Just a tick over 100 years after Archduke Ferdinand was shot and everything went to hell, Harambe copped the same treatment, and, well I think you know what comes next.
Here are some cartoons from the last year of human civilisation. Previous year. This year. Whatever. I hope this post helps explain things to the future cockroach overlords of this planet.
If you’re feeling optimistic, feel free to purchase a 2017 calendar.
Tax: there’s too much of it. People do not like paying it, but, rather irritatingly do like the stuff the government can buy with it. It is a conundrum that has kept very good treasurers up at night. And also Scott Morrison. The trick to reforming tax is, as Keating and Howard demonstrated, to accept that everyone is going to hate you and warm yourself by the fire of your burning political capital during the bitter winter of discontent hoping that spring turns up before hypothermia sets in. Scott, perhaps aware that he was a bit light on for matches, not to mention firewood, was still working out which direction to strike out on his Great Tax Adventure.
The summer break is a great time for long reflective walks on the beach to take stock and ex-PM, Tony “No Wrecking, No Undermining And No Sniping” Abbott is no exception. Tony did state that he would not be like Kevin though, so this cartoon could be quite wrong. Though that is exactly the sort of thing Kevin would say. Look, I am not one to foment leadership discord in the pursuit of cheap cartoon gags, well I am. Anyway, let’s move on. Somebody needs to.
You may recall 2016 was an election year which of course means having a vision for the country’s future, or possibly a policy or at least a slogan with which to capture the public’s imagination. Being seen to be managing the country’s finances has always been extremely on-brand for the Liberal Party, and to be fair, packing Joe Hockey off to the United States is arguably the shrewdest fiscal move of the last decade, but this did leave the new treasurer with a fair bit of work to do for the year’s election budget. Everything was on the table. It was a very exciting time to be a treasurer.
The GST got taken off the table. Nobody was ever sure if it was ever on the table or how much more a battler’s kitchen table would cost under a 15% GST. Probably for the best.
Probably just as well.
It was all under control. I think I ran out of time to draw everything on the table again, which is bang on Malcolm’s theme of over-promising and under-delivering, so I am actually a satirical genius here. I think this is also the first time I put his glasses in.
It was beginning to dawn on Malcolm that the Ideas Boom was perhaps not such a great idea. His main problem being that the people actually running the country from the comfort of the backbench (second chair to the right and straight on ’til morning) were not what you would call big ideas-type people. Views: definitely, ideas: may lead to dancing.
Meanwhile, Tony “Not Wrecking, Not Undermining, Not Sniping But In Fact Helping” Abbott was busy helping with helpful comments to help.
Back on the theme of tax: there’s too much of it, it turns out a corollary of this is that some people may not like paying tax themselves but are in fact perfectly ok with other people paying tax, which I suppose is a step in the right direction, and entirely in line with the philosophy of the invisible hand (and more specifically invisible bank accounts) of the free market. In what was a bit of a shock to everyone the revelation of the Panama papers seemed to indicate that keeping one’s cash offshore is an excellent way of achieving this outcome, shifting the burden on tax cuts from government to free enterprise and through various mechanisms involving, I gather, trickling, making everybody wealthier though some perhaps more than others.
Some people might call banks greedy bastards, but in many respects that’s a tautology so I’m not going to. Shouting at banks is a bit like shouting at the weather, giving politicians something to do rather than the rather more fraught option of actually doing something, possibly involving a Royal Commission and Royal Commissions are not things embarked on lightly ahahaha. Malcolm had a stern word with the banks at Westpac’s birthday party to be less about money and more about people like they say in the ads and you can’t ask for more than that and they didn’t laugh too loudly, thus honour was served.
As usual, there were mutterings from people this year who rather whimsically believe that offshore torture camps are not something our government should be getting involved in, no matter how convoluted the justification. These people will have you believing that civilisation involves a certain level of due process and respect for all human beings (not to mention international law, specifically the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, especially if you are a signatory to it) which admittedly does make a certain amount of sense until someone starts screaming “HOW WILL YOU STOP THE BOATS THEN?” These people are generally very supportive of tough love, especially, in fact exclusively, for other people.
