drawing howls of complaints of foul play and derision from the ‘Leave’ camp who, rather than listen to Obama’s official position that whilst it is a matter for the British public to decide, Washington believes that leaving the EU would be a strategic geo-political mistake which would weaken Britain’s standing in the world and might destabilise the EU, Boris Johnson penned a shocking response in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun Newspaper in which he accused the President of hypocrisy and then went on to imply that the “part-Kenyan President” harboured “an ancestral dislike of the British empire”.

President Obama greets David Cameron as Boris Johnson insults him.

President Obama greets David Cameron as Boris Johnson insults him.

The long weeks that followed have seen a bewildering succession of outright lies, unfounded exaggeration and the use of statistics so chronically manipulated to serve each campaign’s needs that the general public have been left completely bewildered and unable to discover (let alone understand) the crucial facts behind what has become a purely emotion-driven campaign as each side has forgone the professionalism expected of them and has chosen instead to rely on dog-whistle politics and highly emotive, divisive statements – none more so than on the issue of immigration, which has massively legitimised the bigoted, hysterical claims from the far-right and UKIP with their entrenched, insular “Little Englander” claims that the United Kingdom will implode any second beneath the sheer weight of millions of theoretical refugees and bloody immigrants if we don’t pull up the drawbridge immediately and close our borders to Johnny Foreigner.

08 Boris Brexit filth racism


The tragedy is that as June 23rd approaches and Britain is about to make the most important decision it has made in over four decades of mutual European prosperity and peace, we may be about to throw it all away on the basis of small-minded prejudice and fear of the Other…

Kaya brings “Omerta – Cameron’s 3 Wise Monkeys” to the #CameronResign protest – 9th April 2016

9th April 2016 – Following the bombshell announcement by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on April 3rd that they and a select group of 400 journalists scattered around the globe had, for the past year, been secretly working to sift and analyse 11.5 million company documents leaked from Panamanian “Wealth Management” company Mossack Fonseca by an anonymous whistleblower which laid bare the sheer scale of global tax avoidance networks used by the rich and the corrupt and which also (in the first very, very small tranche of released information) included British Prime Minister David Cameron’s late father’s “Blairmore Holdings” tax avoidance vehicle, from which tax haven arrangement it very soon became clear (after four days of pompous denials, red-faced half-truths and arrogant attempts to deflect, then finally to fully confess) that the Prime Minister had personally profited from Blairmore, thousands of outraged protesters descended on Downing Street dressed in Hawaiian shirts, Panama hats, sunglasses and tropical colours to noisily demand that David Cameron resign.

After a couple of hours of beach-ball throwing, speeches from activists and plenty of sloganeering the protesters dashed up the road to protest outside the nearby Grand Connaught Rooms where David Cameron was addressing the Conservative Party Spring Conference, and it was on the steps of the hotel where Kaya was photographed, brandishing his satirical painting of David Cameron as a monkey brandishing a paintbrush loaded by Conservative-Blue paint and artist’s palette as he paints a picture of the Three Wise Monkeys – symbolising the Mafia-like code of silence and willful blindness to wrong-doing by the rich, the powerful and the corrupt.


“Omerta – David Cameron’s 3 Wise Monkeys” : 106 x 76cms, oil on canvas

In 2012 David Cameron had made public press statements criticising British comedian Jimmy Carr for using a “tax-efficient” tax haven scheme, calling the comedian’s behaviour “Morally repugnant“, and it was this apparently massive hypocrisy which offended people so badly, but which also dramatically put the political spotlight on the absolutely outrageous amount of wealth which is taken out of the global economy and hoarded by greedy rich people, corporations avoiding contributing correct tax revenues to the countries they operate in, criminals laundering drug money, arms dealers, corrupt leaders, politicians and more, estimated in 2012 to be somewhere between £21 – £32 trillion.

