A recent cartoon by Bill Leake in The Australian gave me a good chuckle, although not for the reason you might expect.
Captioned “The Road to Ruin” and featuring references to the recently published book of the same name, there was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at his local newsagent picking up “his” morning papers, sighing while saying “just the papers thanks”. The papers were the Sydney Star Observer with the headline “Marriage Equality special edition” and tucked in behind it was a copy of Green Left Weekly.
There was no mistaking our masthead. Being attacked by the Murdoch press is always a badge of honour: it means we must be doing something right. The fact they went to the effort of making sure the masthead was correct is the icing on the cake.
Here's my take on the punchline: a cartoonist from the Murdoch-owned The Australian believes Turnbull is taking too much of a lead from the left and, out of all the possible issues, his road to ruin is marriage equality.
I realise that crafting conservative comedy is a hard gig. Eliciting empathy and humour while punching down on the more vulnerable and oppressed is something most people don't find very funny.
But it did get me thinking. If Turnbull really were to read Green Left, what would I say to him?
“Hey Mal, I can call you Mal, right? You know that secret lefty agenda The Australian thinks you've got going on? Totally sweet, but I was thinking, to advance it along a bit quicker how about using some of that loot you've amassed over the years, that's just languishing around in the Caymans, to help support Australia's longest running progressive, environmental, social justice newspaper, Green Left Weekly. Not only would it go a long way to supporting the paper that supports the movements for social change but I'm sure it would really annoy Tony and Cory.
“P.S. You should totally get a couple of solidarity subscriptions for them and have it sent to their electoral offices.”
I checked the subscriber database, just to include a personal note for Mal to check out this column, but unfortunately couldn't find any reference for Mal or Lucy. So unless he's getting it sent to an investment property under a pseudonym, he is probably reading it online.
That is a great way to read Green Left — but if like Mal you're reading this online, consider taking out an e-subscription or making a donation to support Green Left Weekly.
With an e-subscription you get an email digest of the latest articles sent out along with a link to download a PDF version of the newspaper.
Over the next few months we will be expanding this to provide different e-reader formats as well as making a number of improvements to the website to improve the look and function.
We have an archive of 25 years of articles that we will continue to provide for free because it is too invaluable a resource to keep behind a paywall.
That being said, there are costs involved with running a website. If you like what you read in Green Left Weekly you can support us in this work by donating to the GLW Fighting Fund on the toll-free line 1800 634 206 (within Australia). Donations can also be made to Green Left Weekly, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account no. 00901992. Otherwise you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007. Because truth be told, I don't think Mal's going to come up with the goods.