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It’s five days until the official launch of CROSS, our new comic anthology of political satire.

CROSS will go on sale at the ThoughtBubble Comic Convention at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, on Saturday 15th November. You can find us at Table 84 in the Royal Armouries Hall (in the centre of the hall).

In honour of the final countdown before publication day, and our love of politicians’ ability to, well, to just mess up, here are some of our favourite fails by those elected to high office:

Let’s start with a classic from the early 1980s: Neil Kinnock, then Leader of the Labour Opposition, takes a stroll on Brighton Beach… and falls on his arse. Naturally, the era of the internet means that those who missed it first time can watch again:

Now, opinion is divided here at Disconnected Press as to whether the sight of someone falling over is inherently funny or not. But the thing is: this mattered. Neil Kinnock was soaring the opinion polls as Margaret Thatcher struggled to reach the end of her first term in a position of strength. This fall – combined with clever management of some domestic scandals and victory in the Falklands War – helped position Maggie as the “strong-man” of British politics and, lo and behold, she swept the next election… Here’s a great piece by Dominic Sandbrook about what might have been

Next up: it’s perhaps more shame than failure for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. After visiting universities across the land before the 2010 election, promising not to increase tuition fees and even signing a public pledge to that effect: guess what? Yep. That’s right. Tuition fees are now £9,000 per year.

The Poke responded to it best by combining Clegg’s apology (for signing the pledge, not for increasing fees) with a handy bit of autotune:

Continuing the musical theme, there is nothing funnier than the Secretary of State for Wales singing the Welsh National Anthem. Except the Secretary of State for Wales NOT singing the Welsh National Anthem. Here’s John Redwood in all his glory:

Our next political fail shows that sometimes we’re our own worst enemies (we’re all in it together, perhaps?). In May 2009, the Telegraph began to publish extracts from the leaked expenses records of MPs. The records showed patterns of game-playing, rule-breaking and illegality that would impress city bankers and dodgy gangsters alike. Six MPs and two peers have to date been found guilty in criminal courts; many more faced allegations in the press but were not pursued because they were within the letter of the law (if not the spirit) and because they paid the money back. Here’s a link to the Telegraph’s archive of coverage, which is full of great snippets:


Favourites include the John Lewis list, which benchmarked the prices of household items against their price in John Lewis (because Argos obviously wasn’t good enough), the man who introduced the phrase “duck house” to the world by claiming on as a business expense, and, oh yes, the destruction of records so that no further investigations can take place.

Sometimes the things that happen go beyond satire… What’s left is brought to life in CROSS, our new comic anthology of politics, anger, venom and the occasional robot, on sale from Saturday 15th November through our online shop!