Mayday! Mayday!

Friday 1st May . . . all sorts of things to think about, starting with

(Image Credit: Melbourne Protests)

If you see a history of May Day in the newspapers this year, it is most likely to recount the mystical, medieval origins of a pagan fertility festival. And though you may never have seen a maypole in your life, you will be assured that a ribboned piece of birchwood is the sign and sanction of May Day.

Yet this has little to do with the reason that 1 May is celebrated in Britain, or why it is an international holiday . . . . May Day is international workers day. As such, it is – in the words of Eric Hobsbawm – “the only unquestionable dent made by a secular movement in the Christian or any other official calendar”. And its past is more rowdy than is suggested by the imagery of Morris dancers serenely waving hankies and bells around.

The origin of our present holiday lies in the fight for an eight-hour working day, in which cause the leaders of the socialist Second International called for an international day of protest to be held at the beginning of May 1890. They did so just as the American Federation of Labour was planning its own demonstration on the same date. The UK protest actually took place on a Sunday, and in London alone attracted 300,000 protesters to Hyde Park.

Initially, May Day was intended to be a one-off protest, and in some ways quite a solemn affair. But it persisted amid a flourishing of trade unionism. The symbolism of the workers’ Easter, of rebirth and renewal, dramatised this experience of revival. And it developed a carnivalesque aspect. May Day did not merely enact internationalism and working class solidarity; it celebrated these things with the familiar paraphernalia of badges, flags, art, sporting events and heavy drinking.

This is the beginning of a fine article: I commend it to Pubsters.

So, let’s recreate some of that carnival atmosphere – but with moderate consumption of alcohol, of course.

We will also have our Friday raffle, lots of good music, and even though the article’s author quite rightly says May Day is much more than maypoles, let’s get those paws a-twitching and the ribbons a-winding!

(Image Credit: Life With Cats)


537 thoughts on “Mayday! Mayday!

  1. Fiona

    Years ago someone I knew had one of those monsters. If the size did not make people notice it then the colour sure as hell did, Hot Pink !!!

  2. This is the whole article. No indication if polling methodology will change, rather than just who make the calls or whatever. Galaxy’s current national polls are done differently to Newspoll, includes some online & non landline calls as I recall. Newspoll still landlines only, which means they have to try harder to get the younger age quotas. Possum has said in the past they have other issues as well. Not bias, just the way they do it makes it bouncier. Hopefully galaxy will run it more like their own polls, which are more consistant these days. paywalled

    Galaxy Research to conduct polling for Newspoll
    THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 04, 2015 11:35AM

    The polling behind the authoritative Newspoll will move to Galaxy Research after the wind-up of the joint venture that currently undertakes the work.

    Staff at Cudex, the equal joint venture between News Corp Australia and international advertising and public relations firm WPP, were told this morning the company would be shut down at the end of next month.

    Galaxy Research, which provides polling for News Corp Australia’s metropolitan newspapers, will now also conduct polling for Newspoll, which will continue to run exclusively in The Australian every fortnight.

    Galaxy Research founder and chief executive David Briggs previously spent 18 years as general manager of Newspoll.

    In a joint statement sent to staff this morning, The Australian’s chief executive Nicholas Gray and editor in chief Chris Mitchell said Galaxy Research had “proven its credentials as a highly accurate polling company in both federal and state elections”.

    “Recently, it called a Labor win in the recent Queensland election and was again proven reliable in the NSW election,” they said. “Newspoll’s rigour, integrity and frequency will not be affected, and Newspoll will retain its position as Australia’s most authoritative and eagerly awaited political poll.”

    News Corp Australia, The Australian and WPP thanked Newspoll chief executive Martin O’Shannessy and his team for their “outstanding work over the years”. There will be some redundancies among the 26 staff at Cudex.

    The change in polling partners is the second major shift in the polling space in the past year. In October, Fairfax Media announced Ipsos as its new polling partner, ending a 40-year relationship with Nielsen.

  3. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Youngest BIL is the most petrol-heady of the three boys. He is currently doing up one of these – today the radio from it was delivered to OH for repair:


  5. Fiona

    NZ used to be the place where old British cars went to die. For some reason there were also quite a few “yank tanks” out and about. Draconian import duties and restrictions coupled with very large deposits required to buy new or even used cars meant cars were not allowed to die. I think we had the oldest car fleet in the OECD . May even have given Cuba a run for their money 😆

    Sadly for collectors the first Oil Shock hit. I remember in our area the numerous yank tanks just disappeared almost over night. Many to the wreckers as there were no buyers.

  6. Well done BKland and Labor people for organising this meeting

    UN climate chief says the science is clear: there is no space for new coal

    At the meeting in Adelaide, organised by the South Australian government, federal, state and territory administrations agreed to work more closely to drive an uptake in renewable energy, coordinate energy-efficiency schemes and help communities adapt to climate change.

    Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations framework convention on climate change, urged the states and territories to work with the federal government to help deliver a “strong” global agreement at key climate talks in Paris in December.

    The meeting was attended by the environment ministers of the Labor-run states and territories – Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the ACT. The federal government, Tasmanian and New South Wales governments were represented at “senior official level”, and Western Australia and the Northern Territory were absent.

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