Friday, 1 May 2009

Wordle: Valedictory Speech Hon Dr Michael Cullen

Images of Wordles are licensed
Creative Commons License.

Full speech, here.

Scoop Audio: Valedictory speech by former New Zealand Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen, delivered to Parliament on 29 April 2009.

Michael Cullen - London background
The Hon Michael Cullen refers at one point in the speech to his London heritage " My family background was not untypical of many twentieth century stories. Three of my grandparents grew up in great poverty. My maternal grandparents were children in late nineteenth century London in an area classified in a contemporary social survey as “very poor, bordering on the semi-criminal”.

Booth Poverty Survey and Map
I suspect he is referring to the classic Booth survey of poverty - and the equally famous Booth poverty map.

Booth's study was published in 17 volumes under the title 'Life and Labour of the People in London'. The poverty map was part of the work. It used a colour code for the various levels of poverty in London: Dark blue 'Very poor. Casual, chronic want':'Lowest class. Vicious, semi criminal.'

These are available online from the LSE, here. The British Library also talks about it, here

May Day
Seems very apt to be publishing this on May Day - the traditional day for the Left. I can even remember groups of miners at my local Miners Club singing this off a weekend. And for sure, liquid libation was involved.

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high (chorus).
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe before the rich man's frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.

thanks to BBC - here


Michael Cullen on Radio NZ Sunday Morning
Interviewed by Chris Laidlaw, May 3rd on Radio NZ Sunday Morning programme Quite a thoughtful piece on the "philosophies that drove him for thirty years"

Victorian Occupations
Found this list of Victorian occupations can't vouch for source - but an interesting list.


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