13 February 2008

Utterly Australian!


On 26 January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took
formal possession of the Colony of New South
Wales – without infamy. Perhaps this is the day
to celebrate instead of a flaky ‘Rum Rebellion’.

Well, whether you like it or nay we celebrate
Australia Day on an iniquitous anniversary, the
day Major George Johnston, sword drawn and
arm in sling, deposed the legitimate authority.

26 January 1808, a coup said to better interests
of the rich and famous First Settlers, led by 102
Regt of the New South Wales Corps, British Army,
against the dour fourth governor William Bligh.

Rum wasn’t the reason why, ‘though teetotal
wowsers would have it said grog brought the
Colony to its knees – instead it was greed. For
the record, blustering Bligh hid under a bed.

John Macarthur seized that moment with both
hands, an entrepreneur less criminal than an
eager opportunist blessed with foresight and
baffled by Bligh’s oddball intransigence.

Be that as it may, the day presents a case where
Law regained its proper place, imposed per se by
Macquarie, but none-the-less retains a flavour of
our forebears in their haste to make a Nation.

It’s where we are today. There’s no escape
from History, infamous or great, and the late
players played their parts for good or ill to
make us what we are. Utterly Australian!
© 24 January 2008, I. D. Carswell