Saturday Cartoon by Ralph Underhill


Can you do me a favour please? I have just installed ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons on this website (I’ve been trying for ages but now I have succeeded).  You should see them on every blog post and every comment made on each blog.

Please use them, as the feedback is interesting and may influence the types of blogs that you see here in the future. Using these buttons is entirely anonymous – I will have no idea who has voted.  I notice some people have spotted them and started using them already.

For those of you who are too shy to comment yourselves (don’t be shy) you can now, with a simple click, register your approval or disapproval of the comments of those regulars whose comments add so much to this blog (in my opinion).

So you could go back over the last two and a half years and ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ every comment made by Dennis (583 comments), filbert cobb (566), Roderick Leslie (305), Douglas Mcfarlane (282) and Jonathan Wallace (243).  Those five commenters have accounted for about 1900 of over 10,000 comments made (not counting 3000+ responses from me) on the 947 posts that have appeared here.  You could – I’m not suggesting that you do…

But why not try out the ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons on this selection of Ralph’s cartoons which have appeared so far in 2013:

21 September – minor deities.

7 September – plenty more fish in the sea.

31 August – badger democracy

20 July – the simple minded

15 July – rural democracy

11 May – what’s the EU ever done for us?


14 Replies to “Saturday Cartoon by Ralph Underhill”

  1. Bit harsh. Sounds like Defra are doing a good job in fighting for CAP reform, amongst other things. They were pretty robust on CFP reform as well as I recall. From Martin Harper’s blog on 2nd October:

    “To his credit, Secretary of State Owen Paterson has been one of the few progressive voices during this round of reform, and has led the Defra fight to boost funding for Pillar II. As a result, the final deal, rubber stamped just last week, offers the scope to transfer 15% of direct subsidies toward Pillar II, and therefore the agri-environment schemes which will be so important to the conservation of our wildlife.
    It is important that the Secretary of State sticks to his guns, transfers the full 15% into Pillar II and continues to argue for the CAP to move towards a policy focused on the provision of public goods, from which the whole of society can benefit.
    Encouragingly, the Secretary of State seems firm on this maximum transfer, recently confirming in the House of Commons his ‘long standing belief’ that it’s the right thing to do…….”

    And OP/Defra gripped the whole horsemeat issue pretty well in the absence of any lead from the relevant European authorities. People may not like OP’s personal beliefs or political leanings, but at least you know exactly where you stand with him, and he and his senior team cannot be accused of failing to provide strong and decisive leadership.

    In the labyrinthine world of Whitehall and Brussels’ wheeling and dealing, international competing perspectives and finite national resources means that quite often the ‘least worst’ option is the only rational choice and inevitable outcome.

      1. …some might say if DEFRA and OP had done a good job there wouldn’t/shouldn’t have been a horsemeat scandal in the first place, I also seem to remember the slow response from defra on the issue which was media led in the first instance with the first tests being done by a newspaper/media and not defra!
        I wonder if Owen Patterson and his underling Mr.Benyon will be effected by the up coming cabinet shuffle or will DC leave it “as is”?

    1. He may appear to be doing the right thing on CAP reform, so some credit to him for that. But he loses far more by his inability or unwillingness to make decisions based, at least to some extent, on the best science available. Hence we have a Secretary of State who refuses to accept the problem of climate change, and is perfectly happy to accept the killing of badgers and raptors to appease vocal minorities.

  2. I don’t think they’ll be reshuffled – Defra doesn’t matter, and thanks to the forestry fiasco has already lost a SoS and junior Minister (Jim Paice0 and it wouldn’t look good to lose any more. But what are the bets on Defra itself surviving – would you give it 5 years on present performance ? My money isn’t coming forward, I can tell you.

  3. I’m sure Owen Paterson would much rather it be just DRA (department for rural affairs). Anyway There’s only one type of bird on his estate;)

  4. Recycling “MAFF” would be simpler. The logo may still be in a file somewhere. The metropolitan media seem to think DECC is the ‘environment’ department anyway…

  5. Re the likes dislikes

    I like Ralph’s cartoons – they paint X trillion words

    I dislike the like/dislike system in its current form – its far too limited. It needs subcategories, Esp. in the dislike section.

    But thinking about it I’m mostly sad on four fronts:

    Sad that you Mark stepped outside the belly of the beast where you could have influenced events much better if you’d hung there.

    Sad that you show every sign of occupying the first two mansions of the temple of science and hence would be swept away by the angel

    Sad that I can get no answers on this blog. My mate Tony at NCOS had led me to believe this place was where it’s at. He hasn’t been in touch lately! I’ve been on here to promote the writings and films of clever and intelligent people who not only define problems but provide solutions and then actually go out and do something tangible like setup Forum for the Future or get themselves elected to Parliament to spead the word more widely.

    Sad that your flock mostly can’t cope with having their feathers ruffled by a pleb who sits outside the temple but does at least have a basis for his views, unlike the two Dougs who won’t answer because they can’t answer. What are they on here for?

    Finally, I’m absolutely appalled by my own uselessness and so will make this my final word. I hope I’ve helped with the sales of your next book Mark by swelling the hit rates on your blog. Good luck to you.

    1. Sorry Phil I’ll clarify AGAIN and please read and breathe at the same time (it might help your understanding)..”unlike the two Doug’s who won’t answer because they can’t answer. What are they on here for?”…well everytime you’ve asked me to answer one of your “query’s” have I not? When asked by anyone to explain my views or have asked where my information has come from, I think I have with my limited ability done so, have you ever tried writing and reading with dsylexia, it FUCKING TAKES TIME TO READ AND WRITE! If I haven’t responded to one of your many requests/qusetions please oh wise man let me know so I can put your mind at at rest, SERIOUSLY what is your problem? Many people have said things I disagree with, many have a different view, embrace it and learn from it, you might not agree with everything but when does that ever happen?
      I’m begining to understand why the RSPB stopped listening to you. 🙁

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