This cartoon by Paul Thomas from The Daily Express relates to plans to give tens of thousands of civil servants the chance to work from home for seven weeks to help ease congestion on London’s transport network during the Olympics. Read more >>
The cartoon shows a man wearing a suit and tie and bowler hat mowing his lawn with a lawnmower. A passer-by comments, "You can always spot civil servants working from home ..."
The joke is that the man mowing the lawn corresponds to the classic stereotype of the civil servant, dating back to the nineteen fifties or earlier, which is why he is easy to spot (i.e., identify). No civil servant looks like that today, but the stereotype is often used by cartoonists and caricaturists.
A civil servant or public servant is a civilian public sector employee working for a government department or agency.
• Mac cartoon (Daily Mail)