The Poetry Competition is now closed, and I thank all the readers who took the time to write something and send it in, for maintaining interest and visits to the Blog while I have been unable to do much more than moderate submissions.
I suppose I should have expected, given the nature of this Blog that they would universally be of the ‘Kelly is a Villain’ variety. I kept trying to write one about the young Ned, because I have great sympathy for the young Ned, to try to balance all the negative ones but I am not a poet it seems and so I gave up. I have recently come to believe Ned was actually a decent kid whose life descended into darkness once his father died and his restraining influence was no longer there to protect him from the toxic Quinn family, especially his mothers brothers and other people like Harry Power. I am looking forward to the new biography of Ellen Quinn and hoping the author will have recognised the negative effects Ellen had on Ned, permitting him to go with Harry, setting a rotten example herself with brawling and fighting, selling illegal grog and disrespecting the Law generally. But thats another story…
There was however, one poem that stood out for me, and is the clear winner. Its a pithy little poem that had me in fits which tells an essential truth about Ned Kelly, expresses an emotion that many feel about Ned Kelly, and I think also about this Blog of mine which gets up so many peoples noses, but also I think perfectly captures the mood of the planet right now. With Brexit and Trumps election it seems theres a huge wave of anti-establishment, anti-status quo sentiment sweeping the world that has said I am voting for Brexit, I am voting for trump and I don’t give a shit!
Maybe Ned Kelly was like that too : I hate the status quo, I hate the establishment, I am going to blow up the train and I don’t give a shit!
42 Replies to “And the Winner is….”
There were a couple of really good first class poems submitted that had me googling to see if they were vintage ballads or something! I was sure one of those would have won. Even if I don't agree with the sentiments they expressed, I really liked their style! I liked the blast from the past by Oscar Wilde that Capt. Jack shared with us, and along those lines I think this verse from Bruce Springsteen pretty much sums it all up –
"Outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz
Between what's flesh and what's fantasy
And the poets down here don't write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be."
Regarding the Vault's photo finally being unveiled, my feelings are that never has so much been promised and so little delivered. Only bright spot of interest was where Peter and Capt Jack each sniffed out the photo in the same time frame and quite independent of one another.
I still can't wrap my head around statements made by Matt in the months leading up to the big reveal. Things like – "Just a few months ago nobody knew about the image" and "It is quite incredible that such a photo could be held by the family for 130 years and the public not know about it." Something just does not add up for me. Now all we are hearing from them is about the Christie's catalog that we all have discussed. Did they not have it before? Or did they not think that anyone else on the planet had it? I am 10,000 miles away and have a copy! What sort of subterfuge is all this? Wanted to use another term but I don't think blogger would allow it
Ummmm. Ok. Thank you… I think.
I'm here all week. Try the veal…
Does Christies say whether their forensic team ever tried to identify the people in the photo Sharon?
No, the catalog does not indicate that any testing was done. I imagine that some auction houses might do forensic testing on the very high end art and artifacts that come through (say like in the million dollar plus paintings), but on every small bit or piece that comes through especially large photo lots like this was a part of? It would be a waste of time, money and effort to do so. Buyer beware or buyer be aware is a good policy to follow in any purchasing situation.
Call me a sceptic but all along I thought the 'new' photo was nothing more than a beat-up to try and put some life into a very poor 'museum'. And I don't even think that the photo in any way resembles Saint Ned.
Mark, I thought your poem/limerick was just stunning in its unabashed simplicity. Well done old boy!
A friend sent me this link to a write-up on the photo, http://www.pressreader.com/australia/wangaratta-chronicle/20161114/281668254554520
I see nothing to change my view in my 'Sneak Preview' comment that Mrs Pettifer, Ian Jones, and the Christies experts, all accepted that it was a photo of Walter and Jack, for the reasons given in the Christies catalogue, and that's what it is. She'd know her own dad. End of story.
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/03/22/1016777664039.vhtml …This is interesting is it the same auction?
