Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday April 21, 2017
Snap Election called in Great Britain
March 30, 2017
In a dramatic statement on the steps of Downing Street, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, fired the starting gun on a poll that she hopes will deliver her an unassailable majority to shape the country’s future.
She blamed opposition parties who have been trying to frustrate Brexit for her sudden change of heart after months insisting she will not hold an election – singling out Nicola Sturgeon’s efforts to exploit the situation to tear the UK apart.
The bold move took even Cabinet members by surprise, having been kept a closely guarded secret between a handful of the premier’s closest allies and aides.
March 14, 2003
Brexit Secretary David Davis and Chancellor Philip Hammond have been jointly pressing the PM to call an early vote for some time, and were informed of Mrs May’s decision at a meeting yesterday. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd are understood to have been told this morning shortly before the gathering of her top team in No10.
Mrs May revealed the shift was driven by soul-searching while she hiked in Snowdonia with husband Philip over the Easter break.
The media were given barely an hour’s notice of the speech this morning, and there had been no rumours at Westminster about her change of heart. Even as the Cabinet meeting began this morning, aides to senior ministers were still sending out updates on other areas of government business.
Mrs May said Britain needed strong leadership to navigate the fraught divorce talks with the EU, insisting she was now convinced an early poll was in the ‘national interest’.
She said ‘every vote for the Conservatives would give her a stronger hand when she sits across the negotiating table from the EU’s presidents and prime ministers to hammer out a Brexit deal.
The election is an astonishing U-turn from the Prime Minister who has repeatedly said she would not call another ballot before 2020 – insisting it would cause instability and hurt the country. (Source: Daily Mail)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday March 30, 2017
Scotland to press on with referendum
Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to press on with a fresh independence referendum after dismissing Theresa May’s promise of substantial new powers for Scotland Brexit.
June 25, 2016
The first minister said May’s decision to trigger article 50 on Wednesday, beginning the UK’s divorce from the EU, was one of the most destructive acts by a British leader in modern history, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK.
Writing for the Guardian, Sturgeon said the decision was dispiriting, economically foolhardy and constitutionally reckless, threatening stability in Northern Ireland. It also undermined European efforts to combat climate change and collective security, she said.
“Brexit – especially the hard Brexit shaped by May’s inability to shake off the agenda of the Ukip-tinged right wing of her own party – threatens to be an act of self-harm on a scale barely understood,” she said.
She accused May of paying only superficial attention to the Scottish government’s demands for a special deal on the single market, opening up further conflicts with the UK government over the benefits Scotland could gain from Brexit.
“The result is that we must now ensure that people in Scotland are given a choice between the hard Brexit deal now being negotiated, and independence,” she said.
Just as the prime minister told MPs at Westminster she had formally triggered article 50, Sturgeon had received a letter from David Davis, the UK Brexit secretary, insisting his government was engaging seriously with Sturgeon’s proposals.
Neither government would release Davis’s letter but it is understood that he told Sturgeon he was disappointed that she had launched her claim for an independence referendum before she saw the full extent of the new powers on offer once EU laws and regulations were repatriated. (Source: The Guardian)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday January 28, 2017
Trump pledges ‘lasting support’ to relationship with Britain after meeting with Theresa May
U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared chummy as they faced a curious world together for the first time Friday, pledging allegiance to the special relationship between their countries while trying to mask stark differences on some major issues.
June 29, 2016
It was Trump’s first White House meeting with a foreign head of state, a hastily arranged confab held precisely one week after the businessman and reality TV star, who remains a largely unknown figure to European audiences, was sworn into office as president.
Trump sought to charm May from the outset, showing her the bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he’s using to decorate the Oval Office. He then opened a joint news conference by noting that his late mother was born in “Stornoway, which is serious Scotland.” Scotland is part of Great Britain.
Trump and May were seen briefly holding hands as they walked along the White House colonnade after leaving the Oval Office. Their talks continued in the State Dining Room over lunch of iceberg wedge salad, braised beef short ribs with potato puree and salted caramel crème brûlée.
June 27, 2016
For her part, May congratulated Trump on his “stunning election victory,” and announced that he had accepted the queen’s invitation for a state visit for the president and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, later this year.
But the attempts at mutual flattery didn’t completely mask the leaders’ differences over some issues, including NATO and Russia.
Trump also reiterated his belief that torture works. Britain takes a vocal stand against it.
The appearance alongside May was more amiable than Trump’s most recent public appearance with a foreign leader: a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last August. Trump was more staid and serious then, and read from lengthy prepared remarks.
Coincidentally, Trump and May met a day after Pena Nieto cancelled his own trip to Washington next week amid disagreement with Trump over which of their countries will pay for the wall Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump says Mexico will pay; Mexico says it won’t. (Source: Toronto Star)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday October 26, 2016
The collapse of the EU/Canada landmark deal shows how the EU sets itself up for failure
The European Union is on the brink of witnessing a landmark free-trade deal crumble before its very eyes.
