'Truth and time against the world's wrongs': Montagu Scott, Jim Case and the lost world of the Brisbane Worker cartoonists.
On 21 March 1896, the Brisbane Worker newspaper ran a front-page cartoon on the day of that colony's election. Montagu Scott's 'Will he down him this time?' showed a medieval knight dubbed the 'Labour Party' bearing the shield of 'Truth and time against the world's wrongs'. Armed, furthermore, with the sword of 'Justice', the heroic figure confronts the barbaric 'Boodlewraith'--a reference to incumbent conservative Queensland premier Thomas McIlwraith (Figure 1)--in an attempt to free a raggedly dressed female 'White Slave'.
The racial overtones of Scott's ideal of working-class social justice are inescapable: in the background a collection of stereotypical Asian and Pacific Islander figures--a 'Jap', 'Coolie' and 'Kanaka'--are presented as keenly interested enemy onlookers. (1) At this juncture, the Worker's call to arms was unsuccessful. Labor secured around one-third of the first preference vote. However, this was only a small legislative gain on its previous result in 1893, the party's debut general election. The 'Ministerialists', the so-called 'Griffilwraith' coalition, continued in office. (2)
Undaunted, the Worker and the burgeoning number of regionally based Queensland radical newspapers, such as the Henry Boote-edited Gympie Truth, increased the intensity of their racially driven electoral pitch during the late 1890s. On the back of its rabidly racist 1899 election campaign, Queensland Labor won enough seats to become the outright opposition in the colonial parliament. Following a schism in the ranks of the non-Labor parties, Anderson Dawson, former Charters Towers miner and one-time head of the Amalgamated Miners' Association, was sworn in on 1 December 1899 as Premier.
Queensland Labor thus became the first party of its type to form government anywhere in the world. Alas, the experiment would not last long. A Worker editorial bitterly denounced Labor's speedy defeat on the floor of parliament as the work of 'bigoted class representatives'. (3) Nonetheless, as the paper commented a few weeks later, Labor in office was an important achievement that had 'reconciled the public mind to the inevitable and excited a renewed interest in the labour movement'. (4)
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Historiographically, 1890s NSW Labor, with its structures of collective decision making (such as the parliamentarians' pledge) and a pragmatic, piecemeal program of reform, is generally regarded as the 'prototype' for the federal Labor party which emerged after 1901. (5) However, there is a sense in which Queensland led the way in terms of Labor-in-politics in the pre-federation period. It was the first to form a Labor government and, although the party was sometimes divided internally and its electoral performance inconsistent (certainly before 1915), it arguably prompted the Queensland non-Labor parties to informally coalesce more rapidly than elsewhere, in turn influencing the contours of federal politics. (6) Therein, the party's racially inflected, populist propaganda arguably exerted a significant influence, both in policy and cultural terms, most notably through federal Labor's uncompromising White Australia stance. As this article demonstrates, for better and for worse, the forgotten cartoonists of the Brisbane Worker were at the forefront of this endeavour.
'Keen Satire Instruction on All the Vital Questions': Labour Cartoonists as Intellectuals
Recent years have witnessed a growing scholarly awareness of the role of Australian labour movement intellectuals. The propagandists of the labour press--such as Boote, writers and activists of V.G. Childe's ilk and Labor politicians including Ben Chifley, and, in the eyes of some, even labour historians--belatedly earned this appellation.
Most recently, labour cartoonists have also acquired a reputation as movement intellectuals, educative agents working with visual materials in a time when their medium of choice was a crucial propaganda tool. (7) In a jointly written chapter in the edited collection, Drawing the Line, I made the case for such a designation in a wider transnational context. While their primary political context was national, the world of international cartooning provided a pool of iconic and stylistic models drawn upon and contributed to by the Australians. (8)
Perhaps the most well-known of these cartoonists was Claude Marquet. His cartoons during the infamous conscription referendums of World War I gained him Labor-hero status and assisted in the defeat of then Labor prime minister Billy Hughes's proposals. In a 1920 book celebrating his life's work, Boote, his long-time editor on the Sydney-based Australian Worker, lauded:
[T]he work of an artist who was of the people, and who gave to the people the splendid harvest of his talent ... [E]very week tens of thousands of men and women derived from [his] vivid imagery keen satire instruction on all the vital questions. (9)
Boote's tribute could have applied to a number of Marquet's cartooning comrades: the Brisbane Worker duo Montagu Scott and Jim Case, or the well-known, London-based Will Dyson. In comparison to Dyson, who was the subject of Ross McMullan's well-received biography, and to a lesser extent Marquet, the careers of the Queensland duo have long been neglected. However, beginning with Scott, the Worker cartoonists set the template for all who followed; not only did they make critically important individual contributions to the major campaigns and controversies of the period but, arguably, came to shape the culture of the labour movement and, ipso facto, that of the wider nation. (10)
Many of the cartoons Scott and Case produced have not escaped the eye of scholars, appearing in a range of pictorial publications, for example, Joe Harris's The Bitter Fight and Margaret Mahood's The Loaded Line. Their work was used to illustrate D.J. Murphy's sibling studies of the Australian state Labor parties, Labor in Politics and Prelude to Power, as well as the souvenir published to celebrate the Worker's 70th anniversary in 1960. Murphy also penned Case's Australian Dictionary of Biography entry and Scott's life was chronicled by Suzanne Edgar in another volume. Nonetheless, the images of these artists have largely been deployed for illustrative purposes rather than as a serious source of historical evidence, replicated by the treatment of Marquet's artistry, at least until recently. (11)
Building upon recent work in the field, this article has two major aims. First, it challenges scholars to take visual propaganda seriously. The tendency to relegate such evidence to a supporting role for the written word--whether parliamentary speeches, union congresses or newspaper writings--is historically misleading. Certainly, cartooning cannot be separated from the written propaganda of the labour press that emerged in the early 1890s, itself a development whose import is too often assumed and under-analysed from a historical perspective. Unlike the old colonial model of restricting electioneering to voting time and shunning organised parties, the labour press went on an almost permanent election footing, relentlessly advocating Labor-in-politics and unionism more generally to a highly literate reading public. (12)
Cartoonists were crucial to the viability of labour newspapers--cartoons typically filled the cover page of the more successful versions--and enthusiastically took up their role as entertaining, working-class didacts. Their images were a perfect way of distilling often quite complex messages about social and economic exploitation and interpreting fast-moving contemporary debates for lay observers. Often with the use of a simple metaphor, a cartoonist could explain what might take hundreds of words in an editorial piece. Moreover, not only did the work of these cartoonists help inculcate shared beliefs and values; their medium contributed to the shaping and sustenance of a distinctive working-class identity in Australia. (13)
This is not to argue that the cartoonists of this study were somehow 'free agents'. Their employment relationship with the Worker, its editorial staff and, indeed, the broader movement shaped the cartoons they produced. As Worker employees, the cartoonists were given regular briefs of what issues their cartoons should address. The editor would have approved final copy and may well have asked for changes. And yet, as we shall see later, the cartoonists were able to make subtle interventions of their own, sometimes pushing the boundaries a little further or, by omission, holding the line against what they perceived as a wrong-headed strategy.
Second, by means of a case study of the Brisbane Worker cohort, I seek to illuminate aspects of Queensland's distinctive labour movement tradition as it evolved between the 1880s and the aftermath of the Great War, in the process fleshing out previous biographical studies of Scott and Case. It is no surprise that cartoonists reflected the intellectual foibles and ideological shifts of their comrades. From a current standpoint, their deeply populist vision was limited and, ultimately, diminished by its racism and, perhaps, its overly romantic masculinism. Later, however, following the Labor schism of the Great War, the work of Case played a significant role in propagating ideals of internationalist working-class solidarity and fostering an image of an explicitly socialist Labor party. It is to that story which we now turn.
Eugene Montagu Scott: The Pioneer Labour Movement Cartoonist
Known to his contemporaries as Monty, Eugene Montagu Scott was born in London in 1835, the son of an artist. (14) As a young man, he migrated to Australia in the 1850s, establishing a business in Victoria as a photographer and marrying Amy Johnson in 1859. Unmistakeably middle class--an 1878 Sydney Punch caricature pictured him, sketchbook in hand, wearing a glossy top hat and satin cravat (see Figure 2) (15)--Scott was a prolific artist. Over a four-decade-long career, he produced around 3,000 front-page, full-page or double-page illustrations regularly viewed by significant numbers of Australians. His work featured in the array of illustrated colonial weeklies: the Illustrated Australian Mail, Illustrated Melbourne Post and Illustrated Sydney News.
