Tuesday 26th of March 2019

in the company of mad hatters .....

in the company of mad hatters .....

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will pick up the pace again as he meets British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street and the Queen at Windsor Castle. 

Half way through his 18-day global tour, Mr Rudd had a brief reprieve from his heavy schedule.

He and wife Therese Rein encountered falling spring snow as they headed to St Botolph's Church in Kent for a Sunday service but the prime minister had no other public engagements. 

Mr Rudd will have a formal meeting with Mr Brown at 10 Downing Street (1730 AEST Monday) - the pair have already met at the NATO summit in Bucharest and at the Progressive Governance Conference over the weekend. 

A few hours later he will have an audience with the Queen at Windsor Castle (2000 AEST) - his first meeting with Australia's head of state since becoming leader. 

Just hours earlier, in an interview with BBC One, Mr Rudd reaffirmed his preference for an Australian head of state but stressed the Queen was respected as monarch. 

Rudd Begins Audience With Queen

Lord Nelson

For a monarchic view of Brendan Nelson please see Arise Lord Nelson.

Labor View from Broome


a bit too rich...

I'm mad. I'm a cranky old man — which I'm entitled to be anyway... For example, a Bush getting away with mass murder is enough to make my blood boil... beyond mad! But that's okay... I hate war! Thus, I'm mad enough to draw cartoons with obsessive passion — albeit lazily by recycling most of the bits... And I am likely to salute a lamppost by default... or say gidday to a dustbin. Tell me why.

For example, In the cartoon above I used "Alice does wonderland" (Alice in Wonderland) to make my twisted mind walk the plank for the keelhauling plunge (I don't know why, it dawned on me) — depicting our PM, Kevin Rudd, visiting dignitaries around the globe. And so he should. And so he should say what he thinks... Which he often does, softly and clearly convoluted with a diplomatic sharp pocket knife in hand and a "let me say this" preamble. Thus he gets the ire from the Liberals, chastising him for not saying anything about the Chinese human rights abuses in Tibet and then the same rodents chastise him for saying something about it... Gees, the two-face-gits, these Liberals! (for foreigners reading this, the Aussie Liberals are as conservative as a 1957 calendar.)

Anyway, as we see Alice going through her strange travel motions — I took some cartoonist licence to change a few things (adaptation, it's called) — the gist of fantasy-land is still there... A white Rabbit (black-faced since I thought he'd made a good Obama —I had drawn Obama as a white rabbit as part of an un-published cartoon, using the fable of the hare and the tortoise... Guess who was the tortoise... but we still don't know the end of that race), a white rabbit, say I, FOLLOWS the very democratic pathway of Alice who, of course, wears an old-fashioned (read "traditional") pink bow... Thus Alice goes to see a foul-tempered Queen of Hearts (Hillary) and hubby (Bill), the King of Hearts (the US press calls them the "royal" family, I don't know why...). Then Alice talks to a smoking grumpy caterpillar (McCain) who, following the latest estimates, might become the next wingnut butterfly (US president!)... In passing, Alice salutes (YO!) the Mad Hatter (George W Bush) who, with his side-kick the Brown Hare (Cheney), is busy trying to put a Door Mouse (Pelosi) into a teapot. The raving nuts! Marvelling at the docility of the door mouse, Alice sees her separately, afterwards... (wrong order in the toon but that's a weird part of this weird story)... Of course Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Blair and Brown) point at each other just in case someone is to be blamed for something, and the lizard (Putin) goes on to save the day for himself, out of a chimney... Meanwhile the Cheshire Cat's head (big business, banks and the money market), keeps appearing like a ghost, without us knowing whether it's a bear or a bull... or a cunning cat. Although hot on the schedule, the Queen of England does not feature... Totally irrelevant to the politics of my story. Of course Alice meets NATO the Dodo, a contraption born from an extinct Cold War, in search of its own relevance by growing its right leg longer so it can walk on the side of a hill in a straight line, I have been reliably told.

All up, a slightly too complicated cartoon, especially when one adds lotsa colour... This was a cartoon idea that looked good on paper, imagining the old engravings of the original story, but now it looks a bit like a modern dish of rich cream, strawberry and hot curry cake. Too many complexities... A bit messy, too much colour, too many things in it. I'll live.

Today (Wednesday 8th of April), Moir, cartoonist extraordinaire in the SMH, uses Gullible's Travels (Gulliver's Travels) to do a similar thing. I'm in good company, if I may say so myself... Sure, he's got hundreds of thousands more readers than us here, but that's okay... I'm not jealous... I'll simply carry on doing more stuff, getting lost in the wilderness of being another silly wild weird voice, inside the kingdom of bland and killer conformity. At least, as cartoonists, we do not have "to do" the rodent anymore, despite his winning stuff and moneys in the highly conservative spheres of neoconic haunts... Moir's one-eyed representation of the rodent was a gem of genius.

But I was slightly disappointed with Gullible's Travels. Far from me to object to a bit of cartooning licence, but I think Rudd is not a gullible type of bloke... He's more like an Alice, seeing the world as it is (a very weird place), but getting along quite fine in it... What I actually found a bit wrong in Moir's cartoon was not the images (loved the US boots) but the inane blah blah blah used by Guilible on all occasions, What our Rudd might say can put us to sleep like chloroform, sure, but it does make a lot more sense than the lies and tall tales from the other mad loonies.

At least Rudd did not lick the boots unlike someone who did at the landing at Brownbutt. Have a great day...