Slang: Fat cats
Cartoons: David Low's TUC cart-horse
Art: Bonaparte Crossing the Alps at Grand-Saint-Bernard (1801) by Jacques-Louis David.
"British political cartoons are not simply illustrations of contemporary events. They are often packed with meaning, as in this brilliant cartoon of Tony Blair by Steve Bell, from The Guardian of 30 August 2000. To suggest Napoleonic delusions of grandeur, Bell based the cartoon on Jacques-Louis David's 1801 painting "Bonaparte Crossing the Alps at Grand-Saint-Bernard", adding the "psychotic glint" to his eye that Bell had detected even before he became Prime Minister. The homage to David is acknowledged, but there are many other references. Instead of Napoleon's horse Styrie, Blair is riding "The TUC Horse", a cartoon animal created by David Low in 1946, to poke fun at the unions. But this has now degenerated into a pantomime horse, which, despite carrying the new TUC corporate logo, is easy prey for one of Bell's stock characters, a "Fat Cat" from the City. This sinks its teeth into the rump of Blair's steed, in a pose straight out of George Stubbs' 1769 painting "Horse Attacked by a Lion." Written by Dr. Nick Hiley, first published in BBC History Magazine.