Bell’s hells

Con­dom Cameron and Trumps golden toi­let

The Guardian - G2 - - Front Page -

How on earth did we end up where we are? Back in early 2015, ev­ery­thing seemed, if not ex­actly in good hands, then at least quite set­tled. Then David Cameron wrecked ev­ery­thing by win­ning an out­right ma­jor­ity in the gen­eral elec­tion, forc­ing him to keep his prom­ise to hold a ref­er­en­dum on the UK’s mem­ber­ship of the EU.

It was also all change in Labour land. Ed Miliband stepped down and the hith­erto un­re­mark­able back­bencher Jeremy Cor­byn be­came leader of the op­po­si­tion. Nick Clegg merely faded into in­vis­i­bil­ity.

Then came Brexit: an out­come to the ref­er­en­dum that no one ex­pected and whose mean­ing politi­cians are still strug­gling to in­ter­pret. So Dave stepped down and Theresa May fought off a bunch of no-hop­ers to be­come the sec­ond worst post­war prime min­is­ter. Af­ter Dave, of course.

Brexit means Brexit. Strong and sta­ble. My arse. The 2017 elec­tion put paid to that and now we are left won­der­ing how a North­ern Ire­land back­stop can be both def­i­nite and in­def­i­nite. The only cer­tainty now is that things will al­most cer­tainly get worse. And don’t get me started on the US. But what’s bad for the coun­try is manna for satirists, and in Steve Bell the Guardian has one of the very best po­lit­i­cal car­toon­ists in the busi­ness. Funny, sharp and cruel, cer­tainly, but also an in­formed port in a storm of in­san­ity. In his lat­est col­lec­tion, Cor­byn: The Res­ur­rec­tion, we get to see his­tory through his unique lens.

There’s Con­dom Dave. When Steve (it feels wrong to call some­one who has been a Guardian ever-present since 1981 by his sur­name) heard that Cameron dis­liked the con­dom im­age, he made a point of draw­ing it more fre­quently. There’s Jezza. Steve may have fi­nally found a politi­cian whose poli­cies he ad­mires, but Cor­byn does not go un­spared. Step for­ward Jez-Bi Wan Conor­byn and Popeye in a Lenin hat. There’s Trump the Golden Toi­let. There’s Gren­fell with the burnt-out Tory logo on the roof.

And then there is Theresa. The im­age of her as a scary clown in a har­lequin out­fit has taken on a new mean­ing af­ter the Che­quers deal. Cue “Chuck­ing Che­quers” and Boris John­son vom­it­ing her black-and-white cos­tume over the stage at the Tory party con­fer­ence. A mo­ment of ge­nius. When noth­ing much else makes sense, you can rely on Steve for clar­ity.

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