Also, since we’re not being politically correct and instead calling it like it is, the offshore torture camps do make xenophobes very happy and they are generally very unhappy people. And they vote.
It’s a complex moral and sociopolitical issue, resulting unfortunately in offshore torture camps which do however enjoy bipartisan support from both of our major political parties and I hope this cartoon helps when in the unfortunate circumstance of your having to explain it to your kids.
David Feeney forgot he had an investment property. Ee-i-ee-i-oh.
Just so we’re all clear, we didn’t go to a double dissolution over climate change, but we did over the ABCC. Presumably this will make building seawalls a lot more efficient when the time comes.
Also, thank goodness 2016 was the year we got rid of a nutty fringe minority party named after a charismatic if somewhat erratic leader controlling the nation’s agenda.
2016 was the year that Greg Hunt completed the job of fixing environmental problems by not talking about them. Frankly most people hardly use the environment anyway, so the guy had a point. Happily in a masterstroke of world’s best practice, the environment portfolio has now been recycled as landfill in the remediation of disused coal mines, saving everyone a lot of mucking about, not to mention money.
…and this pretty much sums up any effort to save the Great Barrier Reef that involves waving through the Adani coal mine. Before anyone screws up their face and gets all red and nude about it, burning fossil fuels -> releases greenhouse gases into atmosphere -> warms planet. Basic high school science, and yes there is a wealth of empirical evidence to support it. I too wish this were not the case, but I am going to insist upon acknowledging reality here because it’s my blog. Sorry.
It is my considered opinion that the main reason nobody likes politicians even more than we used to not like politicians is because social media helps us get to know them far too well. Anyway, the cat was more popular than the drover’s dog.
On election day I’m sure most people actually flipped a coin.
You have a quick double dissolution over the nationally vital issue of the ABCC and look what happens. Just look. Bloody hell. Nice one Mal, signed the nation’s cartoonists.
The most entertaining part of any political correctness/free speech debate is the absolute shamelessness of any proponent of said plain speakin’ and hard talkin’ in assuming the foetal position and crying like a sooky little crybaby when somebody says something they don’t like. Anyone who doesn’t like what I just said can of course simply choose not to be offended by it. I too am a massive sook when anyone is mean to me, so please keep it to yourself.
Remember when the ABS was a bunch of genial nerds with pocket protectors and an unhealthily encyclopaedic knowledge of Star Trek? Well this year they finally got tough on statistics and tough on the causes of statistics and you filled in the damn form if you didn’t want to become a statistic yourself. With their new motto of We Might Be Intruding On Your Privacy But At Least We’re Incompetent, they managed to mitigate their new overtly sinister approach with a rather adorable Fawlty Towers-like breathtaking ineptitude.
Half the battle when it comes to balancing a budget is in finding a good epithet for the people you’re going to be kicking the hell out of. They’re still working on it.
We never really got to the bottom of whether or not we were swamped by Asians and it turned out OK or if we are still being swamped by them but now we are being re-swamped by Muslims and if that will be worse or if Pauline just changes the thing we’re being swamped by every decade or so (she reckoned it was Elvis impersonators in the noughties but nobody was paying attention).
Some people blamed the SA blackout on all those transmission towers being blown over but I think we all know it was wind turbines. The empirical evidence is in the mail, though sadly the postman died of Wind Turbine Syndrome and a wind turbine blew the letter into a solar panel which exploded.
Rather than having a Royal Commission which you only have if it’s really really important as previously stated, the heads of the big four were hauled up in front of a Parliamentary Inquiry to explain themselves and it turned out everything’s fine even if some mistakes were made but they were only little mistakes and I mean come on everyone’s very sorry so that’s all good.
I just like drawing science blackboards okay?
This actually happened.
I mean wow.
Let’s leave it at that.
Happy 2017 or at least best of luck.
Don’t forget to show some faith by buying a 2017 calendar.