This week’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon is all about charity. And why some would prefer it to begin farther from home.
Specifically, independent retailers in Kendal are coming under pressure from the number of charity shops in the town. They feel it is competition which is placing them (the independents) at an unfair advantage. Not only do the charity shops pay nothing for their stock (in the main) but also, due to charitable status, receive an 80% discount on business rates.
No, you didn’t misread it. 80% discount on a tax which theoretically goes to benefit the local community.
The charity shops, in turn, argue that they are merely occupying premises which would otherwise be empty. Leading to the ironic thought that the reason they might have been empty is because the original independent retailers who occupied them may have closed due to unfair competition from … you get my drift.
So this was a fertile topic for cartoons but rather complicated to get into a caption which didn’t take up most of the front page. The story about the man who set fire to his mate’s trousers would have been easier. (Court case, cartoonist verboten.)
You can see my attempts below. The final drawing is of the final artwork, complete in all it’s Derwent Studio 33 blue pencil scribbled glory, for those who might be under the impression the finished artwork is a creation of purity and elegance. Pop over to my website to see how it got cleaned up for print. And the caption restored.