Yes, that is the same auction, but here is the correct URL –
Thanks for finding the correct URL Sharon, that is a VERY interesting article because it exposes the games being played around this photo by the Vault and Leigh Olver who are both maintaining a secretive silence over exactly which "Kelly family" is involved in this scheme to exhibit the photo at the Vault. Now we know it's come from Leigh Olver and his faction, but why on earth is this something they felt needed to be secret? What would have been wrong with an open disclosure of all the facts about this photo right from the start? All this cloak and dagger nonsense, guessing competitions and CSI style video productions with spooky music – what was that all about?. And now that it's finally been revealed, they are still persisting with this secret squirrel rubbish. I am being rubbished and Attacked on Facebook for expressing the frustration that I , and many others are feeling. This story has a little way to run yet I think
And is that your expert opinion then Spudee?
Thank you for your review of my work Spudster. (can I suggest that you are older than me though…) With you at the critical helm, the last pieces of the puzzle are in place..
Sorry about the link. Thanks Sharon for correcting it.
I'm quite shocked DEE
Many assumptions, and pretty strong language in much of your statement here (games, VERY interesting, faction, CSI style, squirrel rubbish, scheme, cloak and dagger nonsense, etc.). Not everyone has to do everything exactly as you want, so please let's move on and get back to what really has been a beautifully restored (however secretive or sensitive it is), historical picture. Yes there are some interesting "facts" revealed in the article you make mention of, 2002, and I've seen assumptions currently being made here and on other sites also, 2016. Perhaps one of the reasons The Vault has been taking their time to carefully verify this photo, and its history (give them some credit). "Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't", so as to speak. There must be soooooo many good reasons why these decisions have been made, and it (I'm sure) effects not just The Vault, but many people along the way. I'm being open minded that there are good reasons why, some things aren't being revealed (it's not all a conspiracy surely), and to ultimately put enormous pressure on individuals, to or make definite conclusions just because…, is (in my opinion), extremely unfair and disappointing, especially coming from you. I keep saying this, but what does it matter how long, or how an organisation chooses (in their own way) to set up a story to an amazing photo, so as long as our history is preserved. A story is often perceived any way we like anyhow, and if you say that Neds story/history isn't worth preserving, then you've lost me. I think all our history should be preserved, no matter how joyful or sad, and to always criticise the process (because it wasn't done to your liking) is really quite disturbing. I for one believe there is more than one 'copy' out there, and hoping like hell that this amazing little museum, its other contents, and new image, may actually bring forward some other historical pictures/documents, and maybe even reveal an original. I'm an optimist, open minded, level headed, sensitive, and have often admired your attention to detail, but I absolutely hate it when individuals have to be bordering on almost nasty, and aggressive, just to make a point. I expect most here will bombard me with exactly what I'm trying to say we don't want (such negativity and aggression), but also being optimistic that the discussion can go in a direction that is positive and fruitful. I'm feeling sad…
Thanks for writing james, much that I agree with there. I am sorry you’re feeling sad. I hope nobody attacks you here for having expressed your views , but I also hope that if someone disagrees with you, and writes to say why, that you won’t take that as a personal attack on you,( unless of course it is, which would be deplorable) but rather an attempt to explore all sides of the issue and get clarification on something or point out an error or a half truth. This is what frustrates me so much in the Kelly world – yes there are one or two individuals whose behaviour has left me with nothing but contempt for them, and I am more than willing to describe them and their behaviour and character in unparliamentary ways – but for everyone else, I bear no personal animosity or antagonism, and I have no interest in attacking them personally. When I write its to seek clarification or to provide it, or to correct an error but its not to attack the individual. I did NOT attack Leigh today, but he attacked me and he and Fitsimons attacked me and another person who joined the debate as well. In the end though it was me that was expelled and the thread deleted so my legitimate questions have been removed from public view. The Kelly world will be a poorer place without me to stir things up!
I think that Matt Shore is sometimes prone to a bit of hyperbole when promoting things.
For example, in a 2003 article in the [London] Evening Standard, there was this –
"We reach Glenrowan, the site of the dramatic shootout between the Kelly gang (in bizarre metal armour) and a hundred police officers, who had foiled being ambushed on the adjacent railway.
The gang was holed up in the town's hotel with 60 hostages.
