Thank God for Steve Bell, he literally wins elections with his cartoons

I am serious — Steve Bell, the long-time Guardian cartoonist is a national treasure. He should be knighted one day, and buried in Westminster Abbey. For over twenty years the Guardian has chosen to publish his political cartoons. This has been a Godsend to right-wing political figures, because Bell’s cartoons are probably the least funny cartoons in the history of publishing. For the average person seeing one of his cartoons produces a feeling of incomprehension, and a vague feeling of sadness at the waste of a life. The one thing is does not do in anyone, other than a committed and slightly dim left-winger, is produce feelings of mockery and scorn for the right-wing figure depicted.

Can you imagine how things might have been different had the Guardian employed a cartoonist with a sense of humour? (Bell is like the prototype for all these modern comedians who insist humour must not be funny.) A cartoonist who really could skewer politicians with a few lines and a few choice words? A cartoonist who could really change minds and attract more converts to the left? The left might have triumphed across every corner of the country if they’d had a left-wing Matt taking up half-page spreads.

Humour and sense are poor substitutes for naked hatred. Steve Bell gets that. He’s always got it. He wrote the book on it. The book makes no sense, and isn’t funny, but the hate oozes out from between the pages, so shut the hell up, Zionist.


But luckily for us they are humourless arses who decided to employ a man whose cartoons wouldn’t have even been good enough to make it into the student rags that I used to work on. Even the left-wingers on staff at those places would have literally screwed these cartoons up and thrown them in the bin, shaking their heads at the dearth of talent on their side. But the Guardian employed this man, and thus guaranteed that any average person who was unlucky enough to catch a glimpse of his work was so repelled that they resolved never to vote for the left, and never to read the Guardian for as long as they lived, not even if they were desperate to know the cricket scores and someone was handing out copies of the awful thing for free.

Long may Steve Bell reign as the right’s greatest weapon.

Update: Soak in some more genius:

Subtlety be damned. When a take is this spot on you’ve got to just publish it, even if most people will think it ludicrously partisan and crashingly unfunny.

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5 thoughts on “Thank God for Steve Bell, he literally wins elections with his cartoons

  1. He doesn’t get published in the Australian version so I looked up some of his other work. It is about the same standard as the one above. I nevertheless have no doubt that British state school teachers chortle and rebelliously put them up on their staff room fridges, though.
    When you think about it, it’s not really fair that only talented humourists get to be cartoonists, nor is if fair that only clever people with strong stomachs get to be surgeons or that only people who can swim get to be lifeguards. Good on The Guardian for setting a progressive example in this case.

  2. This made me think of Ben Elton for some reason. I can remember his rants about privatisation in the eighties. Adverts for shares in state run industries led him to say that he thought that he owned that already. He was apparently expecting to see an advert for shares in his sofa appearing any minute. Yes, the childishly naive little lefty actually thought that he had part ownership of state owned industries. You only have a stake in them in so far as you are expected to stump up for their eye watering losses Ben.

  3. At the time it was the official Labour take on the privatisation issue, that the nationalised industries belonged to the people and that the Tories were selling off the family silver.

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