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Battle of the Cartoonists!


The Big Draw 2014 – Team Independent/Economist

And winners! My hat tipped to team mates Dave Brown, Peter Schrank and David Simonds. There’s a nice report of the whole event over at the Procartoonists.org blog.

Battle of the Cartoonists winners 2014 - at Matt Buck hack Cartoons

Photograph: Kasia Kowalska

A winner at Battle of the Cartoonists winners 2014 for the Big Draw - at Matt Buck hack Cartoons

Photograph © Kasia Kowalska

Cartoon: Dad’s Army


© Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons for http://tribunecartoons.com

It is six months to the general election and we have not a clue what will happen. Hat tipped to David Worsfold for a good trot over the ground.

The aged and much-loved Sitcom Dad’s Army is also being revived in film – it provides a useful handle for a look at four-party politics in the cartoon.

Cartoon: The UK and the EU

Mrs Merkel has let it be known the political posturing our own PM David Cameron has been indulging in has consequences. These are likely to be extremely damaging for both the UK economy and the EU. Presently, the UK is the fourth largest contributor to the long standing members’s club.


Dinosaur at Matt Buck Hack Cartoons
Seen at the Frieze art fair in London in October 2014.

Cartoon: A Country in Need


© Matthew Buck Hack cartoons for Tribunecartoons.com

The annual telethon Children in Need is being promoted once more upon the national broadcaster. This year this involves a very glossy looking, celebrity stuffed cover version of the Beach Boys hit ‘God only knows what I’d do without you’.

In the cartoon, I suggest the country may have other, broader, demands.

Cartoon: Compare the Market

Compare this year’s pre-election promises in the UK to those of the last pre-general election season. Yes, that’s right, there is no difference.

(Presumably the cost of saving the financial industry has been worth it).

Cartoon: Paisley pattern Conservatism


© Matthew Buck Hack cartoons for Tribunecartoons.com

Conservative MP Brooks Newmark has been embarrassed by an online sting conducted by a freelance journalist working on behalf of the Sunday Mirror. The story offered some picturesque details about self expression and paisley pattern pajamas.

The paper is now being investigated by the new IPSO press regulator for its use of subterfuge.

To accompany this week’s Conservative Party Conference another MP and a significant financial donor have also announced their defection to Nigel Farage’s UKIP.

The conference speeches have become a de facto leadership hustings with Home Secretary Theresa May making her intentions for ‘the other side of the election’ pretty clear yesterday. The present Prime Minister is, er, upstanding today.

Cartoon: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


© Matthew Buck Hack cartoons

I write as someone who wanted the status quo in the United Kingdom to persist – with changes.

What the Scottish Yes campaign achieved, in defeat, was amazing. Their reasoning was clear and I am sure the matter will come around again as the Westminster mainstream Unionist parties fail to deliver on the last minute pledges (aka bribes).

The offers made were revealing of the panic the UK system of government has been in during the past fortnight.

The achievement of Yes was particularly amazing when you consider the weight of inertia against which they shunted and the resources of communication, power and patronage used against them.

Sadly, after the result it is no surprise to see the party political backsliding start about the promises made under duress late in the campaign. Obviously, if this proves the case it will only encourage the sentiments driving much of the urge for change which the campaign and vote in Scotland displayed.

I doubt our present provision of political parties are capable of reframing our systems of national organisation without resorting to cheap tactical self-advancement. Perhaps I am wrong and there is a leader out there able to act in an interest above party to maintain the state of the nation but I’m damned if I can see them. (Does anyone else?)

I’d cite the failure to engage in a more than partial consideration of proportional representation for our UK electoral system as an example of this problem. It would be a way of challenging the ‘regional sinecure system’ we have become as the idea of truly national UK parties has declined (ie. with representation in all regions of the country).

In a soundbite, there should be no ‘safe seats’ for any bloody party.

Regional (or, national) politics will weaken the fabric of the whole as long as the institutional urge to resist it persists. Policies of divide and rule breed distrust and resentment and will no good to the prospects of recovery for the UK after the catastrophic recession delivered by the financial crisis – and its after effects.

Also, the ruinous habit of centralising power to London badly needs to be moderated. Sadly, it follows the (often dirty) money.

You can see The Conservatives already playing this tactical game with an ‘English parliament’ to be served , of course, from Westminster. Yuck.

This is evident in the case of a NEW (supplementary, and in my opinion. unnecessary) English parliament which the English Nationalist shills are promoting loudly today.

As recent PM (Conservative) John Major famously said, (I paraphrase) ‘If the answer is more politicians, you are asking the wrong question’.

Question: what’s worse than a Parliamentarian (and associated civil service bureaucracy) with one job? Answer: One with two jobs.

Enough. And thanks for your patience if you got this far.

Venn diagram of the structure of the United Kingdom @ Mattbuckhackcartoons

@TheLazyDog_ on twitter

Cartoon: Scotland – Just like Norway


© Matthew Buck Hack cartoons

The Scottish electorate have voted no to independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by 55% to 45% on a high turnout of 84.6%.

Despite this, the unanticipated and hasty promises of constitutional reform made by all of the pro-unionist parties in the last fortnight of the campaign will be hard to deliver and, hence the remaking of the well-known image above.

The Scottish National Party are fond of citing oil-wealthy Norway as an example of the kind of country an independent Scotland could be.

Updated: This would be my analysis as well.

#Indyref analysis from @freecloud at  mattbuckhackCartoons

Indyref analysis from Graeme A Thomson at  mattbuckhackCartoons

Cartoon: The campaign for the Scottish independence – Referendum 2014


© Matthew Buck Hack cartoons

The #indyref campaign is almost over but the effects will be with us for a long time, whatever the result. Despite the rather jaundiced view I have taken above in the cartoon, turnout is expected to be very high – well over 80% with many confirmed non-voters turning out. This may reflect the fact that there is something clear to vote for and against.

Claire Bolderson reporting from #indyref

The FT’s John McDermott sums up the state of the polls with less than one week to go.

John McDermott of the FT on the Referendum state of play with one week to go

The paper also offers what seems a plain speaking analysis of the situation whatever the result. (Registration may be required to read it).

The cartoon borrows from the prime minister’s recent soundbite and the fine Irvine Welsh book and subsequent film, Trainspotting, directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Andrew Macdonald. In fact, while we are doing popular culture from Scotland, let’s take in a little of this – it being good for the soul. Get it right next time by Gerry Rafferty.

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