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The punchline

The New European thinks its cartoons are a selling point:

I disagree that Stanley Donwood’s cartoons are “fantastic”. The drawings are a tolerably executed pastiche of the style of 1950s cartoons, but there is no clever visual imagery; they merely depict one human being hitting another. Or try to depict it: in the first cartoon the chick’s arm looks too limp to have just knocked that big guy off his feet, but fear not, there is a flash to show that impact did indeed occur. In the second one the word SLAP performs the same function. If you like seeing pictures of your political opponents being hit and sworn at, you will like this!

As for the words, the “punchlines” are nothing but verbal supplements to the punches. Did I say “punchlines” in the plural? There is only one between the two of them. In “PUT THAT ON THE SIDE OF A BUS, FUCKWIT!”, the point is that upon the word “THAT” the woman returns the man’s Leave slogan back to him by hitting him, and in “HOW’S THIS FOR ‘WILL OF THE PEOPLE’ YOU EUROPHOBIC FUCK!”, the point is that upon the word “THIS” the woman returns the man’s Leave slogan back to him by hitting him. While the visual formula of a pretty young woman knocking seven bells out of a fat old man can be repeated ad infinitum, quite soon one is going to run out of Leave slogans and demonstrative pronouns.

Overall, I am not impressed. Nor am I that much bothered. I am confident that the readers of the New European will confine their beatings of Leavers to the realm of imagination; they have plenty of practice in living in a fantasy world after all.

To be honest, the claim made by Nigel Farage to Breitbart London that the cartoons are “glorifying violence against those who voted for Brexit” is a stretch. Both the initial hard-hitting cartoons and his pulling no punches in his objection to them are best seen as just part of the good old knockabout fun of politics. But, as the saying goes, those who live by the sword die by the sword. As it says in the Breitbart article, the New European has been having the vapours about stuff like “the direct correlation between political messaging and violence” since its foundation. In this very issue it has yet another piece saying that real world harm is done by images, in this case denouncing “the complicit culture of Lad’s mags”. It is entertaining to see it being slapped down for the very same offence.

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21 comments to The punchline

  • Paul Marks

    “The New European” is a classic example of the alliance between the far left and big business – it is dominated by the far left (for example blaming the terrible fire in a Kensington tower block, that killed so many people, on “Austerity” – even though the building had just had millions of Pounds spent on it), but it is backed by big business interests – who want to keep their European Union contacts. the Corporate Welfare mutual backscratching that is the European Union system.

    A similar situation can be seen in the United States – where far left political activity is funded by wealthy individuals (very wealthy – for example Mr George Soros) and big business interests (for example the “left coast” internet companies who support ever higher government spending in places like California confident that their particular companies will get sweet heart deals to avoid the higher taxes).

    The wealthy individuals and big business interests who back things such as “The New European” are certain that they can “use” the far left for their own purposes – and they laugh at silly paupers like me who warn them that these people are dangerous.

    I will not live to see these wealthy individuals and business interests exterminated by the far leftists they have backed for so long – but it is quite likely to happen. And it is very difficult to care about what is going to happen to the wealthy people in the West who back the far left (much the same thing that happened to the Duke of Orleans, the wealthiest man in France, after the Revolution he backed took place) – although vast numbers of innocent people are likely to be murdered as well.

  • Since I don’t live in Britain, I haven’t seen a lot of the slogans used in the Brexit campaigns. Thus, I had no idea that “Put that on the side of a bus” was a reference to Brexit at all. At least the other one has the word “Europhobic” to clue me in; otherwise, you could use it for any complaints about election results.

  • Lee Moore

    Even if the whole island sinks forever beneath the waves, as a direct and provable result of Brexit; it will still, on balance, be worth it. It’s such a delightful non cartoonish smack in the chops for so many people who have been begging for such a smack for so long, that even as the sharks move in, I’ll still be laughing.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    CayleyGraph, the side of the bus thing was a reference to this.

    Given that I do not subscribe to the UK’s state religion of NHS-worship, its only effect on me was to marginally decrease my desire to vote Leave, but I am probably not typical.

    That figure of £350 million was widely disputed. I discussed the claim in this post made a couple of weeks before the referendum.

  • Brian Swisher

    If this is what passes for wit amongst Remoaners, then how far has fallen the isle that produced the language of Shakespeare, Milton and the Bible?

  • Good grief, I’ve done better editorial cartoons than that. Of course I was a cartoonist during the Vietnam War era, which was almost as target-rich as today.

  • The contrast between the urbanely bigoted academic Grayling in the years when he was sure his culture war was won and the hysterically illogical remoaner Grayling writing in the New European post-Brexit is, I guess, the UK’s equivalent of some transatlantic lefties’ transformations post-Trump.

    As for the infamous remoaners’ “It’s a lie” about the £350million per week, suppose I take three hundred and fifty dollars from one of our transatlantic commenters every week. I keep up to two hundred and fifty for myself, and spend one hundred or a bit more on giving them things I just know are good for them, e.g.

    – a bag of bile beans every week because they are not eating healthily enough

    – a diversity training course every quarter because their language is so uninclusive

    – some books I just know they should read

    – lots of natural yoghurt and granola – everyone should eat more yoghurt, right

    – an upgrade of their front door step to a ramp lest they trip over it

    – rolls of insulation for them to put in their loft to combat global warming

    all costing some $5200 per annum (less my – considerable – admin fee). They may well consume the yoghurt and granola, and will have no choice but to walk up and down the ramp, and who knows what they’ll do with the rest, but if someone (e.g. Trump) claims I’m taking $350 a week from them, can I be sure they will agree with me that it is Trump who is lying?

  • Matthew McConnagay

    Is that the same Stanley Donwood that does art for Radiohead? I thought this one was particularly good.

