“The Prime Minister would like my advice on how to deal with attacks on the party from within.”
Hugh Gaitskill’s leadership of the Labour party in opposition had been constantly undermined by bitter internecine disputes. By February 1961 the Conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan was experiencing similar problems. The cartoons and illustrations of Nicolas Bentley (1907-1978) were part of the warp and weft of English popular culture in the 1950s and 60s. Never savage, though often waspishly accurate and exuding an urbane air of amusement at the foibles of his fellows, Bentley’s work was familiar to the public from a wide variety of publications. Between 1952 and 1954 he drew regular cartoons for the weekly Time and Tide, and after that for the daily News Chronicle. Between 1958 and 1962 he drew topical cartoons for the Daily Mail under the title “Watch My Line.” He also drew many portraits, in black and white line, of famous people, for various papers, including over sixty for the Sunday Telegraph, which began publication in February 1961.
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Sheet size: 190 138 mm. Pen and blank ink on wove paper. Stamped on verso for publication in the Daily Mail, 8 February 1961.