1910: Election Campaign Disguised as Lord Kitchener’s Military Inspection
August 24, 2018
FEBRUARY 18, 1910. Lord Kitchener on tour in New Zealand. Seen here meeting Kiwi veterans of his African war. Old (60), white, a man, and a super celebrity. In his day it was possible to be all of these simultaneously. His star would fall in 1914, along with Churchill’s, for their Gallipoli Invasion which ANZACS got the sharp end of.
A poorly spoken dolt, capable of being a poster boy by virtue of his ramrod posture and stunning facial hair. His presence Downunder was partly sponsored by the American Tobacco Company to sell more fags, and by Champion flour for his celebrity endorsement. Facing a difficult Federal Election in July, the Australian Liberal Government had first dibs and paraded the poor old man around in their hot sun but to no avail! Australia’s Labour Party swept to power in a landslide.
Prime Minister Ward [far left] got in on the Kitchener Show too. A major music tour to Australia sometimes finds it worthwhile to do a touch-and-go in New Zealand even today. General Election defeat in 1911 loomed for Ward too and he too was pulling out all the jingoistic stops. Many of them, under the cover of Kitchener’s presence and approval which made them hard to oppose in public. These included nationalising our voluntary militia, compulsory military training, deficit-financing a battleship to give away to Britain, persecuting the Chinese, banning barmaids. A desperate, fascist, populist, power-starved nob at the end of his line.
Kitchener supposedly touring in order to report on national defence but that was just cover for the public relations tour. Nobody seems to have noticed or cared that the report for New Zealand was exactly the same as the report for Australia!
A highlight of the circus must have been the military “sham attack” on Auckland City that Kitchener observed.
Image Ref. Sir George Grey Special Collections
Anarchist History is our New Zealand History told with maximum scepticism toward the spin and propaganda of The State. This point of view makes radically different interpretations possible that State political, state academic, and state media institutions struggle to conceive of.