Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : People : Ned Kelly Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

NED KELLY

The Irish-Australian bushranger larrikin from Greta, Ned Kelly, had drawn a pistol for his assault on the rural citadels of capitalism, the Jerilderie and Euroa banks. 

Faithful to the pounding words of his `Jerilderie Letter', a treatise so radical the authorities buried it from the public gaze for a generation, it was the "widows and orphans and poor of the Greta district" who dined on the proceeds of Kelly's assault on the State.  

 

A Norman castle near Red Kelly's birth place

Ned Kelly knew the banks were an agent of the pastoral company and the `big-wig' urban financiers in their war against the small settler.  For Jack Lang and Frank Anstey and the old guard of the ALP, as it was for Ned, the banks represented the worst of avaricious capitalism. 

By contrast Treasurer Paul Keating, the symbol of new modern Labor, carried only personal, not ideological, enmity towards the money-lenders.  Curtin and Chifley had wanted to control them, Keating only wanted to see them squirm under the pressure of market forces.  When the Kellys from Tipperary and their sympathisers gathered around Jones' Hotel at Glenrowan on that foggy, fateful night in 1880, they'd already settled on a Republic. 

There was nothing to argue about; the Crown was a symbol of oppression, pure and simple.  It would take another 115 years before the boy from Tynagh, County Galway, stormed the Australian Parliament to deliver his ode to the Australian Republic.

Yet Kelly's outpourings said far more about national sovereignty and the source of power and privilege in Australia than did Keating's offerings.  Keating wanted to change the Head of State, Kelly wanted a just state.  In the heat of battle Keating remembered bank managers.  At Jerilderie the bushranger's words were saved for avaricious squatters and British tyranny...

As told in my book Cleary Independent published by HarperCollins in 1998.


Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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