The Liberal Prime Minister, William Gladstone, is shown standing beside a table loaded with all the matters he must deal with during his term in office. Many of them relate to his predecessor's time in office. This cartoon was prompted by the Boer War which started under Disraeli's government. An armistice had been agreed recently, but in the House, Gladstone explained that although he, and many other Liberals, had opposed the annexation of the Transvaal, he could not see a way in which to reverse the action. He tried to reassure the House that the Government could fulfil its obligations as laid out in the Queen's Speech. This had stated the government's intention of pursuing military measures to reinforce the Royal authority, a statement which hardly accorded with the recently declared armistice. From Punch, or the London Charivari, March 19, 1881.