The Art Of Politics: 2019 Is Done, Here Comes 2020

by Richard Bruton

Welcome to the Art of Politics for December, rounding up the messy world of politics here in the UK through the artistic lens of the greatest Brit political cartoonists… it’s a hideous, horrible, dark world here in the UK as we head into 2020… but then again, it’s pretty bad all over. But take heart, enjoy the art, and look after yourselves.

Well, December was all about one thing… it was election time. Which meant that all involved were promising us what they’d do for us, meant that the media were taking sides (and yes, sadly they do, it’s a world of fake news and media bias now… but then again, it’s always been), meant that politicians of all colours were campaigning against a backdrop of Brexit, and yes, now it’s the end of the month, we all know just how it all turned out, with Prime Minister Boris getting back into power.

One of the big questions of the election was the future of the NHS. The NHS is possibly one of those things that will be up for grabs once the UK goes into the non-European Union market… over to Steve Bell on the idea that President Trump might have his little hands all over it…

For anyone reading this outside of the UK, the NHS is the National Health Service, arguably the greatest thing to ever happen in the UK, a free health service available to all. Yes, it has its faults, undoubtedly, but it’s a magnificent thing, something that needs to be cherished, protected, and hailed as a wonderful thing. It means that everyone in the UK has access to healthcare, completely free, no matter who you are. And if you’ve ever seen a US medical insurance receipt, you’ll know that the idea of a free health service is something that should be protected until our last breath.

Okay, lecture over.

So… the election. As you’d expect, the political cartoonists sharpened their pencils, pens, digital tablets (ok, you can’t sharpen those last two, but you get the idea). And this is just a little of what they came up with…

Ben Jennings on voting for change…

Steve Bell on Bozza appropriating the imagery and ideas of Love Actually…

Chris Riddell on Bozza and what it might mean for the old PM being the new PM…

And then, despite everyone in my social media echo chamber (oh c’mon, you surely know my politics by now?) predicting Jeremy Corbyn and Labour rolling into power, the UK woke up to a new dawn of Boris Johnson and the Conservative party in power for another 5 years and the chant of ‘Get Brexit done, Get Brexit done’ reverberating in our ears…

Martin Rowson on Bozza’s coronation…

Ben Jennings on the rise of the Tory voter in the North of England…

Anyway, all of this meant that Brexit was pushed through parliament and the UK is definitely, absolutely definitely leaving the EU in January. Or maybe later, depending on how the negotiations go. Anyway, here’s Martin Rowson on the EU departure….

And here’s Chris Riddell on the new golden age of the future….

So, as we come to the end of 2019, Britain is having a fun old time with Bozza in power. As Alan Moore once said in the intro to V For Vendetta… ‘It’s cold and it’s mean-spirited and I don’t like it any more’.

Something summed up quite nicely by Morten Morland with an idea of how this great Britain, home of democracy and inclusion, has changed…

And Brian Adcock on the fabulous Christmas we all had…

 

So… other things…

Ben Jennings on Christmases yet to come…

And while we’re on the climate change thing (and yes, it most definitely a thing… all those pesky scientists say so), here’s Steve Bell on the Trumpet’s response to Greta Thunberg getting named as Time Magazine’s person of the year…

So, it’s the end of 2019 dear reader and we wish you all the best for 2019. The one thing that all of these wonderful cartoonists teach us to do is to question those in power. Keep doing that, keep believing your voice is important, keep believing that you/we can make a difference, and keep challenging everything.

It might seem dark, it might seem grim, but the sun will come up tomorrow, the Earth will keep turning, and together, with a little bit of luck, we’re all going to be okay. 2019 might be over, here comes 2020. Happy New Year.

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