Live Drawing the Green Party conference

The leader’s speech. Taking a firm line on developers, planners and non-disclosure of party-donations.
Current councillor John Barry (@CllrJohnBarry) and council candidate Clare Bailey (@ClareBaileyGPNI):
Green Party candidate for Balmoral Elli Kontorravdis (@EKontorravdis):
And onto Ross Brown and that cartoon:
Make sure you read or listen to Ross Brown’s (@voterossbrown) story via Alan. A journey from flag-totting super-Prod to green-fingered, eco-man. Fascinating, relatable-to and relevant. The Chinese proverb says that travelling a 1000 miles does more for the mind than reading a thousand books. Ross is a testament to that. He managed to leave Plato’s Cave, and Rosa Luxemburg put her finger on the phenomenon:

“He who does not move does not notice his chains.”


The cartoon was variously described as “disgustingly offensive”, “silly” and “unsophisticated”. The Ross Brown story described as condescending. Batted down for his base snobbery.
I welcome Ross Brown’s story. We should hear more like this. It shows how unfounded many fears are. But once again people want to shut it down with the wails of snobbery. This convention that you cannot speak of loyalist mannerisms, never-mind criticize loyalists, less you be a snob, should really be put to an end. As though intimidatory flag-waving, intolerance and flag-waving are deserving of respect, rather than contempt.
[DISCLAIMER: I am not referring to all loyalists but only the very small minority.]*
It is only through an open and frank discussion and airing of views, experiences and sincere opinions that we can get anywhere. Self-censorship and prior-restraint will only slow whatever forward process we have.
In any case, Ian Knox is well known for endlessly drawing loyalists as knuckle-dragging empty-heads. (I looked at his depiction of paramilitaries, loyalist and republican, here.) So my drawing of Ross is nothing new, but the continuing of a local tradition. Like here and just below, check out the drugs and needles! And contrast with his representation of republicans.
Below I have included some of Ian’s renderings of loyalists, as well as republicans. Below also are some more of mine Ross. Furthermore on Ian Knox, it was said that a loyalist ex-prisoner said that Ian Knox’s cartoons hit him and had more effect than any media report or community scheme. It was a frank airing of opinion through a cartoon that got his attention. So maybe it’s time to let there be more plain English.
In the cartoonists mind and by the code of visual literacy, Ross looks eerily like Sir Reg Empey! On a side note, I’ve explain how visual literacy works here. See Ross and Reg below:
Ross Brown’s speech:


Ian Knox cartoons of loyalist:















Ian Knox cartoons of republicans:



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  • Helicopter of the Holy Ghost

    What has the hurley and the O’Neills shirt got to do with a supposed journey to “enlightenment”?

  • Reader

    You are too concerned about this:
    1) You have no obligation to be neutral. Daily newspapers across these islands use the works of partisan cartoonists all the time.
    2) The defining feature of Ian Knox’s work seems to be that he focuses on the thought processes (euphemism) of his targets. He even includes a bit of dialogue. I like that approach.
    3) You aren’t Ian Knox. You might have been better to have illustrated your cross community credentials using your own multi-faceted work.
    4) If Steve Bell rather than Ian Knox is your inspiration – as seems likely – maybe you ought to find an outlet that reaches a less diverse target market.
    5) If Ian Knox does show loyalists as knuckle draggers as you suggested, it’s a pity you couldn’t find an example to illustrate it. Instead, it seems he has noted that clothing, mannerisms and appearance depend on a person’s approach to life, and not vice-versa. People aren’t born with hoodies, tattoos, slouches and beer bellies – they acquire them.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Helicopter of…

    “What has the hurley and the O’Neills shirt got to do with a supposed journey to “enlightenment”?”

    I might be well off the mark here, but, the way I would interpret the GAA paraphernalia aspect would be to see it as the Rubicon for some unionists (myself included) to cross.

    Once we/I/unionists can look at the Gaelic games without being immediately intimidated/offended/something-else-ending-in-ed then the chances are that person is able to look at things in a different light.

    By no means for the better but it is certainly an identifiable step for some.
    (and I am well aware of my criticism of the GAA, it still stands, I’m just no longer intimidated by it).