Sunday, 17 June 2018

Will John Delaney be remembered at the Siege Dinner?

The nice looking violent criminal
whose 'last stand' is being commemorated on June 30th

The “Ned Kelly Siege Dinner” is to be held in two weeks’ time at Glenrowan. Ive already written my thoughts about it HERE. The question I asked then, and still haven’t had an answer to, is what on earth are you going to be celebrating?

Ive been much too busy this week to do any serious reading for the blog, but I am going to bring to the notice of Siege Dinner attendees one of the incidents that took place during the siege so they can think about it as they listen to the live music from Damien Howards new CD “Ned”. In one of his songs you might hear Ned Kelly say “I’m not the one who started this fight” and “Authorities heavy hand turned me to crime”. I’m sure you all know Kelly was lying when he said that!

But the incident I want you to specially recall is what happened during the siege to eighteen-year-old John Delaney, one of the hostages imprisoned inside the Ann Jones Inn. I want you to think about the kind of person who would subject this young man to such a tirade of abuse and threats and bullying, to such devastating public humiliation over half an hour or more, that the poor fellow was reduced to a weeping wreck, believing he was about to be shot in the head, murdered. I want you to ask yourselves as you commemorate the Siege and the ‘heroic’ last stand of its creator, how you would have felt if it was your own son being subjected to this vile abuse, and if you really feel so great about celebrating someone who amused himself by such things as pushing the barrel of a loaded gun into an old mans mouth at Euroa,  and by bullying a kid by putting a loaded gun to his head?  Frankly I would be embarrassed to be toasting such a person.

Peter Fitzsimons wrote about this event as follows :

“In the case of John, Ned has a problem. For it has come to his ears that not only had John Delaney’s father , the Greta blacksmith sold a horse to the Victoria Police Force, but young John himself had recently done a favour for a policeman and infinitely worse, even tried to join the Victoria Police.

Well in Neds book this is a crime punishable by death, and he is just the man to do it. Pointing his revolver at the terrified young man who has tears running down his cheeks and onto his shirt Ned says to all who are listening that he would personally ‘have the life of anyone who aided the police in any way or even showed a friendly feeling for them.

‘I can and will find you out’ he goes on. …….

‘But I’m a fair man he says’  and he takes his pistol from his belt and holds it out to Delaney, daring him to take it, telling him he could even take the first shot!

Of course the still sobbing now shaking young man refuses to take it.

As Ned continues his haranguing alternately pointing the revolver at the weeping young mans head and then putting it down again, many of the women in the crowd plead with the bushranger to spare his life. Just what is about to happen now no one is sure but finally after young Delaney faithfully promises that he will never again try to join the police force Neds play at being a cold-blooded murderer comes to an end.”

Typically, this unsavoury act is glossed over or ignored by most Kelly writers, who concentrate on the fact that at the Royal Commission, Thomas Curnow who was a witness to this bullying, expressed a view that even though he was convinced at the time, as Delaney was that Kellys threats were real, later, on reflection he decided it was “a ruse” :

Q17632. That young Delaney has been convicted of some offences; did he appear to be a sympathizer? -He was as white as a sheet. He was really frightened; he could not make himself so white and trembling as he was.
Q17633. He has been sentenced for some offence? -Yes.
Q17634. Is that the boy you referred to as applying for admission to the police ? -Yes, that is what Ned Kelly said.
Q17635. You do not think it a ruse of Ned Kelly’s? -I did afterwards. I did not at the time, but after I did think it was a ruse on Ned Kelly's part, though not on Delaney's. Delaney, I think, really thought Ned Kelly in earnest.

In other words, Curnow concluded that Kelly didn’t ever intend to shoot John Delaney, but use him in a stunt designed to keep everyone at the inn afraid and uncertain about what might happen next. 

To Kelly sympathisers this means it was all fine – Delaney was never actually going to be shot, Ned Kelly was just mucking around, having a bit of fun, nothing to see here!  In fact it was  an act of despicable cowardice, of bullying and mental torture that demonstrates again the way in which the mind and personality of a psychopath works. For women, like Mrs Scott at Euroa, Ned wore a veneer of smiles, flattering charm and exaggerated deference to gain control. Here, he used fear and threats of violence against an innocent youth. In both cases he would have greatly enjoyed himself and couldn’t have cared less about the feelings of his victims. Such is a psychopath. 

