History wars yet again. Globalist-Liberal Gerard Henderson on his propaganda channel The Sydney Institute, ignorantly slurs Ned Kelly as a “terrorist”. When some ideologue brands themselves an “institute”, you know they’re spruiking a propaganda agenda. In this case, a stooge of the Liberal Party.
Dr. Jim Saleam:
“These days, Dr. Gerard Henderson of The Sydney Institute scribbles for the Peking People’s Daily of Australian capitalism (better known as ‘The Australian’ newspaper) and he can always be expected to serve well. If it isn’t peddling the virtues of free trade or the gains (sic) of an integrated multiracial society, it’ll be something of an ideological nature.
So today it was History Wars (Part 222). This time, Dr. Gerard took time to indict Ned Kelly as a murderer, turning history about and explaining what a cop killer he was. Ooops: he forgot both the Royal Commission of 1881 which sort of found most of Kelly’s charges against the local police to have been borne out and a Justice of the Supreme Court who legally-reasoned Kelly innocent of the police ‘murders’ at Stringybark Creek. Dr. Gerard saw Kelly a plain criminal bastard, a scion of bad seed criminals, a grotty fellow not like his sort of respectable folk. The heroes in Dr, Gerard’s story are the forces of authority.
But then Dr. Gerard jumped off the deep end, suggesting Kelly by today’s standards – was a terrorist. One can only suppose anyone who likes Ned is a terrorist too? Poor Ned.
Why this? Dr. Gerard wants to debunk the Kelly Myth and bury it. This is History Wars stuff. Just as one other nobody a few years back said that the Eureka Stockade uprising was terrorism, so the Kelly Gang are now written up as terrorists, men who looked at the state and the law and opted to fight it. One can’t do that in Dr. Gerard’s script.
It is only a short step from delegitimizing our historical past and by implication any Australian who finds strength in it to shutting down people who stand up for it.
In this way, I just love to say, Dr. Gerard is part of his own script.
I first crossed Dr. Gerard’s path in March 1989 after he wrote some Fairfax dribble about Lunar Right’s baying at cosmic moons about immigration from Asia and that they had to be brought to heel. I got a free mention. So, being me, I phoned the little man’s office and told his secretary I would make it the business of National Action (of which I was the Chairman at the time) to picket his meetings.
What a reaction I received. No less than PM Bob Hawke rose in Parliament to denounce National Action as a blight on democracy and a danger to our standing in Asia. I might now reason Hawke’s $370 million fortune says what democracy is really about.
Of course, I then met the other end of democracy – the toilet end. Two Special Branch detectives (then Detective Sergeant Neville Ireland and Detective Senior Constable John Garvey, who both rose to be superintendents) arrived at my building.
The conversation went something like this (spoken over a wall):
Garvey: “You are not to go anywhere near Gerard Henderson.”
Saleam: “Why, it’s a democracy?”
Garvey: “If you go to his meetings, you’ll be arrested.”
Saleam: “On what charge?”
Garvey: “I’ll think of something.”
These two later went on to great heights, if you call appearing at the New South Wales Royal Commission Into The New South Wales Police Service, a real CV achievement.
It seems Ireland and Garvey were rorting the Informant’s Fund and as Neville told it, he had two informants and was signing out lots of dollars to himself as supposed payments to them. John became upset, so Neville ‘gave’ John an informant on the books, so he could have money too.
I suppose that Dr. Gerard who believes in the free market as the cure of all economic maladies, might see this as the privatisation of the police or something similar?
Hard to say!
Nonetheless, I heard the two fearless Special Branch cockroaches were in Dr. Gerard’s offices all those years ago, making promises to protect him and drinking his coffee – or in Neville’s case, cleaning out the bar fridge (as evidence at the Royal Commission mentioned as Special Branch practice was in their own office).
It seems Dr. Gerard kept good company. Forgot too: while Neville was protecting Dr. Gerard from me, he was ‘protecting’ Justice David Yeldham from being arrested and ‘exposed’ (sic) over offences in public lavatories (and perhaps more, if the paedophile accusation is correct).
Might, Dr. Gerard comment on those who were protecting him? I doubt he will.
It can be concluded that Dr. Gerard’s free market economy, in an Australia of open borders with free trade in goods and labour, might need a secret police to protect it, although he could hardly look at the Special Branch model as effective. It does mean for him, that all opposition must be criminalized and one way to start on that project is to take away hat part of their national history and mythology which set out it was right to rebel.
I suppose that as the political struggle in Australia for our Identity, Independence and Freedom develops, we will hear more about that bad guy Ned Kelly. Maybe we will be compared to his supposed wickedness? Is it just one reason to keep Ned’s historical memory alive? That we can act in the broad Australian tradition in a moral cause!
No man single-handedly can hope to break the bars,
It’s a thousand like Ned Kelly, who’ll hoist the Flag of Stars.”
A true Australian pioneer in every sense – he and his Irish settler family were persecuted by prejudiced English colonial police
Henderson’s propaganda scribble is reproduced below in the public interest.
