Patrick Sanders, a tribute

19 Jan 2017 Nick Garbutt    Last updated: 19 Jan 2017

Patrick Sanders

This week we mourn the passing of our cartoonist and dear friend Patrick Sanders and celebrate his extraordinary talent.

Scope was reborn in the Autumn of 2014 and Patrick Sanders was an integral member of the team from the outset.

This was his Scope alter-ego 




His first cartoon was to bring alive our editorial philosophy. It did so far more powerfully than the slightly pompous piece we used to accompany it.  


From that moment we realised the power of his work. Patrick had the rare, perhaps unique ability to lay bare complex issues and arguments into simple and often very funny cartoons that not just helped to illustrate a piece, but to increase our understanding.

So when we wrote about Sovereign Money, a topic many find hard to grasp, Patrick came up with this 

And his cartoon to accompany a piece on the rise of Brexiteers in England composed prior to last year’s referendum, summed it up beautifully: 


This work encapsulates him up for us: it is funny and sharp and true, but unlike so many political cartoonists he was never cruel, just honest: an illustrator of integrity who spoke with truth, and passion and insight.

When we worked with Patrick we did not send him a brief and ask him to make a point or draw specific subjects. Instead we shared our writing with him, and asked him if it inspired him to do anything. It always did.

But he did not, nor would we have wanted him, to follow an editorial line. We wanted him to express himself.

He did. When we wrote a piece analyzing the human rights issues involved in the Asher’s Bakery case Patrick produced this


And when Early Years funding was cut for a while last year he produced this stark, poignant image 

Patrick was a joy to work with: he was kind and sensitive and had a forensic intelligence that helped us to see the world for what it is.

Lisa McElherron, Nicva’s former Head of Public Affairs was the driving force behind the revival of Scope, and it was her that pulled together the team and was our managing editor.

She said: “When we brought back SCOPE Patrick was the only person I wanted to join us as our illustrator.  I was totally in awe of his talent and ability to find the human side of the most controversial and complex issues.  His work was outstanding. It was insightful, sharp, irreverent and funny. But it was generous of spirit and always kind.  Just like the man himself really.  Patrick was an integral part of our plan for Scope and I loved working with him. I’m so proud of the work we did together and even prouder to have called him a friend. He will be sadly missed.”

There are many cartoonists but very few great ones. There is one less of those this week.

Patrick Sanders RIP.



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