A principle of our inherited Westminster system of government is that Ministers of the Crown receive impartial, fearless advice.
CSIRO provides Scientific evidence to guide our policies for making our Commonwealth of Australia a better place, but in recent times the Government has shown a distinct lack of respect for the institution.
There is a career public service which impartially serves the government of the day.
On this day in 1647, in the midst of the English Civil War, between the Monarch and Parliament the so-called “Putney Debates” began in the church of St Mary The Virgin Church, Putney. The debates, Chaired by Cromwell and attended by officers.
Ideas, creativity, invention was flowering. Communications technology such as accessible printing presses had a double-edged sword for those who wanted to promote new ideas and information to those who didn’t want them to be disseminated. Knowledge was Power, and it empowered the New Model Army.
Colonel Thomas Rainsborough and his brother William of Wapping were well loved in their seafarer and merchant community.
LIke their father who was honoured by the Crown for his prowess with the King’s ships, the sons inherit the wise, learned non-conformist gallantry which resonated with the populace.
Today we would call them “Champagne Socialists”.
When I hear our current Members of Parliament (in the Commonwealth of Australia) “verballing” the most vulnerable who depend on the safety net of welfare, targeting cuts to income and services – taxing the poorest and subsidising the richest, I think of the power of those words recorded at the Putney Debates 400 years ago, which is as relevant today:
“ … [T]he poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee … ”. I’m going to borrow that for personally political purposes! BOOK REVIEW
In Australia the outlaw NED KELLY became a folk hero against the British Colonial administration. The standard bog-Irish prejudice transferred to the Colonies. Sometimes you don’t even realise you are prejudiced until something switches the neuron lights on.
For Fifty Years my husband had linked his paternal lineage to the Hero ROB ROY. Quite logical for a young boy called ROY, with a surname McNEILL…..Our grandson runs around with his superhero cape on, his grandfather Roy, when a Yorkshire lad in the 1950’s collected comics and patiently waited for the T.V. series.
Roy’s parents would have been encouraged he spent his pocket-money at Leeds markets, investing in the second-hand colour magazines, KNOWLEDGE of 1962 which grows into an encyclopaedia(and he hasn’t thrown them out yet)…
Being a MOD at 14years, Roy fancied himself as a lover of THE ENLIGHTENMENT which he learned from the Time-Life Books of 1966. The “Great Ages of Man” accompanied the Collier’s Encyclopaedia’s sold by a door-to-door salesman in his new landscape of Highett in suburban Melbourne.
When I met Roy and became a McNeill one habit I learned to love was listening to the ABCScience show at midday every Saturday(and for the next 32 years!)
With the advent of the DNA science it was a chance to confirm what he had always imagined. When he got the results from a sample of his Y-DNA it was not the Scottish hero ROB ROY MacGREGOR who was his direct ancestor but the Irish War-Lord Niall of the Nine Hostages!
If it wasn’t enough to know you received a Y chromosome from the pagan High King Niall who kidnapped St. Patrick as a boy thus triggering the motivation to convert the Irish to Christianity, the story has leaped into my imagination with a Spanish migratory path.
“Galicia, northern Spain, ‘the land of a thousand rivers’, is famous for the ‘city of glass’, La Coruna, the treacherous shipwrecked coast Costa de la Muerte (the Coast of Death) and its unmistakably Celtic roots.
Due to centuries of shared fishing traditions and cross-emigration, Galicia has developed a unique culture, but one that is profoundly influenced and inspired by Ireland.
The region boasts a folk music tradition with tin whistles, fiddles and bagpipes, a form of traditional dancing and a similarly rich literary and folkloric history. In return Galicia has provided Ireland with one of its most potent symbols.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ the Galician King of Spain Milesius sent his three sons, Ir, Heber and Heremon, to invade and conquer Ireland – promising the island to the first of the siblings to touch its soil.
