Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

not a bad bone in his body... a saint.

Bill Leak RIP...

Jesus has died... 

I mean Bill Leak has died.  

“Not a bad bone in his body” says one of his friends... 

The eulogies, the tears and the glorification will soon turn into beatification. I am surprised the Murdoch outfit has not asked the pope for a comment. 

So, it’s now Gus Leonisky’s, the lazy pauper amongst the poor cartoonists, turn to eulogise Bill Leak.  

I met Bill a couple of times, at some people’s places where for whatever reason I had been invited, being on some publicist’s rent-a-crowd list; you’ve all seen “The Party”, the movie with Peter Sellers. The name gets added by accident, after the bumbling character destroys a superproduction movie set.

I don’t think Bill liked me. I felt as if I did not exist or did not matter to the scheme of the Cheddar cheese. I believed he did not like people with a different opinion than his. I could be wrong and he might have been a pluralist, but on many edgy sensitive issues, he stuck to the Murdoch’s ugly stable scripts: Labor bad, Libs (KONservative) good. My mistake was not to eulogise him then about his portraits of famous people. I had done my bit of portraiture but nothing as memorable as Bill’s. 

I recognise now that Bill was walking on water, drank the water he had turned into wine (or beer -- I forgot which one was his poison) and was very very shy. As a person that is. As a cartoonist he was a loony ratbag extremist, but that is the job of a cartoonist. A cartoonist needs to hit their target in the balls -- or in the face, never in the back, or should the target be a woman, they need to spoil their hair-do. I’m old fashioned with the ladies and I drink red ned from the casks while no-one is looking.

There were many differences between Jesus Leak -- as described by The Australian, the Daily Telegraph and all the “independent” press -- and Gus (goodness, I could not compare myself to this god!). He was on the right side of politics and I tend to hover more towards the left, being anti-establishment, anti-military and anti-police -- and god forbid, while making amends with the Ruskies -- presently demonised by the western press, more than hell itself. The next difference is that I rarely punch “the little guy” -- the downtrodden, the poor, the sufferers and the sick, including the sick in the head. I only hit the big guys: the rich, the politicians, the churchmen, the dictatorial religious hatted men, including those of the Muslim community. I always see that the little persons, even the supporters of crap, have been the victims of hoaxes as promoted by the big men, including the capitalists who steal from their pockets. 

For Bill, he saw the little people to be depicted as bludgers, loafers and morons, and he did not like the “left” -- especially if you were part of the Intelligentsia. What is the “intelligentsia”? Good question. For different people it will have different meaning. Should you be a well-read, thoughtful idealist with knowledge of sciences and literature, plus understands many of the world’s problems and have a heart of gold, you are a pissy intelligentsia member and deserve to be ridiculed as a Chardonnay swilling lefty. Should you be a rightwing greedy warring bastard, you should be promoted to general in chief -- the kick-ass extraordinary, the Tony Abbott brigadiers and the best admiral to get banks to make a buck from your back-pockets. 

I know: Bill fell on his head off a balcony in 2008. This could have been a life changing event for Bill. And it was. His nice way to attack the little poor blokes was seen as an asset by the Murdoch cronies. He was in need of employment to pay for the permanent headache he was suffering from, and the Murdoch outfit needed a cartoonist that could destroy Labor, especially Julia, and piss some more on the little poor people who were already shafted by the indecently rich. Thus Bill, Jesus-the-Leaky-Jester, went to work for the sheriff of Nottingham. Sure, as Warren Brown (another right-wing cartoonist for the Murdoch media), tells us in his eulogy of Bill, “a cartoonist job is to be unfair to everyone.”

That’s a lot of codswallop.

John Howard is fair game for introducing the never ever GST and the duty of the cartoonist is to enlarge his eyebrows (guffaw) but you cannot be unfair to some poor bastard with fetal alcohol syndrome who could not remember his own name. This is the pits of freedom -- of speech or otherwise. It’s a bit Nazi. The Nazis used to kill them after experimenting on the poor bastards’ reduced faculties. Yes Freedom can have pits of ruthlessness. And this is where some people -- especially the one with black skin or “cafe-au-lait’  deserve to be protected from cartoonists. . .

