Saturday, 18 June 2016

Bystanders' Notebook July 13, 1895.

BRISBANE, JULY 13, 1895.

Bystanders' Notebook.


All through the old writings one detects a vague unrest, a sense of dissatisfaction, a something incomplete, a sort of ever grasping after pure air, out of a stifling well of everyday surroundings. Then men rose, the better for the meeting of these kindred spirits, and strove to put their thoughts and aspirations into words: and gradually, as fuller practice made more perfect, evolved a delightful elysium for the mind's eye to feast upon. And centuries rolled on, and men were content with this, nor wished for anything better, till at last the same never-ending process came round again, and is even now slowly trying to point out a more beautiful something than man conceives of, and because the evolution is still in its infancy men lack the words to teach it. TRUTHFUL DICK.

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Poor worker! Good old milker! It's a wonder they don't have a whole year of self-denial for the hospitals. Before the workers commenced to contribute so largely to the hospitals in the bush – that is to say before the advent of unionism – a man could get broken up like dried lignum, and yet not get into a hospital unless he crawled to some silver-tailed member for an order; while now if you are sick there is not quite so much difficulty. I reckon Government ought to subsidise the hospitals, not at the rate of two to one, but altogether. When a silver-tailed manager asks you for a sub, just ask him to give as much in proportion to his salary as you give in proportion to yours. TRUTHFUL DICK.

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One of the most important things that the Democratic party should early see changed – if they wish a hope for success at the next election – is the putting it out of the power of returning officers to influence elections. These mostly being monied, influential men, have naturally full sympathy with the plutocrats now in power, and will, of course, do their level best to keep the Labour party in the cool shades of opposition as long as possible. It has been suggested as a remedy – fair to both sides (the policy of the Labour Party) – that the officer supervising elections should be the local police magistrate. No one could do the work better, for I am sure Queensland can be proud to say that her police magistrates are above suspicion in their official capacity. With regard to our own (a real good fellow, strict, but just), an old Government servant, but who must at present be in bad odour with the “powers” for he has so little to do, and would, I am sure, welcome the addition to his slight labours acting as returning officer, also as suggested; for, like the refrain of the song of Mrs. Brown's luggage, he is only the mineral commissioner, P.M., C.P.S., deputy sheriff, registrar, high bailiff, land agent, registrar of births, Ac., besides a host of minor officers that I can't recollect; however his patrons think he has not enough and have just tacked on to him the office of sub-collector of customs, so the addition of being made returning officer would hardly be noticed in the crowd of other billets. FAIR PLAY BONNY PLAY. Bowen, 1st July, 1895.

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Labour as an organisation is very heavy in its call upon the strength, time, and brains of its leaders. All unionists who have taken any active part in its working know this full well, many to their cost, very, very few to their advantage. I am led to make these remarks in connection with the collapse of another active worker, Mr. H. C. Jones, who has found the strain of the work he has been called upon to perform for the cause too much for him. For some time he has been secretary of the Trades Council of Wellingtonand also filled a like office for the Executive of the Trades Council of New Zealand. Harry is also President of the Wellington Typo Society. He has had to resign the Trades Council secretaryship, and Mr. R. E. Vaney (father of the N. Z. Times companionship) has been elected to the vacancy. This makes the third comp. Who has held the coveted office, Mr. D. P. Fisher being the other. The typos. have, altogether, taken a very active part in the work of the Trades Council. TOM L. MILLIS. Wellington, N.Z.

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