Saturday, 9 June 2018

At last, a movie that will reveal the true story about the brutality of the Kelly Gang killings at Stringybark Creek

Four armed men against two, only one of whom was armed;
 And Kelly apologists say it was a fair fight! Yeah, right!

I wonder if Ben Head and Ben Thompson realised what they were getting themselves into when they decided to attempt a movie about what happened to a party of four police at Stringybark Creek in 1878. I wonder if they realised that saying they were going to tell the story from ‘the police perspective’ would make them the targets of the blind police–hating Kelly mafia that patrols cyberspace defending their fond fairy tales about the murderous psychopath Ned Kelly?

But whether these young students expected it or not, they have already become the subjects of abuse and belittlement on the pro-Kelly Facebook pages, with such comments as this misspelled vulgarity from  Aidan Phelans Bushrangers FB page :

“Wats this Ben heads problem? I guess his a descendant of one of the corrupt coppers? Fitzpatrick was a drunk an alcoholic a womaniser n a liar nothing but a trouble maker Ben head check ur facts before running ur mouth.”

Almost every word in this two sentence post is either abuse or factually wrong – corrupt coppers? – Fitzpatrick a drunk alcoholic and womaniser? – and yet it was “Liked” by six people, one of whom was a prominent contributor of opinions to Iron Outlaw. What I thought was specially revealing, and sad, was that this ignorant hateful outburst was ‘Liked’ by Matthew Holmes, the film maker who last year attempted to crowdfund a Kelly movie that he claimed was going to be historically accurate, free of opinion and based on the evidence. His ‘Like’ of such a rotten post betrays the  truth about what he thinks the  true story is, and confirms my suspicions from last year about the sort of ‘true story’ he was hoping to make. His commitment to the Kelly fables seems to be greater than his commitment to truth or to the craft of movie making. Other posts in that thread were equally abusive and just as inaccurate but no attempt was made by Phelan to correct any of it or defend these students against such bullying.

But I am here to defend what they are going to try and do, which, according to their video is to tell the true story about what happened at SBC for the first time. I have no inside information to share about exactly what they are planning to do – Ive no idea – but I don’t think they should be saying they are going to tell the story from the ‘police perspective’ – I think they should just say they are going to be telling the true story of what happened. Saying they are going to tell it from ‘the police perspective’ might suggest to  some that there is also an equally valid ‘Kelly’ perspective – but as I will argue,  an equally valid ‘kelly’ perspective simply doesn't exist. But talking about the story from ‘the police perspective’  plays into the hands of the Kelly mythmakers who for years have been peddling this false dichotomy of ‘Kelly perspective vs police perspective’, ‘hero  vs villain’ as if they are equally valid choices - they are NOT, and this tactic is designed to confuse the discussions and maintain a feeble viability to their defence of Ned Kelly.

The point that needs to be understood is this : I am not saying that there is no such thing as a Kelly perspective – of course there is a Kelly perspective – its in the Jerilderie letter, and many other places, and the pro-Kelly bloggers and writers and commentators express it all the time.  But think of this analogy : the people who believe the moon landings were faked have a perspective, and so do the people whose perspective is that the moon landings actually happened – but no reasonable person is ever  going to say they are EQUALLY VALID perspectives, that there is an equivalence between the arguments for the landings being faked and being real. On the one hand there are the conspiracy theories and fake ‘facts’ about the ‘faked’ moon landings, and on the other the actual facts, the tons of hard  evidence and the documentation that shows that what actually happened was that men landed and walked on the moon.

Equally, we have the ‘police perspective’ which, to put it simply is the true story about what happened, and up against it there is the so-called Kelly perspective. 

Here’s what’s wrong with the ‘Kelly’ perspective : it’s a conspiracy theory and its full of lies. And here’s a list of some of them :

  •       Police were NOT in disguise- they were out of uniform
  •       Police were NOT armed to the teeth- they borrowed one extra rifle and one shotgun, that’s it!
  •       Police did NOT go there with a plan to murder the Kellys but to arrest them.  
  •       Police did NOT have body straps they had handcuffs
  •       Lonigan did NOT get behind logs
  •      Lonigan did NOT get his revolver out
  •       Kelly shot Lonigan while he was out in the open, and lied about it for ever afterwards
  •       Kelly fired ‘swan drops’ or a quartered bullet – nothing ‘crack shot’ about that
  •       There was never a ‘fair fight’ or a gun battle : Scanlan may have fired once, if at all.
  •       Chasing Kennedy half a mile through the bush and then killing him is not ‘self defence’

What actually happened was that Ned Kellys only experience of armed hold-ups  to that point was of innocent ordinary people on the road with Harry Power. He foolishly imagined he could bail up armed trained police and they would behave like frightened travellers. Going to the police camp was about the dumbest thing Kelly ever decided to do. And the instant police didn't react the way he imagined they would ? - the only option left to him was to shoot Lonigan almost exactly where he stood, with a load of swan-drops. Ned Kellys claim that Lonigan got behind a pile of logs and came up from behind them to shoot at him is bollocks as was brilliantly illustrated in the Lawless movie last year.  

