Letters: A racist cartoon or a cartoon about racism?

Sajid Javid outside the Home Office in Westminster, London, after he was appointed as the new Home S

Sajid Javid outside the Home Office in Westminster, London, after he was appointed as the new Home Secretary. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The debate continues around this political cartoon.

The Sajid Javid cartoon we printed in The New European last week. Image: The New European.

The Sajid Javid cartoon we printed in The New European last week. Image: The New European. - Credit: Archant

Why I laughed at Neil Kerber's cartoon had nothing to do with racism. It was because, although the Windrush issue, thanks to the Guardian, had been public knowledge for half a year, only when the issue became politically toxic did Sajid Javid express his personal pain. To me that meant his pain was less heartfelt and more a product of political expediency. I thought a satirical 'he'd sell his granny' cartoon, therefore perfectly appropriate.

John Warburton


So Sajid Javid's first thought on the Windrush victims was, 'It could have been my mum, or my dad – it could even have been ME!'

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Am I alone in being deeply concerned that we have as our home secretary someone so empathy-free that this trite and obvious thought could come as a moment of epiphany? And so ill-advised that he was allowed to give it two high-profile airings, in the national press, and then in the House of Commons?

Charles Baily

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Those who object to Kerber's cartoon of Sajid Javid might usefully reflect on the words of Cavanna, founder of Charlie Hebdo: 'A good cartoon is a punch in the face.'

Peter Reynolds

Agree with every word of Matt Kelly's views about the Sajid Javid cartoon. It's a shame Andrew Adonis deleted it, but I can understand why. When the social media sharks smell blood they are merciless. The cartoon – like all good political cartoons – hits the nail on the head and certainly isn't racist. Quite the opposite.

The current trend of cynically, gratuitously and libellously using the 'R' word, and its variants, in debate – particularly online – undermines the fight against genuine racism, and also allows the real racists to slip quietly into the shadows.

Will Goble


I was shocked to see the cartoon in last week's edition of your paper. Very poor taste, completely misrepresenting Sajid Javid's views – a racist cartoon and NOT 'a cartoon about racism'. As Lord Adonis admitted, it was 'in poor taste'. To have reprinted the wretched cartoon this week, with your feeble and unconvincing explanation, just makes you look very silly.

I subscribe to your paper, for which I have a lot of respect, but rather less than I had a couple of weeks ago.

Carley Brown

Sorry Matt Kelly, and I'm not expecting you to print this, but I didn't understand the cartoon the first time and your explanation tells me why. It's just too clever by half!

Cartoons are not all equally successful, and this one didn't float. I'm surprised that Andrew Adonis tweeted it.

Alan Ray-Jones (subscriber)

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