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. The Bali Nine drug smugglers could have been arrested in Australia, the Brisbane barrister who tipped off the Australian Federal Police has said.
    Source: AAP
    4 May 2015 – 7:47 AM UPDATED 9 MINS AGO

    The Brisbane barrister whose tip off led to the arrest of the Bali Nine drug smugglers believes the Australian Federal Police has blood on its hands over the executions of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

    Bob Myers, a family friend of drug mule Scott Rush’s father, says the AFP could have stopped the Bali Nine leaving Australia in 2005 – before they committed a crime in Indonesia.

    “(The AFP) were in effect importing the death penalty to Australia,” he told ABC radio ahead of an AFP press conference in Canberra on Monday.

  2. Remember all the howls from the MSM and the then opposition when Julia Gillard announced her only ‘captain’s pick’ – Nova Peris to the senate? You would have thought she had announced she was taking over as supreme dictaor and running everything by herself from her office, so great was the ‘she can’t do that’ outrage’.

    How many captain’s picks have we had from Abbott so far? I’ve lost count.

    Here’s evidence of another one – the submarines to be made in Japan thing.

    Abbott acted against Defence advice on subs

    Tony Abbott acted against the direct advice of the Defence Department when he talked up the possibility of Japan winning the $20 billion “Future Submarines” contract

    Extra reading – Tim Dunlop, back in January, on Abbott’s captain’s picks being a sign of a weak leader trying to assert authority he no longer has.

    ….that phrase now indelibly associated with Tony Abbott, the “captain’s pick”


  3. Ms Bickmore’s Logie outfit –
    That plunging neckline was THE style at the Logies last night. I didn’t watch, but comments on Facebook got me checking out the red carpet photos, and most of the ‘ladies’ had been persuaded by the designers and stylists who provided their frocks to show off their assets with similar necklines, not necessarily to best advantage. Sales of Hollywood tape must have boomed last week.

  4. Not only the show of assets but also the dress itself (Mum, have you finished crocheting my dress for tonight? No dear. Never mind, I’ll wear it as it is) and the headgear.

  5. It’s on ABC24.

    They didn’t know.

    It wasn’t their fault.


  6. Jaeger,

    you really don’t want to get influenza.

    August 1977: My parents and I came down with flu almost simultaneously. We were all so ill we could only stagger to the toilet, and get the occasional glass of water. Mum and I recovered first; my poor father developed pleurisy.

    January 1979: I developed a high fever the first night we were in Venice. Sure enough, flu. So I had three days in bed, while OH explored the city.

    August 1981: The last time for me – this one had the post-illness depression. Not nice.

    Ever since, I’ve had the shots.

  7. Too many people say they have ‘the flu’ when they just have a cold. Once you have really had flu you learn the difference.

    If only people would stay home when they are ill with a cold or the flu instead of dosing up on pointless cold tablets which do nothing, and ‘soldiering on’, as the ad says. Spreading your germs around the workplace or the shops or wherever is incredibly stupid. You need to stay home and look after yourself, not drag yourself off to work.

  8. At the moment I am getting: We didn’t have enough evidence to arrest them in Australia, we never agreed to stop Rush this side of the border,

  9. But enough to tell the Indonesians that they may be carrying drugs.

  10. “AFP are asked if any minister’s offices were involved in the decision to give Indonesia information about the Bali Nine.

    Mike Phelan says there was no briefing for any minister’s office or anyone in government, the decision was ultimately made by the AFP.”

    No one in government had a word on the quiet?

  11. So four years after 9/11 the AFP get word a group of people were up to no good, and because it was supposed to be drugs, they let them get on the planes to Indonesia. Lucky they were not terrorists intent on blowing up planes now, wasn’t it?

  12. More fantasy than a whole series of Game of Thrones, more spin than a laundrette full of Whirlpools – Abbott’s presser this morning on the budget. And the truth begins to hit home. You can’t put thousands out of work and then expect income tax revenue to increase.

    In addition, weaker wages growth is also expected to deliver lower than expected income tax receipts and a further hit to the bottom line

  13. I suppose we paid Scrott’s expenses for this junket.

    Scott Morrison the next contemporary prime minister of Australia: Mirabella

    Controversial former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella has dubbed Social Services Minister Scott Morrison the “next contemporary prime minister of Australia” during a fundraiser that has set tongues wagging.

    Mr Morrison was guest speaker at a Liberal Party fundraiser held at the home of Mrs Mirabella, the former MP for the seat of Indi, on Saturday

  14. HoJo’s budget speech will be 5% on revenue, 10% on expenditure and 85% flim-flam.

  15. Now I know what Dutton does when he goes to the loo

    Stopping asylum seeker boats and closing immigration detention centres would net the federal government half a billion dollars in the forward estimates, Tony Abbott has announced.

    Closing 13 detention centres would save $326m in the coming years, and reducing the number of charter flights taking asylum seekers and staff between the centres would save $66m, the prime minister said.

    A further $112m would be saved in logistical and service changes, taking the total savings in the portfolio to $504m.

    Abbott and the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, made the announcement during a visit to the Australian maritime security operations centre in Canberra on Monday.

    And this little gem from the NE

    “We have closed down something like 13 detention centres,” Abbott said.

    You don’t know how many?!

  16. Isn’t she in awe of Morrison…
    Lucky for Scott he hasn’t reached 70 yet?

  17. TLBD

    It’s Eleventy Joe so it will be…..
    “HoJo’s budget speech will be 5% on revenue, 10% on expenditure , 13% 2014 Budget measures , 15% Labor’s Debt +Deficit Disaster and 85% flim-flam.”

  18. If all the mainland detention centres had been kept open and Manus and Nauru closed we could have saved billions – no more bribes to the governments of New Guinea and Nauru, no more expensive flights there and back, no need for hiring floating hotels for staff………

    If the boats have stopped (a lie) and processing of asylum seekers is really proceeding (another lie) why do we need to keep Nauru and Manus operating? Why do we need to keep people locked up in hellholes?

    I support off-shore detention on Christmas Island, but only for quarantine reasons. It should not take months to give asylum seekers medical checks and immunisations and then move them on to the mainland for further determination of their status as genuine refugees.

    This ‘if you arrive by boat you will never come to Australia’ threat is despicable, should never have come into being and Labor should be deeply ashamed of it. Even more despicable is dressing it up as stopping people drowning at sea.

    Close Nauru and Manus, spend some of the savings on a proper processing centre in Indonesia, co-operate with Indonesia instead of flouting their laws.


  20. ” Mike Phelan says there was no briefing for any minister’s office or anyone in government, the decision was ultimately made by the AFP.”
    CTar1…Your opinion on this little gem, please?
    I don’t believe this for one nano-second!!

  21. This ‘if you arrive by boat you will never come to Australia’ threat is despicable, should never have come into being and Labor should be deeply ashamed of it. Even more despicable is dressing it up as stopping people drowning at sea.

    It is shameful and again Rudd showed how weak he was. This law must change.

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