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It was very rapidly pointed out that though Mossack Fonseca had created over 250,000 shell companies for clients with the sole intention of hiding money from tax collectors on behalf of their national governments, they were just one single company operating out of just one of more than 90 tax havens scattered around the World – the majority of them Crown Dependencies administered by Her Majesty’s Obedient Government on behalf of the City of London! The scale of the corruption is truly vast and almost beyond comprehension, and because of strict codes of secrecy it is impossible to see where all the money has gone and who has taken it.

The task ahead feels almost too big to engage, but the dialogue has begun now that people have a better idea of the scale of the problem, and the ICIJ have promised to release the entire database of so-called “Panama Papers” to the public as an online, searchable resource in the hope that this will eventually force tax havens to maintain registers of personal ownership of shell companies, and by so doing make it easier for governments to track down money siphoned out of their economies.

Meanwhile, in the real world, children with no hope and no future die by the thousand every day because they have no clean water or medicines to treat easily-treatable diseases…


Kaya brings his ‘Spring Budget 2016’ painting to the gates of Downing Street – 16th March 2016


Waving the flag of the European Union, lame duck Chancellor George Osborne perches tenuously on a ‘Brexit’ ballot box on unsettled, choppy waters, holding his red Budget Box which only contains an axe.

March 16th finally broke across our green and sceptered isles. It was a cold and miserable Winter morning as Kaya Mar, wrapped up warmly against the damp air, the comforting memory of the six Pop Tarts he had for breakfast quickly fading from his mind, trudged up Whitehall towards Downing Street clutching a large oil painting almost as big as him.

The dense uncaring grey clouds above his head blotted out any vestigal hope of sunshine and were only rivalled in their impersonal malice by thick, coiling plumes of carcinogenic diesel particulates belching from the wobbling super-heated rectums of passing red Boris Buses delivering herds of low-paygrade civil servants to their anonymous cubbyholes distributed all over the monolithic grey Portland Stone cliffs of Whitehall.

Today was Budget Day, and a jaded nation of destitute families on zero hour contracts was holding its collective breath in the almost child-like anticipation that this time… this time… we would all be gambolling ecstatically, bare-footed through verdant fields thick with the lush Green Shoots of Recovery which shiny-faced spiv Chancellor of the Exchequer the Right Honourable George Gideon Giles Osborne (Former towel-folder and multi-millionaire heir-apparent to the baronetcy of Ballintaylor and Ballylemon whose family motto emblazoned on their heraldic crest is “Pax in bello” – Peace in war) had assured us all was just over the horizon – if only they weren’t all too weak and underachieving from eating food from the local foodbank which even the emaciated family dog won’t touch – to crawl over the next hill towards it.

After the politically humiliating climb-down that George Osborne had been forced to make at the end of 2015 by a rebellious House of Lords over his plans to cut Family Tax Credits for 800,000 poor, working families, there was an expectation – absurd in hindsight – that the Chancellor would finally have seen that his ideological obsession with dismantling the country’s Social Welfare security net was driving large swathes of the country into poverty and homelessness. Maybe this Budget would see a glimmer of hope for millions. Maybe this time… Maybe pigs will fly…

Kaya 16.03.2016 Paul Marriot

Photo: Paul Marriot (via Twitter)

Taking up his position outside the ominous, heavily guarded entrance to Downing Street with his new painting (which portrays Osborne as a lame duck Chancellor perched tenuously on a ‘Brexit‘ ballot box on unsettled, choppy waters, holding his red Budget Box which only contains an axe and waving the flag of the European Union), Kaya nodded as a slight, familiar greeting to the armed police officers peering through the bars of the huge black gates, and he noticed satisfyingly, that none of them yet were wearing privatised G4S uniforms, and comfortingly, they still clutched Heckler and Koch semi-automatic machine guns and not the refurbished World War I Lee-Enfield rifles with fixed bayonet favoured by cost-conscious Serco Services.

