Tuesday, 17 June 2008

137: Police - JAK

Raymond Jackson (JAK) in the “Standard” 20 August 1981

It’s that man JAK again. And he’s actually using the cliché tagline from the end of my waffle about “In Sickness and In Health”. Well, it seemed inevitable somebody would immortalise it in print. And JAK is just the sort of man to really mean it, too.

This cartoon is produced in response to Livingstone’s speech at the Harrow Gay Unity Group in August 1981 where he said “Everyone is bisexual”, and which also provoked various humorous squibs such as this "Private Eye" cover.

We’ve seen other bits and pieces about gay policeman, (including this later one by JAK too) but I think at this time in the early 80s there’s an ever so slightly nastier undercurrent. Aside from all the details of a police locker room that looks more like a drag queen’s changing room is an assumption that, despite how frivolous and effeminate all this seems, homosexual men really do need policing. There’s no mention of cottaging and sex, but since it these activities which make gay men are criminals, then policemen at this time would seem the natural opposition to be homosexually co-opted for maximum satirical effect.

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