The Ox Lobby

Don’t Mess With The Millers!
Image by Valdas Miskinis from Pixabay

Some people don’t like change, especially if it means their livelihood is about to disappear.

But like my cousin who used to sell and service typewriters they have to adapt or move on.  I’m not sure what he does now, but I can safely assume he’s no longer coming home from work covered in ribbon ink anymore.

600+ Free Manual & Vintage Photos - Pixabay
My children call these ‘Olden day computers’

Like it or not, change is in the wind, especially wind farms and solar powered electricity generation.  Those of us who like it are the people who have been taking it up the shorts every three months from the coal burning electricity generation companies when they send us our bills, or the poor sods living downwind of the power station stacks dumping noxious gases and particles all over them.

The few who aren’t happy are the fossil fuel lobbyists and the politicians they lean on to protect their industry and their jobs.  And it’s pretty obvious they’re getting ‘bang for their buck’ in the current Federal Parliament. 

Cue the photo of #ScottyfromMarketing waving a lump of coal around in chamber. 

(BTW: that’s the only time I’ve actually ever seen evidence of the mythical beast called ‘Clean Coal’.  I’ve spent years coming home from work covered with dust of normal coal which looked clean until you disturbed it… or so much as looked at it).

Anyway, I don’t think this is the first time lobbyists have faced wind powered machinery; and lost.

I imagine quite a lot of folk in Holland were unhappy to see windmills springing up all over the countryside.  Windmills, designed to grind grain into flour, a job traditionally done by women who would spend hours turning the heavy stone wheel each day. 

File:Pestle et grindstone, Umaria district, Madhya Pradesh, India.jpg -  Wikimedia Commons
I imagine it wouldn’t be much fun turning this for hours every day

The bigger grinding concerns had larger grindstones turned by horses, oxen, prisoners or slaves. 

Note: in the early days of the Brisbane colony, the grindstones were rigged up to a very large hamster wheel turned by convicts (I hesitated to mention this because I’m sure some members of parliament would be quite thrilled to see a return to those methods of production.) 

Anyway, the ‘newfangled’ windmills (much like the old sandstone one still standing in the middle of Brisbane) replaced the horse, oxen, convict, slave and women powered grindstones.  Flour production went through the roof, people (especially women) suddenly had more time to engage in other back breaking labour, like kneading dough.

I suspect the oxen and horse lobbyists exerted all the influence they could to ban the windmills, but the die was cast.  The future had arrived and the big sails turning slowly in the breeze eventually became the symbol of a nation.

The lobbyists adapted and moved on and a new surname entered the lexicon, e.g.: Miller, Muller and Mueller.

So, the moral of this tale is there really is nothing new under the sun, or wind…

Hey! If you’d like to read the rest of the newsletter and check out some other interesting info, click on this link here: Regrow Queensland

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