Captain Cod

I got asked by the Conservatives to do some animation for the “better off out” campaign.

After the last election, I must admit to being cautious about my position on Europe, and I think it is very difficult to get this across to the public as I fear my own position is probably one shared by many people in the party. Specifically, I worry about excessive and crippling bureaucracy as well as the attacks on Greece by Germany and others that frankly undermine her sovereignty- it does not matter what Greece did to provoke such a response. The fact is that the European project should also guarantee our own individual national sovereignties, even as we move towards greater union, politically and economically. The Captain cod image seems to me to target one of these bureaucratic issues head on, and I have a third video planned where I hope I will be able to refer to Greece’s plight in some way.

While I can imagine a Brexit, I think the practicalities of following that path are worrying and the much better solution is an undertaking to reform the whole European project. This means, though, that we need to be prepared for any eventuality and we need a more robust argument. If the whole thing is catapulted into a discussion of migration, then we have missed the point. The migration issue will affect us whether we are in or out of Europe whatever those in UKIP claim. But more than that, the migration crisis of today will be gone in five years time, while the Europe question will still be important. We were side-tracked at the last election and the agenda was set largely by UKIP’s diet of racism and resentment. We have to control the argument and the discussion now.

Here is the link to the making of Captain Cod

frame for cod2 making of

here is the film, link:

some preparatory images

campaign 1482campaign 1484

the captain cod film:

a few more preparatory sketches

campaign 1485 campaign 1486

Britty Brexit:

a picture of Max Miller, one of my heroes, not so much for the naughtiness of his subject matter and innuendo, but for the immediacy of his delivery. We can still all learn from what he did and his influence is seen directly in the work of Frankie Howerd, Larry Grayson and Julian Clary.

campaign 1483

You will see all the music hall connections of course and meanwhile I am ploughing on with the project to animate “Burlington Bertie” and “the Night I appeared as Macbeth”, both songs by William Hargreaves from the heyday of the Music Hall. Check my music hall lecture here. Part 2 is on the way.

history bertie2 flat


Author: timewilson

animator director and teacher

3 thoughts on “Captain Cod”

  1. Dear Mr. Wilson,

    As my seasonal work has come to an end, I now have a little more time to breeze through your creative blog. Haven’t been able to visit lately.

    As always, I love your art work.

    I was just reading that the UK was always and country that never really “needed” the European Community and that in many ways it was always giving some resistance to the European Community.

    Also noticed the rapid trends on social media with the masses wanting out.

    Whatever the case, I hope it’s all for the best.

    1. Whether the UK “needed” the EU or not, we have benefitted from our association. The important thing in this debate is to stop the debate being hijacked by a discussion on migration. I think there are very compelling reasons to redefine our relationship with Europe. This might not mean a complete divorcfe of course and maybe one of the best solutions would be a serious reconfiguration of the way Europe itself works. As you know, whatever loyalty is expressed on the streets of Athens towards the EU project, the fact remains that the EU has bullied Greece in a way that is completely unacceptable. If this is an example of the way the EU plans to work in the future, I for one want no part in it, and already feel deeply compromised by association. So there is ambiguity: culturally, and emotionally, I, for one, remain a European whatever we do.

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