I don’t have a Post ready to go onto the Blog yet, because Ive been busy with other things. I do actually have a life thats separate from reading and writing abut Ned Kelly and I do stop to ‘smell the roses’ from time to time Mark! Now that Ive picked off all the places where its easy to expose the myths in the Kelly story, I am left with the subjects that require a bit more thought and reading around. It takes time…
What everyone has probably noticed , and I certainly have, is that often the comments and discussions that follow the Posts that I make are not actually about the main subject of the Post, but about some peripheral issue that springs up. I find this frustrating as I have never believed I have all the answers, and am interested in what others think about the actuall thing Ive written about, whether they be corrections or additional background information…it makes me wonder sometimes why I take the time to develop an argument that then gets ignored. But any discussion is usually good to have…
So this time I am going to pose a few of the questions about Kelly mythology that have been in the back of my mind lately, things I will eventually make a Post about but maybe before I do, others can contribute their thoughts and I can be the one doing the responding:
1. McIntyre is routinely said to have committed perjury because he is supposed to have contradicted himself in the various statements he made regarding what happened at SBC. Its rare however to find someone go to the trouble of juxtaposing his various statements and pointing out exactly what this perjury was. I want to do that and see if it really looks like perjury or the variations in an account that almost anyone would make trying to explain a complex drama in a few words.
2. Much is made of the Petition that was circulated in Melbourne pleading for Ned Kellys’ life to be spared. Was this really about Ned Kelly or about Capital punishment, something that Gaunson, one of Ned Kellys defence representatives was well known to be passionate about?
3. Much is made of the arrival of a Constable Graham in the North East after Ned Kellys execution, the suggestion being that replacing all the bad cops with a good cop was one of the main reasons the outbreak ended. This is advanced as a support to the ‘corrupt police’ origin of the whole thing. Another reason usually given is the Royal Commission, again reinforcing the bad cops notion. I am going to suggest the biggest and most important reason by FAR was the removal of the real source of all this violence and criminality : Ned Kelly himself. Take him out of the place and everything settled down.
4. What kind of person kills a man, steals his watch then shows it to people, as Ned did with Kennedys watch to various people at Euroa ( or was it Jerilderie…or both?) This is creepy stuff if you ask me.
5. Much is made of Neds rescue of Richard Shelton when he was nine, and the Green sash he was given as a reward. Nobody disputes that story, but I have no doubt in my mind that it has been embellished and exaggerated as all good stories are. But the story is told as some kind of proof that Ned Kelly was a terrific bloke for all the rest of his life – as if the kind of person you are at nine predicts the kind of person you will be after your father dies of alcoholism leaving everyone destitute, after puberty has wrought its magic on your expanding consciousness and the quest for meaning, after you’ve been apprentice to a Bushranger and become accustomed to sticking a gun in peoples faces and robbing them, however ‘politely’. I give credit to Ned for saving Richard – he earned that sash. The tragedy is that this generous brave 9 year old gave in to the darker side of his nature and became a menace to society.
Your thoughts please.
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