Most of Larry Pickering’s commentary on government and politics have been done via the medium of his cartoons, quite a few of which are used here with his permission. After becoming our foremost political cartoonist in the 70s and 80s he retired but has been drawn back after finding today’s silliness, too hard to resist.
(Left) One from the late 70s on Fraser’s propensity for early elections from his gallery.
He also runs the odd commentary on his blog, among them the following:
Possibly the one area that this can be faulted in is the call to lay off her. When in opposition a leader has to have some of the mongrel street fighter in him to attack the actions of the governing party where wrong. In the case of the current government though, Abbott needs to find a balance. The problem for the opposition is that this government is so incompetent that it leaves itself open to criticism in everything it does. The opposition needs to pick its targets.HEY TONY, BACK OFF MATE.
The woman is down... don’t keep kicking her! It’s a crook look.
The nation is already watching her death throes. Even those facing public execution are afforded a modicum of dignity.
You have not taken the Coalition to ascendancy. She has led the ALP to oblivion. Her support now is hard-core rank and file adherents who you could never win the hearts of anyway.
Sit back and watch the implosion. There is no need to keep punching a comatose opponent. If you do, you will edge dangerously close to exactly what they are accusing you of.
You are in the luxurious position of having to do nothing, so do nothing, except express genuine sadness at what has happened to our country and Parliamentary process.
Promote good policy and desist from throwing right hooks. Tell Robb and Hockey to shut their conflicting traps. There is nothing more to be gained, only ground to be lost.
The bell has rung, the decision made. You have won... you don’t need to land more punches. The public won’t like it and it begs “underdog” support. Oh, and lose that supercilious “gotcha” grin. In fact you have done nothing! They have done it all themselves.
He is correct in his call to promote good policy. This is the really weak spot of the opposition, in that they tend in any policy they have come up with to follow the lead of the government but with a different, but not necessarily a better one.
The Liberal climate policy sucks, only just a bit less than the carbon tax. On parental leave, the Libs have the rather idiotic notion of six months on full salary up to $150,000 per year funded by a tax surcharge on our most productive companies. And then there is the one about a nanny in every home; fair dincum, it is only the dysfunctionallity of the current government that allows Abbott to get away with it.
The current situation we have, whereby the opposition have a primary vote of 51% is not caused by its effectiveness, it is as Pickering has said, something the government has done to itself. Most rational people are hoping for a change of government, which is about the only reason the Liberals have any traction.
There is a deep uncertainty as to whether Abbott and his moribund crowd of 50s era conservatives could maintain a lead over Labor were the latter to find a viable leader, say Turnbull.
If the Liberals were to offer some initiative and come up with fiscally conservative small government approaches with a winding back of business and nanny state regulation , they might deserve to be considered a viable alternative. In the meantime we have to worry as to whether Abbott will shoot himself in the foot with his mouth before the next election.