'In politics no one can hear you scream' cartoon by Bill Leak, the Australian, 2007


This is a cartoon by Bill Leak about Peter Garrett's inability to speak out in parliament on issues in the same way he did as lead singer of the band Midnight Oil. Garrett is depicted in rock singer pose, about to deliver a key message, but nothing comes out.

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. Shadow Environment Minister Peter Garrett was in the spotlight with suggestions that his credentials as a 'green' politician were compromised by party policy.

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.

Bill Leak is a caricaturist, cartoonist and illustrator for the Australian.

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