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March 13th 2017 print

Peter Smith

The Left Left Leak

The left is no longer the left unless names mean nothing. The old left would never, ever kneel before  an oppressive medieval culture, nor would they cheer as Star Chamber commissars assault free speech. Bill knew that and it sickened him

star chamberIn Bill Leak’s last cartoon in The Australian (below) he has Rob Stokes, the NSW minister for education, in front of Punchbowl Boys High School, severed head in hand, explaining to an interviewer that “boys will be boys.” Getting to the nub of the matter is the cartoonist’s art. Bill Leak was a peerless grandmaster of it.

I was at the CIS function last Wednesday evening for the launch of his book Trigger Warning, which contains his cartoons over the year 2016. Partway through his speech, he was stopped in his tracks by Sir Les Patterson. If you are going to be pushed off stage I can’t think of any more formidable person to do it than Sir Les; though perhaps Dame Edna would come close. In any event, Bill took it in his stride: brilliant cartoonist interrupted by iconic entertainer. Ending is hard but I can’t think of a much better sign-off than a book launch, Sir Les and a final, cutting cartoon.

I met Bill only twice but on both occasions he told me how much he enjoyed reading Quadrant. Like me he was a convert from the dark side. I don’t know, but I tend to have more affinity with those who’ve seen the light than with those who start out that way. Being youthful and conservative doesn’t always sit right somehow. Aren’t the young supposed to be, at the least, a touch radical? Mind you, I think I’m living in the past when being left had more of a respectable and honourable cloth cap about it.

The left is no longer the left unless names mean nothing. The traditional left would not have happily seen miners thrown out of work and power stations and heavy industries closed down in pursuit of a climate chimera. They would not have been happy with strange men visiting their daughters’ bathrooms. They would not have been happy to have gender-fluidity studies shoved down their children’s throats. They would not have been happy to have free speech closed down to appease an alien and oppressive medieval religious culture.

This brings me back to Bill. Here is someone who had to pick up sticks and move home for bravely drawing a picture of Mohammed. Bravely, because Islamic barbarians have a record of killing people for doing just that; as they threatened to do on this occasion. My God, when exactly did we arrive at the point in Australia of ho-humming this alien barbarity in our very midst?

Having his book provides an invaluable reminder of a small section of Bill’s candid and confronting cartoons. They are a vivid commentary on the debasement and defilement of our political culture. Cloth-cap socialists of old could never have imagined the new battle lines.

On April 13 three schoolgirls were pictured on a bench, the third dressed in a burka. “My daddy says when we grow up the planet will be too hot to live on,” says the first girl. “My daddy says we won’t be able to afford to live on it anyway,” says the second. “My daddy says that’ll be the least of your worries,” says the third. To me, as with so many of his cartoons, this captures the mess and peril we’re in.

leak lastNo wonder he switched sides. It is beyond me that so many otherwise sensible people, drawn to the left out of compassion, remain tribally locked into a creepy, anti-worker, anti-Western, movement. What’s going on? I simply don’t know. I only know that it is going on and it is bringing us down.

I hope I am missing something in saying this; but I think Bill Leak will be sorely missed. Even those few conservative commentators that we have in Australia are pale imitations of Bill. This is not entirely their fault. Cartoonists can get away with things if, like Bill, they are brave enough to face up to the chattering classes, the politically correct, the cultural relativists, the post-modern moral guardians, the globalists, the ABC,  green fascists, Islamists, Islamic apologists, Tim Soutphommasane and Gillian Triggs.

“No, no, Mister Headmaster, my fault entirely! I’ll come back later when you’re not so busy,” says a safe schools kit toting Dick Di Natale, as a young woman is in process of being stoned (May 19). Now, exactly how can you describe that picture in prose without stepping out of bounds? To say it again, Bill Leak will be missed, when there seem to be so few warriors prepared to risk battling the dark side without quarter.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [19]

  1. ianl says:

    > “What’s going on? I simply don’t know. I only know that it is going on and it is bringing us down”

    The deeply entrenched vanity, the narcissism, in Noble Cause Corruption, Peter.

    I simply don’t know why you don’t know.

    • Bill Martin says:

      According to Wikipedia: Noble cause corruption is corruption caused by the adherence to a teleological ethical system, suggesting that persons “will utilize unethical, and sometimes illegal, means to obtain a desired result” a result which appears to benefit the greater good.

      That may well apply to many of the useful idiots, ianl, but most definitely not to most of the scum that hounded Bill Leak to death. Their motivation is being obsessed with their own miserable importance while completely oblivious to all else, reinforced by the righteous approval of their fellow travelers. I am with Peter in being utterly flummoxed by the suicidal mindset of the current elitocracy.

