Land Act demagoguery 

Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 – 1899) Tuesday 4 September 1860

Tuesday, September 4, 1860.


Tne recent outrage at Melbourne,

Where a mob assembled to intimidate parliament when in session, is calculated to produce an effect entirely different from that contemplated by the deluded crowd, and their ignorant, vain, and selfish leaders. If the British legislature is so jealous of its

liberty as to prohibit the national

troops from assembling in its vicinity during its sittings, it is not likely that a body similarly constituted will submit to the menace of more rioters.
For the sake of society the law must he rigorously enforced against these misguided men, and if not sufficiently stringent should be amended to meet the circumstances. Such revolutionary

manifestations should beo coerced at the outset. Lenity would beo mistaken and lead to aggravated outrage. If there is a statute in existence by which half a dozen of the ringleaders could be hanged, their elevation would be the

most merciful method of putting down such disturbances.

It appears a monster meeting had

been held, on Monday e. vening, the 27th August, at the Eastern Market, where between five and six thousand persons assembled. The Chairman was Dr. Hunter, M.L.A., a popular firebrand, and somewhat notorious as the repudiator of his wedded wife.
This worthy told his audience

Moral force was nothing without physical momentum (Cheers, and cries of “‘We’ll fight for It,”) The people must, however, act together; they must bring all their

forces together, into one focus, and rather die, like men of honor, than give up their natural rights that belonged to them,-the right to go on the land. without let or

hindrance, to make it productive now and for all time to come.
This is pretty stiff advice, and

was evidently ‘mrelished by some of his hearers, though the “gallant two thousand” did cut a ridiculous figure when they fled incontinently from the charge of some thirty policemen. We are not to be diverted by the land question from a more serious subject: the violation of the public peace and

the attempt to destroy society. The House of Assembly and Legislative

Council In Victoria may be right or

wrong in respect to a Land Bill, but

every subject of the British Crown is concerned that violent and unlawful proceedings should not become the new order of the day in any part of her Majesty’s dominions.
A poetical spouter, rejoicing in the

name J. J.: Walsh, crammed for the

occasion, was the next speaker. We give a specimen:
Are we going to stand this? will we longer suffer to be the sport of political tricksters who would sacrifce the destinies of thls young empire for the aggrandisement 

of themselves and a few personal and slavish followers (cheers).
‘ Who are they who bid us be slaves ?

Are they princes of Europe or India?

Are they kings to the uttermost pole?

They are dogs, with the taint on. their soul!”
(Prolonged cheering.). Should they not say to them in the words of the same heroic song

Go bid them first fetter the might of the waves.

The sea may be conquered but we 

But we have spirits untameable still

And tlhe strength to be free, and the Will
How many in that meeting were prepared to band themselves together and follow one

who would lead them forth and settle them on-the public lands.-(cheers)-mand protect

them, if necessary, at the sacrifice of life? (Prolonged cheers, and cries of “Now’s the time!'” “Lead on!”) And as many as were ready, and had the spirit to do that, let them hold up their right hands. (A great portion of the meeting did as they were requested; and three cheers were indulged in.) Then

Hurrah (Cheers.)

Hurrah for Freedom Behold our puny foes

Squatters, bankers, scribblers, they; and such as worship those!
Mr. Wilson Gray, M.L.A., is not

unknown by fame to many of our

readers. He is a veritable Jack Cade, and as the representative of lazy loafers would lift the class to the same level that the enterprising, the industrious,

the economical, and the self- denying have attained: he would tell them what they wanted,

what they were coming to, and what they would have here. They wanted that every man in the country should have a vote, a

rifle (tremendous cheering), and a farm. (Cheers.) They had got the vote ; they (the Government) were thrusting the rifle into their (the peoples’) Iands, and they would take it (A voice: “And use it, too”);

it should be a national weapon ; it should be their delight upon holidays (Cheers. and a voice : “for driving off the squatters,” and

renewed cheers); it should be the pride of their home I and they should have the farm. (Cheers.) They should have the farm.

