A flaw in the aspirational concept of “You can be whoever you want to be”.
The cartoon illustrates a problem with the currently popular encouragement to schoolchildren that when they grow up they can be whoever they want to be.
The aspirational, motivational expression makes the assumption that everyone will strive for a worthy goal. I don’t think this is necessarily the case.
In fact the concept gives people license to aim towards whatever they desire, which wouldn’t be a good thing.
Drawn: August 2020
Cartoon reference number: a835
Conspiracy theory cartoon.
The cartoon shows a person holding a placard stating “Truth lies in following the evidence”.
Another person holds the same placard with the lower part ripped off, so that the part that he holds reads “Truth lies”.
\A cartoon about conspiracy theories truth, facts, fake news.
Drawn: August 2020
Cartoon reference number: a831
The blame game – cartoon.
A cartoon showing a protester with a banner proclaiming “I blame you”.
The cartoon is about people who need to place the blame for things on other people rather than on circumstances. This includes blaming people for their attitudes rather than analysing the circumstances that make people hold those attitudes.
A cartoon about protestors, political demonstrations, guilt.
Drawn: August 2020
Cartoon reference number: a830b
The US postal service and the postal vote – cartoon.
A cartoon about the position of the USPS and the postal votes in the US presidential election.
Drawn: 19th August 2020
Cartoon reference number: a829
A voter in an election choosing to vote for dictatorship, thus voting out democracy.
This cartoon shows a voter who feels that democracy isn’t working. Perhaps he feels threatened by democracy because he thinks that most people vote the ‘wrong’ way. As a result he is voting for the anti-democratic option of dictatorship.
People sometimes think that a a ‘benign dictatorship’ or authoritarian regime may be preferable to unpredictable and unruly democracy (as long as the resulting regime is one with which they think they’ve got broad sympathy!).
Drawn: Aug 2020
Cartoon reference number: a828b
A voter in an election voting for dictatorship rather than democracy.
This cartoon shows a voter who is dissatisfied with his society and is blaming the problem on democracy. Perhaps he feels threatened by democracy because he thinks that most people vote the ‘wrong’ way. As a result he is voting for the anti-democratic option of dictatorship.
It’s not unusual for people to complain about election results, and even to say that they might prefer a ‘benign dictatorship’ to democracy.
Of course the problem with voting for dictatorship is that once you’ve got it you can’t get rid of it because you can’t vote out a dictatorship because (meaningful) elections are suspended.
Drawn: Aug 2020
Cartoon reference number: a828
Escape from the waste land cartoon
A cartoon showing a builder’s skip being used as a boat to escape from a land covered in waste – a wasteland.
The illustration is concerned with the amount of waste and rubbish generated by our consumer society.
The people in the image are escaping from the polluted land by using a builder’s skip as a boat. Such skips are in my mind associated with over consumption, as they are often to be seen outside houses that are being refitted with more modern and fashionable fittings (especially in the kitchens and bathrooms).
First version drawn: 1991
This square version: 2020
Cartoon reference number: a445b
Conspiracy theory cartoon – sign of the times.
A road sign with multiple roads leading to conspiracy theories.
One road leads to truth, but the road is closed.
The cartoon is about the current proliferation of (and acceptance of) conspiracy theories, as we now seem to live in a post-truth fake news world.
The climate of conspiracy theories is a sign of the times, hence the sign and the title of the cartoon, Sign of the Times.
Cartoon drawn: 30th July 2020
Cartoon reference number: a826
A cartoon of a man with an “End is Nigh” placard.
A woman is saying “There was a time when I’d have dismissed him as a crank”.
The cartoon about the pessimism that is currently felt about the state of the world and about the future.
It primarily refers to climate change and global warming, but could equally refer to other malaises that are afflicting the planet.
Original version: 2010
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: a709b
The perception of tolerance and intolerance in western society – cartoon.
Western democracy is currently being judged by some sections of society as highly intolerant.
It’s my opinion that this is partly because western democracies are in fact very tolerant. This allows the intolerances, injustices and prejudices that do exist within western democracies to be analysed openly, and sometimes very loudly. At the time of writing the Black Lives Matter campaign is dominant in people’s consciousness, while subjects such as sexism, gay rights, gender issues, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other subjects have been at the top of the agenda. These are all subjects that would not be given the time of day in countries that are less tolerant: the issues would possibly be seen as either not existing or they would be suppressed.
The cartoon is linked to the paradox of tolerance, which is the paradox that a truly tolerance society has to tolerate attitudes that (it interprets as) intolerant.
Drawn: 23rd July 2020
Cartoon reference number: a825
The environmental impact of unsustainable road traffic
A cartoon about the impact of cars and transportation on the environment
The image shows a globe of the earth squashed flat on a road by a car, signifying the global impact of cars and transport in general on the environment – a sort of global roadkill.
A cartoon about transport, sustainability, car use, traffic.