Scott's artistic talents were diverse; at various times he worked as a cartoonist, painter, illustrator and photographer. One scholar contends that he was the most prolific image maker of nineteenth-century Australia and, from an international perspective, Scott's only rival in world terms was the famed London Punch cartoonist, John Tenniel. (16) NSW premier Henry Parkes and famed explorer Robert O'Hara Burke were but two of his subjects, and in 1867 he received a 'princely 250 guineas commission' for a portrait of the touring Duke of Edinburgh (the highest yet known in the colonies). By June 1870, however, Scott was declared bankrupt and forced to sell his photographic equipment to pay his creditors. It would not be his last experience of financial insecurity. (17)
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Between 1861 and 1865, Scott published a large number of relatively apolitical cartoons for the antipodean copycat publication of the London Punch magazine in Melbourne, before taking up a position as chief cartoonist for Sydney Punch in 1866, where he would remain for the next two decades. From 1880, Scott submitted cartoons to J.F. Archibald's radical nationalist Sydney weekly, the Bulletin. Scott remained firmly in the shadow of the magazine's star overseas illustrators, Livingstone 'Hop' Hopkins (USA) and Phil May (England), but henceforth became far more critical of social injustice as industrial conflict, conjoining with a rising nationalist and republican ethos, radicalised a large swathe of Australia.
Scott's transformation into a thoroughgoing labour cartoonist hastened after he began drawing for another radical newspaper, the Brisbane-based Boomerang, founded in 1887 with the motto, 'A Live Newspaper--Racy of the Soil'. He seemingly came under the spell of the Boomerang's editor and part owner, William Lane, by the late 1880s the foremost radical journalist in Australia, and the paper's feisty staff artist, E.H. (Ebeneezer) Murray. (18)
At the Boomerang, Scott produced some fiery denunciations of inequality, but in doing so his visual representations mirrored those of Lane's written propaganda. Lane, as Marilyn Lake notably argues, tended to depict the immorality of capitalism in terms of threat that the exploitative system posed to workers' manhood and, by implication, the femininity of their dependants. (19) Thus, in 1888, Scott drew 'the Queensland Samson', a pre-industrial male worker emasculated by a greedy Assyrian monopolist in league with a sadistic Chinese hireling, with a white woman reduced to beggary. (20) Later, in a two-part spread he designed the year after, the second number depicted a very Semitic looking top-hatted Devil degrading female domestic workers by literally running them through the 'Mill of Necessity' via the machinery of modern-day 'Civilization'. (21)
Highly sexualised fears of racial contamination dominated Scott's early images. In his infamous 1888 cartoon, 'Imperialism Vetoes the Immigration Bill', Scott enunciated Australia's nationalist desire to free itself from the dead hand of English imperialism. A female white Queensland vainly battles an army of ghoulish, pigtailed Chinese men attacking her home front, the threat of rape more than implicit. (22) A less famous version of such fears published four months later is his 'Where are the police?' cartoon (see Figure 3). A sturdy, moustached worker labelled the 'Maritime Labour Council' is pictured in combat with a series of non-white villains; his heroine recoils in shock across a sign stating, ironically, 'Australia for the Australians', while the colonial government, the ostensible upholder of racialised law and order, watches on impassively. (23)
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This image was hardly aberrant. Throughout his long career, Scott's pictorial heroes, whether male or female, stymied or victorious, are all notable for their whiteness; itself a collective identity defined by a dangerous Other. Most commonly that villain was represented as a pig-tailed Chinese villain but from time to time a Hindu Indian, Malay, Syrian, Pacific Islander or Melanesian. As we shall see, perhaps the one continuum in his work, and that of the labour cartoonists in general, was the tendency to portray the ills of working people through the alleged threat posed by cheap non-white labour, a scourge which also endangered white citizens the continent over.
Why the persistent obsession with race and in particular such hatred of Chinese? The answer, I suggest, is threefold. First, by the late nineteenth century, ideologies positing the racial superiority of the 'white man' in economic, cultural and political terms had a strong foothold in the antipodes and white-settler societies of the Anglo-American 'New World' (Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA).
As Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds have shown, the novelty of this 'imagined community of whiteness' lay in its providing a 'mode of subjective identification that crossed national borders and shaped global politics'. '[Transnational in its reach, but nationalist in its outcomes', it was disseminated by the 'circulation of emotions and ideas, people and publications, racial knowledge and technologies'. (24)
Australia proved no exception to the rule and the teeming masses of Asia were relentlessly portrayed as a threat to the self-styled white man's country. For reasons heartfelt, pragmatic and simply racist, labour cartoonists drove this phenomenon. Scott, of course, was hardly alone. Although the race issue was a major organisational strength for the labour movement, a belief in white racial superiority cut across class divisions in colonial society, enunciated by ordinary citizens, politicians and newspapers--perhaps the great fosterer of imagined community in this period. (25) Locally, the cartoonists of the Bulletin, Sydney Illustrated News, Australasian Sketcher and various editions of the Punch, as well as contemporaneous overseas publications such as America's San Francisco Wasp, via its staff cartoonist Frederick G. Keller, each depicted the Chinese as inferior, a cancer threatening the moral foundations of prosperous, egalitarian white societies. (26)
The second factor conditioning racism was genuinely economic, although this in no way obviates the need to highlight the basic xenophobia at work. By the 1880s, the Australian colonies had begun to enter a long, if haphazard, period of transition towards an industrial capitalist society. As more and more Australians experienced economic insecurity, whether through unemployment or falling real wages, protests against Chinese immigration and, indeed, the presence of non-whites in Australia at all, increasingly dovetailed with socio-industrial grievances. Therein the economic threat was twofold: coloured labour not only allegedly imperilled the high wages and conditions of workers (and, ipso facto, unionism); it also, as Ray Markey notes, threatened the more widely held ideal of small landholding in the context of a still limited secondary industry. (27)
Such economic fears came to be justified in the language of national survival and racial purity. These fears resonated most strongly in Queensland, although, ironically, this colony also registered the lowest levels of both small agrarian landholding and industrialisation. Instead, the colony's equatorial nature and its resort to plantation-type economic practices (such as tropical agriculture), together with violent frontier conflict with Aboriginal peoples, provide a more persuasive explanation. (28)
Since the end of convict transportation in the mid-1800s, large British-Australian employers had attempted to import cheap non-European labour, notably in the sugar industry. From the 1860s onwards, Queensland witnessed a surge in the recruitment of Pacific Islander and Melanesian indentured labour, so-called 'Kanakas', a trend which gathered pace in the 1880s. Trade union and radical liberal opposition to such labour reflected a humanitarian antipathy to what was thought to amount to slavery (sometimes known as 'blackbirding'), and promoted the twin aims of high wages and a racially pure society. (29)
Finally, in more cultural terms, racialised images of strange looking 'aliens' were clearly popular with the largely white reading public, owing itself to the above factors. Racist cartoons would not have continued to be published otherwise, and it is undeniable that race worked powerfully in visual terms whereby complex economic processes could be simplified by blaming a shadowy Other physically distinct from the majority white Anglo-Australian population. Whatever the precise reasons at play, and notwithstanding the scholarly debates surrounding which social class was most responsible for racism and the eventual White Australia legislation restricting non-white immigration, (30) the nascent labour movement benefited enormously from playing the race card. This trend was exacerbated following the creation of independent Labor parties throughout the colonies.