As the legend goes, each of the parties raced towards the shore and one of the sons cut off his own hand with a sword and throwing it onto dry land so that he could lay claim to the country. The soil was Ulster, and the Red Hand has persisted ever since.
Due to the Irish oral tradition of storytelling, there are many variations of this tale. In some accounts the invaders are Vikings, returning Irish mercenaries or Scottish clansmen. One even attributes the symbol to battle-wounds received when two giants brutally fought each other across the mountains and valleys of the North.
Debate around its precise origins must be tempered by the recognition that the tale is likely apocryphal and of little factual historical basis. The Red Hand symbol is older than, and as universal as, civilisation itself, continually recurring in aboriginal art, Native American engravings right back to the cave paintings of Cro-Magnon humans”.
Australian politics 100th day of protest on Nauru Liz Walsh 27 June 2016 For many years, Australian television crews have been denied access to the detention camp on Nauru. That’s the way the Australian government wants to keep its political prisoners: faceless and shrouded in secrecy. Since 2014, Nauru has charged a […]
Under the Refugee Convention a refugee is a person who is:
outside their own country and
has a well-founded fear of being persecuted due to his/ her race, religion, nationality, member of a particular social group or political opinion, and is
unable or unwilling to return.
Many countries, including Australia, have signed and ratified (legally implemented) the Refugee Convention. This means that countries are obliged to help individuals who are dislocated from their home country because of the threat of persecution.
By signing the Refugee Convention each country shows their intention to implement the legislation and policy that is required in order to support the refugee protection process. In Australia the law is implemented through the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
Countries that are not signatories to the Refugee Convention have no international obligation to accept people seeking asylum, although many still do.
For locals and international visitors, Bede’s World, was an educational highlight for tourists to the North of England(like myself).
I’m sure the school children would grow up with pride at how their town was home to the Venerable monk and scholar in Europe.
A.D.735. Jarrow was the source of shining enlightenment of human history, literature, science and creativity and is now CLOSED. My husband and I were visiting in 2010 from Australia, having family history links there. To learn of the funding cuts reinforces the damnable policies of austerity for the poorest.
IS KNOWLEDGE only for the ELITES, who can trace their pedigree to the Norman invasion? Remove Educational opportunity and inspiration to higher education, and you are likely to perpetuate poverty of living and spirit. Parliaments of yore never wanted ordinary folk to vote, wanted them to feel alienated from power.
GETTING A PERSPECTIVE WITH HIS & HER STORY
My husband’s father Archibald McNeill was a Geordie of Jarrow in 1918.
His parents were both Jarrow born too: McNeill – Kelman families.
How many millennia did it take to “Educate Rita” – It wasn’t until 1900 A.D. our working-class ancestors finished school, not write their name with an X.
Parliament only opened the Treasury when the business owners requested an up-skilling, literate work-force. Governments only cared for the health of it’s people when they needed an army with resilience.
Jarrow was infamous for it’s shocking housing and living conditions. The Jarrow Town Hall were highly resistant to improving them, even when the child and mother mortality was highest in the country, but they had to provide a basic education by Act of Parliament.
The government and the armed forces had been shocked by the physical health of the young men of Britain when they were trying to recruit for the Boer War (1899-1902). They had found that many of the young men were too small or under-nourished to join up. As a result of this, a ‘Committee on Physical Deterioration’ was set up(Ulterior Motives Archives). The McNeill boys of my father-in-laws generation would be the recipient of free milk and school dinners introduced by the Liberal Government.
ALL OR NOTHING
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. “Stop the Madness,” interview with Economist John Galbraith.
The neglect and prejudice by the British Government is expressed at this link:North-South Divide – Lord Melvyn Bragg, the Labour Peer, from a working-class background is incensed by the closure of BEDE’S WORLD and other educational museums and groups North of London is a sign that Westminster never learns and doesn’t care.
My husband’ Australian long service leave, and we went to the UK including our Jarrow crusade, with cousin Phil and his wife.