We, cartoonists, are a dangerous people if we indulge is this caper. We need empathy with the under privileged. We constantly need to be reminded of our duty, not of our glorious larrikinism, which has been praised so much by Bill’s adulators, as if Bill lived in a giant tub of mayonnaise.

The guy had great talent by the 3doubleD-truck load. But he used it for the force of darkness -- Uncle Rupe. 

Bill is lauded for being “brave” to challenge the 18C legislation. I do not find this “brave”, I find his attitude actually wrong and weak. Freedom has responsibilities. One could place this annoying Leak trait of bashing the little guy, whether with “good intentions” or not, as being immature and as lacking a shingle on the roof. Who knows... Some article in The Australian calls Bill Leak, “the people choice”. That is a bit much. Which people? The people who read the drivel at the Daily Telegraph, the people who write the drivel for people to read in the Daily Telegraph? Uncle Rupe?

The Daily Telegraph of Saturday March 11 2017 tells us Bill was “A satirical genius, a superb artist and a tireless champion of truth and fairness.”  One out of three ain’t too good. Yes Bill Leak was fantastic with the pen and the brush. Beyond this he was not a genius. He was as dorky as the next idiot on the issue of global warming for example. Genius? Did he invent a new Quantum Mechanic theory? Truth and fairness? None of this ever showed in his cartoons. Not even in his portraits, which in many ways were exaggerations of reality, a bit like Michelangelo’s portraits of god in the sistine chapel.

Then The Daily Telegraph tells us that “A NATION MOURNS THE SHOCK DEATH OF AN AUSSIE VISIONARY”.  Wow... The whole nation? Nupe... VISIONARY?... Sorry I never saw this aspect of the bloke. Here one needs to define “visionary”. I won’t go into the details of the meanings of this strange word which can become contradictory. This was, I hope, a relative one-sided superlative from the DT. Visionary, thus? Nupe again. 

Miranda Devine lets us know that “[Bill Leak] was under enormous stress recently because he had the uncomfortable habit of telling the truth.”

Here Miranda might have her finger on something she knows nothing about: I sense an uncomfortable leaky position for Leak, not about lacking support. Bill Leak had the entire Murdoch Media Machine riding pillion with him about “the truth” (whatever that is), so why would he be feeling under stress, when he actually had so much support around him -- as well as “telling the truth” and being such a nice bloke? 

Were there dark demons? Here I can only guess. My guess would be that Bill knew he did not tell the truth, but massaged ideas to channel the spirit of rightwing autocracy, his paying master, and did it very well. This could be harsh but I can see no way that Bill could be “under stress” unless he had serious second thoughts about what he was doing. I know the caper. I have been doing it since 1951. It got me into trouble a few times, and as one has once said, there no such a thing as a lazy artist with talent. 

I have been trying to disprove this for a long time now. My laziness is legendary in my own mind. I could be the most lazy person of the planet and in order to balance this unfortunate state of laziness, I work day and night and do not sleep.

So, vale Bill Leak, my combative opponent. Well, I was not your opponent nor other people would see this way since no-one knows I exist. And that’s okay by me... 

Condolences to the family. Bill Leak was a good man but had become a vicious cartoonist. 


Gus Leonisky


A friend in occupational hazards, despite the brickbats. 

wraparound of adulation...

Bill Leak may have been the poster boy for "free speech" anti-Section 18C nutters, but his death has not heralded the end of racism and bigotry, writes John Passant.

BILL LEAK'S DEATH has produced various responses.

The Australian, the newspaper for which he cartooned, has been one long eulogy for him — complete on the weekend with a wraparound four pages of adulation.

This cult of Bill is driven by The Australian’s campaign against what it calls "political correctness" and what I call human decency. This is centred on Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Read more:

angry jokers at the merde-och media...



From David Marr


Seems the Australian only recognises free speech when it’s speaking. The paper is demanding an apology from the ABC because demonstrators in Monday night’s Q&A audience called Bill Leak a racist.

Imagine! How insulting! How offensive!

All the great names have joined the fray. The former PM and mighty advocate of free speech Tony Abbott is calling for the ABC to grovel. Warren Mundine is there calling the demonstrators “idiotic morons”. Paul Kelly is thundering about the self-righteous bigotry of progressives.


Are they joking?

Bill Leak was free to draw – and the Australian was free to publish – cartoons attacking black people and Muslims. Free speech. But surely it is not news to a newspaper that citizens have free speech too.

