Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Present mood in Latvia through eyes of cartoonist

Feelings are rather sombre in Latvia, because the winter is approaching, but the trust between the governed and government has not been really reached. Budget cuts, mismanaged economy, retired people on the verge of bare subsistence, questionably educated politicians and their policies are all reflected in those small, but thus revealing sketches. No words can describe the present situation better than poignant cartoons of Gatis Šļūka. Enjoy them, if you can:)


[an official] "You must understand that we all have to tighten belts now". [pensioner with a billboard HANDS OFF FROM PENSIONS] But I cannot afford the belt...

[The Latvian Cabinet] and education, culture, health care, pensions... streams trickling out...

[former PM Godmanis] Most important thing is not to get mad! ( Diena, November 11, 2008, PM Ivars Godmanis: `` we should not exaggerate (...)annual GDP could decline this year by 1,3%``("Nevajag pārspīlēt (..) IK šogad varētu samazināties par 1,3%."))

[Chef] bon appetit! [Former PM Šķēle] I better prefer a bit devalued one (abbreviation of salmon is on the one lat coin)

Milk canisters containing social, VAT, income, despair, small and other taxes. [the tax official with the gimme fast tax] where shall I stick this sucker?

[Angry farmer] Answer me! Why isn't there money in the treasury? [an official] Look, they had the fastest pay rise, get them!

[Saeima - the Lettish parliament] and several sledges in front of it (there is a rather ill ominous story from ancient times about old parents taken with a sledge to forest to die )

[Former PM Godmanis] taken the Latvian state hostage and shouting to IMF officials: "gimme the part of the loan otherwise she is gonna die"!

[official shearer] shearing "people". [another official] "There is no time to waste here, lets get wool with all the skin!"

[One MP to another] "Since the official signature campaign started (campaign of 2008 about the amendments allowing qualified number of MP's to start dissolving the parliament), I see voters in nightmares every night with a whip clutching a cart behind me like for a horse, and whipping me through the Saeima corridors...

1. year - learns basics of Saeima rules
2. year - grabbing or in Latvian colloquial stealing
3. year - preparing for elections
4. year - pre-election fight

[the death] "So, you, old fart, did your minimum pension rise!" [pensioner] "No, no, I am gonna still survive this month"

[plaque - Latvian Saeima] Lettish MP: "I reckon I heard something about the insurmountable ravine between the rulers and the ruled..."


TRex said...

The citizens of Iceland are relentlessly chasing down the bankers and politicians that helped fuel their countries collapse, Ireland has massive street demonstrations! And Latvia has cartoons. One wonders what it will take to motivate the citizens of this country, the proposed three month severance packages for politicians losing their seats in the next election? Nah, time to start talking about Christmas trees.

Maybe there should be a political party made up entirely of cartoonists?

Veiko Spolitis said...

Hi! Yes, Icelanders are active indeed! Major reason due two which Latvian citizens are not on the streets yet I believe is - SCARE. Due to the inertia of former regime old folks are scared from memories, members of diminished nomenklatura are scared from losing their status quo status, latvians are naively scared of Russians/sovoks, religious fanatics scared of pagans, heterosexuals scared of homosexuals etc. The society in Latvia is naive and disoriented, and so called political elite did not even care about educating them and setting up common rules.....THE RESULT is here now:)

Political party of cartoonists would sound cool, but then who is going to lead the process, the cartonist?:)

TRex said...

Yes, unfortunately cartoonists merely reflect. But perhaps some reflection is called for?

Veiko Spolitis said...

Morning! If one does not reflect one cannot decide how to act further on, or to paraphrase the same, the people who do not know their history do not have a future:) And every year I see that freshmen|women at the university arrive less well prepared...

Actually, the post-budget period might bring out erruptions of anger, because I personally feel that Latvia is like a sleeping volcano that is ready to errupt any moment:( Latvian political and post-soviet "elite" who do not deserve ELAN name are THUS bad planners as Stalin once was... . You may wonder why such analogy? Because Latvian politicanos ruling country straight into abyss to my mind is similar to actions of a "military genius" who allowed enemy armies on their own soil to slaughter 10 million of its own citizens, and then made the system to bleed another 10 million of its own citizens. In a nutshell, such rulers have not the slightst idea what DEMOCRACY is, if they play so easily with peoples lives... .

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