Brexit Cartoons

A few cartoons related to Brexit and the upcoming UK referendum

Europe

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British Prime Minister David Cameron entered into an off-colour act during his student days at oxford, according to a new biography by Lord Ashcroft.

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Drawing: Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa

The Gdansk Shipyard electrician who made his name leading strikes under the ‘Solidarity’ banner became the catalyst for the fall of Soviet Communism and Poland’s first democratic elections 25 years ago.

He went on to become President, transforming the country into a capitalist economy and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He was TIME Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1982.

In 1980 Gillette offered the charismatic leader a million dollars to shave off his trademark moustache in a commercial, but he refused. It did come off a few years later for personal reasons.

The remarkable 87 year old Polish filmmaker, Andrzej Wajda made a biopic entitled Walesa: Man of Hope which featured at last year’s BFI London Film Festival. Lech attended the first screening at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square and I was very keen to add one of the 20th Century’s iconic figures to my collection. It was, as they say, a perfect chance for an in-person autograph. When I arrived, he had already completed the red carpet press obligations and I caught a glimpse of his famous face complete with moustache going past the candy bar mixed sweet selection and to the auditorium. Bugger!

It didn’t help that a handful of bystanders said “oh yeah, some Polish politician sat in his car for half an hour. He was very friendly”. It would have been like shooting fish in a barrel to get his sig… but no one did.

I had seen him before at Mikhail Gorbachev‘s 80th birthday gala in 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall. He wasn’t signing but waved and smiled a lot. I waited amongst an ever increasing multitude to see him afterwards but he left through the side door under tight security.

I had drawn this sketch some time ago, based on the famous newspaper image of him celebrating victory. It was one of the bystanders – a Polish gentleman – that said to me “he’s pretty good at signing stuff through the mail – just send it to his foundation address in Gdansk.” So I did and voila! as they say in Polish, here it is!

Cartoon: The Iron Lady

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The Iron Lady pulls the plug.

Looking through my old ‘toons. This was published in The Mirror (in New Zealand), in 1990,  after Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called it a day.

Sketch: Mikhail Gorbachev

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It’s always a very pleasant surprise to receive signed items back in the mail – even more so when it’s from someone you REALLY want.
Mikhail Gorbachev was just such a prize.  He is considered one of the 20th Century’s most influencial figures. The former and only President of the USSR was responsible for ending the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union through his ‘Perestroika’ and ‘Glasnost’ policies. TIME magazine named him ‘Man of the Year’ in 1987 and ‘Man of the Decade’ two years later. In 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I drew the biro sketch, based on a TIME photo. For some reason I liked the angle even though it didn’t emphasise his trademark port-stained birthmark, it did capture a man looking to the future.
I decided to send it to him via the Moscow State University, where he graduated with a Law Degree in 1955. As one of their more respected Alumni and an emeritius member of the Political Science Faculty I hoped it might get to him a lot easier than through ‘official ‘ channels. This was in the mid 1990’s, after he no longer held political office. After 6 months, I gave up hope… but on the 7th month a ‘crumpled’ A4 envelope, minus the backing carboard arrived in my letter box, covered with Russian stamps. The artwork was a little battered but a simple black felt pen signature in the lower left-hand side was all that mattered. Many years later, in March 2011 to be precise, I got to ‘meet’ him at London’s Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his 80th birthday. Gorby arrived early and while he wasn’t signing, he did chat away as he headed up the red carpet as the guest of honour at a Gala hosted by Kevin Spacy and Sharon Stone.