My husband’s family had emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1964. It was 2010 when we visited the town where the cousins father’s Archibald and Gordon were born – JARROW, by the River Tyne.
Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a Protestant religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck
My husband’s family left Jarrow Durham in 1933 to find work in Leeds, Yorkshire. The last cry for the working families was the 1936 JARROW CRUSADE.
The hungry shipbuilders walked to London with a petition asking for the steel and iron industry to be rescued and revived by investing in the steel works and shipbuilding industry.
The 26-day trek, ended in heroic failure when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, head of the Conservative government, said he was too busy to meet the bedraggled marchers.
Of the Hunger March Archie & Isabella McNeill Grandparent’s view from their new home in Leeds, Yorkshire, was Their comrades effort would be a waste of time – they still had horrifying memories of when Winston CHURCHILL set the British troops on the Welsh coal-miners strikers, in the Tonypandy Riots of 1910.
Greenock Scot, Great-Grandfather Archibald(1841-1907), was part of the big migrant wave to Palmer’s shipyard when at peak productivity in the 1850’s. The population of Jarrow grew but hardly enough building of new or older houses for the families who came down from Scotland, across from Ireland and elsewhere was of affordable rent and standard.
Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck
ALL OR NOTHING
1st Archibald MCNEILL was born in Greenock , Scotland, and had been a labourer on the Glasgow dockyards.
There is some family rumour he was on the run for his Union activity but I have no proof for that, yet.
Maybe he had word the wages were higher at Palmers Shipyard at Jarrow. By 1875 Archibald had a wife Anne Laird, nee Johnston from Carlisle, who had been widowed 3 years earlier. The youngest LAIRD step-son was three years old, and 4 more siblings.
Tragically his wife Anne died from an infection of childbirth. She was 45years when she died. They had two daughters together though one daughter died aged 2yrs. JARROW had the highest mortality rate for women and children in England. (a reduction of the causes were not on the agenda at the Jarrow Town Hall).
It is only recently that the Church of England prayer book removed the service for the ‘churching of women who had recently given birth’ which starts by giving thanks to God for:
‘The safe deliverance and preservation from the great dangers of childbirth.’
Archibald must have had something going for him because 3 years later he married 20 years young, Margaret Slaughter Hunter from Westoe. Four children later, in 1907, Archibald died of a stroke at 66yrs.
Isabella was 13yrs when her Mother Mary Blake Kelman age 37yrs died in childbirth 1907, which meant she would leave school to become the older sister, “mother”.
When Isabella met Archibald he had finished his apprenticeship and worked as an Iron ship Rivetter. She learned his father died of a stroke in 1907 when he was 15yrs. His mother had re-married so he had a step-father so his mother was now Margaret Leadbetter.
On my father-in-law’s Archibald’s birth certificate Grannie Margaret Leadbetter is witness to his birth on October 16th 1918 at 101 Back of Western Rd.
Summer 2010 The McNeill cousins wait for a train at JARROW STATION to take them for an Indian curry at NEWCASTLE. We checked with a local lad of about 18yrs dressed for a night out. Were we heading in the right direction?
“Yer not from here then?” “What yer doin’ comin’ to Jarrow for?” he said incredulously when we described ourselves as tourists! The McNeill cousins said their fathers were born there……
By the time young Archie was 14yrs he had earned a scholarship to continue his education, but the advice of the Head Master was bleak – there was no future in Jarrow for them. He should get out of Jarrow.
The industry had died. Archibald had arrived in Jarrow 1850, and the last Archie leave 1933.
How did Archie McNeill feel after helping to create a state of the art battle ship
then hear it was destroyed by the Germans with a grave loss of those on board?
Human beings, from the time they can walk love to build things and then destroy them. It’s a Game. How do people invest in a building to house and educate about their unique place in English/European history, then dismantle it?
revised text 12 July 2016 (c) copyright all rights reserved by Julie McNeill as author of blog
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