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. Ducky & Scorpio,

    Something Scorpio’s OH may be able to verify – I understand one of the reasons for the somewhat later than usual release of this year’s fluvax was the need to include something against an extra and nasty strain. So, instead of a threefold, it’s a fourfold.

    I may be quite wrong, and apologise in advance if I am.

    Nevertheless, get those jabs.

  2. scorpio
    I had my flu shot two weeks ago, no side effects at all. i did have a cough for a few days, but whether or not that was a side effect or just me fighting off some sort of lurgy I can’t say.

    Last year I had the flu shot and the pneumovax thing – my GP insisted, because I’m over 65 and have never had the pneumovax. For those who haven’t had the pleasure –

    Click to access Pneumovax23CMI.pdf

    I had the two shots at the same appointment and the nurse told me to go home, keep warm (in March!) and take it easy for a day or two because I definitely would have a reaction. I had nothing, nothing at all. I felt sort of cheated.

  3. Leone,

    I was really surprised with last year’s flu shot when the practice nurse (yes, the medical clinic I favour with my custom has one of those, and she’s great) insisted that I sit for ten minutes after the injection to make sure I wouldn’t fall over.

    I could have done with those ten minutes, but never mind.

  4. Leone,

    You must be foaming at the mouth with anger at being cheated.

  5. Ducky,

    foaming at the mouth

    I doubt it.

    However, any time Leone does foam at the mouth I would advise serious dodging.

    And it’s goodnight from moi.

    See youse all sometime tomorrow.

  6. There is definitely no foaming going on here, thank you.

    The nurse and the doctor made me sit in the waiting room for 10 minutes after this year’s shot, in case I fainted or whatever. I wasn’t game to ask what might happen if I had a delayed reaction while driving home.


  7. You people who still have a good grounding and understanding of other languages make me extremely jealous.

    By the time I was 20, I was fluent in French, (having done it in high school and subsequently having a number of French friends from different parts of France) ) and in Yugoslavian (or Serbo-Croatian) having lived with a Yugoslavian family for almost 2 years and where it was virtually the only spoken language at home for that time.

    This was a tipping factor in my then employer transferring me to a place where my language abilities were going to be of considerable benefit to that said employer. Dimbula which had a population of roughly 75% Italian, 20% Yugoslav with the remaining 5% consisting of every other nationality including Australians.

    The fact that I also had a good understanding of Italian & Spanish after a couple of years in Atherton (most of my friends there were 1st generation descendants from Italian migrant farmers) & I spent many long hours at their homes and with them & gained a good understanding of that language.

    The Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) thought I would be an ideal candidate to transfer to Dimbulah.

    For about 18 months it was challenging & interesting and my language skills got a terrific work-out), but the continental political issues that had been carried over from WW2, in particular the resentment towards the Ustaše and general competition between the Italian and Yugoslavian power brokers in the community meant that to be associated with either side was not very healthy and the best thing was to be as far away from it as possible.

    Amazingly, for all the taxpayers money that gets poured into ASIS and ASIO, they never picked up on any of the things that were common knowledge within the Mareeba/Dimbulah ethnic communities.

    In my opinion, it mostly boiled down to just having to ask people in these communities what was happening, but they couldn’t get off their well padded backsides in Canberra and that is still the case today.

    Both these agencies are a wast of space & taxpayers dollars! They achieve nothing and do absolute nothing to justify their existence!

  8. scorps,

    I bet you still are pretty au fait with those languages.

  9. I meant to add that 40 years later, most of those language skills have disappeared into the vapour of time & non use.

    Even my English skills seem to have developed a problem or three since then! 😉

  10. leonetwo,

    I had my flu shot two weeks ago, no side effects at all.

    Same with my 85 year old mum! Nothing at all yet I had pretty well all the main things that affect people in the lead up to a dose of the flu, except for the fact I wasn’t getting the flu. Just a faux version, courtesy of the vaccine stimulating my immune system to think that I had the flu.

  11. This should go down well with the punters

    The Federal Government is set to sink $14 billion deeper into deficit next financial year, according to an independent budget analysis.

    The Deloitte Access Economics report likened the 2015-16 deficit figure to the work of horror writer Stephen King and Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, who is internationally famous for his tortured artwork The Scream.

  12. I should hope so!

    Labor has sounded a warning about its support for the Federal Government's families package saying it will resist the measures if they are paid for by cutting other household benefits.

    The Coalition is expected to release the much-anticipated policy within days.

    The Prime Minister said voters would welcome the plan.

    "What you'll see from this Government is more affordable and more accessible childcare because that's what every Australian family with young children is looking for," Tony Abbott told reporters near Penrith today.

    But the Opposition's families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said Labor was concerned about how the Government was planning to pay for the policy, including the likelihood other family benefits would be targeted for savings.

    "We will certainly look at whether or not we'll support the improvements to the childcare system if they are good for parents and if they're good for children," she told the ABC's Insiders program.

    But Ms Macklin said if other family payments were taken away, Labor would resist the measures.

