Alan Hardman

Need Not Greed


Alan Hardman’s razor-sharp political cartoons collected for the first time. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, Need Not Greed is a career-spanning collection of visual art by one of Britain’s greatest unsung political cartoonists. Alongside Alan Hardman’s essential work, the book also includes a contribution from former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, as well as a foreword by Jeremy Corbyn.


This is a pre-order for Need Not Greed, the current schedule is still a work in progress. We expect to begin sending out books sometime in July 2024.


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Alan Hardman’s cartoons succinctly – and often spectacularly – capture the fight from an angle often unseen, from the opposite side to the establishment view and the mainstream media accounts that dominate the narrative then and now. And perhaps because of this, because of their workmanship and passion, they stand the test of time and retain their ability to anger, inspire and provoke you to answer one timeless question: what side are you on?


Sadly, Need Not Greed will be published posthumously. Alan Hardman had selected all the cartoons and agreed on the text for each chapter when he died in January 2024. As a person, Alan will be greatly missed, but with this book his socialist spirit and body of work lives on.


“Looking carefully at the art of Alan Hardman, the term ‘cartoon’ strikes me as inappropriate. The dictionary defines a cartoon as ‘a drawing intended as satire, or caricature’, meant to make us laugh and to bring out the cynic in us.


The depth of compassion in Alan’s work goes well beyond that. His drawings of the mining industry depicting the greed of profiteers and the suffering of miners reveal at the same time miners’ realisation of their collective power: to challenge the greed, to organise and fight back.”

Arthur Scargill, President, National Union of Mineworkers, 1982-2002


Created through anger and passion, his greatest talent was to take complex situations, disputes and injustices and distil them into a deceptively simple idea that quickly communicated where he and thousands of others stood. Throughout the Miners’ Strike, which lasted nearly 12 months, Alan’s cartoons provided images that richly reflected the miners’ resolve, the solidarity of workers and the support of the general public, many of whom saw the bigger picture beyond the Tories’ venomous attack on unions. The cartoons were created following conversations with miners and would be drawn within hours, and often appear on the picket lines the next day.


Alan Hardman was fascinated by the caricatures of George Grosz, a German artist from the 1930s who used art and humour to warn the world about Hitler. It was an influence that could be regularly seen in his blistering caricatures of, among others, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair for the Militant newspaper – a publication he played a key role in producing, not just as cartoonist, but also as printer and designer when the publication went fortnightly in 1971.


Born in 1936, Alan Hardman was from a Barnsley mining family, so the strike that began in 1984 had a particular resonance. The many cartoons he produced during the period illustrated his emotion and rage about his own family background and this crucial part of the political and social history of the 20th century. They also played a key role in articulating the strikers’ position and power and did not hold back in their unwavering fervour (one single-frame image shows a missile heading towards a ship – on the bomb is scrawled ‘Miners Strike’, on the battleship ‘Thatcherano’, a nod to the General Belgrano sunk during the Falklands War). “My caricatures of Thatcher over the years became more beastly,” Alan Hardman said. “It was an inner feeling of how beastly she was in her attacks on the working class and although the caricatures became more beastly, she remained recognisable throughout.”


Beyond Militant, the cartoons were (and still are) used in a wide range of ways – leaflets, posters, etc. One cartoon depicting the wrecking-ball tactics the Tories were taking to local services adorned the side of a house in Liverpool. Need Not Greed also includes Alan’s response to the Iraq War, apartheid in South Africa, the role of the royal family, Grenfell and the battle to save the NHS, with contributions providing wider context to the struggles he was articulating.


  • – 240x290mm (portrait orientation)
  • – 150+ pages and 100+ cartoons
  • – An introduction from Jeremy Corbyn
  • – Text from Arthur Scargill

Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 30 × 1.5 × 24 cm