EGGS AND POLITICS
CROWD IN'MERRY MOOD. Nearly 1,000 peoplo attended, in a bystreet at Parnoll on Thursday night, what was characterised by one of thoso present as "tho most farcical political gathering that has ever taken place in Auckland, says the 'Herald.' Tho speaker was Mr William P. Storey, a young man, who has announced himself as a candidate tor tho Parnell seat in tho Opposition and Labor interest. Interruptions— often in tho nature of eggs and fireworks—were ireqwent. Mr Storey was supported on the " platform "—he spoko from tho first floor of a building in course of erection—by a chairman and three or four committeemen. From the outset tho candidate's voice was frequently drowned by interjections. During cm© of the quieter intervals he explained that he was in favor of tho extension of a free, compulsory, and secular education from tho kindergarten to the university. A Voice : And then on to tho Veterans Home. (Laughter.) The Speaker : In fact, I am in favor of all humanitarian legislation. A Voice : Spell it, Percy. Another Voice : Now, let's hoar about the strike.
Thc candidate accepted tho invitation. "Yes," he said, "1 will toll you about it. lam only a young man " —Appearance of tho Eggs.—
Uproar ensued, and the Chairman rose to his feet. He appeared to desire to say something, but the candidate; and a committeeman pressed him back into his seat. Mr Storey advanced to tho front of his platform" again, and was in tho midst of a dissertation upon how ho would havo settled the strike, when the unmistakable odor of bad eggs pervaded tho air. There was a noticeable inclination on tho part of the committee to stand well away from the candidate. One, two, three eggs were thrown, and the committee retired to the street, whero, in tho shelter of the side of the building, they busied themselves in removing the* traces of the eggs from their clothing. The candidate stayed at his post, and skilfully avoided what appeared to be an over-ripe tomato, which camo from tho audience below.
"Do you want me to stop speaking?" he cried, above the din, whereupon tho audience, practically with one voice, assured him that they den red nothing better than that he should proceed. " I did not come here," the speaker went on, "to witness an exhibition of blackguardly behaviour. I tell you I've been brought up in one of the finest homes in tho country." "Hi, there!" he broke off hastily, as another egg crashed against a beam beside him, "Will you mongrels go home ?" A Voice : Oh, Percy! What about your upbringing? Plenty of Questions.— The candidate's hint, that the presence of some of tho audience wis not desirable was not taken, whereupon ho announced that he did not propose to go on with his address. Cries of disappointment greeted the announcement. "Well," said the candidate. " have you any questions ?" This remark was the signal for a veritable bombardment of questions, practically all of a non-political character. " Are you in favor of smoking fish, or tobacco?" bellowed a voice. " How do you like your e,<rgs?" inquired another voice, as the candidate clapped his hand to his neck, apparently to prevent the yolk -of the latest egg to arrive from slipping inside his collar 7 —efouco and Other Matters.— " And now about defence," the candidate broke in upon the babel, and then a large cracker snapped viciously in tho vicinity of his .gesticulating hand. " I am not afraid of fire," he added, but just then a more powerful firework exploded just behind him, and ho moved hastily. " Look here," he said, when the noise had partially subsided, "do you or do you not want mo to fight your battles in Parliament for you?" The Crowd : Of course we do. Tho Candidate: Well, let me tell you about the strike. If Sir Joseph Ward had been in power hr» would have stopped the strike, whether for eelf-interest or not I don't know. (Interruption.) "1 want to tell you," hj» was going on. wh-u four more eggs assailed him. and he retreated behind a girder of tho building. Later he advanced to the front of his platform, this time amidst murmurs of genninc sympathy. ''Those men have been sent hero to disturb the meeting," he declared, " but by whom. I don't know." Voices; Dick-ion. of course. He is frightened ot' you, Percy.
The Candidate: Xow, referring to the question of defence A Voice : Against ejrgs?—A Pyrotechnic Display.—
Vive minutes of pandemonium reigned, the time being devoted mainly to a fireworks display :n tho centre of the crowd. The candidate epent the interval in readjusting his dishevelled attire. "Referring aaain to tho question of defence." ho started, when he could make his voice heard, " I am in favor of having destroyers on our coast, and " A Voice : Eggs are better.
A wordy warfare ensued between the speaker arid an interjector. Finally the latter, having called the, candidate an objectionable name, tho candidate having xetorted " You're another!" and somebody else having announced the affair a "draw," the meeting proceeded. —Tho llai'way Scheme.—
The candidate evinced a desire to conclude tho meeting, but the crowd cheered him loudly, and assured him that '' ho was a jolly good follow." lie accepted the statement in good faith, and went on with tho meeting. Ifo was subjected to continual intem'.ption, and eventually ■again asked the crowd whether 'they wanted him to go to Parliament. Having been again reassured upon the question, be asked for a motion ''of condemnation on t.ho&i who had tlurown tho eggs." Without waiting, for his request to be -given effect to, he went on to refer lo the new Taihvav scheme.
"I have examined Mr Riley's scheme"— (laughter)—"and I think it is a pretty good cue/" he informed the audiem-e, amidst a lenewed outburst of laughter.
A Voice: Aien't you in favor of the university site being moved to Whangarei? The Candidate; AVol!, I don't think it would bo altogether wise to move it up there. (Uproarious laughter.) Ho ignored a question as to whether he was in favor o£ a Bill providing for 30 days in Februarv.
Just then a man. who appeared to be «it her a committeeman or the former cli.Jiriiifi'i, climbed up beside tlu; speaker, with whom he held a consultation. Then he endeavored to move a vote- of confidence, while the crowd sang 'lt's a Long Way to Tippefary.' When asked to vote on tho question the audience supported it unanimously, cheering meanwhile. —Conclusion.—■ "I intend to hold a public meeting in the Town Hall later on," announced the candidate before leaving the- platform. (Loud laughter.) " Will you stand behind mo and "sec me through?" (Cries - " of "Yea.") "I will fkhfr vour fight to the bitter end." IMore laughter.) Ultimately the candidate was seized by members of the audience, and amidst much horseplay was carried off down the street into an hotel He was followed by a large number of the onlookers before the police barred the doors.
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EGGS AND POLITICS, Evening Star, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
EGGS AND POLITICS Evening Star, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
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