Monday, January 21, 2008

Captain Bligh's other mutiny

From all accounts, Captain Bligh was a pretty surly and unlikeable fellow, but he was also a pretty adept survivor. For most of us he was last seen drifting away into the Pacific with his crew in charge of the Bounty with many a "arrgghhh" and handsome mutineers. (Guambat hears there have been perhaps 5 movie versions of the tale of the mutiny.)

But Bligh managed to row (well, his rather diminished crew managed to row) to the lower Indonesian archipelago, Timor, and make his way eventually back to Jolly Old England. JOE didn't seem to very much want him back, however, and with a slap on the back, a "well done" and a "off you go", they sent him back to Australia as the Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, the capitol of which was Sydney.

And this is where we begin the tale of poor hapless and persistently unlikeable Bligh's second mutiny.

More to the point, this is where the Sydney Morning Herald begins the tale.
The Rum Rebellion happened a long time ago, 200 years ago next Saturday to be precise, yet some of its themes will be familiar to the modern reader. The rebellion - when the colony's garrison deposed the governor, William Bligh - involved a traffic accident and alcohol, town-planning disputes, masterful political spin and a struggle between men wanting to use public power for private gain.
Read the whole story here and have a multi-media experience of it here.


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