"Bloody mayhem," says Matt, "Dead bodies everywhere, including the three accomplices." Kelly escaped, but was wounded in the legs. We find the exact spot, but nearby is a tacky funfair joint with ludicrous mechanical reenactments emitting startling bangs.
"Strictly for boofheads," winces Matt, who, aided by sepia photos, aims for honest facts…."
To which part of my post are you referring Mark?
Do you by chance smoke dope Mark?
No games were played dee. End of story.
It is him. Have another look. The provenance is sound. The clothing is accurate for the period. The facial features tally. I guess you believe gale spring doesn't know his stuff? Matt shore and Patrick watt have done a great job. the vault is going to be a stayer. Spud and yourself could perhaps suggest how you would set up a kelly museum? Some of us are all ears…
Dee shocked again!, and you allow this on your site, and especially posted as Anonymous, I thought more highly of you. Certainly another one sided statement without substance. Having a strong opinion is one thing, but how it's said, and then allowing it to be posted here is something else. It's so easy to make comments about organisations, and named individuals, publicly, when one is anonymous, which could potentially open it up to much more, I fear. But, ignoring the people and not for profit organisation in question here, how can one seriously state with conviction that "photoshopping some features on the original to try and blend them to match Kelly's up close portrait image" statement… seriously, how empty is that comment, and is that what really has gone into the museum? Almost laughing, rolling my eyes, etc, I assume as they are anonymous, they can state anything they like… accountability and credibility means nothing here, and with this comment..(I feel like laughing and rolling my eyes, but I'm better than that). Where they really at the launch, I think not! Dismissing the many professional organisations and individuals used to help verify the many historical photos like this one, is again extremely un-thought about, and what about the need to help preserve this decaying original, the post is an absolute waste of digital energy……well done Dee and anonymous in question, you're making the underground Ned Kelly supporters grow further in respect for all things Ned, and well off track to accepting our past, and preserving its history. Get over targeting individuals, and get back to the Ned Kelly story, it's worth a lot more to your readers than this low level crud…I'm very disappointed!
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I use whatever medication it takes to keep my MS at bay Spud.
I'm sorry if my colourful turn of phrase confused you.
Have a great weekend champ.
Well done Dee.You delete my post which is 100% accurate (and yes I most certainly was at the launch) yet you keep these comments by James Gray and Mark Perry on your site (?),which when it all comes down to it is just their opinions on the photo.You fold to them of all people? These two old men need their eyes tested,and you are nothing but a lame excuse of an admin,you are starting to fall all over yourself to please these Kelly plebs.LOL talk about a turn around. Well,as one of your very few (former)genuine posters,I'm done.
I have no doubt you won't be posting this,so I will leave by saying I hope you enjoy your big arse lick of hypocrisy to the low life Kelly plebs.
Your sites days are numbered too.
Who ISN'T prone to hyperbole when promoting things? That's the nature of the process. However, he delivered in my opinion. People need to actually go and see it before judging or whinging about the pic. Matt, Patrick an d the precinct have done a fantastic job. Lets all be positive.
Mark you say that 'the provenance is sound' but neither you nor anyone connected with the Kelly Vault has spoken about the photos provenance! You say that 'I don't believe Leigh, Matt or anyone involved have any explaining to do.' Why not? They have been very strong in promoting the photo but give no evidence of its authenticity apart from the fact that some Kelly descendants say it is Dan and Ned. Certainly Christie's were a bit sus about its authenticity back in 2003 and as I understand it was withdrawn from auction. And in 1995 didn't Ned's niece, Elsie Pettifer, say that the photo was of her father, Walter Knight and Jack Kelly/King? I would think that Elsie would know what her own father looked like. And it seems that even Ian Jones accepted this. Surely Ian couldn't have been wrong? It's been said before but if you look at the bloke on the left of the photo, the one claimed to be Dan Kelly, he looks a lot older than 19 years old. Maybe his hard life prematurely aged him. But I gather that you have the ear of Prof Gale Spring, so perhaps can you enlighten us as to what scientific process he used to come to the conclusion that the photo is the real McCoy? As for me setting up a museum to the Kelly gang, now why would I want to establish a museum to a gang of organised criminal, who stole from anyone, including their neighbours and carried out a mass murder?