'Labour is One': Labor in Politics, Labour in Print
After separating from his wife, in 1889 Scott moved to Brisbane and remarried a widow. The next year proved a turning point for Scott and the colonial labour movement, a cause he was to support for the rest of his life. Following the 1890 Australasian maritime strike, Labor parties were formed in most colonies by varying combinations of unionists, socialists and fellow-travelling radicals. NSW Labor was first to move. Having already adopted a parliamentary platform in April, the Sydney Trades and Labor Council established a series of Labor Electoral Leagues during November. Labor formally contested the June 1891 NSW election, famously winning the parliamentary balance of power. In Queensland, the Australian Labor Federation (ALF) followed its lead, competing in a series of by-elections before the 1893 general election, where it also claimed the balance of power. (31)
A key element of Labor's initial successes--apart from antipodean novelties such as the payment of parliamentary members and wide manhood suffrage--was the appearance of union-backed newspapers. The most famous journal was the ALF's Brisbane Worker, a monthly first published on 1 March 1890. Edited by Lane, it soon became a fortnightly, then weekly publication selling for one penny and proved popular amongst bush workers. (32) Three years later, Lane left for Paraguay to head up the ill-fated 'New Australia' movement, and was replaced by Ernest Blackwell. In 1892, a separately owned and operated edition appeared in Sydney (from 1914 known as the Australian Worker) and a short-lived Melbourne Worker ran from 1893 until 1895. After 1914, the Worker came under the Ted Theodore-controlled Queensland branch of the AWU. (33)
After experiencing some financial difficulties during the early to mid 1890s, the Worker went from strength to strength. Its circulation increased from some 14,000 per month in 1890 to a weekly of 30,000 copies in 1912. (34) During the same period, many other titles perished; it is no coincidence that most were papers that did not run cartoons. As B.J. Guyatt noted in his work on the Queensland labour press, 'the most vivid and uncompromising expression of the Worker's message was its full-page cartoons'. (35) The popularity of cartooning is underscored by events in 1893. As a consequence of the depression at that time, the Worker's board of trustees decided to revert to a forthrightly issue and discontinue the front-page cartoon. That decision was quickly overturned following loud protests by the bush unions who promised to cover the costs in the short term. (36)
In effect, the Worker's readers were campaigning for Scott's retention. For Scott was virtually the lone labour cartoonist of the 1890s; his work was regularly reprinted in the Sydney Worker as well as Tocsin. His draughtsmanship could be inconsistent, with roughly drawn lines all too common, a symptom perhaps of tight deadlines and poor machinery. No great humorist, Scott was certainly possessed of a fertile mind which drew upon symbolism and allegory, whether using literary influences such as Shakespeare or classical themes taken from Greek mythology. Yet Scott was not the only radical cartoonist in fin de siecle Australia. The Bulletin and its Melbourne-based copycat Bull Ant were publications famed for their acerbic, free-wheeling images as was the South Australian Quiz, Marquet's first employer. (37) Likewise, the Victorian socialist paper Champion featured cartoons by artists such as Ambrose Dyson (older brother of Will).
Central to this radical genre was the villainous 'Mr Fat Man'. A depiction of big business or capitalism as a grossly overweight, top-hatted older man, often with spats and morning coat, and occasionally with cigar in hand, 'Fat' made his first Australian appearance in the Bulletin during the mid-1880s. He arrived courtesy of the London-born May, who was drawing upon an existing American iconography, no doubt supplied by his Ohio-born colleague, Hopkins. A comic vehicle for serious social critique, in the context of the continent-wide depression and large-scale strikes and lockouts, Fat became a popular and distinctively Australian icon. The pro-labour Hop famously set Fat against a heroic, rural worker in his iconic 18 August 1890 front-page image of 'Capital' and 'Labor' engaging each other in the opening phases of the calamitous maritime strike. (38)
The distinctiveness of this image has been discussed in depth elsewhere. Suffice to say that, hitherto, most Anglo-American cartoonists had sympathetically shown the working man as a downtrodden, hopeless piece of human flotsam or, alternatively, excoriated the emergent unions by representing them as a bullying ogre of business and ordinary citizens--the sardonic 'King Workingman'. Before the emergence of the Bulletin, publications such as the Melbourne and Sydney Punch perpetuated these stereotypes. (39)
Because of their presence in union-backed newspapers, labour cartoonists co-opted this transnational imagery and crafted a more radical, sometimes socialist and always heroic image of the unionist-worker set firmly in the Australian context. For example, during the tumult of the maritime strike Scott penned a Hop-inspired image for the Boomerang which had Capital and Labour as duelling ancient warriors engaged in an interminable struggle. Instructively, a shining, Minerva-like figure appears from the darkened skies to advocate for arbitration, then the position of Boomerang editor Lane, and further borne out by the symbolism of the warriors' broken swords. Nonetheless, Scott's sympathies are clear. Labour is presented as the younger, more muscular figure compared with an older, somewhat portly Capital who appears on the defensive, and his shield proudly boasts the solidarity slogan, 'Labour is One' (see Figure 4). (40)
Following this template, in most cartoons that Scott pens during the 1890s villainous and bloated capitalists are set against a heroic rural worker who variously signifies the political and industrial wings of the labour movement. Scott's Fat Man proves to be a highly versatile figure; he appears as the generic exploiter of workers, a 'middleman' oppressing small farmers and consumers, and as an imperialist diverting workers from their industrial salvation. (41) Alternatively, Scott's worker is presented as a confident young man, morally and physically capable of defeating the combined forces of capital and conservative politics. Perhaps his most famous image of labour confronting capital is his 1906 'All the World Over' (see Figure 5) showing those enemies engaged in a life and death struggle on a global stage. The stalwart labourite wields the weapon of the 'strike' against an imperialistic Fat 'John Bull' who grips the ugly club of the 'Money Power'. (42)
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For the most part, Scott's worker-hero was neither a proletarian drawn from the iconographical milieu of gritty industrial suburbs nor some internationalist. Rather, he is the idealised rural figure championed by the radical nationalist press as the typical Australian, a decidedly masculine figure defending, or romantically linked with, a heroine dependant. Populism--discussed in some detail below--was his raison d'etre. And this iconographic strategy was redolent of other Laborite and socialist propaganda, whereby 'affective' appeals were made to the 'manhood' of working men rather than simple class-based calls to their identities as workers or (potential) socialists. (43) Perhaps the most striking departure from the established Bulletin and Boomerang models was Scott's sense of the worker's innate politicalism. To be a worker was to naturally vote Labor, rather than side with his previous patrons, the radical liberals.
Scott thus made a hero of another labourite, the worker's budding parliamentary representative, frequently portraying him battling Fat or corrupt politicians ('boodlers'), (44) undemocratic legislative Upper Houses as literal monsters, (45) or nonwhite immigrants, sometimes all at once, as in our opening image. His commentary on the 1893 Queensland elections, 'Falstaff Up To Date' well captures his ideological position. Scott draws the newly elected Queensland Labor Members as heroic stage outlaws advancing upon a Fat Man premier Thomas McIlwraith ('Falstaffilwraith'). The populist and racialist ideology of colonial Labor is encapsulated by the banner of Laborites--'Advance White Queensland: Justice for the People'--while an otherwise frail McIlwraith is protected by the powerful shield of the 'Banks' (Figure 6). (46)
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'Workers of the World Unite'? Cartooning, Racism and the Rise of Labor, 1890s-1910
Like all the cartoonists of our period, Scott unquestionably took as his hero the white male worker. Even when he celebrated the global trend towards 'International Socialism' in 1906, he did so by depicting conventional male and female figures representing the national labour movements of major white men's countries, with the centrally figured Australian 'bush' labourer bearing the flag 'Workers of the World Unite' (see Figure 7). (47) In Scott's mind, the worker's greatest enemy was cheap coloured labour. Indeed, during the late 1890s Scott became obsessed with depicting a dystopic vision of colonial Australia dominated by Asiatics, with the white working man either replaced or entirely servile, despite decreasing numbers of that ethnic populace in the same period. (48) In one striking image a white man appears in the dock of a Japanese Mikado-ruled court assisted by Chinese clerks and a jury wholly comprised of Kanakas and Lascars (see Figure 8). (49)
If the threat of cheap labour was a given, Scott disingenuously played up the risk of such aliens bringing diseases and lusting after white women. In 1900, Scott drew an array of coloured 'monsters' menacing a female Queensland as a result of anti-Labor premier Robert Philp's policies (see Figure 9). (50)
Xenophobia indubitably worked. As Robin Archer argues, racial hostility helped foster the establishment of the Australian Labor parties, aiding their attempts to present as something more than purely class parties, whereas it hindered the development of union-based politics in the USA. (51) Racially charged populist politicking did indeed reap large rewards at the ballot box, its efficacy heightened in the decentralised colony of Queensland where Labor was not able to rely upon a large urban-based proletariat. It is little wonder, then, that after 1901 the newly created federal party took White Australia as its leitmotiv.