“At least our political elite are still safe from the furious, baying mob and their vicious pieces of illustrated cardboard sellotaped to lengths of wood“, Kaya thought to himself. “Thank God.”

Before long, photographers from the international press agencies arrived, looking for anything to add a spark of interest to the press’ obligatory Budget Day coverage. They fluttered around Kaya and his colourful painting, chuckling, nodding in agreement as they understood the painting’s symbolism and clicking away with their behemoth cameras before rushing off in search of a bit of free Wi-Fi in a nearby nationally-franchised coffee shop (whose parent company is registered in the British Virgin islands so they don’t have to pay tax on their UK earnings) from where they could send the photos off to their picture agencies. The actual Budget wouldn’t be announced for several hours yet, and everybody wants to get some photos in early in hope of sales on a big domestic news day.

As the photographers sipped their tepid coffed-flavoured milk and munched on their increasingly-shrinking raisin croissants they tapped away furiously on their laptops, occasionally looking around suspiciously at their competitors and wondered “Which one of us will get that single photo that will go round the World? Will it be me this time? Little Timmy needs new shoes and we haven’t eaten meat for a month…”

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Meanwhile, his objective achieved, Kaya made his way back to the leafy suburbs, getting home just in time for the live coverage of the Chancellor’s statement in the packed House of Commons. Settling down on the welcoming sofa with his lunch – a lump of slightly stale bread and a small block of Morrison’s “I-Can’t-Believe-You-Think-This-Is-Actually-Cheese” – he stared at the screen in disbelief as Osborne – grinning like a Bonobo that had just discovered it’s own genitals – announced his political tour de force: a tax on sugary soft drinks to be introduced in 2 years time, the cost of which can be passed on to the public.

As the Tory MPs behind the Chancellor erupted into a cacophony of approving howls and cheers, Kaya struggled to make out what Osborne was rushing to read out under cover of the noise of the MPs… something about slashing payments to severely disabled people… forced academisation of all schools… a laughable Living Wage which actually isn’t a Living Wage, yet is cynically calculated to make sure that anyone working more than nine and a half minutes a week would no longer qualify for Tax Credits, thereby implimenting his cruel Autumn Budget cuts by the back door… an extra £1 billion to give to the oil and gas industries because they donate so much to the Conservative Party… it was impossible to make out what was being said.

Kaya sighed and pointed the remote control at the TV and switched it off. It was all so pointless trying to understand Osborne’s slippery twists and turns, and his lunch was making him feel sleepy as he sunk back into the welcoming embrace of the chair. He would just have to wait until tomorrow and see what those wise Internets people had to say about it all, he thought to himself as his eyelids closed… “Yes, the Internets will know”, he murmured. “They know everything…”

Kaya joins national protest to ‘Stop Turkey’s War On The Kurds’ – London 06.03.2016

National protest to “Stop Turkey’s War On The Kurds” - London 06.03.2016

Political painter Kaya Mar displays his new artwork “Massacre of the Kurds” as thousands of UK-based Kurds and their supporters marched through Central London to demand that the Turkish government ceases its brutal military attacks on Kurdish people in Northern Kurdistan, Syria and Iraq.

March 6th 2016: Following recent Turkish military attacks on the districts of Cizre, Sur and Silopi in Northern Kurdistan, 10,000 UK-based Kurds and their supporters marched through Central London and rallied in Trafalgar Square to demand that the Turkish government ceases its lethal attacks on indigenous Kurdish people in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

To express his personal outrage at the continuing brutality of Turkish President Erdoğan’s military forces towards this significant section of the Turkish population, Kaya Mar joined the protesters as they gathered outside BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place to unveil his dramatic, allegorical painting, “Massacre of the Kurds” – a bleak, hellish scene portraying Turkish Army tanks rolling across a blood-drenched plain strewn with the broken, bloodied corpses of Kurdish women, men and children. On either side stretching to the horizon, huge flames engulf what could be the ruined timber frames of buildings, or they could also be crucifixes or a forest of trees.