      • ianl says:

        Bill

        > ” … a result which appears to benefit the greater good”

        The key is the phrase “appears to benefit”. That is the balm to soothe any doubts about one’s moral vanity. Once you believe that you are nobly saving the world, anything is permissable – especially by stealth, because a fait accompli is a preferably efficient method.

        So the point that puzzles you, and Peter too apparently, of apparent suicide is treated as trivial by these people – not because they aren’t afraid of horrid results to themselves but because their Noble Cause (they think) will not allow bad things to happen to them. They are really that naive. This can be seen in their reaction to a Bill Leak – they manifest actual hysteria brought on by the unacknowledged fear that the Cause may not after all be Noble, or Noble enough, so they are not safe. Bluntly, this is Psychology 101. Why did Triggs abandon her handicapped infant ?

        This hysteria is so dangerous to others that I use a pseudonym here to protect my family and colleagues. I mean that – we *know* these hysterics are really dangerous. That is an issue for each individual to resolve, of course. My answer is obvious.

      • Homer Sapien says:

        Bill, “flummoxed by the suicidal mind set”, the book “The March of Folly” by B. Tuchman gives some interesting answers.

  2. Jody says:

    Well, I was ‘youthful and conservative’ and it didn’t damage me. Far from it; at 29 I went into a business venture with my husband, took huge risks, used politics as an expedient when our business was under siege and finally made money. I’ve continued lifelong learning and am infuriated at the current state of the polity.

    As usual, the fault lines all coalesce on the basis of WHO gets WHAT. If you drill down (sorry about the geological metaphors) far enough this will become apparent.

    • Peter says:

      To be clearer Jody, I have no problem with people being a conservative when young. And, I shouldn’t quibble about how and when people got there as long as they’re there. I simply feel, personably, more rapport with people who’ve imbibed the lures of the other side before making the switch.

      • Jody says:

        As somebody who worked at the ABC when in my early 20s, I quickly found the ‘darker side’ not to my liking at all. The friends I made were largely apolitical and with intelligence and a great sense of humour! Yes, there WERE people there like that.

    • ianl says:

      > ” … If you drill down (sorry about the geological metaphors)”

      Forgiven since you are clearly stating that hard, factual evidence really matters.

      On a lighter note, for you with wryness:

      http://sundown.me.uk/technology/mercedes-aa-class.mp4

      • Jody says:

        Very funny. My new Mercedes GLE350d is driving us mad; like driving a mobile phone. Or ONE BIG COMPUTER. We want basic information like “mileage” and “fuel consumption”. Instead, we get this!!! HELP.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClfmU9hFfkA

        • ianl says:

          I own a quite new high-end Merc. I overcame the issue of how to find the right buttons to press without a printed manual by Googling for a PDF manual for the exact model – you will find one eventually, most likely an American source so it’s all mirror-imaged for LH drive, but you can download it and print it out.

          Merc do *not* of their own provide comprehensive printworks manuals (deliberate cost-cut policy) but other people resolved this for them. The driving data you want is supplied but you need to follow the manual in baby steps to start. Just be both determined and persistent.

          • Jody says:

            We did get a printed manual the size of the bible. But that’s unintelligible. It is based on ‘assumed knowledge’ of how all these things function. We think it’s entirely stupid to manufacture products that cannot be used by people who can afford them because they don’t have degrees in electronics. People will look back on these times as so defined. It’ took “the man” about 90 minutes to show us the basic features. There’s something more than ridiculous about that. Sure, alarms ring and lights flash anytime another vehicle or structure is nearby but do you think my husband could find the “FM” radio function. We are both tearing out what little remains of our hair and wondering why we didn’t buy another Subaru!!!!

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    The left is no longer the left unless names mean nothing. The old left would never, ever kneel before an oppressive medieval culture, nor would they cheer as Star Chamber commissars assault free speech. Bill knew that and it sickened him.