  • staghounds

    Fat old white man villain, pretty maybe-not-white girl hero.

    SO imaginative, so daring, edgy and transgressive!

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Matthew McConnagay, I really like the Radiohead artwork you posted. If it is the same Stanley Donwood, as seems likely given the uncommon name, it shows the difference between what an artist produces when their imagination is engaged and what they produce when someone rings them up and asks for a political cartoon by Monday.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Let’s see:
    Marine Le Pen in France;
    Frauke Petry in Germany;
    Pia Kjærsgaard in Denmark;
    Siv Jensen in Norway (admittedly not in the EU).

    Are the folks at The “New” European sure that they understand modern European women?

  • bobby b

    All around the globe, many progressive folk have been maintaining a raw frothing rage over how a won-war-but-for-the-mop-up has been exposed as something else – maybe even a loss. They thought they were THIS close to their PC global-government target.

    They now have a group fantasy about doing harm and violence to their racist sexist penisist enemies but they can’t actually do any because their enemies are too numerous and dangerous, which was their basic problem in the first place, and so it’s a very frustrated fantasy and a very frustrated group.

    So cartoons like these – which are all over the place – ring bells for them on so many levels. It’s like porn made for frustrated remainers and progressives.

  • bobby b

    “To be honest, the claim made by Nigel Farage to Breitbart London that the cartoons are “glorifying violence against those who voted for Brexit” is a stretch.”

    Sure, but it will keep the buggers busy for a week denying it. Better that than thinking up new ways to be offensive. Farage is just being fun.

  • Paul Marks

    I think you are correct bobby b.

  • Mr Ecks

    Treason and Sedition charges would be the fate of many Remainiac scummers were I Prime Minister.

    However this impotent and pathetic cartoon yawn isn’t worth a T&S charge. It would however make an excellent laser print to be instantly and painfully flash tatoo’d on the arse of any Remainiac convicted of T&S. A lifetime souvenir of their days as a traitor both to their nation and the cause of freedom.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The cartoons remind me of the reaction of an abusive partner after being told by their victim spouse that they are finally leaving.

    The main gripe against Europe was being their over-reaching control over our sovereignty, but those dismayed by the referendum result have just doubled down.

    Every time I see something like this it makes me more defiant and further consoles my leave decision.

  • Alisa

    If that isn’t ‘hate speech’, I don’t know what is.

  • Watchman

    What concerns me here is the use of expletives. I’m not coming over all “think of the children”, but whilst images of violence are not necessarily an indication of a desire to commit violence, the use of fuck as a noun is a clear attempt to downgrade the victim and what is represented. It’s also very much a London-centric middle class thing (see any Richard Curtis film for evidence; most of the country know fuck is an exclamation which can also be used as an adjective and an adverb, and have a separate set of nouns, mostly related to genatalia, for this sort of thing – I suspect the gendered nature of genitalia (hey, there’s a phrase I always wanted to type…) means that proper progressives don’t feel they can use them) – a cry of rage against supposed inferiors moving out of their place.

    In the same way as I tend to object to Mr Ecks characterisation of people who have different views as traitors, I find this worrying. It is a potrayal of your enemy as lesser (a ‘fuck’, not worthy of consideration, or a traitor, one who betrays the trust of their community) and at best an attempt to create an elect identity of true believers, but more likely a desire to express the correctness of your views with no attempt to engage and understand. It’s the antithesis of human progress, a reversion to a simple tribal our religion is right point of view.

    So the violence (and the relatively poor pastiche of a cartoon style – done properly those girls should be attractive and give the impression of power, not just appear to be place holders) is not really an issue – you can see almost as bad in the Beano. The expressed attitude is a clear sign of a mind hardened against either argument or reason.

  • Mr Ecks

    “the same way as I tend to object to Mr Ecks characterisation of people who have different views as traitors, I find this worrying.”

    A bunch of fucking wannabe wreckers who have pulled every scam they can think of to try and reverse a result they don’t like ( and would have shat themselves with outrage about had matters been reversed) are not just “people with different views”. Unless those views are characterised as “Fuck you Proles : my pals and I are going to have matters our way and you and yours can slurp shit and die”.

    These folk are my enemy. And my intent is to view and if needs be deal with them in that manner. If you are too weak for that then you and yours are not long for this world so enjoy life while you can. Note that their opinions and actions set and initiated these terms not mine.

    “It is a potrayal of your enemy as lesser (a ‘fuck’, not worthy of consideration, or a traitor, one who betrays the trust of their community) and at best an attempt to create an elect identity of true believers, but more likely a desire to express the correctness of your views with no attempt to engage and understand.”

    All absolute tripe. You deal with your enemies or they deal with you. They defined themselves as such by their words and actions before my response. You carry on being reasonable with the unreasoning and unreasonable. I’m sure they will have fun dragging your defiled corpse around the streets. Metaphorically at first but don’t underestimate the human capacity for evil.

    ” It’s the antithesis of human progress, a reversion to a simple tribal our religion is right point of view.”

    When the time to fight arrives–whatever the form of that fight–you can fight to win or you can have the half-arsed approach you advocate and lose like some latterday Colonel Blimp. And winning starts with attitude.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Gathering dust on a newsagent’s shelf near you, the’New European’ is brought to you by Alastair Campbell, the man for whom the English language affords only one printable word: henchman.

    Henchman to corporate swindler Robert Maxwell.

    Henchman to messianic warmonger Tony Blair.

    Now henchman to the Brussels mafia through his editorship of this disgusting ‘New European’ rag which makes Squealer from Animal Farm look like a model of balance and objectivity.

    Campbell is / has been / always will be a stain on British public life.

  • staghounds

    Name calling is something children, stupid people, and losers do.

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