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3-199 (Raw)

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addressee author,male,Deniehy, Daniel Henry,32
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Newspapers & Broadsides
Deniehy, 1884
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MR. JOHN ROBERTSON is a remarkable man, a very remarkable one indeed. Not because he is Prime Minister. Because, under the present whirligig Government, the very humblest of mankind may be that next week. Transformations and changes are so rapid and frequent, that we find ourselves too experienced and too blasés at political marvels in Australia to feel even a throb of surprise, if some injured man under Government guardianship whose time is up to-day, and who took his farewell promenade on the penitential flags at Cockatoo last night, should, after the next general election, be found in supreme control of the Treasury. 
But Mr. Robertson is a remarkable man, because, beyond all his compeers and political associates, his coolness is so perfect, his nonchalance is so consummate and so exquisite in its consummateness at throwing every atom to the winds, to-day, when place and pay are shedding their golden lights about him, of what rather than give up yesterday the honourable gentleman, as "principle," was not only ready to die much oftener than the providential dispensation calls upon any man to die at all, but to devote the very children of his bosom to the flames. There is a thoroughness and a bravery about this - some people would call it barefacedness or shamelessness, but we are not cynics - that after the vermicular slyness of Mr. Cowper, and the arrant hypocrisy of Mr. Elias Carpenter Weckes, the political [141"] white chokerism" of that sleek, well-fed gentleman is as refreshing as a breeze, or a perfume, or anything else the reader chooses to accept as figuring a restorative. 
Mr. Robertson appeared before his constituents at Scone - historic Scone - on Monday last. The honourable gentleman was in his glory. There was nobody to oppose him; he had his twenty auditors entirely to himself; and as regards some questions put to him, though Mr. Thomas Dangar may be a clever fellow in his way, Mr. Robertson is a clever fellow, too; and when the clever fellow who chances to be Prime Minister tries conclusions with the clever fellow who happens to be nobody, to foresee the result requires no great amount of mystical lore. Mr. Robertson built the exordium of his speech on allusions to his friend Mr. Deniehy and his friend Mr. Charles Kemp, at present a candidate for Liverpool Plains, who had been spoken of in connection with the representation of the district - the friendship of the former gentleman, we apprehend, being much of the quality that would hesitate to trust him and his colleagues with the making of a police constable on fit grounds, or the receipt of revenue at a suburban toll-gate. The speech was very interesting; and though the soul of its wit was by no means brevity, it furnishes one or two valuable illustrations of the character of the new Administration, and more especially of the Premier himself. 
Mr. Robertson told his Scone constituents that the Government merely intended to pass the Estimates, put an end to the session, and take a recess. The consideration of any measure connected with the Lands, or any public question of sufficient importance to endanger the tenure of office of Mr. Robertson and his party, is, therefore, postponed for something like six months. This may be very proper, may be only fair. Considering Ministerial labours and Ministerial difficulties, we are not prepared to say it is not. But a very short time since, when Mr. Forster took office after "those sent for" before him had refused to undertake the Government, on the 14th December last, Mr. Roberson and his colleague Mr. Weekes voted for the famous embarrassing resolution of Mr. Parkes, "that the Government should not be allowed to proceed with the Estimates for 1860 until they had introduced a Bill to regulate the sale and occupation of Crown Lands." This was the view Mr. Robertson took of what public interests demanded then. His idea now is not only that the Estimates should precede a Land Bill, but that no step relative to the public lands should be taken this session at all. [142]
Something richer follows; "there are pippins and cheese to come." One of the shibboleths which the self-styled "Liberals" have borrowed from the genuine Democracy on whose shoulders they have climbed to power is Abolition of State Aid to Religion, and abolition without falter or parley of any kind. But what says the Arch-Democrat who now occupies the place of First Minister, with his foot on his own heather at Murrurundi? Is the Reverend John Dunmore Lang, M.P., alive and well; and if he is, is he still in possession of that neat little college building about which there have been so many whispers of nefarious acquisition? If both conditions are as we hope, has the honourable and reverend gentleman read the hyper-Democratic Premier on State aid at Scone? The honourable gentleman in point of fact abandons the principle, and with the magnanimity and large generosity of phrase of a great statesman who has reached the apex of power, "unbosoms" himself to the twenty men, women, little boys and girls who so frequently said "hoo-ray" over the three rail fences of Scone during the Premier's manifesto of state policy: "I will be no party to taking away from those gentlemen full pay during their lives." So that the Robertsonian reading of the doctrine of Church Aid abolition is, that the thing is to continue until the longest living of existing clergymen shall have been gathered to his fathers. The point de départ is the funeral of the strongest and youngest of the extant clerics, who is likely to put in his coming forty years or more. Ah! if Mr. Forster had broached so damning and deceptive a reading of the State Aid text a month ago, how much labour Mr. Robertson would have given the unfortunate reporters of the daily press.