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Why is Ned Kelly being buried as a hero.
He was a criminal


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42 replies to this topic

#1 CharliMarley

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

I am listening to the news and hear that they are going to give Ned Kelly's remains a public burial and a big service at St Patrick's Church. What is this great hero worship of a criminal who shot three policemen? He robbed banks, he was stealing horses and he was just a criminal FGS.

#2 FluffyOscar

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Yeah I know, I don't get it either. Never have really  shrug.gif

#3 elizabethany

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Because Australians are a funny lot really.  We have a historical dislike for authority.

#4 Pearson

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

Because he stood up to a corrupt legal system.

While he might be a criminal, he is seen as a hero for this reason.  

Same as the people at the Eureka Stockade.

Gains are not always gotten nicely/legally, there were and still are people who have ill gotten gains, and it is only when someone stands up to them that they can be brought down.

So, in his case, at times, he was legitimately a criminal, and others, illegitimately a criminal.

As a question, do you see those from the French Revolution as criminals?  

It is not always black and white.

#5 matt1972

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

It's a private service for his family in Wangaratta so if it makes news and is in the public that's the fault of those reporting on it.

#6 ~sydblue~

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

Have you read the "Jerilderie letter"?

#7 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Because anyone who has read this The Jerilderie Letter) can't help but get a bit of empathy for the man.. or at least some smiles at his masterful way with language.

He isn't being re-buried as a 'hero' he is being buried as a famous Australian.


And as they say: One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter..

#8 Z-girls rock

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

the law is not always right.

not when it is actually only there to protect the (ill-gotten) gains of the rich and make it hard for poor people to progress.

Nelson Mandela broke the law. But would you just class him as a criminal when the law of the time was Apartheid; law set up to discriminate and racially segrigate a whole nation? He is a hero for breaking the law - everyone should have broken those laws.

the same goes for Martin Luther King and Gandhi - who were also arrested and served time in jail.

I am not saying that Ned Kelly should be on the same pedestal as Gandhi, not at all. But there are differences; Gandhi was educated, Ned Kelly was not. Gandhi was the pioneer of non-violent resistance. Of course there was no such thing for Ned Kelly... it was unheard of and so he would have felt his options of resistance were limited.

Ned Kelly was who he was. An interesting character. Who shook the nations conciousness about right and wrong, fairness, just-ness.

I think it is right to remember him (and his gang).

#9 CharliMarley

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE (Pearson @ 17/01/2013, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because he stood up to a corrupt legal system.

While he might be a criminal, he is seen as a hero for this reason.  

Same as the people at the Eureka Stockade.

Gains are not always gotten nicely/legally, there were and still are people who have ill gotten gains, and it is only when someone stands up to them that they can be brought down.

So, in his case, at times, he was legitimately a criminal, and others, illegitimately a criminal.

As a question, do you see those from the French Revolution as criminals?  

It is not always black and white.


Yes, he did stand up for the corrupt legal system (well, he was Irish), but many other people lived under that legal system and didn't provoke the police.

#10 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 17/01/2013, 02:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He was nothing but a common criminal. I have never understood why anyone would 'idol worship' him.


The Ned Kelly story is a means of encapsulating the Australia of the time - he was a first generation 'native born' - descended from Irish stock.

The Kelly story describes how the tensions between the English and the Irish were extended to the new country and how the 'Australian born' made a stand to try and change that.  People who weren't willing to be the new underclass to a newly created 'gentry' squatter class.

The Ned Kelly story - because of the great interest is garnered at the time, and because of the eloquence of the Jerilderie Letter making it last through history, is a story of the birth of an 'Australia', of a move away from being a colony, a prison farm... and THAT is why the story still resonates today.

#11 Z-girls rock

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

double post  huh.gif

Edited by Z-girls rock, 17 January 2013 - 01:18 PM.


#12 SisterMaryElephant

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

I don't see him as a hero, but to say he was just a criminal is wrong too, for all the reasons ps have said.  A public burial and larger service is merely to accomodate public interest in his story, not to hero worship him.

Actually sounds as though the burial will be private from what I've just read. I'd think all criminals are allowed a funeral( aren't they?)so don't really see why this is any different.

