The illustration is available to download in higher resolution.
The Conservative Party is a political party from the UK who, since 2019, are under the stewardship of Boris Johnson. They have been in government since 2010, and successfully campaigned for Brexit in the EU referendum, causing David Cameron to resign. His successor Theresa May was forced to resign after her party would not back her in trade deal negotiations with the EU. Her successor is the current PM, Boris Johnson.
In recent times the party has become increasingly right-wing and attracted support from extreme right-wing groups such as the EDL, UKIP, etc. Under Boris’s premiership the government has become hostile towards immigrants, increased the wealth gap between its citizens, reduced state aid, bungled its COVID-19 response, become increasingly strained with the media, spouted false statements and/or evasive manoeuvres when being held to account, and sympathised with right-wing personalities, leaders, etc.
Meanwhile its main Brexit manifesto pledge to “take back control” has been mired in missed targets, obfuscation, concessions and chaos. Some sources have suggested this has happened due to some party members (perhaps even including Boris Johnson) not fully reading Brexit-related paperwork. The result of their reckless mismanagement has affected all its citizens, reducing their standing in Europe. Examples of this include increased tariffs on goods, lack of free movement, withdrawal from student programmes, etc.
During this chaotic time a lot of stories were emerging about party members, with arguments being made of how rotten this group were to lead and to work with. This illustration is a parody of these stories in the style of a “school yearbook photo”.
The illustration is composed of:
- Boris Johnson, PM
Dressed in a prison uniform that has been fashioned into a clown costume. A look of anguish is on his face as he pretends everything is okay
- Priti Patel, Home Secretary
Dressed in a costume made famous by the creepy Grady Twins from the movie The Shining. She has been accused of a bullying nature by civil servants, proposed sending immigrants to a processing centre in the Atlantic Ocean, and of being a hypocrite. Holding Satan’s pitchfork, she wears skull earrings and has Matt Hancock on a leash as her pet
- Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
Matt has overseen the biggest COVID-19 related death rate in Europe. He has often been called incompetent, subservient and a complete pushover who simply says and does what Boris (and other party members) tell him to. A Twitter user suggested he behaves like the character Woody from Toy Story. He looks up lovingly to Boris Johnson
- Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons
Jacob seems to harbour quite extreme views that are wrapped around a layer of upper-class and Latin phrases. During a key Brexit debate in the House of Commons, he thought it was best to have a pose akin to someone sleeping. He is shown in a similar pose while wearing a nightcap on his head and holding a baby bottle filled with red wine
- Mark Francois, Chairman of the European Research Group
Mark seems to suffer from a Napoleon Complex and never hesitates to wrangle the World War, and UK’s participation, into any conversation. This despite the fact he has never served and the exact participation of his father in D-day is contested. He is shown dressed in a suit that is too big for him, wearing a German military hat that he has scribbled “England” over, and clutching an English flag that he drew himself upon a surrender flag
- Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Michael would dearly have loved to be PM, having tried unsuccessfully against Boris Johnson upon Theresa May’s resignation. He thought by showing he is a “man of the people” it would help his bid, and deduced the best way to highlight this was to admit taking cocaine in his youth. Nowadays it seems he only cares for the paycheck. Dressed in a Labour Red coloured smoking jacket he is shown with some paraphernalia in his top pocket, questionable stains on his torso, and with a “Boris” inscribed dagger in his belt. He wears a puzzled expression
Two pictures are used as props. The first is a map of the UK tracking Boris Johnson’s children (as no one knows how many there are), the other is a map of the UK highlighting the division the party is trying to sow among its people. The props are staged in a way to hide the party name so it just reads as their true nature. There is a bus-shaped piggybank on top of Boris Johnson’s desk, with a rephrasing of the false “We send the EU £350m a week” claim (used during Brexit campaigning) to better align with recent stories of the NHS being privatised. Matt Hancock has been given a doggy bowl with a solitary, rotten, British fish in it. The illustration is set in the party’s natural setting, a dungeon