Apart from racist vindictive directed against the Asiatic Other, Scott and his confreres generally read the scheming Money Power as Jewish, notwithstanding the small number in the Diaspora population. See, for example, his depiction of a Jewish banker as the driving force behind the South African Boer War, forcing both 'Britisher' and 'Boer' into slavery (see Figure 10). Even his ostensibly educative cartoon, 'The Loaves and Fishes', showed three capitalistic figures 'Rent', 'Profit' and a stereotypical Jewish 'Interest' gleefully robbing the real 'producers' of wealth. (52)
If Scott's anti-Semitism relied more upon allusion to Shylock figures rather than outright racism, the efforts of short-lived Worker contributor, 'The Goanna', (53) were less subtle. Almost every cartoon he contributes is violently anti-Semitic. In one image from mid-1892 he showed a repulsive-looking money-lending Jew abusing an unemployed white worker. The racist sign directly above the Jewish banker/ usurer expresses the conspiratorial views of many labourites:
QUEENSLAND MILLIONS of ACRES TONS OF GOLD SHEEP CATTLE HORSES ALL BELONG TO THE JEWS NOTHING BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE. (54)
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We return now to the question of why race became so salient in labour cartooning. First, fin de siecle anti-Semitic imagery was a world-wide phenomenon. For example, during the 1890s the American radical cartoonist Samuel Ehrhardt repeatedly played on anti-Semitic stereotypes of money-obsessed German Jews in the well-known Puck magazine. (55) This is to say nothing of a far more virulent tradition of anti-Jewish iconography hailing from the Christian art and literature of Europe. (56)
Second, the shadowy figure of the Jew functioned, like the Asiatic Other, as a simple if unlikely explanation of capitalism's workings and crises such as the 1893 'Bank Crash'. And cartoons, 'by their very nature', notes American historian Worth Robert Miller, 'lend themselves to employing popular folk images as representatives of more sophisticated images'. (57)
In a similar vein, labour cartoonists were less informed by an internationally attuned ethos than by a parliamentary reformism that took from a combination of radical liberal, socialist and trade union ideological influences. Some term this labourism; others discern a distinctive Australian form of social democracy. (58) This, we recall, was the creed that Scott pictorially venerated as 'Truth and Time Against the World's Wrongs', and, in fact, the Worker's front-page motto between 1911 and 1913.
Culturally, underpinning Labor's reformist political project was an enduring strand of often-crude populism, a term which requires brief explication. In his authoritative study of labour movement populism, Peter Love argues that Labor developed a theory of capitalist power structures along with 'ideas about nationalism and imperialism, monopoly and democracy, class and race, which were woven into an elaborate conspiracy theory', whereby the majority group, 'the People', were being dominated by a powerful, minority clique, known as the 'Money Power'. (59)
Populist conspiracy theories were strongly conditioned by racism. According to this narrative, a racially based plot to reduce the wages and conditions of white working men was subsidised and driven by the banks, often cast as British imperialists, and other powerful yet shadowy financial interests. (60) As Markey notes in his study of the NSW Labor party, the populist vision viewed 'racial contamination' as 'a disease which could sap the strength of the yeomen race and the corporate nation'.
Labor populism ultimately sought to capture the votes of small farmers, some small businessmen and lower-paid professionals such as teachers and journalists, as well as locking in the party's working-class electoral base. A classic populist cartoon is Scott's striking 'The Clutch of the Money Power' (see Figure 11). A sturdy yeoman farmer and his young family stand blissfully unaware of the looming threat posed by the Money Power. (61) This conspiratorial, heavily racialised reading of anti-Labor politics was to prove a hardy perennial.
As the twentieth century dawned, Scott's cartooning continued to buttress Labor's campaign stratagem. Many Laborites opposed the federation of the Australian colonies on the grounds that the proposed constitution and Senate were undemocratic institutions if not some conspiratorial trick to stall working-class politics. Pro-federationists were really jingoists and self-serving Tories whose support was conditioned by potential financial rewards. As Lenore Layman well describes: '[o]rganised labour and radical activists drew on their cultural repertoire of symbols and stories to re-inscribe federation' as a Fat Man's 'fetteration'. (62) Scott's 'Where do
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I come in?' for one exposed a smiling Fat riding the horse-drawn cart of federation carrying politicians, lawyers and imperialist types; alongside, a bedraggled and 'voteless' bush worker looks perplexed by the goings on (see Figure 12). (63)
Ironically, then, federation contributed to the advance of Labor-in-politics, most prominently at the Commonwealth level. One of the keys to Labor's precocious success was its political custodianship of the White Australia legislation which aimed to prevent non-white immigration. Despite very real bipartisan support, Labor claimed it was the only group truly committed to the ideal. Unlike protectionist Prime Minister Edmund Barton's dictation test, crafted towards British diplomatic sensitivities, Labor was in favour of explicit racial exclusion.
This rhetorical ploy first came into play at the inaugural 1901 federal election. The Worker's election-day cover drawn by Scott shows a bow-yang-wearing worker proudly casting a vote 'For Labour and a White Australia'. When the election results arrived, and despite its status as the third most popular party, propagandists claimed 'A Victory for White Australia'. (64) Later, after the Barton government secured passage of the relevant legislation, a Scott cartoon celebrated Labor as a male rural worker presenting the bouquet of White Australia to a grateful female 'Commonwealth' (see Figure 13). (65)
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By virtue of such chauvinistic rhetoric and iconography, Labor arguably convinced the electorate that it was the party of Australian nationalism. Scott, now joined by Claude Marquet, first at Tocsin and then at the Sydney Worker, gleefully turned the Labor politicians into the most reliable of nation-building patriots. Indeed, he went so far as to portray the 1906 election as one for Australia's very national survival, with Labor appearing as a soldier defending 'Australian Nationality' (see Figure 14). (66) This image was a long way from Scott's previous anti-militarist images, but mirrored federal Labor's noisy calls for compulsory military training in aid of a citizen army and wider nationalist narrative.
During the Great War, many would come to regret this discourse. In the meantime, most delighted in Scott's images of Laborite nationalist heroes ranged against the usual suspects: Fat, the Tory press and conservative politicians, and, increasingly after 1900, the radical liberals gathered under the leadership of Alfred Deakin.
In 1904, Chris Watson's three-month Labor administration, the world's first national Labor government, was defeated when previously bitter foes Deakin and free-trader George Reid combined to defeat it in parliament. The manner of Labor's unceremonious removal lent gravitas to claims of a conspiracy of class snobs offended by the prospect of the workers taking power.
Such readings were ripe for visual mockery. During Watson's brief tenure, Scott played on this theme; two top-hatted 'Reidle-dum and Deakin-dee' characters eagerly eye the spoils of office at Labor's expense (see Figure 15). (67) Although Scott's artistic powers were by now waning, his work arguably contributed to the growing naturalisation of the concepts of Labor and anti-Labor, and the movement towards a class-based two-party system. (68)
Scott did not live to see the consummation of the anti-Labor fusion. His last years were marked by physical and financial decline. He lived 'from hand to mouth' painting portraits and racehorses, selling work to Sydney sporting papers and received financial assistance from friends. By August 1908, having received no orders for the previous 18 months, Scott was again bankrupt. Less than a year later, on 15 May 1909, aged 74, he died at Randwick of cystitis, survived by his wife, and by two daughters and a son from his first marriage. (69)
Two weeks later, came the official announcement of the anti-Labor fusion he had predicted back in 1904. The Worker hailed Scott as 'the personification of kindness to everyone who came into contact with him'. (70) He was so much more than that. For all Scott's foibles, not the least his unbridled racism and crude populist vision, he is a giant of the early labour movement. His racy, provocative imagery blazed a new trail in Australian, if not global, cartooning, providing incalculable support for the infant labour press. In the process, Scott established a model for all who followed.
Jim Case: The New Generation Labour Cartoonist
From February 1909, Scott was teamed with his 25-year-old protege, James Thomas 'Jim' Case. The Worker's first seventy years describes him as the Queensland version of Marquet. Born to working-class parents in rural Queensland in 1884, like Marquet, Case (see Figure 16 for his only known photo) (71) came more directly to labour cartooning than did Scott. After leaving school at 14, he began work in the machine room of the Worker, in addition to 'handling heavy merchandise in Denham's produce stores in Queensland'. (72) Case's artistic talents were encouraged by the Worker team; he trained at Brisbane Technical College, exhibiting oil and watercolour scenes with the Queensland Art Society.
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Because Scott held the cartoonist's chair at the Worker, Case chose to enter the painting and decorating business. However, he did publish occasional cartoons for the Worker in 1906-07 and, after wining a Worker competition, he began to share the work with Monty Scott. Upon Scott's death, he became the Worker's official cartoonist, which he remained until 1920. When the Daily Standard was established by the Queensland labour movement in December 1912, Case contributed to its Saturday editions. (73) Case's early work, in the words of an admirer, was a 'trifle crude', lacking 'not conception but finish'. Case himself expressed doubt as to his talents, 'scarred' 'blistered' and 'calloused' as he was 'by manual toil'. His lines were ungainly, lacking the crispness and assuredness that would come with experience.
