Political cartooning - the end of an era

By Robert Phiddian and Haydon Manning, in The Conversation

Cartoon by David Rowe, published in the Australian Financial Review, 9 May 2016. Courtesy of The Conversation.

We started collecting cartoons in the last days of the Keating supremacy. We used them to chronicle how the wheels fell off during the 1996 election campaign and that serial failure John Howard (once written off in a Bulletin headline as “Mr Eighteen Percent. Why does this man bother?”) won in a landslide.

Howard found that the times did indeed now suit him, and he swept aside Keating’s “Big Picture” as Peter Nicholson so poignantly captured while asking what might be its replacement.

Peter Nicholson, The Australian, 9 March 1996.

After a slow start, PM Howard captured the nation’s mood for a decade, and the cartoonists chronicled it all with their customary wit and insight. His demise was multifaceted but Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight’s memorable cartoon reminds us of Melbourne Cup day early on in campaign 2007, when he depicted the once invincible PM reduced to a poo sweeper, courtesy of the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise interest rates.

Read more at The Conversation:  https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-political-cartooning-the-end-of-an-era-81680

Robert Phiddian is Deputy Dean at the School of Humanitites and Haydon Manning is Associate Professor in Politics and Public Policy, at Flinders University.

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