Editing a second time to add, it appears that the developer of the Pentridge site was angling to use his remains to attract interest, so the decendants have applied for them to be exhumed and reburied.  So to me it's a better solution and nothing like what you've suggested in your OP.

Edited by CleverChook, 17 January 2013 - 01:25 PM.


#13 Feral_Pooks

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Le sigh.

I'll never understand people so obsessed over what's legal. What is RIGHT is a far better and more complicated question.

I also think people might need to either admit ignorance or do some some reading up on history before announcing that everyone who has a soft spot for old Ned is a dill.

Whatever the case, he was killed unjustly and denied the honour of a proper funeral and burial, so I think it is lovely his family are doing so now.

#14 Jane Jetson

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Because Ned Kelly, as PP have said, is seen as symbolic of an underclass no longer willing to sit back and take oppression and be subject to laws which strongly favoured a new squattocracy, that's why.

The guy wasn't Snow White, but he was far from a common criminal.

QUOTE
Yes, he did stand up for the corrupt legal system (well, he was Irish), but many other people lived under that legal system and didn't provoke the police.


Why's that a bad thing? Was Rosa Parks just a criminal too, perhaps?

#15 BetteBoop

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

He's a revolutionary? A freedom fighter?

What twaddle. He was a life long crim.

He started as a cattle thief and as he got older he robbed people and held up banks. Eventually he escalated to murder, mostly to get out of going to prison.

I'm not sure which part of that makes him a resistance fighter. I would say he was a garden variety criminal.

Historically we're a nation of convicts. When Ned Kelly was around he was a hero to fellow crims because he got away with it for so long and killed cops.

History books were written from that perspective so that's how he's remembered.

#16 EsmeLennox

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

If the legal system was never challenged we wouldn't live in the world we do today. Of course today's world is far from perfect, but I would prefer to live now with the changes that have been fought for by people of history than live in Ned Kelly's time when there was little justice and fairness for the poor, but plenty for the rich. He needs to be remembered for his role in challenging this system. I wouldn't classify him as a hero, and he was, without question, a criminal, but one that needs to be remembered.

Edited by Jemstar, 17 January 2013 - 02:40 PM.


#17 dallee

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (Z-girls rock @ 17/01/2013, 02:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
the law is not always right.

not when it is actually only there to protect the (ill-gotten) gains of the rich and make it hard for poor people to progress.

Nelson Mandela broke the law. But would you just class him as a criminal when the law of the time was Apartheid; law set up to discriminate and racially segrigate a whole nation? He is a hero for breaking the law - everyone should have broken those laws.

the same goes for Martin Luther King and Gandhi - who were also arrested and served time in jail.

I am not saying that Ned Kelly should be on the same pedestal as Gandhi, not at all. But there are differences; Gandhi was educated, Ned Kelly was not. Gandhi was the pioneer of non-violent resistance. Of course there was no such thing for Ned Kelly... it was unheard of and so he would have felt his options of resistance were limited.

Ned Kelly was who he was. An interesting character. Who shook the nations conciousness about right and wrong, fairness, just-ness.

I think it is right to remember him (and his gang).


cclap.gif  Agree completely!



#18 la di dah

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

QUOTE (Mo2k @ 18/01/2013, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What, what? I realise that there is debate as to the whole 'is he a criminal?' thing but I don't really think this is a great comparison. Irrespective of whether she broke the law of the day by sitting in a particular spot on the bus she didn't actually takes anyones life.

Wait, what? Not all that up on my Kelly and don't particularly lionize him, but "not taking lives" is a seems a weird standard. For instance, Kelly will never be the hero to me, personally, John Brown was, but Kelly was convicted of three murders, Brown committed at least five.

Are we really arguing lethal force - even illegal - is never justified in the face of any human rights' abuse or immediate threat? Kelly may not have had all that much in the way of ideals or goals beyond "get me some money" but that would be the issue that made him ethical or not, not merely killing someone.

Not being willing to use lethal force can be unethical, too.

I don't have a problem with saying Parks and Kelly are not equivalent, but while Kelly might not actually have been ethical, neither his law-breaking nor his life-taking would be the deciding fact for me.