Stylistically, too, Case's figure for labour was inconsistent, sometimes appearing as a teenage update on the 'Little Boy from Manly', other times as a nondescript labourer, devoid of the masculine heroism so keenly captured by Scott. Similarly, his early take on Fat was almost too grotesque and, despite the deliberately unbelievable proportions of this comic villain, overly caricatured him. But what the young Case lacked in aesthetic refinement he more than made up for with his idealist vigour and Marquet-like ability to capture the essence of a debate. Case's obituary noted his 'prominent place amongst the pictorial expounders of Labor's doctrines and ideals':
Humour, sarcasm, irony, denunciation--or, if need be, praise and appreciation--sprang out of his every line. There was a pungent paragraph in every curve. There was a leading article embodied and emphasised in every thing he drew. (74)
Case began as a loyal propagandist for parliamentary Labor and a valuable electioneering soldier. In his 1911 Yes-vote cartoon in support of a referendum for expanded federal government powers, Case has a sword-wielding Labor hero rescuing a female Australia from a dragonish trust in a nod to the Greek mythology of Perseus and Andromeda. The caption pleads: 'Vote YES on April 26, and Save Australia from an Evil Fate' (see Figure 17). (75)
In this, Case largely followed his mentor, Scott. His stock imagery showed workers pitted against Fat and corrupt anti-Labor politicians in an Australianised setting. Ideologically, too, Case inherited Scott's populist vision. His denunciations of capitalism frequently relied upon racially accented themes and quasi-conspiratorial masculine pathos, for example, his depiction of a 1912 Queensland by-election (see Figure 18). (76) A heroic Labor voter proceeds to the ballot box seeking to free a female Queensland from the evil clutches of a whip-brandishing Fat.
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Case was possessed of a particular talent for mocking Labor's enemies and, alongside Marquet in Sydney, he played a vital role in the campaign against the 1909 anti-Labor fusion. In early 1910, Case drew a scornful image of the Queensland-based fusion as a rag-tag army of ridiculous looking misfits and anti-nationalist reactionaries marching behind former Labor leader and now conservative Queensland Premier William Kidston: Fat 'Landlords', 'Jingo-Imperialists', 'Labour-Rats', a 'Boodle Press', Conservative clergy, all march in unity with a highly amused Kanaka (see Figure 19). (77)
In terms of racism, although Case rarely pandered to anti-Semitism, his hero, male or female, was always white and the bogey of cheap coloured labour inevitably appearing in times of crisis and electoral warfare. Case's propaganda also continued to reflect Labor's wooing of non-working class voters. A 1913 cartoon creatively appealed to this populist constituency, depicting a sleeping yeoman farmer attacked by various top-hatted 'economic bloodsuckers' (see Figure 20). (78)
As was the situation throughout the 1900s, a Labor vote was painted as a vote for White Australia. Deakin, a strong supporter of White Australia, at least on economic grounds, was painted as a potential if not prior race 'traitor'. (79) Case thus drew an omen of the 'fusion secret policy'; a demure carving of a female White Australia is literally about to be painted black by Deakin, prompting its author to implore: 'Electors! Will you let him?'(see Figure 21).
That this image was reprinted on the front page of the Sydney Worker two weeks before polling day speaks volumes. (80) On 21 April 1910, Labor won a famous victory, becoming the first party to win control of both houses of parliament and the first Labor or social democratic party anywhere to hold office in its own right. '[N]ever ... in the history of the world had a greater victory been achieved', announced one jubilant unionist at a Sydney celebration. (81) It was a triumph which, for better or worse, owed much to Case and his colleagues.
Case typically focused upon provincial concerns but it is clear that he also observed transnational cartooning developments. In time, Case's Fat came to resemble that American cartooning favourite, the monopolistic 'Trusts', as per Frederick Opper's sardonic image of a stupefied balding, portly old man ('Papa'), using his immense power to corrupt politicians and exploit the common people. (82)
Ironically, then, perhaps Case's best-known Worker cartoon is his 'Black Friday' 1912, sans Fat Man. Published at the peak of that year's Queensland general strike, this powerful allegorical image (see Figure 22) showed a scantily clad and highly embarrassed female Australia, reminiscent of Scott's earlier iconography, peeling back a curtain on a scene in which police violently assaulted strikers, elderly men, women and children. (83)
Black Friday captured the generational change occurring in labour cartooning. The younger, native-born pair of Marquet and Case were indeed populist artists, but just as likely to frame their visual propaganda in militantly working-class and explicitly socialist, even sometimes syndicalist, terms. Thus, in an image penned to welcome the year 1910, Case depicted labour as a literal driving force for modernist change, here titled 'International Socialism', with a cavalcade of capitalists, royals, bishops and militarists fleeing his relentless path of progress (see Figure 23). (84) Similarly, Case frequently criticised the rising tide of imperial militarism. In 1909, Case had Fat encouraging an Australian worker-soldier to fight a far-away war in the Old World while robbing him of the 'Products of Labour' (see Figure 24). (85)
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Very few workers, or Labor politicians for that matter, heeded such cautionary messages during this period. Indeed, some of Case's work would not have been out of place in the Industrial Workers of the World paper, Direct Action, making the case for revolutionary socialism not piecemeal reform. This would become clearer when the labour movement faced its moment of truth during the Great War, with anti-militarist ideals permeating much of the movement.
If the Great War, in particular the conscription debates of 1916-17, unmade the ALP, it was, paradoxically, the making of Case. Marquet's anti-conscription work is the best known of No-case propaganda. His 'The Blood Vote', a depiction of Billy Hughes as a devil tempting the womanhood of Australia, is deservedly famous. (86) Yet Case's work was no less important. And while 'antis' made much of the issue of individual liberty the most prominent propaganda emphasised the racial threat.
Conscription, so the argument went, was really a long-suppressed attack on White Australia: white workers were to be shipped off to war and replaced by the inferior coloured variety. (87) Case's 'History Repeated--A Famous Ancient Ruse' showed a Trojan Horse unloading its cargo of coloured labour. Hughes and conservatives merrily farewell a contingent of white 'Australian Conscripts', as Fat tears down the edifice of White Australia (see Figure 25). (88) Conscription was ultimately defeated in 1916 and again in 1917. Through his conspiratorial propaganda, Case could again take a large share of the credit.
Just as the war dramatically recast the geo-political landscape of Europe, the postwar ALP was barely recognisable from that of the pre-1914 era. Both the leadership and the rank-and-file of the movement shifted decidedly leftwards. This was confirmed by the revised ALP objective adopted at the Eighth National Conference of 1919. The older 'cultivation of an Australian sentiment' was joined by declarations of 'international solidarity' (sitting somewhat incongruously with continued support for White Australia), and explicitly socialist and anti-war objectives. Although most Laborites remained committed to the parliamentary path to socialism, leading activists delighted in proclaiming the emergence of a 'new' Labor Party, in addition to a growing, if somewhat fleeting, attachment to the quasi-revolutionary doctrines of the syndicalist 'One Big Union' concept. (89)
The cartoonists were not unaffected by these currents. Case was directly inspired by the work of expatriate Australian Will Dyson, a pro-labour artist ironically crowded out of Australia by the talents of Marquet and Case, in London's Daily Herald and by the growth of the syndicalist movement and revolutionary events in Russia. From 1916, Case's Laborite hero morphs into a very industrial, proletarian and later Bolshevik-like figure stripped of his Australianness. He now sports Dyson's British worker's distinctive 'Andy-Capp'--a long-peaked, flat cloth cap with a clip-down peak and a crown button. (90) See, for example, Case's striking post-conscription blue-collar, industrial giant 'sifting' the ALP traitors from the 'Good Men and True' (Figure 26). (91) In retrospect such imagery was hardy likely to appeal to an anxious, war-wearied Australian people. Electoral Armageddon ensued. In April 1916 all but Victoria was Labor governed; at the end of 1917 only Queensland remained a Labor state and federal Labor proceeded to lose five elections on the trot.
Despite electoral humiliation, Laborites continued to propagate the party's new working-class and internationalist identity. At the 1919 election, a prominent advertisement in the Australian Worker hailed its leadership duo of Frank Tudor and T. J. Ryan as the 'Champions of the Cause of the Working Class Party'. (92) The iconography of the labour cartoonists captured this militant shift in even more dramatic terms. (93) Apart from supporting the OBU case, (94) Case openly celebrated the spreading of the Russian communist revolution, including the British King and other European monarchs flicked from the globe by a clearly Bolshevik-styled and very Slavic 'Democracy' (see Figure 27). (95) A year later he crafted a utopian vision of the global solidarity of international labour with a chiselled, gargantuan blonde-haired worker lauded as the labour movement's 'Masterpiece' (see Figure 28). (96) Moreover, his work also reflects a subtle refusal to be carried along in the powerful xenophobic tide that brought Brisbane's substantial Russian community the serious disturbances of the Red Flag Riots in 1919. (97) Thus Case's work was not as undiscriminatingly xenophobic as that of his mentor, Scott.