Why Kelly lingered on at the camp, thinking he might have better luck in disarming Scanlan and Kennedy when they returned is something we will never know. Despite his botched attempt to disarm two men that ended up with one  killed, he stupidly decided to try again even though he had already acquired two extra revolvers, a shotgun and any ammunition the police had bought with them, two horses and  any other police supplies that they wanted.  Why wasn't that enough? It makes almost no sense to wait around risking another confrontation in the hope they might get two more revolvers and a rifle -  but then, why would we expect sense  from a psychopath?

My hope is that Ben Head and his crew will demonstrate that Ned Kelly forever lied about the murder of Lonigan, who was out in the open when he was shot, as Ive described elsewhere on this Blog, that he will show Scanlons death as being a cold blooded murder and not a gunfight, and that he will show Kennedys murder as a mob killing, four armed men chasing down a single fleeing, soon to be wounded policeman, a decent catholic Irishman with a loving wife and children. I hope Ben Head will show the Kelly gang robbing the dead bodies of the police, vision of a revolting  act of disrespect that  exposes another Kelly lie – that they showed respect for the police by covering Kennedys corpse with a cape.

And I hope Ben Head will stop calling this story the police perspective and start simply calling it the truth, the sickening violent and ghastly truth about what the Kelly Gang did to four good men at Stringybark Creek.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Mrs Scott : victim of a psychopath

When it comes to Ned Kelly,
dont be like Mrs Scott

I’ve just visited a Kelly Facebook page where they have had a very brief discussion about an undated essay by John McQuilton : Ned Kelly and the curious case of Susan Scott.  There’s a few likes and the obligatory attacks on me, but apart from the suggestion that Mrs Scott had ‘a little thing’ for Ned Kelly, the article goes through to the keeper with nothing but furious agreement with its claims about Mrs Scott. Its the classic echo-chamber response: “a good read” says one and “ a very good and well balanced article” says another.

They think Mrs Scotts positive words about Ned Kelly should be taken seriously.
They think her judgements have weight because of her middle-class status, her position in society as the wife of a bank manager and mother of seven. They think that no matter how many wise judges, commentators, writers thinkers and just plain everyday people think that Ned Kelly was a murderous and hatful criminal, the fact that Mrs Scott liked him shows they’re all wrong.  

I would like to offer an alternative view about that article and about Mrs Scott, though it is really just an elaboration of the suggestion made on that FB page that Mrs Scott “had a little thing” for Ned Kelly. My thoughts are not directed at the inhabitants of the echo-chamber but to anyone outside it who might have had even a fleeting doubt about John McQuiltons  or his supporters’ opinions of Mrs Scotts behaviour.

McQuiltons article recounts the response of Mrs Susy Scott to being held up at gunpoint when the Kelly Gang robbed the Bank at Euroa in December 1878. Suzy Scott was the wife of the Bank Manager. He bravely refused to give Ned Kelly the keys to the safe, saying “You have come here to take what you wanted not have it given to you, and I will not give to anyone what has been entrusted to my care”

Peter Fitzsimons describes Ned Kellys response this way:
“Ned is sure Scott will think again once his wife and seven children are involved and announces he will go and get them from the house next door”

Scott objects until Steve Hart points two loaded and cocked revolvers at his temples, and he is marched across to his residence, where Mrs Scott and her mother and her children were about to take the baby for a walk. Her son George bursts into tears asking “Are we all to be shot?” and her nanny screams and faints twice.  At gunpoint Mr Scott still refuses to hand over the keys but Mrs Scott ignores his stonewalling, finds them and hands them over, an act Peter Fitzsimons says was motivated by a desire to ‘put the safety of her children all else’. Mrs Scott says the nanny is ‘a silly woman’, and to Ned Kelly “You are not that bloodthirsty villain you have been represented to be”