Massacre of the Kurds [Kaya Mar] 3000px ed

“Massacre of the Kurds” by Kaya Mar : oil on canvas, 102 x 76 cms

The protesters also accuse Turkey of abusing its NATO membership by covertly supporting Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists and their jihadist allies, giving them safe passage across Turkish borders into Syria, providing wounded ISIS fighters with medical facilities and supplying them with armaments and training.


It is now also known that Turkey has been buying billions of dollars worth of oil stolen by ISIS from oil fields in Northern Syria and Iraq, and in so doing have directly provided ISIS with the financial life-blood it needs to run operations in Syria, Iraq (and now Libya, thanks to the US State Department’s craving to destroy Muamar Gadaffi for having the sheer impertinence to defy Washington and disengage from trading oil in petrodollars – an unforgivable crime against the American Empire). American and Norwegian investigators have accused Bilal Erdoğan, son of the Turkish President, of using his maritime company to transport the stolen oil from Turkish ports at Mersin, Dortyol and Ceyhan where it travels directly to Israel from where it is bureaucratically laundered to avoid United Nations sanctions against trading smuggled oil, and is then sold across Europe.

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A little background: Turkey’s 14.7 million ethnic Kurds represent 18% of Turkey’s population, whose struggle for autonomy or a separate Kurdish state started over 200 years ago with the imposition of the Ottoman Empire which robbed the Kurds of their ancestral territories and which heralded frequent violent suppression of Kurds. The Kurdish struggle re-emerged in 1923 with the geopolitical creation of what we know as modern Turkish Republic following the Turkish War of Independence, and escalated in 1978 with the formation of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which still remains the leading resistance force against the Turkish State, despite having been declared a terrorist organisation by the United Nations in a piece of monumentally shabby political kow-towing to Turkish demands, in exchange for allowing US and NATO military bases and airfields to be established in Turkey as strategic staging posts to assist the USA in its goal of turning the entire Middle East into a pile of glowing ashes.

It will be, after all, much easier for American corporations to begin again with a blank (if not highly irradiated) canvas…


Kaya Mar brings “Erdoğan, the Ottoman Sun King” to Turkish protest against horrific Ankara bombing – 11th Oct 2015

Peter Marshall's photo of Kaya at the London protest against the Ankara bombings

Peter Marshall’s photo of Kaya at the London protest against the Ankara bombings. See links below for the full photosets.

Following this weekend’s horrific double suicide bombing in Ankara during a peace demonstration which resulted in multiple deaths and injuries, several thousand Turks and Kurds resident in London marched in protest against the atrocity, the blame for which many lay directly at the feet of autocratic Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the deep state Turkish Security Service (MIT).

Kaya Mar joined the protesters, bringing along his 2014 painting of Erdoğan, titled “Erdoğan, the Ottoman Sun King“, which refers to the accusations of corruption levelled at Erdoğan and his family involving massive bribe-taking in exchange for construction projects, shoe boxes stuffed with millions of Turkish Lira being hidden in his son’s home, secretly taped phone conversations and the Turkish government’s banning of Twitter and YouTube to prevent public discussion of these events.

"Erdoğan, the Ottoman Sun King" 76 x 102 cms, oil on canvas

Erdoğan, the Ottoman Sun King
76 x 102 cms, oil on canvas

Freelance photojournalist Peter Marshall photographed Kaya as the protest reached Downing Street. You can see his Peter’s photo sets from the protest HERE and HERE, and also great photos by Luca Neve HERE.

Kaya joins 80,000 anti-austerity protesters in Manchester as the Conservative Party conference opens – 4th Oct 2015

Political artist Kaya Mar unveiled his latest satirical artwork at the "Take Back Manchester" anti-austerity protest, which saw over 80,000 protesters marching noisily through the city as the Conservative Party annual conference opened.