#19 HeroOfCanton

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 17/01/2013, 02:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you read the "Jerilderie letter"?

Off topic, but my great grandmother was born in the hotel where he wrote the Jerilderie Letter - I have a feeling her family owned it, but no one in my family can be sure on that wink.gif

#20 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

Its more a case of:

"all of Ned Kelly is being buried in the same spot by his family".

Most people get buried with their heads, even if their heads aren't intact at the time.

Ned's original burial at Pentridge, sadly, did not include all of his body parts. His family, now in possession of the missing bits, want to ensure that he is buried with at least some dignity - and with a chance that thrill seekers and souvenir hunters don't get their hands on his remains again.

Nothing to do with hero worship at all.

#21 la di dah

Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

QUOTE (Mo2k @ 18/01/2013, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I didn't say that that was the deciding factor for me either (and I don't know John Brown - sorry). All I was saying is that the 'crime' Rosa Parks is most famous for is for sitting in a particular spot on the bus. A stupid law which is no longer a crime. The law on theft and murder hasn't changed so IMO the arguement towards whether Kelly is a hero is more with regards to justification in that instance. From the sounds of it, it would have been better to compare Brown to Kelly. The whole Rosa Parks inclusion was chalk and cheese for me.


Sorry, the Rosa Parks thing spun me in a very American direction. John  Brown was a pre-Civil War anti-slavery abolitionist who killed some people and armed and equipped a slave uprising in addition to some rather bloodbath clashes with pro-slavery bushwackers in the days of Bleeding Kansas. He was hailed as a hero in his lifetime in the North and hanged (legally, through the courts) for treason and murder in Virginia.

He was one of the few white men in that period (even of Abolitionists) who was willing to arm and fight alongside black men. And I was thinking of him because murder and treason are still against the law but I can't think badly of him, ethically. He was no bank robber but he was a killer. shrug.gif

I see what you mean about the law changing but I can't view an action as automatically wrong just because it is illegal, or still on the books. Especially when you count vague enforce-status-quo stuff like "creating a disturbance" and "protest without permit" which would invalidate the bulk of the Civil Rights movement and are still on the books.

#22 ~sydblue~

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

Just read this.
QUOTE
But as a baptised Catholic, he said, Kelly was entitled to the dignified burial he was denied following his hanging at in Melbourne in 1880, when his decapitated body was entombed in the dirt with no family members present.

"Today, we're righting that wrong," Monsignor White said.

It was not his - nor any Catholic's - place to judge Kelly, as the ultimate judgment was God's alone, he said, before delivering a prayer.


So he was not being buried a hero. He was receiving a proper burial. Something everyone is entitled to and should receive.

Edited by ~sydblue~, 18 January 2013 - 03:06 PM.


#23 Jane Jetson

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

Yeah, not my best-written post ever. The second half of my earlier post, referring to Rosa Parks, was really more of a general-issue response to this statement from a PP, with which I wholly disagree:

QUOTE
Yes, he did stand up for the corrupt legal system (well, he was Irish), but many other people lived under that legal system and didn't provoke the police.


Rosa Parks is not the best comparison to Kelly (I agree, La di dah, Brown's much better) but it wasn't really meant to be a direct comparison, just a suggestion that if nobody ever provoked a policeman (or a bus driver) then there's a good chance some of these unjust, racist, oppressive laws would remain.

Edited by Jane Jetson, 19 January 2013 - 08:08 AM.


#24 ***MEZ***

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

It's an interesting question. In fact, Kelly's family were targetted unfairly by the police at the time over just about anything. Today we would call it harrassment. The Catholic underclass vs Protestant ruling class issue was huge.

#25 F1widow

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

Really? This is happening?

Look, if we're just applying the whole retrospective moral application of someone's actions (like Rosa Parks) killing someone in the circumstances Kelly did, not retrospectively justified IMO.

Regardless, this isn't about that. This is about the misguided idea that Kelly represents 'Australia' because he was a rebel and a 'Robin Hood' -esque character. It's romanticism and its holding Australia back in the eyes of the world.




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