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Persuasion … (the language of sedition)

Mr. Hogarth spoke: “He would honestly and fairly put the objects of the league before them, and in so doing he would speak out fearlessly and conscientiously, and at the close of the address would be most happy to answer any question. No matter what sort of organization was formed it was absolutely necessary that if it wished to stand a test it must be built on the ground of justice, and start out on fair lines. The (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) was not as represented by many writers to the press who put forth issues contrary to facts. The objects of the league are not suited to any particular party- Its objects are to help the working men as much as possible. He was pleased that man has the freedom of speech so that he can get on a public platform and discuss the various political questions of the day.”

The above address could be from any number of interviews of late with any member of the LNP govt’. The familiarity of language, the tone and expression are all too familiar in today’s right-wing political rhetoric … but in truth it was from a fore-runner of the Liberal Party setting out the objectives of a new political party in 1893. “The Burra Record, Wed. 8th Feb 1893: An address to a gathering at The Burra Institute explaining the objectives of The National Defence League”.

The National Defence League went on to place members (all the usual suspects!) in the Legislative Council (the SA. Upper House) … then went on to rename itself to the Australasian National League then to merge with the Liberal and Democratic Union and the Farmers and Producers Political Union to become the Liberal Union. The NDL stood for ‘the preservation of law, order and property’ and was opposed to ‘all undue class influence in Parliament’ … The current Liberal Party of South Australia claims on their website that their party had its origin under the NDL.

Those smooth, dulcet tones of persuasion that flow like a certain kind of syrup from the elocuted lips of the highly educated upper middle-class … The carefully enunciated sentences that are both persuasive by their cunning use of an inherent truth layered on top of deliberate intent to deceive, betray a training in vocal semantics that can only come from an institution that holds the value of such Machiavellian double-speak close to their vulgar hearts. Institutions well established in the practice of training their charges in the use of such tactics as rhetorical contortionism and suggestive honesty.

Here is some more from the same times … It makes for VERY interesting example reading about the language tactics used by the conservative class in trying to persuade the masses.

From the South Australian Chronicle 24/March 1894:


Mr. Hogarth, the National Defence League lecturer, was announced to lecture at the Woodside Institute on Tuesday evening on ‘The coming conflict and some proposed systems of taxation.’ The weather was wet, and at 10 minutes past 8 o’clock there were only five persons present besides Mr. Hogarth. At that time, however, about a dozen or fifteen local land reformers appeared, accompanied by Mr. C. Proud, of Adelaide, who attended at their invitation.

Mr. Hogarth did not finish his lecture until after 10 o’clock, but he had a good and patient hearing. He said he wished he could infuse into the landowners of the colony the enthusiasm displayed by the single taxers and land reformers ; or, failing that, he wished he could awaken them to the danger that threatened of having much more severe land taxation. He did not believe the single tax would come as the single tax, but he did believe that there was a great probability of something of the kind taking place through the gradual increase of the land tax. The National Defence League and the large landowners would not object to Id.(one penny in the pound value) land tax if the other side would guarantee that that was all they wanted, but they knew too well it was only the thin end of the wedge of what, in his opinion, amounted to confiscation.

He regarded the land tax as a tax on industry, and said if the wedge were pressed home it would ruin the poor farmers and the insurance societies, which had most of their funds invested in land values.

Mr. Proud severely criticised several of the statements of Mr. Hogarth, and especially the systematic way in which he and other National Defence Leaguers overlooked the relief that would be given to the landless and poorer landowners on the remission of customs duties which would take place as the land tax was increased.

