Cartoonist Michael Leunig compares mandatory vaccination to fascism in anti-vax cartoon

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Despite a vaccination rate of 92 per cent for whooping cough in Victoria, the number of reported cases has increased by more than 1000 since the previous year.

A BELOVED Australian cartoonist has sparked outrage on social media with a cartoon comparing the Victorian government to fascists, following a proposal to ban children who are not vaccinated from Victorian childcare centres.

Michael Leunig, who was declared a national living treasure in 1999, is a popular Melbourne cartoonist frequently published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers.

But some of his fans have expressed disappointment after The Age published this cartoon in today’s paper.

The cartoon published in Wednesday’s edition of The Age newspaper. Photo: The Age/Leunig.

Leunig, a known anti-vaxxer, took a stab at the Victoria government after Health Minister Jill Hennessy announced she would introduce legislation requiring children to be fully vaccinated before they attend childcare or kindergarten.

The proposed law also closes a loophole that makes an exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children on the grounds they are conscientious objectors. Children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will remain exempt.

Titled, “FACIST EPIPHANY,” the cartoon reappropriates Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’ and depicts a hand pointing a needle at another hand. “The God of Science grants politicians the divine right to enforce mass medication among babies and small children,” it reads.

This isn’t the first time Mr Leunig has created a cartoon with an anti-vaccination message.

In April he created this cartoon criticising mothers who chose to vaccinate their children.

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“Some mothers do ‘ave ’em,” he wrote above the image.

“They have maternal instincts that contradict what science thinks. They stand up to the state,” he continued.

“A mother’s love may be as great as any new vaccine that man has ever seen.”

When seeking comment from Mr Leunig, news.com.au was directed to an email response the 70-year-old gave to a woman who complained about the cartoon.

“My cartoon was not about the value of vaccines — it is about the punitive deprivation and coercive authoritarian force being increasingly and systematically applied by Federal and State governments to parents who want choice in the matter,” he wrote.

“There is a human rights issue here that is deeply disturbing and worth talking about in a clear-headed way that is free of hostility and insult.”

Social media users have expressed their disappointment at Mr Leunig’s position.

I’ve loved pretty much every cartoon Michael Leunig has done over the last decade or so… But this time, no #Leunig pic.twitter.com/MvTKBH46cT

The Age’s news director Mark Forbes told news.com.au the newspaper doesn’t rule out covering any issues, with the exception of offensive racist or sexist material. “Cartoons are similar to commentary, they represent the opinion of the cartoonist,” he wrote in an email.

Mr Forbes said The Age has a clear editorial position in favour of vaccination.

“As an institution we disagree with Leunig, but we will defend his right to hold those views.

“This is not unusual, The Age has run columns and cartoons denying the existence of global warming, although we believe the views expressed are profoundly misplaced.”

Children not vaccinated against illnesses such as measles and whooping cough put other children and the greater community at risk, health experts say.

The power of simple questions

“What we don’t accept is those who go around myth-making about the risks of vaccination,” Health Minister Jill Hennessy said on Sunday.

“The public health and wellbeing of the broader community has to take precedence against the anti-vaccination movement.”

Despite a vaccination rate of 92 per cent for whooping cough in Victoria, the number of reported cases has increased by more than 1000 since the previous year.

“Ultimately it is a parents call in terms of how they respond, but we cannot continue to see the alarming rise in diseases like whooping cough and measles, and not respond,” Ms Hennessy said. She is confident the “no jab, no play” policy will provide an incentive for parents to make sure their children are vaccinated.

Source

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/cartoonist-michael-leunig-compares-mandatory-vaccination-to-fascism-in-antivax-cartoon/news-story/42b32d00cfd73b40338408703685d109

4 thoughts on “Cartoonist Michael Leunig compares mandatory vaccination to fascism in anti-vax cartoon

  1. “My cartoon was not about the value of vaccines — it is about the punitive deprivation and coercive authoritarian force being increasingly and systematically applied by Federal and State governments to parents who want choice in the matter,” …. Michael Leunig.

    Absolutely Mr Michael Leunig.
    We, in Aus, are very short on individual intellectuals who are not compromised and have the courage to speak out……. Gus

  2. id compare it more to totalitarianism then fascism but then ost people dont even know the original definition of fascism by benito musolini the author of the doctrine of fascism was “the good working relationship between corporation and state” most fascist states contain elements of totalitarianism and were definately proudly a fascist state.
    what i find most telling is eveyone i ask to explain how vacination works that is heavly pro cant tell me how the immune system even works, they parrot off the line the science is clear but dont know the science.
    invariably they mistakenly think it makes them immune and they dont have a responsability to avoid infecting others

  3. what this isreally about is working hours and wether the school is obliged to send children home if they are all vacinated they arnt obliged to but its extremely short sighted as while immunisation generaly reduces the severity/duration of a illness it dosnt except in some cases like polio that has a very long incubation period actualy stop you being infectious nore dose it mean that someone wont still get seriously ill. my mother caught chicken pox 3 times with all being rather serious casses ive caught it twice and i wont go near someone with it although usualy once symptoms show they arnt infectious because theres every likelyhood ill catch it again if im exposed. for whatever reason my DNA just isnt used to some of those western european viruses and even if immunised im going to catch a rather severe case of it if im exposed

  4. this is about removing the obligation to quarenteine in a misguided aim at increasing production, those of us that dont have western european dna and have much higher mortality rates from these viruses and vacines(which is what most of these viruses these vacines are made for target) can just go by the way side

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