Last week I remarked that my newspaper sometimes presents me with a range of stories competing for the front page cartoon. At other times, it’s got to be the front page lead.
This week’s Westmorland Gazette has a splendid lead story: A consultant who works for the Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust has condemned the Trust’s governing body, saying that none of the staff have any confidence in them. The Trust is more interested in ticking boxes and hitting government-set targets than actually looking after patients.
Damning stuff, made all the more exciting by the fact that the consultant wants to remain anonymous - NHS Trusts don’t have a good record for their treatment of whistle-blowers.
Usually I get three hours to work on the cartoon, from initially reading the stories to finished artwork, scanned and emailed to the sub-editors in Blackburn. Yesterday that was down to two hours - the story was still being written and - I imagine - was being slowed down by having to be run past the Newsquest lawyers.
Below you can see the four ideas I pitched to the editor. The chosen cartoon is, even now, on the front of The Westmorland Gazette … or pop over to my website on Friday, where you will be able to see it in colour.