They always talked about the poor farmer and the poor gardener and the poor widow paying the increased land tax, when as a matter of fact they knew that a mere handful of 703 land taxpayers, including the South Australian Company as one, would pay more than half the land tax for the whole colony, while of course nine-tenths of the whole people would benefit from the reduced Customs duties. As he knew the lecturer would fight shy of facts and figures and keep in the realm of generalities, he had looked up the holdings and values in that district — the hundred of Onkaparinga. There were 78,280 acres in the hundred, valued by the Government assessors in 1893 at £312, 03S. At Id. in the pound therefore this whole hundred would not pay one-twentieth part as much land tax as the City of Adelaide alone. In fact it would pay less than three acres in King William-street, Adelaide. The townships of Hahndorf, Lobethal, and Woodside, in the hundred of Onkaparinga would only pay £81 a year, or less than 50 ft. frontage in the best part of King William-street, and yet Mr. Hogarth had bad the hardihood to talk of the increased land tax pressing on the landowners in that, and other country districts.

The population of the district council of Onkaparinga was 703 adult males. Assuming that they held the land values in the hundred of Onkaparinga at Id. in the pound they would pay £1 13s. 9d. per annum land tax, while the South Australian Company for land held in that same hundred would pay £113. Did the meeting think Mr. Hogarth and the Defence League were fighting for the adult resident’s 33s. 9d. or the South – Australian Company’s £113? (Applause.) Then, again, the adult residents had families for the most part and used dutiable goods. As Customs duties were removed they would be benefited — most of them to a far greater extent than the added land tax — while the South Australian Company, being an absentee (landlord), would save nothing from the removal of Customs duties. Indeed that one absentee company on all its lands in South Australia would have to pay about £4,458 a year land tax at Id. in the £, and the 703 large landowners would pay on the average over £100 a year each. It was principally to save these large land monopolists that the National Defence League was working and that Mr. Hogarth was lecturing, but he was glad to notice that the country people as well as the city workers were at length seeing the real bearings of the question and going steadily onwards towards increased taxation of land values and decreased Customs duties.

The debate was conducted on very friendly terms throughout. Votes of thanks were accorded to Mr. Hogarth on the motion of Mr. Kelly, seconded by Mr. R. P. Keddie ; while Mr. C. Dunn and Mr. H. Hart moved and seconded a vote to Mr. Proud. Both votes were carried with acclamation, and a similar compliment was paid to Mr.’ Caldwell for presiding. The attendance increased very materially when it became known in the township that a debate was being conducted, and towards the close the proceedings became quite lively and enthusiastic.”

Quite lively indeed! … But mark the language used by the conservative speaker..the deliberate obfuscation, the deliberate, deceitful “playing” of the poor and vulnerable people sympathy-card when there was not the least real sympathy for such people … and THIS in 1894! … when we see the same trick played out in 2018 with the claim for reducing taxation on the same most wealthy corporations in the chance of ‘trickle-down” politics … Where, we have to ask does this blatant and insulting mockery of truth and reason emanate from?

I’ll tell you where such language comes from … it comes from those same institutions where the most miserable individual bastards that have ever had the moxxy to waste so much oxygen of this country graduated from: Those private schools and colleges that have been parasiting off the Australian taxpayer and citizen for more years than they are worth! … Those same institutions that have taken the middle and upper-middle class brats from the grasping arms of their parents and nurtured into them the racism, the scorn, the perceived privilege and a “born to rule” bone idleness worthy of the most lascivious arseholes that ever could quote a private school motto and turn honour into horror in the space of a conjunctive!

For too many years we have let these institutions form the backbone of our educated leaders. For too many years has the Treasury of the Australian public given gross payment and unregulated charity in the form of financial grants and allowances to these most miserable of Houses of Education for none but the rich and profligate. We, the Australian people have allowed such institutions to flourish and prosper like a chancre on a healthy democracy, all the while letting them preach sedition and indeed, in some cases inculcate treason into the tender minds of their wards. Such betrayal by the higher echelons of society who benefited so well from their placements toward the trusting working classes who in turn suffered so miserably from their resulting deprivations can only be righted by the most severe censure.

It would only be fair that a tribunal access which of these “honorary” circles of sedition has done the most damage to fair governance … Which House has unleashed the worst purveyors of opportunist and capitalist plunderers upon the nation, and those that are found most culpable be cut from any funding whatsoever and be made to re-pay to the Treasury all those moneys over all those years they have committed such fraud upon the Australian people?