  13. This day in 1982:

    Type 42 Destroyer HMS Sheffield hit by a Super Etendard launched Exocet Anti Ship Missile. The missile doesn’t explode (fusing / arming problems by the Argentinians went on with 500lb bombs also doing the not exploding thing) but it strikes the boat just under the 01 deck and severs the high pressure water system. Simple kinetic force.

    The missile sizzles and Sheffield is set on fire.

    Also a Sea Harrier lost doing ground attack at Goose Green. A later investigation / examination of the wreckage finds that it was bought down by a Rocket Propelled Grenade.

    The pilot must have been down very low …

    Not a great day for the RN.

  14. I’m looking forward to The Falkland Diaries of CTar1.

    Book or movie?

  15. Note re’ ‘kinetic force’: An Air Launched missile gains the impetus of the launch vehicle so a 670kg missile launched from a Super Etendard that’s capable of 1,000mph makes for a big hit.

  16. Not a big fan of books about war.

    I did enjoy One of Our Submarines. (Penguin #1000).

    Quite a Boys’ Own.

  17. Well, you have to keep out the riff-raff!

    The Australian government would sell the right to immigrate to Australia – with migrants no longer accepted based on their skills or family connections – under radical proposals being examined by the government’s independent think tank.

    The Productivity Commission is investigating a price-based immigration system that would use entry fees as the primary determinant for who gains entry to Australia.

  18. You could have knocked me over with a feather!

    Australia is being left behind as a digital economy and government departments and the public servants who work there could be key culprits, according to a new report.

    Accounting giants Ernst and Young say the Commonwealth government is failing in its key duty to drive digital innovation and put it into use in the everyday lives of Australians.

    The EY research, Digital Australia: The State of the Nation published on Monday, finds Australia stuck in the slow lane with action now urgent to catch up with the United Kingdom, Singapore, Belgium and even New Zealand in government-led technical innovation.

    The report’s authors say the public sector must be a driving force in a nation’s development but the survey accompanying the research shows that even digital “opinion leaders” in government department are not happy with the pace of progress.

    Respondents in the 1500-strong survey sample, which also included private sector players as well as consumers, complained of mediocre standards, poor delivery of e-commerce and a lack of innovation.

    Australia’s notoriously slow and expensive internet is now hurting “all aspects of business, government and the community” and the accounting firm says the completion of the National Broadband Network is vital to the nation’s future as a modern economy.–young-20150503-1mxv7g.html

  19. Tlbd

    Book or movie?

    Neither I think.

    For a movie I’d need an A/C Carrier, a Type 42 Destroyer (‘Destroyer’ = really Cruiser in the same vein as ‘through deck cruiser’) and a Type 22 Frigate.

    No Type 42’s left, I think.

    The Indians still have Hermes (looking like a chook farm now) and the Chilean Navy a refurbished Type 22 – the Chilean Navy have a history of buying second hand gear from the RN and getting a refit right. It has been fitted with faster Italian guns and is still rated as the best equipped navy ship in South America.

    I doubt they’d lend them to me for a doco.

  20. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    Looks like you need to do some plausible invention.

  21. Tlbd

    On doco’s / books I’ve read Sandy Woodward’s ‘100 Days’.

    Hart Dyke’s ‘Four Weeks In May’ I’ve not bothered with. Should have been called ‘How to Trash a Destroyer’.

  22. Ducky

    Really, Ms Bickmore, you need a new dress consultant

    She’s a ‘Work in progress’.

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Please forgive me for the absence of links this morning. We had a long day and a late night with yesterday’s combined birthday party and I’ve had to get going on the big clean up.
    Sorry folks.

  24. Something Scorpio’s OH may be able to verify – I understand one of the reasons for the somewhat later than usual release of this year’s fluvax was the need to include something against an extra and nasty strain. So, instead of a threefold, it’s a fourfold.

    I may be quite wrong, and apologise in advance if I am.

    Nevertheless, get those jabs.

    There are a couple of four strain vaccines available privately this year, but most would receive the usual three-strain vaccine:

    The influenza vaccine for the Australian 2015 influenza season contains the following three virus strains:

    A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) – like virus
    A (H3N2): an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2) – like virus*
    B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 – like virus

    Quadrivalent vaccines should contain viruses listed above, plus the additional B virus:

    B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

    * A/South Australia/55/2014, A/Norway/466/2014 and A/Stockholm/6/2014 are A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like viruses

    The northern hemisphere season was bad because H3N2 “drift variants” (mutations) meant their vaccine was only half as effective as usual; our vaccine has an updated strain. There was an outbreak of H1N1 in India this year.

    Any protection is better than no protection at all, and you really don’t want to get influenza.

  25. BK…there is a comforting assurance that all is right with the world when i see you links and ‘toons put up…they are like the 7.15 am commuter bus going past every morning….you might not always be on it, but you know it’s there…and THAT is the comfort.

  26. Interesting interview with Scott Rush’s lawyer on RN. just now..It will be a “worth listening to AFP. interview later.

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