Original version created: 2004
This version created: 2019
Cartoon reference number: a478b
Diversity cartoon – inclusion in the workplace.
A cartoon about diversity policy in employment and in recruitment.
The cartoon shows an interviewer in an organisation’s hr department interviewing a man. The interviewer is saying that her organisation promotes a policy of diversity and inclusion, however the policy doesn’t extend to the man being interviewed.
Diversity policies that are aimed at reducing discrimination tend to be targeted at race, gender and sexual orientation. This frequently puts white working class males at a disadvantage, partly because they do not belong to a recognised disadvantaged group under the UK government’s 2010 Equality Act and partly because they do not have enough points under the concept of intersectionality.
Drawn: 19th July 2020
Cartoon reference number: a821
Changing names linked to slavery.
Bristol was a city that made a significant profit from the slave trade.
This cartoon was drawn several years before the statue of Edward Colston was toppled in the city centre and the city’s concert hall, Colston Hall, had it’s name changed.
Drawn: Sept 2017
Cartoon reference number: a820
Cartoon about the pandemic of conspiracy theories about the covid-19 pandemic.
The conspiracy theories about the origin of the covid-19 coronavirus include it being created in a Chinese lab, being released by Bill Gates so that he can control the world, and that it is caused by G5 signals from phone masts.
A cartoon about conspiracy theories, gullibility, psychological delusion, going viral.
Drawn: 11th July 2020
Cartoon reference number: a818
Covid 19 conspiracy theory cartoon, linking the virus to G5.
A cartoon about the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was somehow linked to the radiation from G5 phone masts.
A cartoon about conspiracy theories, gullibility, psychological delusion.
Drawn: 10th July 2020
Cartoon reference number: a817
Conspiracy theory cartoon.
A conspiracy theory cartoon featuring a signpost that (may have been) turned round.
Drawn: 9th July 2020
Cartoon reference: a816
A cartoon about cancel culture and historical thought crimes.
This cartoon is about the current (2020) phenomenon of cancel culture. This is the concept by which a person is ostracized or shunned if they are judged to hold unapproved views or have attitudes that run counter to those of the arbiters of what are acceptable views. It is a subsection of woke culture.
Cancel culture is responsible for such phenomena as no platforming, where people with proscribed views are denied the ability to put their views forward for debate, particularly in universities.
It is often applied to people based on attitudes that they held in the past. By this criterium practically everyone on the planet should be cancelled, which is one of the points of this cartoon. The saying “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” comes to mind.
Cancel culture is often applied to historical figures from several centuries ago, particularly (at the moment) to those involved in some way in the transatlantic slave trade, and is manifested in the current campaigns to remove statues.
Cancel culture can be viewed as having a stifling effect on culture and debate, with its, to me, zealously censorious woke attitudes and its Orwellian implications.
Drawn: 7th July 2020
Cartoon reference: a815
A cartoon about racist & sexist demeaning caricatures.
This cartoon is about changing attitudes to race and gender in popular culture.
The cartoon shows someone watching the tv programme The Black and White Minstrel Show in 1975, and someone else watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2020.
The cartoon draws attention to the jolly, pantomime portrayal of black men in the first show and of women in the second, and tries to make the point that while the cartoonish portrayal of black men in black face is now deemed unacceptable, the caricaturing of women as over-sexualised grotesques (similar to glamourised pantomime dames) is currently promoted in some parts of society as celebratory and ‘fun’.
The Black and White Minstrel Show was an extremely popular programme in the 1960s. I was a child at the time, and even I liked it, despite the fact that I was of an the age at which Top of the Pops was essential viewing. It was considered to be harmless family entertainment. The show was on the tv during a time of rapid social change, including a large increase in the black population of some parts of Britain, so by the mid 1970s the show was viewed in a different light and was finally discontinued because of its outdated attitudes.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a contemporary (2020) manifestation of part of lgbtq culture.
Drawn: 6th July 2020
Cartoon reference: a814
Cartoon showing Boris Johnson losing control of the country and the government
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sitting in a go-cart hurtling over the edge of a cliff.
Johnson is holding a steering wheel as though he is steering the cart, but the steering wheel isn’t attached.
He is sounding very optimistic and up-beat all the same. Delusional optimism.
The cartoon plays on Boris Johnson’s jokey, boyish, playful personna.
Original (Brexit) version drawn: March 2017
This version drawn: 2nd July 2020
Cartoon reference: a812
Leicester lockdown and pubs reopening cartoon
A cartoon about the fact that pubs are about to reopen in England next weekend as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, just as the city of Leicester is put back into a higher state of lockdown (with no pubs allowed to open).
The possibility of young people leaving Leicester and getting very drunk in pubs outside the lockdown zone seems very likely to me. They will have to drive out of Leicester, and then return in a state of intoxication. A very worrying prospect.
Drawn: 1st July 2020
Cartoon reference: a811