I was there in the Q&A audience in Adelaide. Up on stage panel members were speaking with respect for Leak, carefully negotiating the difficult territory between regret for his death and regret for his work.

Then up the back, a couple of angry people started yelling that Leak was a racist. That ticks a few boxes. It’s offensive. It’s insulting. It breaks a taboo in our society about criticising the recently dead.

But it’s free speech.

After a life too short in which he lived hard, a famous cartoonist is about to be buried. It is a sad occasion. But I can’t imagine such a warrior would now be calling for a show of piety. He was a tougher man than that. He danced on graves.

I loathe political correctness. I value highly the right to say exactly what is on my mind. So did Bill Leak

The Australian, after using Bill Leak as the figurehead for a campaign for absolute freedom to offend, insult, humiliate and intimidate Jews and Chinese and Aboriginal people and Muslims, is bleating about a couple of demonstrators in the Q&A audience insulting his memory.

Can’t one of the many fine journalists who work at Holt Street knock on the editor’s door and remind him that freedom is a two-way street – that the readers are as free as the paper to mock, to challenge, to dissent?

Not according to Paul Kelly: “What happened to Bill is simple in essence. He came into conflict with the self-righteous bigotry of the educated class – the belief that across the spectrum of expression from artistic work to cartoons that progressive ideology (often called political correctness) must be affirmed, not challenged.”

You’ve got to be good to get all that into one paragraph.

But seriously, Paul, aren’t we all free to challenge? That’s not a privilege of newspapers. It’s everyone’s right. Aren’t demonstrators free to shout any more? Aren’t even the worst of all possible people – educated folk with progressive ideas – free to say those cartoons were horrible?

read more:


Read from top.



in kenny's kennel korner...


Kenny is a seasoned campaigner in the "culture wars". His worldview is predicated on the crazy belief that every major public institution in Australia, apart from NewsCorpse itself, has been captured by raving Leftists with an anti-business, pro-human rights, green, queer agenda.

Laughable as this proposition is to sane people who see the world as it really is, it is the motivating force – the lifeblood – of Murdoch’s motivated scribblers and calumnists.

It is therefore not really surprising that, to a man and a woman, NewsCorpse employees lined up this past week to eulogise the cartoonist Bill Leak and to condemn anyone who dared utter a disparaging word about him.

According to Kenny, anyone who dared to make a joke at Leak’s expense was to be roundly condemned and hounded for speaking out of turn. So much for free speech — which at The Australian is only (white) skin-deep.

To make matters worse, The Australian and other Murdoch outlets hinted darkly that Leak’s demise was the result of him being bullied and pursued by the Australian Human Rights Commission. One celebrating mourner it a service for Leak even carried a homemade ‘WANTED’ poster with Gillian Triggs name on it, suggesting she was personally responsible for BLeak’s demise.

@MarkDiStef this guy

— Farmering Dad (@DamienCWalker) March 17, 2017

As usual, to make such a vile accusation half-plausible it had to be covered in mistruths, unreliable imputations and plain misleading language by NewsCorpse scribes. Leak’s supporters among the Murdoch rat pack muttered and buttered openly about the role of Gillian Triggs in causing Leak’s untimely death.

It was implied that Leak’s heart attack was brought on by the pressure he had been put under recently by the so-called "racist cartoon" cases that were before the AHRC until recently. But we should be absolutely clear, it was NewsCorpse that brought all of this pressure to bear on Leak.

It was NewsCorpse that martryred BLeak by making him their poster boy for a campaign to make it easier for bigotry and racism to gain a hold in our public discourse.

Leak was always the Murdoch camp’s useful idiot in this drawn-out and ultimately unsuccessful case. It was the NewsCorpse editorial management who upped the ante on a daily basis in this case. It was NewsCorpse lawyers who provided documents to Hedley Thomas to write up the case, week-after-week.

It was NewsCorpse that broke protocol and published details of the complainants. It was NewsCorpse that kept this issue in the spotlight for months and imposed on Leak the arduous task of having to prepare a lengthy defence statement.

