Tory government

pathological dislike

of public sector

abusive relationship

bullying, undermining


by Scooj

As someone who has spent most of my career working for the public, I am sick of the abuse this government hurl at public sector workers, the very people who are ‘delivering’ Brexit , who teach, who heal, who care, who got this country through the pandemic, who protect the environment and regulate those who would do harm to people and nature, those who keep our streets safe and run fair courts, local service providers… the list goes on.

How dare they?

4521. Upfest 2022 (18)

One of Bristol’s biggest losses (in street art terms) in recent years was the departure of Aspire, who took up residence in the old smoke, making the opposite decision to the one I made many years ago. I definitely know where I’d rather live, and it is not in London. On the upside, Aspire does come to visit Bristol from time to time, and he always seems to dazzle us during Upfest.

Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Aspire specialises in creating the most beautiful pictures of birds and in this Upfest piece he has perfectly captured my favourite British bird, the Goldfinch. His work is never complete without his trademark pixelation, and it is interesting to see from this work in progress, that he adds the pixels at the end of the painting process.

Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I love this piece, it feels very uncluttered, and the neutral skyline background serves to lift the goldfinch out from the boards. If you are interested in seeing more of Aspire’s work, I recommend you take a little look at a gallery I compiled in 2018, and updated today.

I leave you with three Haiku poems I wrote about goldfinches:


Goldfinches return

colours exaggerated

in bright winter sun

Lucky Charm


nine goldfinches together

in our silver birch.

Haiku 7

Vibrant tricolor

and flanking golden flashes

majestic goldfinch