Monthly Archives: September 2014

‘…but why would I want to do a thing like that?’

As well as political cartoonists reworking Old Masters for political comment sometimes iconic images from other media are used. Today (30th Sept 2014) two cartoonists use imagery from the cinema to illustrate the same political conference speech from the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Tory Conference.

The Independent’s Dave Brown uses Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal whilst Steve Bell, at the Guardian, makes reference to Danny Boyle’s/Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.


Tuesday 30 September 2014. The Independent – Dave Brown


George Osborne, as the Grim Reaper, decides to slash tax on wealthy pensioners (another backdoor reduction in inheritance tax) whilst freezing ‘working-age’ welfare payments to the poorest, withdrawing it all together from 18-21 year-olds and promises further reductions in public sector pay. The irony being that the Reapers scythe is now aimed at the poor and the young rather than the rich and the old (positive Tory voter demographic) blatant and cynical sociopolitical engineering of the worst kind. More austerity for the poor, less austerity for the rich.



Director: Ingmar Bergman,  Writer: Ingmar Bergman (Play), Ingmar Bergman (Screenplay), Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot. Sweden, Black and White, 1957

Tuesday 30 September 2014. The Guardian – Steve Bell

Steve Bell 30.9.2014

 Steve Bell’s contribution is less visually obvious but after hearing Osborne spouting ‘Choose jobs, choose enterprise, choose security, choose prosperity, choose investment, choose fairness, choose freedom, choose David Cameron, choose the Conservatives, choose the future.’ the Trainspotting theme is obvious.

The cartoon depicts Osborne (as Renton – the film’s anti-hero) emerging from a toilet in a drug induced trip depicted in the film. Somebody wasn’t impressed though. The writer of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh, responded on Twitter to the Chancellor’s reference to his words thus:-

‘Would rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare than that c*** Osbourne quote them on choice.’

 Again, ironically, if Osborne had read the whole of the quote from the film he would have noticed that he should have ended his speech:-

‘…choose David Cameron, choose the Conservatives, choose the future, but why would I want to do a thing like that?’ Priceless.


Director: Danny Boyle Writers: Irvine Welsh (novel), John Hodge (screenplay) Stars:
Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller. UK, Colour, 1996.

Chris Walker.

Damn those Ayes

Well, Cameron recalled parliament yesterday and called for a vote on whether to engage Britain’s armed forces in air attacks against Islamic State, a group of around 30,000 Islamic extremists. That is less than a premiership football crowd.

All three main parties put their MPs under a three-line whip to vote yes. There were mutterings about about ‘mission creep’, Cameron’s proposal to expand the intervention into Syria without a further commons vote etc. but in the end it was Ayes 524 and 43 voting against. So we have hundreds of thousands of families relying on food banks, pay frozen for years, cost of living going up, zero hours contracts, sanctions against the poor, the sick, the old and the disabled yet we can afford to prosecute a war that, in Cameron’s words, ‘could take three years’

I was disappointed that we are not learning lessons from the past and I suggest every MP reads this letter that was posted in (wait for it…) the Daily Mail that explains the situation.30639-zwu40sSimples!

And so today I post The Independent’s Dave Brown’s re-intereptation of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Blind Leading the Blind”.

Saturday 27 September 2014. The Independent – Dave Brown/Pieter Bruegel

Daily-Cartoon-20140927Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asks Barack Obama to supply air support to help combat the Islamic State terrorists in his country. Obama is being tripped up, dragging Cameron, Clegg and Miliband towards the quicksand.

pieter-bruegel-the-youngerTHE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND.

Pieter Bruegel The Elder Fusili, 1568 – Distemper on Linen Canvas, 86 cm × 154 cm, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

This is a great example of how the political cartoon can get over a complicated point simply.

May I just add – There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Chris Walker.