This cartoon* shows three men: the man in the middle shows Rober Muldoon, the man on the left represents the Gleneagles Agreement and the man on the floor represents New Zealand’s reputation.
To understand this cartoon, you need to have a bit of a backgroundinformation which I will give you now:
In den 1970s and 1980s the Apartheid in Africa especially South Africa, was still a sensitive issue.
Many countries tried to show that they do not support apartheid so they stopped any cooperation with South Africa (which also meant no cooperating sporting events). However, New Zealand broke this by letting their rugby team touring through South Africa.
Shortly after, in 1976, the Olympic Games were held in Canada. As a reaction to New Zealands touring, many African countries boycotted their participation. Their call for excluding NZ from the Olympic Games because of their tour in South Africa, remained unheard.
One year later in 1977, the Commonwealth nations met in Gleneagle, Scotland, to sign the Gleneagles Agreement which should make clear once more that the commonwealth nations (including New Zealand!) have to show that they keep together to fight against the apartheid in South Africa and to NOT support it by cooperating sporting events.
But New Zealand signed it and kind of ignored it: A few years later, a South African rugby team had been invited to New Zealand. This led to massive protests on the island. Former prime minster Robert Muldoon, who also has signed the Gleneagle Agreement, could not understand all that protesting. For him, politics should not involve in sporting events.
Here I ask myself: But why do you then sign this Agreement, which actually says that any sporting-cooperation with South Africa is forbidden?
He knew that he was breaking the international sports ban and he knew that this would lead to protest and anger. And furthermore, the invitation of a South African rugby team is nothing you urgently need for your country. So why all this?
Maybe you have an answer for that?
As the cartoon shows the touring of the NZ team and then the invitation of a touring for South Africa in NZ immensly decreased NZ’s reputation.
*taken from: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/gleneagles-agreement-cartoon