(Renewed and uproarious applause.) This week, in which they were now acting, would determine the fate of this young country. (Cheers, and “Now’s the time.”) There was great and compacted wisdom in those three words of Tom Moodie’s-” A vote, a

it rifle, and a farm.”, (Cheers.) Yes, it was a mistake to give idle vagabonds without a stake in the

colony votes. Why should they have a rifle and a farm for nothing, when other persons have to purchase these by the sweat of their brow ? The colony could afford them a rifle bullet and an allotment six feet by three but nothing more.
Mr. Crews primarily is responsible 

for the outrage in Parliament yard.

The following outspoken sedition has few parallels in the worst of times : 

If the papers were only honest for once and stated thel true feeling of the meeting the Governor would not delay the Land Bill twenty-four hours longer. (Cheers and a voice, “We’ll send it through him with a ball ) He (Mr. Crews) hoped that tomorrow (this) night they would assemble in the Parliament yard.(Tremendous cheers.) Let there be no mistake about it : let every man who desired to see the Land

Bill passed be in the Parliament yard, next night. (Cheers, and cries of “What time ?”)
He thought himself about four o’clock but that would be too early for a number of workmen.; say, then, between six and eleven

O’clock,. when the members adjourned for refreshment. (Cheers, and a voice : “That’s

the point,” and cries of ” We’ll be there!”)
Mr. Graham Berry “was nearly saying, it was disgraceful to his Excellency, that he knew so little about. the country.” (Cheers, and three groans for the Governor.)

Mr. Brodie, one of the Geelongeese, or a Geelong-goose asked- –

Were they men or were they slaves? (Cheers.) If they wanted their rights they must get them morally, if possiblo-but, If not, it must be known what would come afterwards. (Cheers, and “Wee’ll flght for them.”)
Mr. Ackerill hoisted his colors on the platform, and advised all that wanted a land bill to wear a red ribbon. Is the gentleman in the drapery line of business? or is he a sleeping partner in a concern which has a large stock of the article recommended for consumption? According to Mr. Don, M.L.A., by trade a journeyman stonemason, who finds talking and subscriptions better for him than hard work and weekly wages, the Solicitor-General was “a fellow that had neither, intelligence, or common sense, nor ability, and that it would not be tolerated in common mason’s shed.” But the racist part of his speech was that which referred. to the Governor-in-Chief. The apostle Peter speaks of some “who despise government: presumptuous, self-willed, they are not afraid ‘ to speak evil’ of

dignities;” and Jude describes the fate of ” filthy dreamers , that despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
It is not for us to say whether or not

Mr, Don belongs to, this category, but we should think every right minded man in the community must have read the following passage with unutterable disgust :— to be turned off to speak of her Majesty’s

representative-not as Sir Henry Barkly, the Governor of Victoria, lut as Henry Barkly, the dabbler in politics. (Loud cheers.) He must be checked. (Cheers.) They must not allow this man to w the weight of ls office into the scale of politics n

–he must mind is own buslness: (Cheers) Let him sign the bills this Parliament passed and enjoy the emoluments and the good fortune he had. Henry Barkly was not a citizen of Victoria–(cheers)–Henry Barkly was not an elector of Victoria -(Cheers )

Henry Barkly was not an elector for either the Upper or Lower House–(renewed cheers)–Henry Barkly was the Governor of

Victoria! He was only a personage, whose interests were not the people’s interests (cheers).
Now, if constituencies are so mad as to return such men as these as their representatives, what can he expected?
As a class they are all intensely selfish, and would sacrifice their duped constituents for a silver shilling. They are powerless for good, and can only do mischief. They are not the persons to trust with authority or position, for

assuredly they will abuse and degrade both. We hope the severe and costly lesson Victoria has received will not be lost upon Tasmania.


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