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4-156 (Original)

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author,male,The Bulletin,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Clark, 1975
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We have seen tumultuous revel, we have seen ecstatic display. We have heard wonderful speechmaking, and suffered exquisite headaches from innumerable banquets, feastings, and corroborees. And what does it amount to? Nothing.
The day just celebrated has been the anniversary - for the hundredth time repeated - of the settlement of these lands by England. What is there therein that we should rejoice?
Our Fatherland! Perhaps somewhat less than a third of our fathers found their origin there - another part in the land of the gallant Scots - yet another in that section which England cruelly and barbarously oppresses - the enslaved and downtrodden Ireland. The statistics may show somewhat differently, but of those who left for Australia from an English birthplace, how many indeed, owed their blood to the steadfast men from the freer and braver clime of the North or to the dashing race from the isle of the West? Is it not from these that England's own failing blood has been recruited for the past five generations?
And why did these emigrants, who freely and voluntarily took up their lot in a land which England had stigmatised with the badge of crime (albeit England's self could not escape the just sentence for the greater crime of judicially enslaving, nay, even murdering and degrading in still worse degree some of these alleged criminals, were a Day of Judgment to be at this moment pronounced upon the nations) - why did they take up their lot in the outcast land? Was it not because they sought to escape from the domineering tyranny of England - of the whole English system - for seeking to amend which, on the same basis as we in Australia enjoy to-day, Chartists and other earnest-souled reformers had been criminalized? The flag of the nation which enslaved these our pioneers came flaunting its vile ignominy to anticipate their path, and shut them out from the freedom of a new world just as it is now menacing and undermining their liberties; and for this we are called upon to rejoice. [804]
Rather should we mourn that the new and better world was not left to itself; that its founders could not at once proclaim the Australian freedom - the nation's life that shall sooner or later vitalize the world - at once upon their landing; that those condemned to the chains and the lash for a disregard of the iniquitous claims of landlordism and monopoly could not then have leaped to liberty, and proclaimed the overthrow here at least of the monster which degraded them. And that it was not so do we not to-day reap the most bitter first fruits? And what shall it be when the deadly harvest is ripe?
After so many years of comparative freedom what do we find? A servile imitation of England in our Courts of Law - a toadying worship of England's thieves fostered by the English merchants among us who would be squires themselves - an Imperial conspiracy which, as we long ago pointed out, has for its object the utter shelving of all questions of Australian interest - the subjection of these lands to English naval and military forces - and the cutting off of local possibilities of advancement, that, by personal ambition, the warlike of our population may be bribed to seek their interests in an adherence to the dominance - the soldier-sway of England!