Friday, 25 March 2011

Budget Blues

Excitement, thrills, tension, drama … all these things and more were absent from the UK Budget on Wednesday. Following it live from the Commons via streaming video, it was one of those events where the commentary was more interesting than the event itself.
Local MP Tim Farron was tweeting live from the Commons, highlighting aspects which had repercussions for the Cumbria economy. Money expert Jasmine Birtles was giving point by point analysis. It was all far more entertaining than watching Burlington Bertie’s performance at the despatch box. The only thing which caught my attention was the increased tax on private jets. Now how am I supposed to get about? At this rate, it will soon be cheaper to take the train.
I was watching all this whilst working on this week’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon. You can see the effect it was having by casting your eye over this week’s contenders. (I could have done one drawing and four captions this week. But - in answer to the question: which comes first? - doing the drawing usually helps me get the caption straight in my mind.)
In the end, the sketches weren’t all about the budget, although I was amused that one budget story I picked out hadn’t actually got as far as the paper yet. (Proving my claim that it would be much easier if I submitted cartoons and the reporters then wrote stories to fit.) 
The other stories included BBC plans to reduce local radio output, a bizarre re-definition of 'affordable housing' based on local house prices, not income and a European ruling that Cumberland Sausage can only be called Cumberland Sausage if it is actually made in Cumberland (which no longer exists).
To see which cartoon has leapt onto the front page, pop over to my website where you can see it in full technicolor.

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