Archive for November, 2007

Cartooning and Iran…

November 30, 2007


This is a fascinating collection of political animated propaganda cartoons from Iranian TV. It’s an interesting insight into how cartoons are used in Iran to spread propaganda, much in the same blatant fashion as it was in for example the Soviet Union and the USA in the past.  

Cartooning is probably not something most people would associate with Iran, but their cartoon tradition goes back as far as the early 1900’s, and it’s still very much alive.It is of course grossly unfair to the majority of Iranian satirists and cartoonists to let the hapless propaganda above represent that great tradition, so for better ambassadors I suggest you go to and   

Anyway, to get an idea of how powerful the rulers of the country have considered the medium to be over the years, you only have to go back to last year when we saw the first cartoon of an Iranian president, published by an Iranian newspaper, for 25 years, after the Culture Ministry (which controls newspapers)finally decided to allow the use of caricatures of the president. (See the cartoon here)

It’s maybe not a surprise that they try to use this power to their own advantage.   



November 26, 2007

Today I’ve been to a really, really long lunch with a colleague in London, and that’s about it…
Of course as a freelancer you wouldn’t want that to be an option for most Mondays, but as a rare treat there probably aren’t many better ways to spend the odd beginning of a week.
Here’s to Lunchdays.

Friday Animation Treat…

November 23, 2007

Here’s something rather beautiful for you to enjoy on a Friday.  

Chromophobia by Raoul Servais is a stunning film which won a raft of awards after it was first released in 1965 – the most prestigious of which was probably the “Primo Premio” at the 1966 Venice Biennale.  

The story is essentially about an army of identical, angular characters that embark on a campaign against anything that bears colour. It’s rife with symbolism, as you probably gather from the summary of the plot. Still, I’m not going to bore your with an analysis, which is bound to be superfluous at best – mediocre at worst. Just watch and enjoy, and perhaps watch it again. 


November 22, 2007

25 million child benefit records have been lost by HM Revenue and Customs, putting a vast number of people at risk of identity fraud.
Systemic failure and a catastrophe waiting to happen, according to specialists.

How reassuring though to see that the root cause of this travesty now finally is being tackled head on:

It is understood that one worker, a 23-year-old man, has resigned over the disappearance of the two data CDs.

Stupid worker – failing the system.

A little cartoon round-up…

November 22, 2007

if you haven’t yet seen Steve Bell’s cartoon in the paper this morning, click here.
Steve doesn’t miss a chance to feature his best ever cartoon creation, Major’s pants, and the way things are going for the Government it’s probably not the last time Gordon is drawn sporting the underwear of the last Tory PM.
The visual does it all. Wonderfully humorous drawing. The gag serves simply to underline the pitifulness.

See also:

Peter Brookes, in the Times, who’s had a nice series of Darling-mockery since the downfall began.
Dave Brown, in the Indy, who’s Darling cartoon today perhaps includes as many disaster metaphors as it’s humanly possible to put into a single frame.
Nicholas Garland in the Telegraph, who returns to his old trick of illustrating a quote. It’s a good quote though.
And lastly Paul Thomas, in the Express, who also has a good laugh at the Government’s expense.

By the way, have a look at Beau Bo D’Or’s rather beautifully executed animation on Darling and Northern Rock. Less is more and all that. Very good indeed.

Losing it…again.

November 21, 2007

Right this moment.
Looking at BBC News online.
You think:
“Oh dear…”
(if you’re the polite sort…)

25 MILLION ( “25m” surely is an unwelcomed euphemism in this context) – 25 MILLION child benefit records lost.
Massive bird flu cull under way after another suspected outbreak.
Ambulance queue at full hospital.
…and then on top of that the England team, at home, manages to lose their place in Euro 2008 TWICE in one spectacularly shite game.

There were fears that Gordon Brown showing up at Wembley could jinx the team’s chances, given that every England fixture he’s attended since becoming PM has ended in disaster.
Well, the truth is Steve McClaren jinxed the team without the PM’s help tonight.
And anyway, Gordon’s spell reaches much wider than a single game of sports. In fact his very presence in number 10 seems to have, to use Westminsterspeak, caused calamity ‘across the board’ – and the misfortune is showing no signs of letting up.

Steve McClaren will be sacked on Thursday…

Oh, and the weather is foul…

Losing it…

November 20, 2007

Confidential details of 15 million child benefit recipients lost by HM Revenue and Customs…

Bring on the ID cards!

The Blair Years…

November 18, 2007

…on BBC1 tonight must have been seriously uncomfortable viewing for the Chancellor new PM.
There are some incredibly telling moments in the first program dealing with the relationship between Blair and Brown, which do not put Gordon in a very favourable light.

One thing is the sighing and the bodylanguage of Blair, when faced with direct questions about their run-ins from Times columnist David Aaronovitch. It’s telling, but then again only important for the partisan viewer. The same goes for the disagreements over policy, of course.

What’s truly uncomfortable however, is the descriptions of Brown’s style. The scheming, the hiding and the unedifying lust for power.
There’s nothing new there of course for anyone who’s followed politics for the last few years, but rarely, if ever, has it been presented so damningly as a matter of fact.

The timing for Brown is appalling, coming after a terrible week in which his control-freakery has surfaced with a vengance first with Lord Admiral West and detention, and then with David Miliband’s speech on Europe. His personal poll ratings have reached an all time low, and tonight’s program will have done his efforts to save a crumbling image no good at all.

A measure of how bad things have got, is an article in tomorrow’s Times, where Cabinet ministers are forced to deny that Gordon is a bully.
Well, even if you take their word for it, as you might have taken Number 10’s word for it during the Blair years, it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when ministers have to rush to the media to deny that the PM is a micromanaging, interfering arm twister.

It’s hard to see how he can ever convince the public he is anything else.

(Then again, it makes great cartooning material, so by all means don’t change Gordon, dearest. Keep it real. Act natural.)

Calamity Clegg…

November 18, 2007

Finally some flare!
On the Politics Show today John Sopel presented a fabulous document titled “Calamity Clegg” sent out from the Hapless Huhne camp, which spells out issues on which Calamity Clegg is flip-flopping.
Good fun.

Calamity Clegg is saddened by it.

Humbug Huhne, who blames an overzealous researcher for the title, thinks the name won’t stick.
Calamity Clegg.
Calamity Clegg.
Calamity Clegg.
Calamity Clegg.
Calamity Clegg.
My guess is that it probably will!

Calamity Clegg makes official complaint – and thus ensures that what was a rather damaging scene for both of them, stays in the media spotlight for longer! He’s already living up to his new name!

Iain Dale blogs well on this unfolding saga – and also links to an interesting analysis by Guto Harri.

From the sketchbook: Fortress Brown…

November 18, 2007

fortress brown

Update: Going through the cartoons from today’s papers, I notice that Adams has got a similar idea in the Telegraph.
I’d say that proves it. Gordon is falling apart. Someone should let him know.