Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Merry Christmas?



I’ve not done a lot of cartoons this year.  Partly I couldn’t be bothered – the lockdown blues often meant I just couldn’t be arsed to do very much at all. But more importantly, I really couldn’t find anything even remotely amusing about which to produce a cartoon.  Not for the first time I (and many others) have concluded that satire’s dead.

I usually conclude these posts by hoping that the next year would be better than the previous one.  That’s never worked, so last year I decided not to risk any wishes, lamely finishing ‘…let’s just keep fingers crossed that it’s not as bad as it might be’.  Well that went well.

It really is impossible to imagine a government as serially incompetent, as structurally mendacious, and as cynically corrupt as this lot.  The latest small example which took my breath away was Priti Awful claiming that the government had constantly been ahead of the curve in acting proactively in tackling the pandemic.  Such strategic brilliance has us top of the European league for Covid related deaths (and 4th on deaths per head of population), and one of the worst performing economies.  Just about every decision has been too late, each delay leading to more cases and deaths, and increased impact on the economy.  And of course there’s the nightmare that is Brexit, where the lack of preparation has been staggering.

So, at the start of December I thought – let’s cheer myself up by preparing the Christmas card, but in keeping with the spirit of 2020, everything started to go wrong.  First idea: Dominic Cummings in an opticians reading the eye-test poster now containing either a reference to Barnard Castle or a Christmas message or both; then other versions of the same idea appear, after which Cummings gets sacked/pensioned off and the cartoon loses its topicality. Next: one of the Wise Men at the stable door telling the shepherd they can’t come in because of the rule of six: even better version appears in Private Eye, in which the Baby Jesus alone accounts for three people. Next: Wise men on a screen announcing they’ll just do the meeting by Zoom – same idea on a Private Eye Christmas card.  So, now an idea reflecting the confidence with which Our Great Leader and his team are approaching post-Brexit trade talks...

Which brings us of course to next year, and I’m making no wishes about it, of any kind.  Just try to have a Merry Christmas…