Only gutless people post as Anon. Identify yourself and dry your eyes. Love Mark. (wink..)
Anonymous did you read what I wrote in the latest Blog Post "Please explain…" before or after you posted this comment? Yes I did delete your post, but I Explained why and also tried to present the issues you were concerned with in the Post.
Mark do you think the anonymous person or persons behind Ned Kelly Central are gutless? Do you think the person who writes behind the Vaults avatar is gutless, and is Captain Jack gutless, and me too? I don't understand why so many people think that a fact, a truth, a lie or an opinion is somehow different when spoken by a named person rather than an unnamed person. I accept that reflections can be made on the character of a person who attacks another person from anonymity, but in a discussion of historical truths and interpretations, the identity of the person making the argument should have no effect.
Your blog is becoming a bit disorderly, Dee.
Identity is important as it makes us all more accountable. Less bombast, less vitriol, better manners and more civility. And therefore a better environment for open, frank discussion. And an end to bullish and nasty posting, a depleted tone of condescending tone and a happier camp all 'round. What is so hard to understand about that? No need to be paranoid. We all have our own opinions and good points to make. Let's all make them a bit more nicely? And yes, I have said some less than savoury things myself. But I own them. And don't hide behind a blank label. As you can tell dee, this is very important to me. I have mentioned it often. Anyway, have a great weekend folks. I am tired.
It seems that J.J. Kenneally's dream of "a small committee of censors" has finally come to fruition. These Kelly Country Commissars may be able to control what we write or, rather, what is allowed to be published on certain sites, but they cannot control our thoughts! Think about that.
Spud Murphy you have some interesting statements and I respect that, however, history and our past have been and gone, and we can't change that. So surely all individuals of this event can make an adult opinion about what they really think (without being questioned harshly, or have their mute button pressed) irrespective of what is said here. I'm sure the few that bicker here are only a speck in a tea cup, and ultimately really mean nothing to the rest of the populous. Many would go to a museum without knowing what is said online, read the onsite banners, look at the historical artiefact and say YES or NO, then move to the next exhibit. What more really matters in the end? From what I'm hearing outside of this eBlog world, many do agree that it is Ned, and surely by not trusting the professional knowledge, long earned skills and techniques of the experts used to verify the image, is very distrusting to say the least. If I take my car to a mechanic, am I going to question them each time, then take it to another, just to hear what you want to hear, I think not, because I'm no expert in cars. I really think that this image has upset the non Kelly supporters (mostly online), as they didn't want yet another piece of history out there for people to admire or build a case for. I'm not a supporter of either side, specifically (I'm a swinger if you will), but I do respect what I've seen, read, and heard about the already discussed and revealed launch statements explaining the image and the process. Did you read any of the articles about the launch, speak with anyone who went, or were you there? Because what you're asking here is like you're following people (and their statements) within this blog, even stating for example that the original catalogue picture was published in 2003 (as written within this blog), when elsewhere it has been written and stated as 2002. Small detail, yes, but many of the other facts you list were also from statements here, and knowwhere else, necessarily, or so it appears to me. My opinion though…….stepping back now lol.
Firstly James if you are saying that I 'questioned harshly' Mark Perry in my reply to his post, I have reread my post and for the life of me I can't see any question that I might have asked that could be considered 'harsh'. But if I have please enlighten me on this point. But I certainly haven't used words like 'gutless' to describe other posters! However, back to the point of my most recent post in answer to Mark Perry.
I challenged the provenance of the photo and gave my reasons why. Oh, the incorrect date I gave was simply a typo and for that I apologise. The Kelly Vault has made a big deal about this photo and as its validity has been questioned before, surely you can understand why others, including myself, can ask about its provenance? Why do we simply have to trust one professional without that person justifying and explaining his opinion? It seems to me that in a relatively important historic context, if you arrive at a conclusion, then it needs to be justified and not merely accepted as fact. By citing Prof Gale Spring, an expert in scientific photography, as the source of confirmation for the photo, I assume that the Kelly Vault was adding credence to the photos authenticity.
