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1 correction by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

George Kerr.

From the Sun.

The illustrious Leader of tbe Labor

Party first saw the light at Northum berland, which, as its uame implies, is north of the Hnmber and south of the Tweed. The exact date of his

birth is 41 wrapped in mystery," but it

ib known that it was " at the conflux of two eternities," viz., the past and the future. By rights he ought to have been born in Scotland, as the Kerra for centuries were famed as one of the moBt prominent clana on the border when forays were to be made or cattle lifted from the base Southrou. Any how, he's more Scotch than Australian ia the same George, even if he was born in an English county. At an early age he worked in a mine, and was a unionist when " No politics in the Union" was the miners' cry. The old Chartist idea is engrained in his ragged if somewhat adaptable nature. It is not known exactly when he came out to Australia, but he must have come out some time or other, or he would not be here now, Q.E.D. The first authentic records Bhow yonng Kerr without political ambition. We find him putting in hard graft as a ooalminer at Bulli, N.S.W., after which, still sticking to the coal, he suddenly appeared at Croydon. Here, as the village blacksmith, he made the sparks fly like cliaff from a threshing floor, while the children coming home from BCIIOOI gaped in. Also, like his prototype in Long fellow's poem, he went on Sundays to the churoh, or, rather, chapel, and rapidly gained a reputation of being the moBt piouB and godly man in that riotous township, which is now so appropriately represented by General Kuropatkin Murphy. Close investi gation also revealed that at timeB be tween the sparks he mentioned politics; but he wasn't regarded as an authority on the subject like he is now. From Croydon, George drifted down to Tambo, where he started making more sparks fly, and saving siller, ye ken, at the same time. Wild and woolly westerners gravitated towards George's smithy and discussed politics with the grim-faced, sheepskin-aproned spark maker, while the sparks flew upward

as man iB born into trouble. Tour

westerner is always ready to discuss politics. It is related tbat in the billabong country a visitor has to talk politics till 2 a.m., when be is allowed to retire, only to be awakened again by a deputatiou at 8 a.m., who want him to settle a point. The emitliy of Mr. Kerr Boon became a political centre, and the bash blacksmith rapidly became an authority on the eternal subject of what was driving the country to the devil and what remedies, in his opinion, were required

to cast out the said devils. Result:

" Why don't you have a cut, George?" This question is bowdlerised, because out West they say things and dou't mince matters. Not that George ever .. says things," as George is a Metho dist. George has corns on his hairy knees from much prayer for "light and guidance." " llye-buck, Wotto!" answered George, or words to that effect, though without any incarnidine frilling. "If yous blokes think I'm the bloke to suit yous, I'm your Moses." Whereupon he promptly hung his sheepskin apron on the bellows, wiped the coal-dust from his eyes, went on a neighbouring gidyea stump, and gave ten men, a boy and a dog 137 reasons why the westerners .shouldn't rote for the other fellow. Shortly afterwards a gold railway pass dangled from his watch-chain, bought by the taxpayer for the pur pose. That pass, it may be added, had previously adorned the front of the feeding part of the hated arch boodler John Cameron. Flushed with tea and triumph (Kerr is a strict tee totaller), George came to Brisbane, took his seat on the Legislative leather couches, and placed his number 11's on the bench in front of him, in order to show tbat he was quite at home. This is a pose affected by other members, and is supposed not only to show that they are accustomed to lire in marble halls, but is calcu lated to impress spectators in the galleries. For many years George remained at the bottom of the ladder. He was regarded as aa out-and-out Labor man, who wished to divide everything up and start afresh, to burst up the marriage tie, destroy the Bacredness of the home, and generally make slaves of the working man and boodler alike. Like Robespierre, he waB regarded alto as incorruptible, and was accordingly boomed by the Worker. But that paper evidently didn't understand George. He had ambitions. When the time came for a safe leader, who wouldn't hamper others who had ambitions, the Labor Party wire-pullers planked George into the position. Before acceptiug it, the spark-making politician spent three nights in prayer for " light and guidance," and the warts on his knees in consquence had to be filed down with a rasp at the end of the period. It iB said that he bad serious thoughts at thiB time of shoeing bis knees, only his bellows and anvil were away up in Tambo, and he wasn't going to pay anybody else to do the job. George accordingly was duly installed as leader in succession to Peter Airey the Poet. George frequently used to con sult Peter when in quest of the truth, partly on account of Peter's Scriptural name and partly because he was a Sydney Bulletin, Freedom-loving poet -a title to the unsophisticated miner blacksmith of incomprehensible gran dear. This led to George's ruin. He was always camped on the doormat of the Home Secretary's office in search of light, and the habit beoame so strong that he haB never been able to get rid of it sincc. When things began to got multy, and Peter and

Wullie went to each other's houses at night seeking for light to guide them out of the darkness, one night Peter whispered something to Wullie, who lay baok chncklod, slapped his leg,

and said: "Taking things by and large, that's the very idea." Hence forward George's number 11's began to wear oat the priion-made doormat of the Treasury, and also George and Peter and Wullie used to meet in a hopbeer shop in South Brisbane and talk over things mysteriously. But while Wullie and Peter thought they were using George, George was using Wullie and Peter. He had his eye on a portfolio all the time, and if it is not forthcoming shortly W. and P. will get the shock of their lives, and George will start to break up things with au axe. Personally, George is altogether admirable. His character istic jaw snaps with determination. His eyes have a far-away look, as though searching for truth or a port- folio. He wears wowser whiskers, and the imagination boggles at the idea of that phizog being clean-shaven, like that other masher, Joey Bell. Religious and devout, he discloses the local preacher in every speech. When listening to him with closed eyes, one might imagine George was preaching from the pulpit of some little Bethel. He abhors the cursed drink, and has red whiskers and a bald head, which has got much balder of late. Likewise he has lost so much money in Parlia- ment that he has bought a grazing farm. This will be the cause of

George's downfall, being the first indication of his anxiety to become a boodler himself. If ever the Philp crowd get into power again, the best thing they can do is to present every

Labor member with a selection of some sort, or an establishment. George's character is beyond reproach. He has never been charged with being drunk, nor yet with using obscene language, nor has been detected stray ing from the path of virtue. Careful inquiries, too, fail even to connect him with the crime of manslaughter. At any rate, we have not been able to obtain satisfactory evidenco that ho has committed any of the above offences, and if he has, he has not been found out, so it doesn't matter anyway.

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