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THE POLITICO CAMPAIGN., Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10514, 28 November 1899
THE POLITICO CAMPAIGN.
A SATURDAY NIGHT MEETING IN
THE OPPOSITION CANDIDATES
(FROM OT7B SPECIAL COBBESPONDEJriC.)
WELLINGTON, November 26.
An express cart, to which was attached a tired and dejected-looking horse, a passing stream of foot traffic, and a slowly gathering crowd, indicated Saturday night's openair meeting at the lower end of Boukott street. "
By eight o'clock a thousand persons blocked tl* street-. Mr John Hutcheson, the Hon> T. W. Hislop, and the Press repre sentatives, climbed into the cart, and the first-named commenced tea address. He apologised for tlie absence of Mr Atkinson, who was suffering from a relaxed throat, and went on to speak of the necessity for a change of affairs in connection "with the Government of the country. 'All the candidates who had addressed them in Wellington k>, far were agreed on that point. Mr Kennedy Mgcdonald had stated that the Civil Service was in a rotten, and corrupt condition % while Mr Jellicoe had condemned unequivocally the whole administration of the Government.
"Who pays the expenses this time, Jack?" asked a man in the crowd; to which Mr Hutcheson retorted (that hewas not any the richer for his public services, and that it took him all his time to go,from rent day to rent day, ajid from grocer's bill to grocer's bill. As to public life at present, the odium connected with it was enough to make any man wish to keep out of it."., "Wihy do you go there then?" shouted an" elector. .._■_■• "Well, I go dhere to prevent worse things •happening," promptly retorted Che candidate amid applause. •Take your (hands out of your pockets," yelled another* elector, and again * there came a prompt retort-, "Well, my Obands are not in anybody else's pocket, and wfbienever I have to take them out to take bare of myself I know ihow to do it." (Uproar.) •
A reference to the candidate's opposition to'the Transvaal Contingent was received with hooting, and a section, of Vhe crowd sang "Rule Britannia" veiy niuch out of tune. The candidate shouted that if any one of tfoose who were howling at him now came to 'him !he would tell tlbem wihy he voted against , the Government. (A voice: "You would mot give a straight answer.") Mr Hutcheson —"You'll get an answer too straight for some of you." (Hooting.) "Your declaiming against mc to-night shows tint you are confirmed in the idolatry of one mam as against political .principles." , Here a man named Hooligan, standing bareheaded in the crush ait tihe cart-tail created a diversion.
"Behave yourself, Hooligan,"! eaxl Mr Hutcheson; after -which ihe continued — '1 intended to put my views before you in the hope tfoat you are Englishmen, and would not hang a man before you tried him." (Applause, which was soon drowned in loud and oontiniued hootki-g.) By this time the crowd had grown till there were about two thousand present. Feeling ran (high, aard heated arguments -were taking place. Mr Hutcheson remarked tihat it was evident they would not give him a fair and! impartial (hearuig, but he had this to say that, hound them down as they wouW, 1 tlhe triple •alliance was going to itflie poB and was going to victory. (Cheers.) J Here a. diversion was caused by a littae larrikm: of some seven, or eight summers, Who was loudly seconded on his efforts by older people, and for a firli fifteen minutes tihe crowd resolved itself into a hooting, yelling pack, who would not allow dne word of l(he candidiate's utterances to be heard, and Alri'Htttclhesoii sat down amid, loud hooting. .. . Mr HMop, on rising to speak, was .received with cheers and: (hooting, but »«re, was euoh a> preponderance of. tihe dheecin|f that it seemed as if "he would succeed where Mr Hutoheson failed. However, the surging mass that surrounded the cart became more and more unruly, and two young fellows came to blows. The crowd formed a ring, and tney fought it out, banging at one another furiously in the dense mass of humanity that blocked the A little lower down the blue shako of a policeman could be seen, but the wearer of it could apparentdy do nothing. The pack of larrikine on tihe'right sang "Soldiers of the Queen"; the crowd surged ominously, yelling all the time, aod there were cries of "A man down!" "Let him up!" "Let 'him up!" Many of "the disturbers were young lads whose sallow faces, cigairette smoking, constant expectoration and vile language indicated a degeneration that would have been a study to Max Nordau himself. A*middle-aged mail at the cart-tail, mor* generous than, most of has companions, shouted, "I'm againab them all, but give them a fair 'hearing." But 'his request was not heard beyond a circle of half a dozen yards, amd the uproar continued. He yelled with added empitasis. The crowd struck up "Soldiers of the Queen," and cheered and hooted and yelled themselves hoarse." Every hoot's another vote," said Mr Hutcheson'. "Not for you, old fellow," retorted a "Liberal" elector.
At length Mr Hutcheson gave it up. "I feel beaten now," he said .pleasantly; "you've ! got mc beaten now." j "Three cheers for the Government candi- ! dates to put them in," were now given, Mr ; Hutcheson remarking that it would take i more than that to put them in. Then the crowd gave three groans for Pirani and three groans for the "Evening Post," rounding off : the performance with the singing of "Glory, Hallelujah. ,, For fully half an hour Mr Hielop had been waiting patiently and good humouredly to obtain a tearing, but it was evident that if he waited there till doomsday that crowd would not listen to anything in the nature of a sensible remark. A council of war i was held, .'andrittwas decided to .adjourn the i another night in,the Skating Rinlc Mr Hutchesoa naae to make an announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said, and that was all we heard. Shrill whistling now mingled with the loudest hooting and yelling till; it really seemed as if pandemonium had been let loose. Some , thing about the dissolution of Seddonism was all. that could be -heard of the rest of Mr Hutcheson's remarks,- but amid all the hooting and yelling three cheers were heartily ; given for Messrs Hutcheson and Hislop, followed by three cheers for the Liberal party, then the cart drove off and the representatives of the Great Liberal (?) Party who had so.handsomely .given thr<*cheers for themselves,, seized .'hol3ipfthe cart, nearly rending it in aW.followed after, hooting and howling «und. swearing and pelting the "candidates with vegetables and eggs, and even with stones. Mr Hislop was struck on the head with a stone. A well-known * "representative of a large brewing firm 'had a narrow escap% a stone whizzing past his face. Sticks were freely used. One man received an ugly wound on the head from which the blood flowed, and amongst others the representative of "The Press" wae struck a cowardly blow from behind. .At length, when some of those who had been clinging to the cart were beaten off, the horse was put to a trot, arid the "Liberal" crowd gradually tailing off,, ; the candidates escaped up Boulcott street and into Welling- ; ton terrace. . j Very severe comments are,being made on ■ the conduct of the Government supporters who were guilty of such rowdyism, alsoo n j the inaction of the police. • ■■.;■'
THE POLITICO CAMPAIGN., Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10514, 28 November 1899
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