'I'm no Johnny come lately' by Sean Leahy, the Courier-Mail, 2007


This is a cartoon by Sean Leahy showing Prime Minister John Howard about to be dumped by a wave called 'climate change'. He is sitting on a throne, a crown on his head, with a money bag next to him full of funds from his taxpayer funded advertising budget. Howard says, 'I want everybody to know I'm no Johnny-come-lately on this subject.'

Educational value

The environment was a key political issue in 2007. The failing health of the Murray-Darling river system and continuing drought were major concerns for both sides of politics. The possibility of a 'nuclear' Australia and the climate change debate were also hot topics.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Sean Leahy is political cartoonist for the Courier-Mail in Brisbane.

© Education Services Australia Limited and the National Museum of Australia 2009 onwards (except where otherwise indicated).

You may view, display, print out and copy this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.