As is usual at this time of the year, the media have been having fun mocking the official Christmas cards sent out by politicians. Most went for the usual photos with their kids, or pictures by their kids, but the card from the Chancellor of the Exchequer is different, as it is by a professional cartoonist.
Step forward Rob Murray, a member of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn. Rob was actually commissioned to draw the official Treasury card, but he was told it may also be used as George Osborne’s personal card if the Chancellor gave it his approval.
And as Rob’s Father Christmas carries a pretty empty looking sack, with very little to hand out, it shows that whatever else you may think of the Chancellor, he must have a sense of humour.
Rob told the Bloghorn:
“I was contacted by a civil servant I know who works in the Treasury, as they were looking for something a bit different for the department’s Christmas card this year. I produced about half a dozen ideas as rough sketches, which went down well. George Osborne saw them and liked them.”
But did Rob have any qualms about taking on a party political job like this, particularly in difficult economic times?
“It was definitely something I had to think about, but I saw it as an illustration commission and approached it as I would any other illustration job. Having said that, I was quite careful to ensure that the content of the cartoon didn’t have anything specifically pro-Tory about it, and I think the Treasury were also very keen for it not to have an overtly party-political message.
“Aside from that, I was quite excited that a prominent politician – regardless of his political viewpoint – was keen on commissioning a cartoon for the card, at a time when most seem to favour fairly unimaginative and humourless photos.”
Bloghorn says amen to that and looks forward to a big, colourful cartoon on the front page of the next Tory manifesto …