04 April 2008

Ned Has Already Paid


I’d better tell you before the myth’s deflated,
I’m not related to Ned Kelly (nor anyone in the
gang). Crikey, my name doesn’t even have an
Irish derivation. The closest I came to blood
relations was a fight I had with Fergal Sweeny,
we traded blows and mingled the fluid of life;
Shit, sez he, stop fightin’, we’s blood brothers!

On the other hand I share similarities with the
man who delighted the downtrodden; he hated
damned authority – If y’ can’t hold yer drink,
he’d say, y’ oughtn’t to wear a policeman’s hat.
Now holding your drink went a long, long way
to establishing ones’ credibility in an awkward
society, where being English was state of grace.

But Ned merely acted out the worst fears of a
bunyip aristocracy – laughed in their apoplectic
faces, stole their horses and a few head of steers
(so they say – bill of sale mysteriously beyond
memory), showed them up as the asinine bullies
they arguably were. Such tyranny still remains
to this day. But alas, poor Ned has already paid.
© 12 February 2008, I. D. Carswell