This was withheld for one day in case something tragic happened during the Grand Prix. Better safe than sorry, if one *May* say so.
a) “A drawing depicting a humorous situation, often accompanied by a caption.”
b) “A drawing representing current public figures or issues symbolically and often satirically: a political cartoon.”
At best, a cartoonist will capture a facial expression or encapsulate a situation with humour, brevity and élan, while at worst he will produce a laboured, racist, malicious, libelous, unfunny, overworked, overrated visual polemic.
On Saturday’s early morning paper review a cartoon was mentioned, depicting a car belonging to Bernie Ecclestone being filled up with blood. Which category that fits into depends on the outlook of the beholder.
F1 racing is cartoon-like, right from the starting grid. Cars, drivers, costumes, commentators in Groucho face-masks and the octogenarian pixie Bernie Ecclestone who was obviously startled at being asked for a political opinion, politics having never occurred to him until that moment.
The hooha over Bahrain has a cartoon-like quality. The name of the capital sounds like ‘banana.’ Direct-Action Boycott/Divestment/Sanction is an ill-conceived concept that usually amounts to pointless, illogical, vigilante posturing.
I don’t know much about the Bahraini Royal family, but they sound at least as charming as the Saudi Royals who we suck up to, or the Chinese whose human rights abuses we set aside for the sake of sport, or the Pakistanis who I believe we play cricket with.
A likeable Bahraini Prince was interviewed on the BBC. He spoke with a cultured English accent, like a respectable British businessman; the tea towel on his head was set at a jaunty, possibly ironic, angle. The protesters, who are they? His Royal Highness compared them to our own rioting protesters, a theory that gains credence with every molotov cocktail.
The QT panel were all for the boycott. George Galloway was off colour that day but even he managed to outdo his own hypocrisy. As if he doesn’t habitually suck up to murdering dictators.
John Humphrys interviewed another pleasant Bahraini spokesman yesterday morning who sounded extremely plausible. Humph was taken aback when this gentleman refused to cave in at the very mention of Amnesty International and human rights abuses. He was far too polite to say bad things about such an inherently virtuous body, but he stood his ground.
The Any Questions panel were all for the boycott. All except Alan Duncan. Far be it for me or anyone else to agree with Alan Duncan, but by the same token if Andy Slaughter and the odious Jeremy Corbyn are campaigning against F1 in Bahrain, I’m all for it.