Friday, August 21, 2009

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher.

Another early Prime Minister guy.

I don't know much about him.

Hopefully, soon I'll know a lot.

Lord Wiki says baby Andrew was born on 29 August 1862. If he were still alive, his birthday would be coming soon.

Fisher was a Virgo.

The birthday website says he was a 9 in numerology. That's the humanitarian number.

He shares a birthday with William Friedkin. That's the guy who directed The Exorcist. Oh! And he also shares a birthday with Michael Jackson. I didn't realize Michael Jackson was born in August. I wonder if a big deal is going to be made about his birthday this year. I suppose it will depend on what's going on in the news otherwise. If the media is desperate for a story, they'll talk about Jackson's birthday.

Baby Andrew was not born in Australia. He was born in Scotland.

He had one older sibling and six younger ones.

He started working in coal mines when he was thirteen.

When he was seventeen, Fisher was elected secretary of a miner's union. Lord Wiki says this was his introduction to politics.

The union led a strike to get a wage increase. The wage increase never happened. Instead, Fisher got fired. He found a job at another mine. Later, he led another strike. This time he didn't just get fired. He got blacklisted.

Oops.

It seems because of this, Fisher moved to Australia. He went to Queensland. That seems unusual. I mean I'm sure it's not. I just think I read more about people migrating to one of the southern cities. Although in Morris Gleitzman's Misery Guts, the family moves to northern Queensland. Have any of you read that book? I loved it. Anyone who knows me well, and has read the book will understand why.

Lord Wiki says that Fisher kept his Scottish accent. That makes sense. He moved to Australia when he was an adult. The Scottish accent was part of him.

I think people simply vary in how fast they pick up an accent. There are people who can live in a new country for thirty years and still have their original accents. There are other people who change their accent after a few weeks of living in the new country.

Fisher did mining work again. I guess that's what he was good at...or maybe it was the easiest type of work to find in those days.

He did rise in the ranks a bit. He obtained the needed qualifications to become an engine driver. Then he became president of the engine driver's union. That was in 1891. Fisher would have been about twenty-nine then.

It was a big year for him. He was also elected as the president of the Gympie Branch of the Labour Party.

Gympie has some weird pyramid thing. It's one of those MYSTERIES. No one knows who built it.

I'm going to look at Google Maps; see where Gympie is.

Well, it's inland.

It's about an hour north-west of Noosa Heads.

In 1893, Fisher joined the Queensland Legislative Assembly as a member for Gympie.

Gympie is an odd name. It sounds like some kind of elf character, something that would be in Harry Potter or a Tolkien story.

When Fisher made his first speech in the Legislative Assembly, he wanted less military spending. He also supported the Federation thing.

Oh! He was also against employing islanders on sugar plantations. Now I hope this means he was against kidnapping them and all that crap. I hope it doesn't mean he was against employing them because he'd rather enslave them.

In 1896, Fisher lost the Gympie seat. His opponent had smeared his image with accusations of anti-Catholicism and revolutionary behavior.

Fisher fought back by helping to establish a newspaper....Gympie Truth. It seems he used this to broadcast his side of the stories.

In 1899, he returned to Parliament. He worked under a man who was Premier of Queensland for one week. Andrew Dawson. His government was Socialist. This was a big deal for some reason. I guess it wasn't too successful though.

Fisher supported the Federation idea.

When Australia became a Federation, Andrew won a seat via the Division of Wide Bay. This Division includes Gympie, Noosa Heads, and Fraser Island.

The person in the seat right now is neither Labor nor Liberal. They're National. I'm not sure if I know about that party.

Okay. Lord Wiki says it used to be the Country Party. That's the party that John McEwen was in...right? Yeah.

In 1901, Fisher also got married. He married his landlord's daughter. Interesting.

In the early first decade of the 1900's, Fisher did Parliament stuff. By 1905, he was deputy leader of the Labour Party. In 1907, the other guy resigned and Fisher became the main leader.

Wow. I might like this guy....a LOT. At a Labour conference, he argued for more female representation in Parliament. I like that...a man ahead of his time. I think the world would be a much better place if there were less people who were victims of their time.

We often hear. Well everyone was racist in those days. Everyone owned slaves. Everyone hit their kids. It was common to beat up your wife. It was normal to make your wife do all the housework.

The thing is...NOT everyone did these things. There are always people out there who do the RIGHT thing when almost everyone else is still doing the wrong things. They're radicals, and often not very popular. Of course there's the question of what IS right and wrong.

I just got an email from CNN Breaking News. Michael Jackson is going to be buried on his birthday.

Like Alfred Deakin, Fisher was Prime Minister three times.

The first run was from 1908-1909. It was during this time that Canberra was chosen to be the nation's capital.

Deakin then pushed Fisher out. In 1910, he came back. He was there until 1913. He came back from 1914 until 1915.

From 1916-1921, Fisher was High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. What is that? I guess it's kind of an ambassador type job.

The current guy in the position is John Dauth.

Fisher spent the last years of his life in London.

He died of the flu in 1928. He was sixty-six.

There's a suburb in Canberra named after Fisher. The streets are named after Australian mines and mining towns. This is to honor Fisher. That's sweet.

In Queensland, there is an electoral division called Fisher. This division is where the Irwin's Australia Zoo is located.

I'm done with Lord Wiki now.

I shall go look at that government website now.

They say that Fisher started working in the mines at age ten...rather than thirteen.

They list all the things that Fisher accomplished during his Ministry. Lord Wiki listed the stuff too, but I wanted to hear it from someone else.

The Royal Australian Navy was established.

A Trans-Australian railroad was established. It connected Perth to the other capital cities.

The Commonwealth bank was established.

Some kind of maternity thing happened....maternity allowance? I'm not sure what that means? Maybe it's the baby bonus?

I'm not sure if Fisher was directly responsible for all of the above, or if some of it just happened to happen while he was in power.

The website says that the legal age for working in the mines was twelve. Young Andrew had made himself an exception to the rule.

During his three terms as Prime Minister, Fisher was also Treasurer. Wow. Isn't that a shitload of responsibility? Well, the guy worked in mines. He was probably used to hard work.

The website says, Fisher was a man whose determination, principle and honesty were widely recognised. I like that type of person.

Fisher and his wife had three children. Yeah. What can I say. I like knowing the family stuff.

Here's something interesting. It was under Fisher's leadership, that symbols of Australia were established.

On Australia's tenth birthday, Fisher named the Wattle as the official Australia flower.

Under Fisher's second ministry, military training became required for all men from the ages of 18-25.

I have a hard time liking that.

I don't like required military training. I guess it makes sense. I also don't like required schooling.

I think I'm okay with required money stuff....taxes. I'm not okay with activities being required by the government. I'm not sure why. I guess I feel it's an assault on my freedom. And yeah. I know. Other people feel taxation is an assault on their freedom. I feel it's different though. Why? I can't explain it.

During Fisher's time in office, the Northern Territory was transfered from South Australia to the Commonwealth. I think that pretty much means they became separate places. Maybe?

If I'm reading this right....Fisher was Prime Minister during the Gallipoli battle.

In September 1915, there was something called the Dardanelles Expedition. It was related to the war. Fisher sent a journalist there to check out the conditions. The journalist reported back that things were horrible. The troops were lacking in food, water, and warm clothing. The troops were evacuated, and a royal commission was established to investigate the situation.

Now I'm going to look at the Australian biographical dictionary. I like the little details they provide.

Daddy Fisher was a coal miner like his son. I feel obligated to say that last sentence with a Southern accent. I'm not sure why. He and nine other men established a co-op in Scotland. It included a library. Young Andrew did a lot of his learning in there.

It was a hard decision for Andrew and his brother to migrate to Australia. Their father was ill. But they were persuaded to go. And they did.

The ship they sailed on was the New Guinea.

The website says that Fisher's manner was conciliatory.

I'm not sure what that means. I shall have to look it up.

This dictionary says it's tending to win over from a state of hostility or distrust : intended to gain the goodwill or favor of someone.


Jessica tried to be that way in this week's episode of True Blood.

Here's a recent speech by Kevin Rudd. He was launching the publication of a Andrew Fisher biography.

Rudd says that Fisher is the least known of the ten Labor Prime Ministers. He hopes the biography will change that. It surprises me that he's not well known. He was Prime Minister three times. I picture the ignored Prime Minsters as being those guys who serve for a very short time.

In 1910 Fisher became Prime Minister of the first majority Labor government. I'm not sure what that means exactly. I guess in simple terms perhaps...Fisher became Prime Minister and at that time the Labour Party had a lot of seats in Parliament. I might be wrong.

Rudd thinks it's a big deal though. He says it was the first time it happened...not just in Australia, but the whole big wide world.

Rudd seems to be saying that Fisher's Labour government had an influence on Britian's Labour government.

In 1912, Fisher introduced a baby bonus. I guess this was the maternity thing I read about before. Rudd says some other political party claims they started it all. I'm guessing he's referring to the Liberals.

Rudd says Fisher introduced the first stamps with Australian symbols rather than British ones.

In his conclusion, Rudd says, Australia is a greater nation because of the work of Andrew Fisher. Australia is a fairer society because of the work of Andrew Fisher. Australia has a more secure future because of the work of Andrew Fisher.

Go Andrew Fisher.

No, seriously. I agree with Kevin Rudd. I see Fisher as being quite heroic. He makes up for crappy people like Kyle Sandilands.

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