Henderson is no scholar of Australian History – no referencing, all conjecture, all prejudiced and ignorant slur against an Aussie icon. And Henderson even got a paid plug in Murdock’s News Ltd The Australian newspaper – at a time when Murdock is sacking 42 professional journalists, artists and photographers at The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Courier Mail following Fairfax in yet another of cost-cutting.
THE SPIN: ‘Truths need to be told about Australian bushranger Ned Kelly’
by Gerard Henderson, 14 January 2017, in The Australian
“Victoria Police’s honour roll in Melbourne is just a short walk from Federation Square and down St Kilda Road. It contains the list of all members who died on duty. Included are Michael Kennedy, Thomas Lonigan and Michael Scanlan, who were murdered at Stringybark Creek on October 18, 1878 by the Kelly Gang.
Kennedy, 36, Lonigan, 36, and Scanlan, 34, have suffered the fate of most victims of crime — they have been almost forgotten. Not so their murderer, Ned Kelly (1854-80), and his gang members — brother Dan Kelly, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. Ned Kelly is one of the most famous Australians and the Kelly Gang lives on in our memory through books, films, songs and portraits, and in the ¬surviving dramatic armour that they wore.
Since around the end of World War II, Kelly has been presented as a hero by writers such as Ian Jones, John McQuilton, John Molony, Justin Corfield, Peter Carey and Peter FitzSimons. Yet the Kelly myth has been challenged on occasion, most notably by Alex McDermott and Doug Morrissey.
Morrissey’s Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life (Connor Court, 2015) was shortlisted in the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History. Historian John Hirst, who died last year, supervised Morrissey’s PhD thesis about three decades ago and edited his book for publication in 2015.
In October last year, Morrissey ¬objected to Heritage Victoria’s ¬decision to spend $1 million restoring the house where Kelly was born to Ellen and John Kelly in Beveridge, Victoria.
Richard Wynne, the Victorian Minister for Planning, declared at the time: “John Kelly built this home from what he could find in the bush and it represents an extraordinary and controversial part of Victoria’s history: the story of outlaw son, Ned.”
But Ned Kelly was not just an outlaw. He was what would be called today a cop killer.
And John Kelly was not just another home builder. Transported from Ireland for stealing pigs and convicted in Victoria for cattle duffing, John Kelly was a professional thief.
Morrissey also wrote to federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham objecting to the entry on Ned Kelly in the “About Australia” segment on the Australia.gov.au website. It reads, in part: “Ned Kelly’s … pleas for justice to end discrimination against poor Irish settlers did end up opening the eyes of people. Ned Kelly in his -armour came to symbolise a fight by a flawed hero, a convicted criminal, for ‘justice and liberty’ and ‘innocent people’.”
Obviously, Birmingham cannot be held responsible for everything that appears on the “About Australia” website. Even so, Morrissey has done valuable work in demonstrating how a thuggish thief who became a police murderer can come to be described as a mere “flawed hero” on the website of a government that is ¬responsible for the Australian Federal Police.
In fact, Kelly was born into a criminal family that preyed on their neighbours who had obtained selector (that is, small farming) slots in northeast Victoria. In the main, the Kellys did not steal from the rich squatters but rather from relatively poor ¬selectors who were trying to make an honest living.
Moreover, there is no evidence that at the time of starting his criminal career Ned Kelly was a Fenian. In other words, he did not embrace the Irish revolutionary cause. In any event, most of the small farmers of Irish Catholic background in Victoria supported the kind of gradual reform leading to Home Rule embraced in Ireland by the likes of Daniel O’Connell (a Catholic) and Charles Stewart Parnell (a Protestant).
In short, the Kelly Gang in the 1870s acted in much the same way as their counterparts in the early 21st century. They were violence-prone, narcissistic thugs who were into horse and cattle theft, robbery under arms and the kidnapping of civilians in the course of criminal activities along with murder.
As with many a criminal gang, eventually the offenders come face-to-face with the police. And so it came to pass at Stringybark Creek in October 1878. The killing of the lightly armed Kennedy, Lonigan and Scanlan was brutal and cowardly; the murderers even stole from the bodies of their victims. Lonigan, a father of four, was killed, shot in the back, while ¬attempting to find cover. Kennedy, a father of six, was cold-bloodedly shot by Ned Kelly as he lay wounded. A note Kennedy wrote to his wife was destroyed by the Kelly Gang.
When it came to victims, Kelly did not distinguish between those of Irish Catholic background and others. Kennedy and Scanlan were Catholics, Lonigan was a Protestant.
The idea that the Kelly Gang was a revolutionary group intent on establishing an independent ¬republic nation in northeast Victoria is but a myth that in recent years has been kicked along by the likes of Carey and Fitz¬Simons. However, if the Kelly Gang was a nationalist movement then it was into terrorism.
Kelly’s last stand occurred at the Victorian town of Glenrowan in June 1880. There the Kelly Gang kidnapped the town’s occupants and held them against their will. Then Kelly and his gang attempted to derail the train headed for Glenrowan that contained police and civilians. If the Kelly Gang’s intent was political, then this was an act of attempted political terrorism.
