Thursday, March 06, 2008

Squattocracy and Struggle

'Squattocracy and Struggle' on ABC Radio National this week has a one-hour documentary on the struggles of shearers versus property owners ('squatters'), with particular information and poetry from Australian poet and author, Henry Lawson, who was there in the middle of the conflict, in 1892, and writing about it. Some of this story makes part of my novel, Faces in the Street.

I think you will find this documentary interesting if the struggles of working people against the large forces of capital mean anything to you, or if you just find Australian history (and Henry Lawson) interesting.

The audio and transcript are here.

The Louisa and Henry Lawson Chronology

The Boss's Boots
By Henry Lawson
THE SHEARERS squint along the pens, they squint along the 'shoots;'
The shearers squint along the board to catch the Boss's boots;
They have no time to straighten up, they have no time to stare,
But when the Boss is looking on, they like to be aware.

The 'rouser' has no soul to save. Condemn the rouseabout!
And sling 'em in, and rip 'em through, and get the bell-sheep out ;
And skim it by the tips at times, or take it with the roots—
But 'pink' 'em nice and pretty when you see the Boss's boots ...

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