Back in April 2009, Gordon Brown was the UK Prime Minister and we were in the middle of a swine flu pandemic. It all seems so long ago (except that we've not got Ebola, of course). By now, cartoons had become a regular feature on The English Blog, and I often use cartoons with my students in the classroom (shown on PowerPoint) as discussion starters or to illustrate certain language points. In fact, I would have to say that explaining and commenting on editorial cartoons is the thing I enjoy most about doing The English Blog.
To understand this cartoon, you need to know the proverb "Every cloud has a silver lining". This means that there is something good even in an unpleasant situation. • As the trip's been cancelled I'll be able to go to the match this Saturday. Every cloud has a silver lining. The pig only has to say the first two words because most native English speakers would be familiar with the adage. (See here and here for more on this saying.) The cartoonist jokes that one of the positive points of the swine flu outbreak is that we won't have to listen to what the members of the government are saying.