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These images capture the enormous improvement in Case's artistry, both in terms of stylistic maturity and his enhanced grasp of composition. Case's panels of the mid-to-late war period are especially arresting. In this period he more ably balanced the propagandist need to show his heroes and villains in characteristic pose, whilst retaining the harmony of the image as a whole.
Sadly, Case's 'Masterpiece' was one of the last he drew for the Worker. As a testament to his popularity, in October 1920 he accepted a lucrative position as the feature cartoonist for Sydney Truth, a racy tabloid newspaper with a more conservative populist bent. His images there lampooned capitalist exploitation, (98) attacked its militaristic partners-in-crime, (99) and pinpointed allegedly racial threats to White Australia. (100) But the proletarian hero is no longer, replaced by the less threatening 'Little Boy From Manly', who, despite continuing to mock Fat and Boodle, is a more consensual national figure, imploring 'Labour' and 'Capital' to 'pull together' (Figure 29). (101) This is clear evidence that the cartoonists of my study were not simply free agents; editorial directives were obviously important, as were the ideological preferences of the Truth's lower middle-class readership and its fee-paying advertisers. Nevertheless, Case's continued use of Fat Man is a subtle indication of his working-class loyalties in the context of the turbulent 1920s.
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Tragically, a few months after arriving in Sydney, Jim Case was found to have advanced cancer and told he had six months to live. Case, described by the Worker as 'jovial and loveable; malice and bitterness alike were foreign to him', died at Bondi on 24 October 1921, leaving behind a widow and two young children. (102) A moving obituary published in the Australian Worker, entitled 'Another Labor Stalwart Gone', celebrated his exploits. Not only was his work 'known and appreciated all over Australia', but his 'reputation travelled across the seas'. (103) The obituary's author, poet and regular Worker columnist R.J. Cassidy, knew all too well the pain of losing a star cartoonist. Just over a year earlier, on 17 April 1920, his friend Claude Marquet drowned when his sailing boat was caught in a sudden squall near Botany in Sydney. (104)
Although notable cartoonists such as Will Donald and Fred Brown later emerged to enliven the pages of the Australian Worker, and Case was replaced by the able Frank Campbell in Queensland, the golden age of labour cartooning had come to a premature end. On the occasion of Case's death, Cassidy sensed as much:
Claude Marquet and Jim Case cleverly, and with a super-fidelity, interpreted the political and economic current history of Australia. They also helped make it. They were institutions--institutions as dangerous to fat as the ballot-box itself; for it realised that their work would be crystallised later on in the democracy's votes--votes that would be unpleasant things for Capitalism to contemplate. (105)
Those institutions were almost impossible to replace. Lacking a comparable cartoonist, the Brisbane Worker reprinted the work of Case in the 1940s and 50s and its 70th anniversary edition relied, almost exclusively, upon his artistry as well as Scott's. Today most Australians would have little idea of the lives of the Worker duo. However, Case Place, a street in Gilmore, an ACT suburb close to the NSW border, is named in his honour. It is a small, if geographically quaint reminder of the lost world of Queensland labour movement cartooning.
Nick Dyrenfurth *
* I am extremely grateful to the two anonymous Labour History referees for their constructive suggestions. Thanks also to Peter Sheldon for his very valuable comments.
(1.) Montagu Scott, 'Will he down him this time?', Worker (Brisbane), 21 March 1896.
(2.) Lyndon Megarrity, ''White Queensland': the Queensland government's ideological position on the use of Pacific Island labourers in the sugar sector 1880-1901', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 52, no. 1, 2006, p. 7. 'Griffilwraith' referred to the pro-business forces allied to McIlwraith and Samuel Griffith. McIlwraith subsequently lost the premiership, serving as chief secretary and secretary for railways from October.
(3.) Worker (Brisbane), 9 December 1899. On the 1899 election, see David Day, Andrew Fisher: Prime Minister of Australia, Fourth Estate, Sydney, 2008, pp. 58-59; and, in more detail, Raymond Evans, 'The politics of leprosy: race, disease and the rise of Labor', in Joanne Scott and Kay Saunders (eds), The World's First Labor Government, Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Brisbane, 2001.
(4.) Worker (Brisbane), 6 January 1900.
(5.) The NSW 'prototype' argument is most famously made by Bede Nairn, Civilising Capitalism: The Beginnings of the Australian Labor Party (2nd ed.), Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1989, and more critically by Ray Markey, The Making of the Labor Party in New South Wales, 1880-1900, UNSWP, Kensington, 1988.
(6.) See D.P. Crook, 'The Crucible--Labour in Coalition, 1903-7' in D.J. Murphy, R.B. Joyce and Colin A. Hughes (eds), Prelude to Power: The Rise of the Labour Party in Queensland 1885-1915, Jacaranda, South Melbourne, 1970. On the concept of the two-party system more broadly, consult Nick Dyrenfurth and Paul Strangio (eds), Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2009.
(7.) On this concept, see Sean Scalmer and Terry Irving, 'Labour intellectuals in Australia: modes, traditions, generations, transformations', International Review of Social History, vol. 50, no. 1, April, 2005, pp. 1-26; Sean Scalmer, 'Being practical in early and contemporary Labor politics: a Labourist critique', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 43, no. 3, 1997, pp. 301-311; Nick Dyrenfurth and Marian Quartly, 'Fat man v 'the people': labour intellectuals and the making of oppositional identities, 1890-1901', Labour History, no. 92, May 2007, pp. 31-56.
(8.) Nick Dyrenfurth and Marian Quartly, ''All the world over': the transnational world of Australian radical and labour cartoonists, 1880s to 1920', in Richard Scully and Marian Quartly (eds), Drawing the Line: Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence, Monash University E-press, Melbourne, 2009, pp. 6.1-6.47.
(9.) Henry E. Boote, 'A Foreword', in Claude Marquet, Cartoons by Claude Marquet: a commemorative volume, with appreciations by leading representatives of literature and politics, The Worker Trustee, Sydney, 1920, p. i.
(10.) Ross McMullin, Will Dyson: Australia's Radical Genius, Scribe, Melbourne, 2006. On Marquet, see Marian Quartly, 'Making working class heroes: Labor cartoonists and the Australian Worker, 190316', Labour History, no. 89, November 2005, pp. 159-178; Vane Lindesay and John McLaren, 'The War Cartoons of Claude Marquef, in Anna Rutherford and James Wieland (eds), War: Australia's Creative Response, Dangaroo Press, West Yorkshire, 1997. More biographically, see Vane Lindesay, 'Marquet, Claude Arthur (1869-1920)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp. 417-418, cited at http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/ A100408b.htm, accessed November 2009.
(11.) Joe Harris, The Bitter Fight: A Pictorial History of the Australian Labor Movement, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1970; Marguerite Mahood, The Loaded Line: Australian Political Caricature 1788-1901, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1973; D.J. Murphy (ed.), Labor in Politics: the State Labor Parties in Australia, 1880-1920, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1975; Murphy, Joyce and Hughes (eds), Prelude to Power; Australian Workers' Union, The 'Worker's' First Seventy Years, The Worker, Brisbane, 1960; Suzanne Edgar, 'Scott, Eugene Montagu (Monty) (1835-1909)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 6, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1976, p. 95, cited at http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/ biogs/A060108b.htm, accessed November 2009; D. J. Murphy, 'Case, James Thomas (1884-1921)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 585-586, cited at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/blogs/ A070592b.htm, accessed November 2009. Raymond Evans also reproduces a good number of Case's images in his The Red Flag Riots: a Study of Intolerance, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1988.
(12.) For details on the extraordinary growth of labour and radical press, see Nick Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains: The Rise and Fall of the Early Australian Labor Party, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 2010, ch. 2; Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the World Over'; B.J. Guyatt, 'The Publicists--the Labour Press, 1880-1915', in Murphy, Prelude to Power; Frank Bongiorno, 'Constituting Labour: The Radical Press in Victoria, 1885-1914', in Ann Curthoys and Julianne Schultz (eds), Journalism, Print, Politics and Popular Culture, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1999; Bruce Scates, A New Australia: Citizenship, Radicalism and the First Republic, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 19975 ch. 2 (especially pp. 57-73) and H.J. Gibbney, Labor in Print: A Guide to the People Who Created a Labor Press in Australia between 1850 and 1939, ANU Press, Canberra, 1975.