From what I know and have read, to arrive at a conclusion that a photo of a person is identical to another photo, the process usually involves the examination of the facial features of that person. That is unless of course there are other physical features (tattoos, peculiarities, scars or deformities) which can be used for comparison. The proportional distances and angles between specified facial features visible in the photographs are measured and compared. Sometimes one photo can be superimposed over the other and a visual inspection carried out. But even these techniques are questionable if the image/s are of poor quality or the facial viewpoints differ. Do we know if any of these procedures were attempted and if so what was the analysis? If not, what was the scientific process utilised by Prof Spring, or was it just guesswork that we should simply accept?
I have read articles regarding the photo launch but can find nothing that explains why the Kelly Vault and Prof Gale Spring specifically explains his actions and finding. Again, if I have missed this, then I would certainly be obliged if you can link me to the information.
I agree with Mark 100 percent, "We all have our own opinions and good points to make", and that doesn't mean people are going to agree, but we should at least be able to raise stuff for discussion without being howled down by a glee club. I have never been a regular blog poster anywhere, but I had a big run with Metcalf a few weeks ago, to use it like an online conference paper, putting my evidence up and seeing what questions and problems came up. A number of problems were raised, that forced me to work a lot harder than I thought I would have to, to sort the issue out. This is the only such blog I know of, where people are happy to challenge things without (generally) just shouting the poster down. I found the discussion very productive, and am now writing the Metcalf myth up as a proper article, to offer for publication somewhere. I think it is fair enough for people to ask for evidence about the various competing historical claims that are made about Kelly. What the Metcalf myth exposed was the deliberate misrepresentation of historical documents by 'experts' to push particular views of Ned. The facts are that Ned shot Metcalf and the police got wrongly blamed. It doesn't dramatically change Kelly history, but it does debunk one part of the often repeated myths – or lies – about how bad the police were. Those lies are part of a pattern that I think began with Kenneally's historically wrong "loaded dice" argument. The reality is that generally speaking, police go where the crime is. The Kelly clan were horse thieves preying mostly on fellow poor selectors. They weren't noble heroes, but a bunch of often thuggish self-interested larrikins. The police kept a close watch on them not because of some weirdo "loaded dice" vendetta, but because of the exploitation and suffering they inflicted across several districts as key players in the Baumgarten horse stealing racket. That is where the Kelly gang story begins, I think; the Fitzpatrick incident was well down the line and an accidental by-product of that. Kenneally, under the influence of Kelly's cousin Tom, thought he had discovered a secret 'inner history'; what he never realised was what good liars crooks are, and they got him hook, line and sinker. That's how I think the Metcalf story slots in. It wasn't in Kenneally, but see how happily it slots into the police-bashing FitzSimons book. And why are the police so bad? Just look at Fitzpatrick… And the negative bits of the Royal Commission… Just proves the Kelly gang were really good guys all along, hey what?
Hi Spudee, no I wasn't stating that you were questioning harshly, but explaining the general tone through many of these posts. I actually made mention that I respected your statements…..thumbs up there!
As for the image, I'd almost bet my hot cup of tea, that more than one professional was used in the research and verification process.
From my limited knowledge of photography, I believe there really aren't many photos of Ned Kelly out there (certainly not without armour on 😉 ) to compare against, and images taken from different angles and distances will be (I'm sure) difficult to match up against. Weren't some of the images by the police at the time, modified anyway, with editing done on the pictures to give an impression of how he supposedly looked. Correct me, but how many "natural" looking pictures of Ned Kelly are there?
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'As for the image, I'd almost bet my hot cup of tea, that more than one professional was used in the research and verification process.' You may well be right on that James but the point I am trying to make is that nobody from the Vault, or elsewhere, has outlined how they have arrived at the conclusions about the photo. Why not?
Hi Dee, what's happened to the blog?
was this your comment that was deleted Jim? Was it obnoxious toward me by any chance? Hope not. I am a fair and reasonable bloke.
Mark, no, that was my post and I was the one who deleted it.