'Sorry, couldn't be bothered' cartoon by Eric Lobbecke, the Daily Telegraph, 2008


This is a cartoon by Eric Lobbecke which shows former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating seated next to each other. They are wearing t-shirts which spell out 'SORR'. A vacant seat is at the end, reserved for John Howard, who should be wearing a t-shirt with the letter 'Y' on it. Instead there is only a sign which says, 'Sorry - couldn't be bothered.'

Educational value

Kevin Rudd's first act of parliament as the Prime Minister of Australia was to say 'sorry' to the Stolen Generations of Australia. This was a position against which former Prime Minister John Howard was consistently opposed.

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.

Eric Lobbecke has been a cartoonist for News Limited since 1988, working on the Australian, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph.

© 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.