(13.) Nick Dyrenfurth, 'Rethinking Labor tradition: synthesising discourse and experience', Labour History, no. 90, May 2006, p. 187. This argument is expanded upon in Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains, 'Introduction' and ch. 2.
(14.) Edgar, 'Scott', ADB. The next three paragraphs draw heavily upon her biographical note. The Bulletin even claimed that Scott enjoyed a career as 'a fairly good amateur actor' (Bulletin, 27 May 1909).
(15.) Alfred Clint, 'People We Know, No. II ("In my gallery thy picture hangs")', Sydney Punch, December 1878.
(16.) Ross Woodward, 'Queen Victoria versus 'King Billy': Images as History', Refereed Conference Paper presented to the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools' Annual Conference, Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, 2003, cited at http://www.acuads.com.au/conf2003/ papers_refereed/woodrow_1of2.pdf, accessed November 2009.
(17.) Mahood, The Loaded Line, p. 66; Edgar, 'Scott, ADB.
(18.) See Mahood, The Loaded Line, pp. 211-212.
(19.) Marilyn Lake, 'The politics of respectability: identifying the masculinist context', Historical Studies, no. 22, 1986, pp. 116-131, and Marilyn Lake, 'Socialism and manhood: the case of William Lane', Labour History, no. 50, May 1986, pp. 54-66. See also Nick Dyrenfurth, ''A terrible monster': from 'employers to capitalists' in the 1885-86 Melbourne wharf labourers' strike', Labour History, no. 94, May 2008, pp. 92-94.
(20.) Montagu Scott, 'Wealth and want: the Queensland Samson', Boomerang, 22 December 1888. This image is reproduced in Dyrenfurth, 'A terrible monster', p. 94.
(21.) Montagu Scott, 'The Devil We Have', Boomerang, 3 August 1889.
(22.) Montagu Scott, 'Imperialism Vetoes the Immigration Bill', Boomerang, 6 April 1888. Britain represented by the figure of 'Policeman Knutsford' reproaches her in a symbolic nod to Britain's diplomatic sensitivities as regards China: 'See here, young woman! If you do anything so un-British as shooting, I'll push my bayonet through you.' Scott was here drawing upon another, an earlier and no less infamous anti-Chinese image, E.M. Murray's 'Wake, Australia Wake!' (Boomerang, 11 February 1888), which showed a pig-tailed Chinese man with a knife between his teeth entering the bedroom of a sleeping Queensland beauty.
(23.) Montagu Scott, 'Where are the Police?', Boomerang, 4 August 1888. Scotts commentary directly reacted to the Normanton anti-Malay riots of the same year. See Jacqui Donegan and Raymond Evans, 'Running amok: the Normanton race riots of 1888 and the genesis of white Australia', in Journal of Australian Studies, no. 71, 2001, pp. 83-98.
(24.) Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line: WWhite Men's Countries and the Question of Racial Equality, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2008, p. 2; Ray Markey, 'Race and Labour in Australia', The Historian, vol. 58, no. 2, 1996, p. 343.
(25.) John Rickard, Australia: A Cultural History (2nd edn), Longman, Essex, 1996, p. 108; Markey, 'Race and Labour in Australia', p. 346; Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (2nd edn), Verso, London, 1991.
(26.) Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the world over', p. 06.6; Andrew Markus, Fear and Hatred: Purifying Australia and California, 1850-1901, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1979, chs 4, 5 and 8.
(27.) Markey, 'Race and Labour in Australia', p. 347, and, more generally, Markey, The Making of the Labor Party.
(28.) Raymond Evans, A History of Queensland, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2007, pp. 107 and 129.
(29.) Rickard, Australia, p. 107.
(30.) On the debate as to the causation of worker racism, see Verity Burgmann, 'Who our enemies are: Andrew Markus and the baloney view of Australian racism', Labour History, no. 49, 1985, pp. 97-101; Andrew Markus, 'Explaining the treatment of non-European immigrants in nineteenth century Australia', Labour History, no. 48, 1985, pp. 86-91, as well as the earlier collection, Ann Curthoys and Andrew Markus (eds), Who Are Our Enemies? Racism and the Australian Working Classes, Hale and Iremonger, Neutral Bay, 1978.
(31.) Robin Gollan, Radical and Working Class Politics: a Study of Eastern Australia, 1850-1910, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1960, pp. 128-129, pp. 145-150 and ch. 8.
(32.) Ross McMullin, The Light on the Hill: The Australian Labor Party, 1891-1991, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992, p. 26.
(33.) The Worker board first met on 14 February 1890. It consisted of Gilbert Casey (chairman), Albert Hinchcliffe (treasurer), Charles Seymour (secretary), Matt Reid and W. Mabbott. In 1893, Blackwell was replaced by W.G. Higgs. Having won a seat in the Queensland parliament in 1899, Higgs resigned, passing the editorial baton to Charlie Seymour who subsequently appointed Frank Kenna to the position. When Kenna entered parliament in 1902, H.E. Boote edited the paper until 1911. Seymour once again took charge before Jack Hanlon was appointed, holding the position from 1915 to 1943 (AWU, The 'Worker's' First Seventy Years, pp. 22 and 23).
(34.) Mark Hearn and Harry Knowles, One Big Union: A History of the Australian Workers' Union, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 102, 106.
(35.) Guyatt, 'The Publicists', p. 250.
(36.) AWU, The 'Worker's' First Seventy Years, p. 23.
(37.) See Simon Booth, Picturing Politics: Cartoons of Melbourne's Labour Press, 1890-1919, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, School of Historical Studies, 2008, and Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the World Over', pp. 6.13-6.17. On Quiz, see Mahood, The Loaded Line, p. 217.
(38.) Livingstone Hopkins, 'The Labour Crisis', Bulletin, 16 August 1890 (See Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'Fat Man v 'The People'', pp. 31-120). Apart from American imagery, he is clearly drawing on Scott's Boomerang image of Capital and Labour from the previous year which itself alluded to Aesop's fable of two goats that butted heads (Montagu Scott, 'One of them must lie down or Boomerang, 13 April 1889). On the historical background and fin de siecle economic and cultural factors surrounding the cartooning choice of Fat Man, see Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'Fat Man v "The People"', pp. 37-40 and Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the world over', p. 06.12.
(39.) Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the World Over', p. 06.6.
(40.) Montagu Scott, 'The Spirit of the Times', Boomerang, 13 September 1890. See also Montagu Scott, 'Which One Will Get Up First?', Boomerang, 30 August 1890.
(41.) Montagu Scott, 'Why Don't They Drop Him?', Worker (Brisbane), 17 April 1897; Montagu Scott, 'The Middle Man', Worker (Brisbane), 12 January 1895; Montagu Scott, 'The Bushwhackers' Brigade', Worker (Brisbane), 20 January 1900.
(42.) Montagu Scott, 'All the World Over', Worker (Brisbane), 23 May 1903.
(43.) Michael Leach, ''Manly, True and White': Masculine Identity and Australian Socialism', in Geoff Stokes (ed.), The Politics of Identity in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1997; Dyrenfurth, 'A terrible monster', pp. 91-96.
(44.) Montagu Scott, 'The Governor's Speech', Worker (Brisbane), 28 July 1894 and Montagu Scott, 'Labour's First Step on Entry', Worker (Brisbane), 13 May 1893.
(45.) Montagu Scott, 'It Blocks the Way', Worker (Brisbane), 30 September 1905.
(46.) Montagu Scott, 'Falstaff Up To Date', Worker (Brisbane), 8 May 1893.
(47.) Montagu Scott, 'Labour's Empire Day', Worker (Brisbane), 26 May 1906.
(48.) Chinese immigration was virtually eliminated by the State before the White Australia policy of 1901. Between 1888 and 1901 Australia's Chinese population fell from about 50,000 to about 32,000 (Keith Willey, 'Australia's Population', in Curthoys and Markus, Who Are Our Enemies?, p. 5).
(49.) Montagu Scott, 'Up for vagrancy, Or what may soon happen in Queensland', Worker (Brisbane), 25 July 1896. See also Scott's image of a rural town dominated by Chinese; 'The Yellow Agony ('A VIEW IN CHINA?--Oh dear, no!--Its only the main street in one of our inland towns'), Worker (Brisbane), 16 January 1897. In an image from the previous year the racial invader is Japanese, literally fanning out across Queensland ('The March of the Jap', Worker (Brisbane), 16 May 1896) and, from 1897, a sword-wielding Japanese robber enters the bedroom window of a female White Queensland 'A Coalition Government: A Coalition with the Japanese to ruin Queensland', Worker (Brisbane), 31 July 1897.
