Father Time (known as Pakiž in some countries) is a personification of time. He is usually depicted as an elderly bearded man, dressed in a robe, carrying a scythe and an hourglass or other timekeeping device (representing time's constant movement). This image derives from many sources, including the Grim Reaper and Chronos, the Greek god of time.
Father Time's image is used as the personification of the previous year (or "the Old Year"), who "hands over" the duties of time to the Baby New Year (or "the New Year"). In this case, his old age is emphasized (in particular, he may be depicted walking with the aid of a stick).
In Britain this year there has been a lot of debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Current UK legislation does not allow either, and PM Gordon Brown is against any relaxation of the law. In the cartoon, Father Time wishes that he could have been 'put out of his misery', i.e. helped to die, earlier in the year—an obvious reference to the fact that 2008 has been a very depressing year (credit crunch, wars, natural disasters, etc.).