The gang now helps itself to the contents of the safe, and once that’s done forces the whole household into a buggy and drives them out of town to prevent them from raising the alarm. They are all taken to the Faithfulls Creek Station where Joe Byrne has been guarding the imprisoned Station staff. Eventually, the Gang rides off after taking Scotts watch and warning their 37 prisoners not to leave for three hours, Ned Kelly having told the most senior man there, Mr Macauley that if anyone does leave early, Kelly will hold Macauley personally responsible and ‘then you may consider yourself a dead man’

Kelly sympathisers and writers like Jones and Fitzsimons hail this robbery as a marvel of criminal perfection, and make much of the trick horse-riding and the fact that nobody was hurt, that the Gang charmed everyone it encountered, and the hostages were given food and drink. But nobody should overlook the fact that the robbery was accompanied by constant threats of violence and the brandishing of loaded guns, but even more importantly, and undoubtedly still fresh in the minds of every hostage was the chilling fact that barely six weeks earlier, at nearby Stringybark Creek this same Gang had slaughtered three policemen. Why would any rational person do anything other than exactly what the Gang demanded, especially once it was apparent their intention was only to rob the bank? Why would anyone risk their life defending someone else’s money?

These facts are no doubt what prompted John McQuilton to describe the interactions between Ned Kelly and Mrs Scott as ‘curious’, not that assisting the robbers by locating the key to the Bank safe was especially ‘curious’ – it makes sense in the context of her alleged desire to protect her family from harm, as do her reported remarks to Ned Kelly when he first arrived that he was not the “bloodthirsty villain he had been represented to be”.

However what does seem a little curious is that when advised she was about to be taken away as a hostage along with the rest of the family, Mrs Scott retired to her room to change into something quite extravagant and glamorous, a newly purchased French dress set off with a large hat covered with flowers and tulle, and a pair of long white gloves. 

In fact, what Mrs Scott eventually revealed was that her willingness to assist Ned Kelly, her flattery of him, and her decision to dress-to-impress arose from a state of mind akin to some sort of infatuation with the tall dark handsome bushranger, that left her over-awed and breathless in his presence. It was not all done to simply protect her family because if that’s all it was, after it was all over she wouldn’t have written the following in Ned Kellys defence:

“There was a great deal of personality about Ned Kelly and he knew how to control men and circumstances. His management of the Euroa affair was good, and he seemed to consider everything and he knew exactly what to do for the best. He would have made a magnificent General and would have done much better as a soldier than a bushranger. He was a good son and I believe a good brother.”

What happened was that she was completely bowled over by Ned Kellys appearance and his charm, his way with words, his bravado and his bold personality, which of course was precisely what Kelly intended to happen, applying the skill he had been bewitching people with for years to a bored middle-class housewife. As a result,  Susy Scott’s judgement and her moral compass was so completely disorientated that she happily humiliated her own brave husband by co-operating with the Gang and flirting with Ned Kelly; her thought processes and reasoning were so scrambled that she ignored the direct threats Kelly made that she and her children might be harmed if Kelly didn’t get what he wanted, she forgot about the wives and children of Kennedy and Lonigan , newly made widows thanks to the violence of the ‘personality’ in front of her, and she ignored what no doubt she would have later heard about the violent threats made to various individuals out at the Station. What did she think of Ned Kellys boastful display to his hostages at the Station of the gold watch he stole off Kennedy after murdering him? What did she think of Ned Kelly shoving his loaded revolver into the mouth of someone who dared defy him when he first arrived? Were these the expressions of the ‘personality’ she seemed to have such regard for?

The fact is Ned Kellys ‘personality’ was the typical shallow manipulative and uncaring charm of a psychopath and Mrs Scott fell for it hook line and sinker. Kelly made a complete fool of Mrs Scott, flattering her to get what he wanted from her with a smile, the same day he had threated harm to her husband and children, and stuffed a loaded gun into an innocent old man’s mouth.

The curious case of Mrs Scott and Ned Kelly is an almost text book example of the power that psychopaths can have over vulnerable people. For McQuilton to suggest that it says something positive about Mrs Scott or about Ned Kelly is to completely misread the situation, as is evidenced by his last and most ridiculous sentence : “She was inclined thereafter to compare rude people unfavourably with her ‘Mr Kelly’.”

“Rude people” are worse than a flattering mass murderer, liar, robber and violent thug?

Really Mrs Scott?