It was Leak’s legal team that prolonged the agony for Leak, by not putting forward the section 18D defence of artistic licence and fair comment.

read more:



Here in this cartoon altered by Gus, published on this site in September last year, it appeared as if Bill Leak was "making amends" by publishing the "equivalent" cartoon of his racist cartoon, but using white characters. But he added to the sauce by unashamedly making the characters from the caffe latte Intelligentsia. I decided to make the cartoon a bit more personal. I replaced the heads with Bill's own cartoonish impression of himself. No regrets from me, though he has been described as a good loving father by many people. Fair enough. 


free-ish freedom of saying nothing...

Surely it cannot be the right moment to dilute race hate laws when Trumpism is on a global march, with its direct appeal to racism and xenophobia.

In the Financial Times a week ago the paper’s chief United States columnist Edward Luce wrote about “The age of vitriol” and observed that democracy’s sense of restraint seems to have vanished.

“The glue of mutual respect that is so vital to any free society came unstuck.”

Anne Applebaum, a Warsaw-based columnist with the Washington Post, spoke of the spread of the “Populist International”, not only with Trump in the US, but in European countries and with Ukip in the UK.

 The debate about 18C doesn't have to be a left-right slanging match

Gay Alcorn

Gay Alcorn  Read more

While the language may differ from place to place, the common thread of this movement is the expulsion of immigrants, a return to white dominance and the reversal of women’s or minorities’ rights.

Yet regressive voices in Australian politics and media see this as the occasion to water down our race discrimination laws, if not junk them entirely.

The timing could not be more exquisite. In fact, section 18C, the most discussed provision in the entire assembly of consolidated commonwealth law, actually should be strengthened and, along with it, the get-out-of jail defence in 18D.

It might be thought that if people were really interested in freedom of speech then why aren’t they mightily upset with section 31 of the “uniform” Defamation Act which deals with the defence of honest opinion and is so bound in technicalities and abstractions that it rarely, if ever, works for people wanting to defend an opinion in court.

There’s never a squeak about section 31 from the self-appointed protectors of free speech. Nor is anything said about the barrowloads of other laws that inhibit citizens from protesting, that undermine the principle of open courts and open justice, that prevent access to government information, and hide the truth about the welfare of people jailed in offshore detention centres.

read more:

as more people come to praise and damn bill...

This is the cartoon I had in mind when starting the toon at top... But I thought it was  a bit over the top... who knows...


  1. Cartoonist Bill Leak. - Conversations - ABC Radio

    23 Mar 2017

    Cartoonist Bill Leak drawing a cartoon at his home (2008).

  2. Remembering Bill Leak, cartoonist for The Australian - Drive - ABC Radio

    23 Mar 2017

    Rebellious, hilarious, politically incorrect and enormously skilled - cartoonists Lindsay Foyle and Warren Brown remember Bill Leak

  3. PM - Remembering Bill Leak: from cartoonist to free speech evangelist 10/03/2017

    10 Mar 2017

    Bill Leak seldom did anything by halves The cartoonist raconteur portrait painter writer and controversial free speech absolutist died of a heart attack today aged 61 In the last few years his w

  4. Lateline - 10/03/2017: Interview: Bill Leak

    10 Mar 2017

    The Australians Bill Leak has been hailed as the master of political cartooning Following his death from a suspected heart attack we replay highlights from his last interview with Latelines Emma A


bleak hagiography


The Bleak Picture: Bill Leak cartoons from 1994 to 2017
By Warren Brown; From The Weekend Australian Magazine; December 2nd,
2017; 11 min read. Bill Leak. Pic: Stephen Baccon/Fairfax Media. Australians are
hardwired to pigeonhole pretty much everyone we encounter — and only then
are we satisfied that we have someone “pegged”. If you can't sum up a person in
a few short words...



Good luck to read the rest behind the paywall... 


Today there is this hagiography of Bill Leak in the Weekend magazine of The Australian, by right wing cartoonist Warren Brown.

I feel that I have been targeted by not eulogising Bill Leak as any fellow cartoonist should. Gimme a cat o' nine tails so I can flagellate meself.

Warren Brown's conclusion is telling me I am a mediocre ignorant bozzo for not placing Bill Leak on a ten metre tall marble pedestal:


... His [John Howard's] reply was resolute, with no trace of insincerity: "He's a great man".

To remember Bill as some sort of martyr or villain is absurd and unjust, signalling to me a complete ignorance of just what he gave to this nation during his short life.