For all his faults, Kelly was invariably courageous and a brilliant self-promoter in word and deed. The problem with so many of the Kelly Gang fan club, including Carey and FitzSimons, is that they believe what Kelly said in his Cameron Letter (1878), Jerilderie Letter (1879) and elsewhere. But Kelly was a congenital liar whose accounts warrant critical scrutiny.
It is unreasonable to expect that the Kelly Gang be expunged from Australian history. But it is only proper that Kelly’s crimes be accurately acknowledged at historic sites and on websites. This is all the more important as we await the publication of Grantlee Kieza’s Mrs Kelly: The Astonishing Life of Ned Kelly’s Mother next month, which may or may not perpetuate the Kelly myth. Ellen Kelly was also a convicted criminal.”
‘Accuracy‘ and ‘Henderson‘ are oxymorons.
- Fact: The Kelly family were impoverished Irish Catholic immigrants persecuted by the English police in colonial Victoria from the time Ned was a child.
- Fact: Police Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick while inebriated on brandy had ridden to the Kelly’s farm and attempted to rape Ned Kelly’s sister Kate, age 15. [Read the Fitzpatrick Episode below]
- Fact: Days later Constable Fitzpatrick returned to arrest Dan Kelly for horse-theft, but mother Ellen hit Fitzpatrick on his helmet with a spade, and who was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison for the trumped up charge of attempted murder.
THE TRUTH: ‘The Fitzpatrick Episode’, April 15 1878 (extract)
“…Fitzpatrick left Benalla at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 15, and called at Lindsay’s public-house at Winton, which is five miles from Benalla. He had several drinks there. He drank spirits. He arrived at Mrs Kelly’s house at 5 p.m. well under the influence of liquor. Fitzpatrick asked Mrs Kelly if her son Dan was about. In replying, Mrs Kelly, who received him courteously, said: “He’s not in, but I don’t think he’s far away; he might be up at the stockyard.” Fitzpatrick did not indicate the reason for which he wanted Dan. He rode up to the stockyard, which was about 150 yards from the house, and met Dan there. He told Dan that someone at Chiltern had taken out a warrant for him and one of his cousins for stealing a horse. Dan replied that he had nothing to do with the horse stolen from and added: “All right, I’ll go with you, but I suppose I can have something to eat and change my clothes.”
Fitzpatrick agreed, and they both returned to the house. They went into the kitchen, and Fitzpatrick took a seat in front of the fire, while Dan explained to his mother that he had to go to Greta with Fitzpatrick. Dan’s sister, Kate, in the exercise of her domestic duties, was passing by Fitzpatrick, when the latter seized her and pulled her on to his knee. Kate resented this, and Dan, in defence of his sister, sprang at the constable, and a fierce struggle ensue. Dan Kelly, though only a youth of 17 years, had some knowledge of wrestling, and threw the inebriated constable to the floor. Fitzpatrick, on regaining his feet, drew his revolver just as Ned Kelly appeared at the door. The constable levelled his revolver at Ned Kelly, but Dan Kelly struck him a violent blow as he fired, and the bullet lodged in the roof. The two brothers then seized the constable, and disarmed him. Fitzpatrick, during the struggle, struck his left wrist against the projecting part of the door lock. Finding himself overpowered and disarmed, the constable made the best of his position. He expressed his regret for what had happened, and promised that he would not make any report of the occurrence. The whole party then appears to have become quite friendly, and had tea together. After the meal they were joined by two neighbours, Skillion and Ryan, and at 11 o’clock that night Fitzpatrick left Kelly’s house and set out to return to Benalla instead of going to Greta.
He again called at Lindsay’s public-house, at Winton, and had several drinks of brandy and arrived at the Benalla police station at 2 o’clock next morning, April 16. Dr John Nicholson, of Benalla, dressed the wound on his wrist, which was only skin deep. Fitzpatrick then reported that the wound on his wrist was inflicted by a revolver bullet which had been fired at him by Ned Kelly. He also asserted that Mrs Kelly had struck him on the helmet with a fire shovel, and that a splitter named Williamson and Skillion, Mrs Kelly’s son-in-law, were present at the time and were armed with revolvers. No time was lost in issuing warrants for the arrest of Ned and Dan Kelly, Williamson (a selector), Skillion and Mrs Kelly.
Although Ned Kelly expected that Fitzpatrick would not report the occurrence, as he had promised, he soon learned that there was a warrant out for the arrest of his brother. He decided that Dan should be kept out of the way of the police, and accordingly made arrangements with Joe Byrne, who knew something about mining, and Steve Hart to accompany Dan and himself to Stringybark Creek to work an abandoned alluvial claim. They collected some mining tools and sufficient rations for two weeks, and set out forthwith on this venture…”
SOURCE: ‘The Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers (1929), Chapter 2, by James Jerome Kenneally (1870-1949), Australian journalist and trade unionist.
Ned Kelly, quintessential hero of Australian democracy. Many celebrate his struggle against tyranny on February 3 each year, the date of Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter of 1879 – a manifesto calling for a Republic of North Eastern Victoria to secede from the British colony of Victoria.