The Art Of Politics – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It…

by Richard Bruton

Ok then, politics time. As usual, here in the good old UK, it’s been another busy month where those in power really don’t seem to have a clue what the hell they’re doing. The downside? It’s all going to hell over here. The upside… the political cartoonists are having a field day!

Right then, let’s begin with a cartoon that perfectly sums up the whole Brexit mess quite succinctly, found via Mark Stafford… Bangkok Post cartoonist Mor (Tiwwat Pattarakulvanich)

So, October began with us all knowing that the October 31 deadline was approaching, which meant good old Boris had to do something to get his deal, or somehow force through a no-deal, despite Parliament passing legislation to force old Boris to go back to the EU and write a letter asking for an extension to the Brexit process rather than crash out with a no-deal.

And that’s rather been the entire sorry saga of October…

It all kicked off (as expected) over the Irish border… the EU and Ireland didn’t want any return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. But leaving the EU means some sort of customs border would have to happen… possibly, maybe, sort of… yes, it’s all a bit of a mess.

Steve Bell

Understandably, the EU ended up telling old Boris that his Irish border proposals did not ‘even remotely’ form any part of an acceptable deal. Well, no surprise there…

Steve Bell

So most of the month, Boris has been trying (possibly) to get the EU to agree to a deal. It didn’t look like it would go well…

Ben Jennings

Martin Rowson

Next twist, Boris suspends parliament once more so that he can hold a Queen’s Speech, where Her Maj laid out all of her illustrious government’s plans for the forthcoming parliament. But, of course, all the parliament are really thinking about are those damn Brexit negotiations…

Ben Jennings

Next up, with the EU’s deadline of 17 October for the UK government actually to do something in terms of getting a damn deal sorted, the improbably finally happens and the new deal is announced.

Problem is, it looks awfully like a mere tweaking of all those deals ex-PM Theresa May put forward to parliament and had rejected again and again… albeit with a fudge over the Irish border, with the whole of the UK leaving the EU customs union, but Northern Ireland would stay as one entry point into the EU’s customs zone, meaning NI is destined to be half-British, half European, at least in some form or other.

Steve Bell

All of which results in our dear old Prime Minister, buffoon-in-chief Johnson having to go back on his words of rather being dead in a ditch than having to send the letter asking the EU for an extension to the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

Yes, he sent it… although, in a somewhat typical baby throwing the dummy out of the pram way, he refused to sign the letter and sent along a second letter basically saying that he didn’t want to send the first letter but the nasty bullies in Parliament, doing all that rule of law thing, made him do it. (Nanny, Nanny, I don’t want to play with these children anymore Nanny).

Brian Adcock

There were votes in Parliament (there always are… and Boris always seems to lose them), but the end result, surprise surprise, it all just seemed to be the same old thing… another vote on doing the deal Boris had delivered (a deal many thought worse than the previous deals) or a vote on calling a General Election on 12 December to sort the whole damn thing out (Yeah, like anyone believes that).

Trouble is, the opposition parties don’t believe old Boris won’t just try and force through a no-deal Brexit anyway, so they won’t get behind the General Election until the legal ramifications are sorted. And although the EU agreed that there should be an extension to the Brexit deadline, they wouldn’t actually tell us when the deadline would be until yet another vote in Parliament went on to decide whether another General Election vote might get passed.

Cue lots of to-ing and fro-ing, more votes, more losses… all to no avail…

Nicola Jennings

With the 31 October deadline fast approaching, the inevitable happened and the EU granted what they’re calling a Flex-tension… we can have the extension to 31 January, but if we (somehow) manage to get a deal done before then, we’re out on our ear.

Morten Morland

Martin Rowson

With the prospect of elections and deals stalling, parliament being all difficult, Boris even went so far as to threaten some sort of government strike if he didn’t get what he wanted, which is about the level of politics we’re at right now… here in the jolly old UK we’re just not feeling all that jolly in the slightest…

Chris Riddell

Then, finally, Boris got his wish and we’re on for a 12 December General Election. Which is all well and good, apart from the fact that the country is really so sick of politics right now and a December election, with the late nights, cold weather and prospect of politics stamping all over the Christmas plans of local community halls and schools all over… but anyway, that’s where we’re at right now.

Paul Thomas

The only good news, in a way, is that at least we’re saved for a couple of weeks from the continued voting and debating and voting and debating on a Brexit that might just happen sometime in 2020.

Steve Bell


Meanwhile… in the rest of the world… this is just the sort of thing that makes political cartooning so damn strong. The imagery, the ideas, the brutality of the work… it just hits home better than any words and sums up everything about the Trump action of pulling US forces out of Syria…

Martin Rowson

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