The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 1882. A Political “Jim Crow.”
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.40 •>. m, j
Of course no one acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of Mr Joseph Ivess will be surprised to find him fully prepared to alter his opinions on any conceivable subject if self-interest may suggest to him that it is wise so to do—intact, although to-day he may hold very decided opinions on a matter of vital interest to the community, tomorrow he can “ change ’em,” if he finds that his previously expressed convictions are not in consonance with the views of a majority of those whose good opinion he at the time may wish to gain ; in short, if the star of ultraRadicalism is a bright and shining one, then is Mr Joseph Ivess a Radical of the first water. But if he finds that his extreme views are not palatable to a law-abiding and order-loving people, he will at once “ turn about, and whee
about, and jump Jim Crow,” and swallow his glibly spoken words with as much sang fioid as will the mounte- 1 bank swallow the sword or the red hot coal. After reading Mr Ivess’ speeches during the last contest for Wakanui, and also his attempt at oratory on Monday night, we think he is not only prepared to eat his own words, but that he would, if he could gain a few voles by it at this critical juncture, submit his maternal grandmother to the process of deglutition. As an instance o( the elasticity of this gentleman’s opinions we have only to refer to his speech at the Town Hall on the occasion of his former electioneering campaign. Then he came forward as what is known as a “ bursting-up ” advocate. On that occasion he took Mr Sealey’s pamphlet as his text-book, and would have wished to see a progressive land tax on ail estates above 500 acres ; in fact, on that occasion he was, as we have said, an advocate of that particular system of robbery which its advocates delight to call “ a burst-ing-up tax.” But in the interregnum between October 28, 1881, and May 22, 1882, this wily amateur statesman has discovered that his communistic doctrines are not shared in by others than a small minority of the electors of Wakanui, and now he is no advocate of bursting-up; not he ! Never thought of such a thing. All he would have now is a tax on “ uncultivated arable land.” We are quite sure we need not point out to our readers the difference between the two proposals. But to come to another question— a small one, perhaps, but we hold that a man who cannot be trusted in small things is entirely unworthy of confidence--on which Mr Ivess has altered his opinion without the slightest apparent reason. We allude to the matter of the Library site. No doubt our readers will remember that Mr Ivess, some five weeks back, was appointed one of a deputation from the Borough Council to wait upon the Library Committee with regard to the much-talked-of situation of the Library building. The deputation duly met the Library Committee, and at that meeting Mr Ivess said—- “ He thought that a better site could he obtained than the reserve behind Baring square west, which was, in. fact, little better than the old one.” On Wednesday night last, at the joint conference of members of the Fire Brigade and Borough Council, the same gentleman moved the following resolution ;—“ That the Borough Council be requested to grant reserve No. 212, part R.S. 776, being the site originally asked for by the Library Committee, which the Conference considers is equally as suitable for a Library site as the one at present occupied by the Fire Brigade, it being quite as central.” “Reserve No. 21 , part RS. 776,” is the site which Mr Ivess told us only four weeks ago, was “little better” than the old Library site in Tancred street. It is bard to say what caused Mr Ivess to veer round in this seemingly unaccountable manner, unless, indeed the fact of some few members of the Fire Brigade—which body was supposed to be opposed to the use of a part of their section as a Library site—or their freinds having votes for the electorate which this political weathercock seeks to represent has anything to do with it. But, be that as it may, we think these two instances are quite sufficient to prove Mr Ivess’ untrustworthiness in public matters, and we look to the electors of Wakanui to endorse that opinion on the day which is to decide between himself and his opponent for their suffrages.