Warren Brown is The Daily Telegraph's editorial cartoonist...

Read my view from top. "And to tell the truth", I cannot argue with John Howard, who to me, has always been insincere as all get out... The Daily Telegraph is a right wing Murdoch news outlet, including its cartooning...

the right wing cartoonist...

I don't think that Warren Brown sees himself as a rightwing cartoonist, but he does a great impression of one. Nothing wrong in being a rightwing cartoonist. What's wrong is trying to pass a right-wing ratbag rag such as the Daily Telegraph as a "we're for you" identity kit for the average joe (possibly below average) — especially from a cartoonist who "does not see" (he sees it all right but hides it from you) his one-sidedness. Not only this, Brown sees no sacred cows while cartooning. As explained in the comments above about Bill "Jesus" Leak, trying to make silly cartoons designed to down-trod upon the poor and the already down-trodden is poor form, and a respectable cartoonist should refrain.

So, the Daily Telegraph gave Brown a whole page to explain his cartooning philosophy which by the end of it shows he is a lightweight, and a right-wing one at that... The choice of "his" cartoons in the page is telling because "they can the right", just a little bit: one shows Barnaby Joyce beyond reality with a hundred political incorrect kids who should be hiding behind him ... (ahah) and another one is about Turnbull and Lucy going to New York after having been booted out by his "mates" at the Liberal (CONservative) party... Ahah... Not only the penmanship is borderline (I should not crow too much here — I am worse), the content is also bordering on the vacuous. 

A third cartoon in the piece about his Rightwingness Brown is also a bit poor in my view. It's about Kim and Donald going for a shoot out. No sense of who started this stupid lack of diplomacy stand-off (Donald Trump of course). The Chinese may not be angels but they would go cyber-torture and diplomatic chopsticks rather than cowboy six shooters.


Sure, I am not the best cartoonist is this land — and getting old and having lost all my graphic computers to decrepitude themselves, I am lazy with drawing more stuff. I should not throw stones at cartoonists when I live in a glasshouse myself. 


But this page in the DT was an underhanded attempt to make sure people would not vote for Bill Shorten. Even the cartoon of the day showing the "meat-haters" at an abattoir filling their electric car (rescuing a dazzled sheep) from the farmer's shed powerpoint, with another six hours to go before full charge, as the farmer is closing at tractor warp speed, was not even touching the funny bone... Full of inaccuracies? Yes...


Cartoonists should stay as close as possible to the truth, whatever the truth they seek. Warren is on the rightwing. I am not and make sure people see my position first. 


But another point that irked me is the "debonairisation" of the DT. The Daily Telegraph is full-blown anti-Labor, anti-climate change, anti-environment, pro-coal, pro-mining, anti-renewables, pro-Jewish, anti-Palestinian, pro-Trump and anti-Putin, anti Maduro, pro-Bolton and pro-Pompeo, and more crap than crappy, though the Mueller debacle is promoted as a Trump victory while still hating Russia — and is often borderline on "news" which in another universe would be seen as "fake". Let's say slanted and biased.


See what I mean. This is Warren Brown philosophy about Sydney:



The Daily Telegraph is a horrible newspaper for this glorious seriously good city. I must say I have never seen this hilarious cartoon of Governor Phillip. I'd like to see it. And the convict who drew it might have got 200 funny lashes of the cat o' nine tails instead of supper.


Meanwhile, this is Brown telling us:


You can bet your bottom dollar that Warren will pan Bill Shorten ten times before indulging in a bitter-sweet scummo image... Predictable. Yes. The editor of the Tele would sack him otherwise. No sacred cows? Crap. Read my comment above: "trying to make silly cartoons designed to down-trod upon the poor and the already down-trodden is poor form, and a respectable cartoonist should refrain."


So here is the full page of Warren Brown's subservience to the rightwing god, Uncle Rupe  — aka Rupert Murdoch. 




Blah. Read from top.

the DT editor would have a heart attack...

Here we have a cutting cartoon by Cathy Wilcox that we'd hope Warren Brown (read above comment) would have done for the Daily Tedioustocrass. But as Warren sort of mentions "his editor would have had a heart attack (or sleepless nights)" to tell it like it REALLY IS... and Warren Brown is too right wing to even approach the concept as Cathy does: