Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sunday, 19th November, 1837

Twice this past week I have been asked to deal with incidents that prove in my mind the utter bollocks of Wakefield's nonsense of a plan for settlement.

Wakefield (when he wasn't chasing child heiresses, the dirty old devil) was wont to opine that we would establish a colony that would be a Paradise. Each man and woman would be free to be whosoever they wanted, to worship as they wanted and to own the land they needed. Because all had purchased land all would work together for the common good, embracing the beauties of the pursuit of the artisan, free from overcrowding and its concomitant social problems, each man supporting the other.

Also free travel to Fairyland to see Titania and Oberon I imagine. 

The difficulty with chaps like Wakefield is that they work things out on a piece of paper, sit back and say, "I've solved the problems of the Nation! Oh what a clever chap I am!" and then find themselves being disappointed when people get involved. They forget that the real world has a way of ignoring what seemed so clear on that damned piece of paper.

Twice this past week I have been approached by colonists complaining that they have had livestock shot by their neighbours. It seems that their pigs, and in one case a cat, wandered onto neighbouring properties and started digging up the kitchen gardens.

The result was that after trying to shoo the swine out of the place, with no success, the neighbours fetched their fowling piece and started taking potshots at porky.

So much for a paradise where each man supports each other. To begin with, it was clear that the problem could have been avoided right at the start if the owners had just housed their livestock properly. A few proper fences and some decent pens and the pigs wouldn't have been off roaming the streets.

But do the owners want to take any responsibility for this? Of course they do not! Their swine should be able to wander free and unfettered, doing what they please and causing what trouble they like and everyone else should be saying "Oh, look at the sweet little things!" And when they are dealt with the owners moan and groan and cry out "Oh why has this happened to me? Why is life so unfair?"

The silly sods! If they bothered to take some responsibility for themselves then there wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

And then there's the neighbours. Do we have so much livestock here in the colony that we can afford to be shooting the animals that turn up in the wrong place?  Are we ankle deep in pigs? "But they are on my land," says our gun happy colonist and starts using the pigs for shooting practice. No thought about "the good of the colony" or "all working together". Be buggered! "They're on my land and by God I'll deal with them!"

And this is where Wakefield is left standing. "The common good" will lose out every time to "every man for himself".

And in the meantime we're short of a sizeable portion of our pigs.

I sat down with Mrs Hindmarsh during the week and worked out with her the situation with my land holdings. With money borrowed from Angas I bought five allottments before I left London and when they were made available I chose four acres in the city and one at Port Adelaide. At the subsequent auction I purchased another fourteen acres, many in North Adelaide, though some to the south of the river. With land in the city realising between six and eight hundred per cent upon the original outlay (and improving in value) I can see that my original spending of less than one hundred pounds should soon produce around one thousand.

In addition to the land I have at present I am entitled to country sections of land when the survey is complete. These will each be about 130 acres in size and I certainly see where there might be a profit to be made in that. Mrs Hindmarsh and I are, for once, in agreement, that our future appears to be assured.

Young Johnny is pressing me and his mother pretty hard to go on the expedition to seek out Whaler Walker's harbour at the mouth of the Murray. I do not imagine that there will be much of any note occurring on that argosy and so I will not doubt give my permission and allow him the pleasure of exploration. And much joy may he have of it, 

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