Truly, let them be “educated” with a working-class justice most prejudice.


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  1. Joseph Carli

    In the general overview of Western empires, once the middle-class gains control of both the political arm and the financial arm of governance, it is the beginning of the collapse of that government and in most cases that nation itself. Like the Oligarchs of ancient Greece, the Equestrian Order in Rome, the Captains of industrial England and in our time in America, it is the Wealthy Wall Street Bankers and traders..

    They have no loyalty to country save securing their investments. They have no flag of nation save the sovereignty of fluttering banknotes of their counting houses and they have no conscience to morality or ethics save that which increases their own corpulent wealth. They are a cancer whose growth within the social body of the nation gets so large and intrusive, it will most times have to be surgically removed…and removed-in the language of politics-“with extreme prejudice”.

  2. Babyjewels

    Well said. But when are we going to get off our bums and do something about it? Election Day may very well be too late.

  3. Joseph Carli

    Elections are the only mechanism we have here..the Aussie blood runs too cool in the veins for armed revolution..plus while there is the chance of “surf’s up!”..so to speak, there will be no barricades to defend..BUT those elections could develop the flavour of heated argument…But eventually, we have to shut down or take state control of those dens of sedition ; the private school system…When ONE major private Grammar school can turn out students like Murdoch, Fraser and Packer, not to mention the rest of the real low-life sleazy bastards…you just know there’s some sort of seditious instruction being nurtured into those willing minds.

  4. ajogrady

    Joseph Carli, the sedition you speak of is then persuasively translated in the media by the media barons and their sycophantic journalists, shock jocks and “talking head try hard wannabee” commentators. The Fourth Estate is no longer “fair and balanced”and is not deserving of its revered place as it no longer represents the common man and his basic aspirations or ideals. The blatant act of treason perpetrated by the L/NP government acting for their masters are concealed or blatantly sugar coated for domestic consumption by the media. The media are not part of the solution ,the media is the prevailing predominant problem. It is the propaganda arm of Neo Conservatism that acts for the very few against the wants and needs of the many. Whilst the Fourth Estate is so corrosive and destructive democracy will be the victim and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for democracy would have been in vain.

  5. helvityni

    Please, no time, need, energy for Revolutions..

    Here in ‘Little Britain’ we don’t have aristocracy but we want to have a top-class/tier/caste; money takes us there, the more ,the better; it can even guarantee the top job, to be the PM…

    The people in the middle, the aspirational as we call them are busy getting enough dough together to buy a bigger abode in a better suburb… Private schools are expensive too…

    The rest of us are the hoi polloi, the dole-bludgers, the pensioners, the renters, the homeless, sometimes even the hungry…and have no energy left for Revolutions…

    Have another beer…don’t rock the boat, what will the neighbours think…

    Oh well, the sun is still shining…

  6. Joseph Carli

    Getting rid of the private school systems would be revolution enough..at least STOP funding the bastards!!

  7. DrakeN


    the so called ‘fourth estate’, largely owned and operated by commercial and capitalistic interests, has predominently operated as a ‘fifth column’ in affairs of states ever since its inception.
    Then, as now, they operate as the propaganda arm for the manipulators of the common weal, decieving people into believing that syphoning a disproportionally large portion of a nations assetts into the pockets of the already wealthy and powerful will ultimately benefit them. – Trickle down economics writ large.

    More than ever, we need the steadying hand of wholly independent media such as the ABC to present the truth of the malfeasance of so much of the financially driven oligarchy.

  8. Florence Howarth

    As a young person, not that involved or interested in politics was the way those with money convinced the great majority who would never own enough to pay Death Duties, it was in their interest to vote it out. The majority never asked or was it never raised as far as I remember who was going to make up for the revenue foregone from abolishing DD.

    Personally, I wish they would come back. Helped make a level playing field. Caught the money not paid over a lifetime by many.

  9. Joseph Carli

    Sally McManus calls for us to change the rules, but first we must change the ruling class.

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