    I think that historians in future will likely see politics of the 20th Century as dominated by its three major international wars: 1. WW1, which in many ways was the logical outcome of imperialist rivalries going back into the 19th C, coupled with the declining but by no means extinguished power of absolute monarchs like the Tsar of all the Russians and the German Kaiser; 2. WW2, which in the West was very much a product of WW1 and the consequent global depression, and in the East was an attempt by the Japanese to create a vast Asian empire; and 3. Vietnam, which was a war of national liberation fought by colonised people to get their nation back from the colonialists (and the colonialists’ international supporters) who had robbed them of it.
    In these wars, old mediaeval concepts like honour in battle finally and completely went down the sewer. People like me, who were raised in the belief that our soldiers never stooped to torturing prisoners, executing them wholesale or massacring whole civilian settlements because they were obviously sympathetic to the enemy were given much food for revised thought. And faced with the prospect of conscription for this barbarous enterprise, a great part of the post WW2 generation in the US and Australia was permanently lost to traditional conservatism.
    The irony of the military history of the man who sent the Australian conscript contingent to Vietnam, Prime Minister Robert Menzies, did not pass unnoticed: in the words of fellow Liberal Sir Wilfred Kent-Hughes, it was a “very promising military career, unfortunately cut short by the advent of war.”
    (No excuses.)
    Then came 9/11, and the western Left divided over it and Islamism. Some, like the late Christopher Hitchens, saw liberal democracy as paramount and non-negotiable, while others, like the Australian journalist John Pilger, saw it as a sham, and Islamism as excusable ‘blowback’ for perceived outrages like the US-initiated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    But both Hitchens’ and Pilger’s views were made in Vietnam.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LsRRTvPigY

    • en passant says:

      Mac Bot,
      You really are mentally ill. So many random thoughts and unsubstantiated dots you somehow manage to connect. WW1=35M dead, WW2=60M dead, Viet Nam= 2.5M dead. How do we compare their scale?
      Where would the world be without your insights? Well, it would be a better place for a start.

      How do you manage to turn a eulogy to Bill Leak into a political sermon of your world views? Thankfully you did so without mentioning the rising of the seas and climate change, but I feel it coming.

      Let me know when I can write your eulogy as it will not take me long as your achievements are few and your opinions sour. I would enjoy writing it, so don’t delay too long.

      Stick to subjects you know about as that way we will never have to suffer reading your comments again … and leave eulogising to those who respect the dead.

    • Jody says:

      I’ve read a lot of Hitchens. He came to despise the Left because he saw their naked hatred and called it out. His eloquent prose on this subject is very moving, particularly after 9/11 and the stupifyingly vile comments of Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal et al.

      Hitchens loved the United States but despised cant and hypocrisy and I loved him for it. He was the literary equivalent of the artistic Bill Leak. Very very much missed.

  4. Keith Kennelly says:

    That’s exactly right Jody. It is all about who gets what.

    But I suspect the fault lines you see are not the same fault line I and the deplorables see.

    We don’t have to drill down to see it. It is rammed down our throats by the educated elites and their acolytes daily.

    I noticed the elites on the weekend started referring to excluding the unvaccinated from child care centres.
    No vac no play became their slogan. I know I’ve heard it before but it was superseded by novac no pay.

    Now that’s fair.

    Not a mention anywhere about linking unvacs and welfare payments

    I wonder how many of the elites read Quadrant?

    • ianl says:

      > “Not a mention anywhere about linking unvacs and welfare payments”

      Well, that would lose votes

      but:

      > ” … excluding the unvaccinated from child care centres”

      that keeps them safe from the deplorables while preserving the voting pattern. My own children were vaccinated without hesitation, but there is a deep illogic here. If the vaccinations are indeed successful in preventing disease, how do unvaccinated children present a danger to vaccinated children ? Try to get an answer to that without hysteria …

  5. Keith Kennelly says:

    Ah ha ianl

    Well done.

    Two birds with one stone.

    It ain’t just deplorables who are anti vac, some of the elites are anti vac as well.

    Yep logic, just how do unvacs present a danger to anyone other than other unvacs.

    And someone said critical thinking was dead.

    You know you saying that was the first I’d thought of it. And I can’t find an answer other than they don’t.

    But perhaps it’s the Make Everything Safe Syndrome (Mess) trying to make everyone safe including the unvacs.

    Mark Twain said ‘the fear of death is founded in the fear of life’

    I think today this prevailing fear of death is creating the dysfunction in our society. This recent vac crap kerfuffle is a symptom.

    • en passant says:

      IanL,
      I am sure Dr. Lynch can give a longer and more erudite explanation about vaccines, but as I understand it vaccination does not PREVENT infection, it just ensures that you have the tools ready to repel the invaders. So, if you have an anti-flu injection then a month later feel as seedy and sour as a MacD Bot for a day, then you have flu. The difference s that it will be gone in a day rather than a week, or in the case of a MacD Bot virus, no vaccination can help.

  6. Doubting Thomas says:

    I came rather late to Christopher Hitchens but have read many of hIs books. I still mourn his untimely passing. Compared to the rancid Chomskys, Vidals and Pilgers of this world he was a breath of fresh air. However, there are others carrying the same torch, eg our very own Keith Windschuttle, and overseas luminaries such as Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple), Thomas Sowell, Brendan O’Neill, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Melanie Phillips and many others. It seems to be Australia where conservatives seem to struggle to be heard in the marketplace of ideas.