But the structure of the EU effectively allows the likelihood of these kinds of deals to collapse at the very last minute, said a trade expert to Business Insider.
October 20, 2016
CETA, a proposed free-trade arrangement between the 28-nation bloc and Canada, looks set to collapse after the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to support the deal on Monday.
The deal has taken over seven years to negotiate, with talks between the EU and Canada beginning in 2009.
Failure to push it through would be a serious blow to the Union, as it would cast serious doubt on its ability to strike any future trade deal, including with post-Brexit Britain.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, hinted that failure to complete CETA would make striking a similar deal with Britain once it withdraws from the bloc almost impossible.
“If you are not able to convince people that trade agreements are in their interests … we will have no chance to build public support for free trade, and I am afraid that means that CETA could be our last free-trade agreement,” he said. (Source: Business Insider UK)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 27, 2016
No five: Prince George refuses greeting from Canada’s Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau’s charm has finally met its match in the form of good old-fashioned British reserve.
The Canadian prime minister was shut down while trying to greet Britain’s Prince George on the runway when the royal family arrived for their tour of British Columbia.
Prince William and Kate’s children begin ‘lifetime of friendship’ with Canada
December 4, 2012
Landing in Canada on Saturday on a week-long official visit with parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the prince simply shook his head when Trudeau squatted down to the toddler’s level to offer a high-five variation, the low-five.
Trudeau then switched his palm for a high-five and subsequently offerTuesday September 27, 2016ed a handshake, both of which were seemingly rebuffed, creating an awkward moment at the airport in the western province.
Canadians felt the princely snub acutely, accustomed as they are to seeing their young premier win over millions of fans around the world and attain social media star status.
February 24, 2007
The prince has a history of unconventional meetings with heads of state. While he shook hands with Barack Obama on his visit to England in April, the prince received the US president in his pajamas. Obama later joked that the prince’s attire was “a slap in the face” and a clear breach of protocol.
The prince and his year-old sister, Princess Charlotte, are in Canada for the first time but it is the second trip for their parents, who visited in 2011.
On Sunday, the duke and duchess were to visit the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia to meet staff and volunteers who help recent migrants to the area. The couple also is scheduled to meet young leaders of various industries in Canada and some of Vancouver’s first responders.
November 25, 2015
Before leaving Canada on 1 October, the couple is expected to have more than more than 30 engagements, including with aboriginal Canadian communities.
William is second in line to succeed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who has been Canada’s head of state since she ascended to Britain’s throne in 1952. (Source: The Guardian)
Coffee spewed out both my nostrils this morning after seeing Graeme MacKay’s morning cartoon. That has to be one of the best I’ve seen this year. The whole encounter with our PM at the airport shows that a three year old has more sense than the Canadian voting public. We all know that children can sense when something is not to be trusted.
Tony Fidanza, Hamilton
Royals would never be so insulting
I found MacKay’s cartoon, about Prince George’s hesitation to high five Justin Trudeau, to be inappropriate. Let’s look at it from the child’s perspective. After a 10-hour flight, it was midnight, British time, when the family arrived in B.C. Prince George was likely woken up, dressed and taken out onto the tarmac. The situation was overwhelming to a small child and the prime minister was a stranger. High five gestures are not used often in Britain. George acted like a three year old, because he IS a three year old.
The editorial cartoon has George saying to Justin, “Grow up and bow to your future king, you bloody selfie-aggrandizing peasant? And get a haircut, you’re a walking disaster.” Even an adult member of the Royal Family would never use rude or critical words, or suggest that Trudeau was beneath them. To suggest that they, or their three year old son would show such disrespect toward commoners, is offensive.
Molly Shannon, Hamilton
Don’t back off satirizing our celebrities
I have been following some of the social media outcry over this cartoon that pokes fun both at the Royals and Justin Trudeau. I am forced to conclude too many of your readers are humourless souls who don’t have a clue about irony and satire. Please don’t let them bully you into making the characters in our cult of celebrity into sacred cows. If anything, more fun needs to be poked more often.
Janice Henshaw, Hamilton
Stop harassing Trudeau and Royals
I have been subscribing to Hamilton Spectator for the last 80 years. I am shocked by this cartoon. If you think this is humorous, then I think you are a sick group of people. In the last few months you have been making jokes about Trudeau that are in poor taste. But now you are also including our Royal visitors to Canada. What is going to come next … these cartoons are lowbrow, not clever and definitely not amusing. I hope this harassment of both Prime Minister Trudeau and the Royal Family has come to an end.
William Bell, Burlington
This cartoon was featured during a panel of English speaking cartoonists at Le festival 1001Visages, VAl-David, Quebec on October 9, 2016. L-R: Me, Sue Dewar, Christian Vachon, Tim Leatherbarrow, and Wes Tyrell. A great venue that will host the convention of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists in 2018.