(50.) Montagu Scott, 'The Curse of Cheap Labour', Worker (Brisbane), 20 January 1900.
(51.) Robin Archer, Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States?, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2007, p. 58. Other variants of this argument appear in Markus, Fear and Loathing, pp. 211-219, and Markey, The Making of the Labor Party, ch. 10.
(52.) Montagu Scott, 'Two Peoples--One Destiny', Worker (Brisbane), 14 June 1902; Montagu Scott, 'The Loaves and Fishes', Worker (Brisbane), 6 October 1894.
(53.) Mahood suggests that the Goanna might be Ebenezer Murray (Mahood, The Loaded Line, p. 237). He also appeared to pen other anti-Semitic and anti-Asian images under the ironic pseudonym, 'S.F. Grifelwaite'.
(54.) The Goanna, 'The Money Lender to the Unemployed', Worker (Brisbane), 11 June 1892. See Peter Love, Labour and the Money Power: Australian Labour Populism 1890-1950, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1984, pp. 6, 37-38. For a broader reading of anti-Semitism on the Left, see Philip Mendes, 'Left attitudes towards Jews: Antisemitism and Philosemitism', Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 1995, pp. 7-44.
(55.) Donald Dewey, The Art of 1ll Will: The Story of American Political Cartoons, New York University Press, New York, p. 179.
(56.) Richard Levy (ed.), Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005, pp. 98-107.
(57.) Worth Robert Miller, 'Educating the masses: cartoons from the populist press of the 1890s', American Nineteenth Century History, vol. 4, no. 2, June 2003, p. 106. Thanks to Harry Knowles for this reference.
(58.) On social democratic labourism, see Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains, 'Introduction', and Nick Dyrenfurth, 'What should Labor stand for?', in Nick Dyrenfurth and Tim Soutphommasane (eds), All That's Left: What Labor Should Stand For, UNSWP, Sydney, 2010.
(59.) Love, Money Power, p. 1. Consult also Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains, 'Introduction'.
(60.) Markey, 'Populist Politics', pp. 75-76, and Murphy, 'Queensland', p. 208.
(61.) Montagu Scott, 'The Clutch of the Money Power', Worker (Brisbane), 22 April 1899.
(62.) Lenore Layman, 'Fighting Fatman Fetteration: Labour Culture and Federation', in Mark Hearn and Greg Patmore (eds), Working the Nation: Working Life and Federation, 1890-1914, Pluto Press, Annandale, 2001, p. 48.
(63.) Montagu Scott, 'Where do I come in?', Worker (Brisbane), 10 June 1899. See also Montagu Scott, 'The Road to Market, Worker (Brisbane), 26 August 1898.
(64.) Gympie Truth, 2 April 1901.
(65.) Montagu Scott, 'Labor's Xmas Gift to the Commonwealth', Worker (Brisbane), 14 December 1901. See Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains, ch. 3.
(66.) Montagu Scott, 'On Guard', Worker (Brisbane), 10 November 1906.
(67.) Montagu Scott, 'The Federal Situation', Worker (Brisbane), 7 May 1904.
(68.) For more on this iconography and political sea-change, see Dyrenfurth, 'Labor's view of fusion', in Dyrenfurth and Strangio (eds), Confusion, pp. 78-86.
(69.) Edgar, 'Scott', ADB.
(70.) Worker (Brisbane), 22 May 1909.
(71.) Artist Unknown, 'Portrait of Jim Case', 24 June 1921, Worker (Brisbane), 27 October 1921.
(72.) Bulletin, 3 November 1921.
(73.) Murphy, 'Case'.
(74.) Australian Worker, 27 October 1921.
(75.) Jim Case, 'The Modern Andromeda', Worker (Brisbane), 11 March 1911.
(76.) Jim Case, 'Every Labour Vote Wanted!', Worker (Brisbane), 3 October 1912.
(77.) Jim Case, 'The Fusion Army', Worker (Brisbane), 22 January 1910. See also Jim Case, 'Anti-National Guttersnipes', Worker (Brisbane), 9 December 1911, and the post-fusion image, Jim Case, 'The Builder and the Destroyer', Worker (Brisbane),10 April 1913.
(78.) Jim Case, 'Economic Bloodsuckers', Worker (Brisbane), 1 May 1913.
(79.) Dyrenfurth, 'Labor's view of fusion', pp. 99-101.
(80.) Jim Case, 'Electors! Will you let him?', Worker (Sydney), 23 March 1910. See also Jim Case, Worker (Brisbane), 'Electors, strengthen it!', Worker (Brisbane), 8 January 1910.
(81.) Worker (Sydney), 21 April 1910.
(82.) For example, Frederick Opper, 'Willie and his Papa', San Francisco Examiner, 7 August 1900. Surveys of this cartooning phenomenon can be found in Stephen Hess and Milton Kaplan, The Ungentlemanly Art: a History of American Political Cartoons, Macmillan, New York, 1968, p. 124; Dewey, Art of Ill Will, p. 124; William Murrell, A History of American Graphic Humor: 1865-1938, Vol. 2, Macmillan, New York, 1967, p. 176.
(83.) Jim Case, 'Black Friday', Worker (Brisbane), 12 February 1912.
(84.) Jim Case, 'Clear the way, ye Lords and Lackeys', Worker (Brisbane), 1 January 1910.
(85.) Jim Case, 'Diverting his Attention', Worker (Brisbane), 6 February 1909.
(86.) Originally published in the Australian Worker, it was reprinted as a leaflet with distribution running to one million copies. Vane Lindesay, 'Australian Cartoonists and World War One', in Anna Rutherford and James Wieland (eds), War: Australia's Creative Response, Dangaroo Press, West Yorkshire, 1997, p. 84. See also Vane Lindesay and John McLaren, 'The War Cartoons of Claude Marquet', in Rutherford and Wieland, Australia's Creative Response).
(87.) Barry York, 'The Maltese, White Australia, and conscription: 'Il-Tfal Ta Billy Hughes', Labour History, no. 57, November 1989, p. 1.
(88.) Jim Case, 'History Repeated--A Famous Ancient Ruse', Worker (Brisbane), 28 September 1916.
(89.) Nick Dyrenfurth, 'Labor's fusion legacy', in Dyrenfurth and Strangio (eds), Confusion, pp. 293-96, and Dyrenfurth, Heroes and Villains, ch. 6.
(90.) For instance, Will Dyson, 'Now or Never', Labor Call, 19 October 1916.
(91.) Jim Case, 'The Sifting', Worker (Brisbane), 23 November 1916. On this topic, see Dyrenfurth and Quartly, 'All the World Over', pp. 06.31-06.38.
(92.) Australian Worker, 6 November 1919.
(93.) Marquet similarly dispensed with his populist imagery of heroic rural workers after 1918, preferring to depict the ALP as a blue-collar, industrial worker (Claude Marquet, 'Dignity and Impudence', Australian Worker, 25 September 1919) who often engaged global capital in the more universal struggle between classes (Claude Marquet, 'When They Meef, Australian Worker, 24 April 1919).
(94.) Jim Case, 'Breaking the Chains', Worker (Brisbane), 22 August 1918.
(95.) Jim Case, 'Flicking them off', Worker (Brisbane), 10 July 1919. See also Jim Case, 'The Meddler' Worker (Brisbane), 10 July 1919.
(96.) Jim Case, 'His Masterpiece', Worker (Brisbane), 8 July 1920.
(97.) Evans, The Red Flag Riots, ch. 4.
(98.) Jim Case, 'Carving the 'Corpus'', Truth, 26 December 1920.
(99.) Jim Case, 'Onward Christian Soldier', Truth, 20 March 1921.
(100.) Jim Case, 'Australia "Alarmed''', Truth, 2 January 1921.
(101.) Jim Case, 'Will They Pull Together?', Truth, 6 March 1921.
(102.) Worker (Brisbane), 27 October 1921.
(103.) Australian Worker, 27 October 1921.
(104.) Lindesay, 'Marquet, ADB.
(105.) Australian Worker, 27 October 1921.
Nick Dyrenfurth is a postdoctoral research fellow in Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Heroes and Villains: The Rise and Fall of the Early Australian Labor Party (forthcoming) and co-editor of All That's Left: What Labor Should Stand For (2010). <email@example.com>
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|Publication:||Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2010|
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