More Sir? Cold War Steve serves up Boris Johnson as odious workhouse master in Oliver Twist

More Sir, Cold War Steve (2020) courtesy Cold War Steve

The satirical artist Cold War Steve pops up in the most unlikely places. As we have noted previously, no one has caught the mood of Britain today as acutely as the biting satirist otherwise known as Christopher Spencer, a public-sector worker in Birmingham who likes taking a swipe at the figures shaping Brexit Britain, especially Prime Minister Boris Johnson. One of Cold War Steve’s most memorable digital collages, entitled More Sir, aptly features in the exhibition More! Oliver Twist, Dickens and Stories of the City, at the Charles Dickens Museum in London (until 17 October). The work shows BoJo turning down young Oliver’s request for more gruel, recalling a famous scene from the novel when the young orphan asked for more food at the workhouse (note also the presence of other government ministers such as Nadine Dorries and Priti Patel). The tragic scene was produced as a charity Christmas card in 2020, raising funds for the charity FareShare UK which aims to relieve food poverty (nine in ten councils in England saw a rise in people using food banks in the past year according to a survey by the District Councils’ Network). The Oliver Twist show at the museum—home to Dickens and his wife Catherine—focuses on the personalities and places that inspired Dickens’s memorable novel.