Political artist Kaya Mar unveiled his latest satirical artwork at the “Take Back Manchester” anti-austerity protest, which saw over 80,000 protesters marching noisily through the city as the Conservative Party annual conference opened.

It was “All aboard the Krazy Train” again as Kaya headed up to Manchester on October 4th to share his latest painting of David Cameron (sporting his new “PigGate” tee shirt) with over 80,000 good-natured, noisy anti-austerity protesters as they marched through Manchester city centre, doing their best to drown out the opening events of the nearby Conservative Party annual conference with drums, whistles, jeers and *coughs* fruity insults.

Anti-austerity protesters take photos of Kaya Mar's painting during the  "Take Back Manchester" anti-austerity protest in Manchester.

Documentary film maker Dan Laughton films as anti-austerity protesters take photos of Kaya Mar’s painting during the “Take Back Manchester” anti-austerity protest in Manchester.

Kaya was joined again by documentary film makers Dan Laughton and Sam Baker (see the Brighton post below) as he was filmed and photographed by the delighted crowds of activists, trade unionists and disaffected members of public.

Enjoy the slideshow below of Kaya in action. You’ll also find photos of the protesters and their witty placards HERE.

Next stop on Kaya’s Party Conference Tour will be the SNP conference in Aberdeen. Stay tuned for news and photos next week…

Kaya takes a day trip to Brighton and the Labour Party conference – 29.09.2015

Kaya Mar is impossible to ignore as he stands outside the Brighton Conference Centre during the Labour Party Conference with three large satirical paintings.

Kaya Mar is impossible to ignore as he stands outside the Brighton Conference Centre during the Labour Party Conference with three large satirical paintings.

What better way is there to spend a beautiful Autumn day than popping down to Brighton with three large paintings and sharing them with all those lovely Labour Party annual conference delegates as they shuttled continually between the Grand Hotel and the Brighton Conference Centre next door?

Brimming over with bonhomie, strong coffee and goodwill, Kaya boarded the train from Victoria station at some ungodly hour to rendevous at Brighton station with two documentary film makers, Dan Laughton and Sam Baker, who had approached Kaya to take part in their film “Artivism”, whose subject matter is political, activist, guerilla artwork and artists, three of whom are included in the film: Kaya Mar, “unofficial” war artist Peter Kennard and renegade political ceramic artist Carrie Reichardt.

Kaya heads to the Brighton Conference Centre, followed by documentary film makers Dan Laughton and Sam Baker.

Kaya heads to the Brighton Conference Centre, followed by documentary film makers Dan Laughton and Sam Baker.

Dan explains “I will be searching into the artists behind the works and following their process as well as telling their stories and following current projects. Ultimately, what will be told throughout this documentary is how powerful this kind of art is, how it can change the world and is more powerful than violence, rioting and protesting. Through this documentary it can be represented and shown to the viewers inspiring them to also make change in this world.”

“Artivism” will be released in a screening early next year and in festivals throughout next year, a trailer will be released in December.

Kaya gets the attention of Labour Party Conference delegates.

Kaya gets the attention of Labour Party Conference delegates.

With the greetings and more coffee out of the way it was time to walk down the long, steep hill to the seafront where Kaya installed himself between the hotel and the (temporarilly) fortified conference centre, spending the day attracting attention from news video crews, photojournalists, passing members of public and, of course, the conference delegates and politicians who, as expected, had various “Marmite” reactions – depending on their tribal affiliations – to Kaya’s pointed satirical paintings which comment ascerbically on various aspects of Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial installation as party leader.

