This cartoon by Schrank from The Independent on Sunday relates to reports that more people have left the inner circle of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, following the high level desertion of Moussa Koussa, Libya's foreign minister, who arrived in the UK on Wednesday. Read more and watch video >>
Gaddafi is portrayed as a camel, stuck in the desert sands. Rats are jumping off the camel's back and fleeing. One asks, "Which way to London?" (a reference to Moussa Koussa's flight to the UK capital). In a nod to NATO's no-fly zone, a fighter jet passes overhead .
The cartoonist has linked two metaphors to describe Gaddafi's plight. The first metaphor is 'rats leaving the sinking ship'. This is an expression used in situations where people abandon something before it gets too bad: More rats jumped from Moammar Khadafy's sinking ship yesterday, while rebels massed for a counterattack to retake cities they lost this week.(See earlier post on this expression.) The second metaphor is 'ship of the desert', a term used to describe the camel: Arab poets have often called the camel the 'ship of the desert'