On the late Bill Leak

David Edmunds writes: Re. “An obituary for Bill Leak, and his monstrous exploitation by The Australian” (Monday)

Bill Leak was a gifted artist, and in the past, a gifted cartoonist.  His work over the last few years lacked the whimsy and humour that characterises good cartoons. It was banal and often puerile.  His vendetta against Gillian Triggs was particularly egregious.  A recent cartoon depicting her was reminiscent of Larry Pickering’s portrayal of Julia Gillard, but with clothes on.  It was cruel and vindictive. His anger with Ms Triggs was apparently due to her actual fulfilling her statutory duty in considering a complaint against him lodged under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Perhaps Guy Rundle is correct in ascribing his later work to the pressure placed on him to produce cartoons at an unreasonable rate.
It has become a policy of News Ltd papers to unmercifully hound people who dare to stand up to them.  Some of these people unwittingly put themselves into the public space, and some like Ms Triggs have a place there.  Remember the campaign run against Ms Triggs related to her parenting.  The technique is to invade their privacy and do a demolition job on those who do not not agree with News Ltd increasingly zany political view.
It is extraordinary then that an organisation that has made a policy decision that the hurt experienced by people as a result of their criticism is simply because the choose to feel hurt, should then completely reverse this stance in the case of Bill Leak.  Apparently Bill should not have to experience any criticism, let alone the sort his organisation unleashed on others.  It was not as if he was refused a platform to reply. As Guy has said, the complaint about criticism of Bill Leak completely contradicts their argument against 18C.

On the WA election

Adrian Jackson writes: Re. “Making sense of the WA election result” (Monday)

If the huge election victory for the ALP in WA follows the usual trend, like that of the LNP in Qld a few years ago, it will end in tears at the next election for a large number of new parliamentarians who will not be re-elected. Make good use of your single term in parliament newbies and don’t burn your bridges with your former careers outside parliament.

Peter Fray

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