Below is a video slideshow of the day’s activities… article: “You Cannot Unsee This Portrait Of Corbyn And Abbott” – Sept 23rd 2015

#SunNation article published Sept 23rd 2015 Article URL:

#SunNation article published Sept 23rd 2015
Article URL:

Nobody was more surprised than us when the Sun newspaper’s online website #SunNation ran an article last week featuring Kaya’s latest satirical observations on the revelation that new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had had a love affair in 1979 with Diane Abbott – news of which raised several million eyebrows and also raised some valid concerns about the wisdom of Corbyn having recently appointed Ms Abbott his new Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. Opinion quickly divided into two camps; on the one hand, say his supporters, this was an affair of the heart which took place whilst he was already separated from his first wife. Despite the lurid tidbits that were published about Corbyn and Abbott living in domestic bliss with their cat Harold Wilson and the pair of them touring East Germany on a motorbike, it was all a looong time ago, and though they remained political soulmates and allies, they broke off the affair and are no longer involved.

Corbyn’s critics and detractors, however, wondered out loud just how independent of direct influence from Corbyn would Diane Abbott be in her shadow post, which might eventually become a ministerial position if Labour wins the 2020 general election?

Kaya set to work and produced a new painting portraying the two happy lovers, complete with Harold Wilson – who is reading “Das Kapital” – and a copy of the Karma Sutra. In his usual style, Kaya presents them both naked, to remind us that just like in the fairy tale, the king has no clothes…

As this political story gained more and more traction in the Corbyn-unfriendly press, it seemed like the accusations of nepotism and possibly hypocrisy would quickly create an untenable situation for Corbyn, and, to quote one pundit in the right-wing press “One of them will have to go”. It seemed like things were getting worse for the beleagured leader, only a week and a half into his new job. Was there anything that could save him from this humiliation?

And then a miracle happened: On the 21st september the Dail Mail launched the first part of a serialisation of an unofficial biography of Prime Minister David Cameron, written by Lord Ashcroft – a Conservative Party super donor who had been promised a high level government job by way of thanks for all his millions, but who was then completely dumped by Cameron – and journalist Isabel Oakshott. The first installment of the serialisation dropped what can best be described as a political nuclear bomb (smeared with delicious revenge) on Downing Street and David Cameron’s reputation across the planet when it reported allegations made by an unnamed senior Conservative MP that whilst at Oxford University David Cameron had taken part in a bizarre initiation ritual to join an elitist dining club which involved his sexual organs and a dead pig’s head.

And that is how a pig saved Jeremy Corbyn’s bacon.

The internet almost exploded, and for three days solid wherever you lived in the UK if you stuck your head out of the window you could hear the sound of 50 million people cackling and laughing hysterically. The Twitter hashtag #PigGate was created, and went like wildfire around the world, trending at one point in over thirty countries. The Mail article the next day claimed that the young Cameron once asked two KGB agents if they could score him some cocaine or some marijuana, and other claims were made that Cameron had attended a socialite’s dinner party where cocaine was in abundance, though the soon-to-be Conservative Party leader did not report that he’d witnessed a crime taking place to the police and in so doing aided and abetted a criminal act…

A week has passed now, and the worst of it is over. After suddenly vanishing from public whilst the story raged, Cameron finally denied that it ever happened yesterday in his first public statement on the matter, but the fact is that whether he did the deed or not, he has been grievously wounded and humiliated. For the rest of his political life, David Cameron will forever be associated with that deliciously sordid imagery.

"David Cameron - #PigGate: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory" 76 x 102 cms, oil on canvas

“David Cameron – #PigGate: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory”
76 x 102 cms, oil on canvas

Kaya’s second new painting “David Cameron – #PigGate: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory” subtly celebrates Cameron’s humiliation. He is portrayed wearing Conservative blue shorts and a tee shirt on which is printed the head of a pig with a joint dangling out of the corner of its mouth. In his hands he is holding a slightly broken protest placard with a picture of a grinning Jeremy Corbyn as a learner driver on it, which refers to Cameron’s former smug glee that Corbyn might become Labour leader, and a widespread assumption was made that this would cause Labour to implode and become unelectable for the next decade.

Click HERE to view the SunNation article “You Can’t Unsee This Portrait Of Corbyn And Abbott”