In a truly Extraordinary General Meeting at Docklands last night, the final chapter in a fascinating drama at North Melbourne Football Club came to a close. It was a complex tale of politics, class war, treachery, blackmail and bribery, which ultimately unfolded as a story of The People – led ably by the Battlers’ Prince and his trusty servant – and their triumph over The Mob.
Not twelve months ago, a young James Brayshaw defied The Establishment and rejected the bribes of a Golden Land. In a bold statement to his small but loyal followers, Brayshaw declared his intensions to take on The Mob – the shareholders who had controlled the Club behind closed doors for twenty long years. “The People’s time has come,” he said, and the Battlers’ Prince was born.
An army was needed. The Battler’s Prince took his message to The People. First, the most loyal of members joined. Then those from further afield, the landless warriors of Fitzroy – they knew this battle too well – then foreigners of another (cricketing) world.
The Cavalry battled, with General Simpson and his Lieutenants Boomer, Petrie and Rawlings conquering more than was rightfully theirs. And the newly retired Colonel Archer took to preaching, finding his partisan voice in the pulpits of Channel 9 and News Limited.
Out of the blue came a key breakthrough. A trusting servant was found from the most unlikely of places: the Evil Fortress of Lexus. Seduced by Brayshaw, Eugene Arocca betrayed his past and pledged his allegiance to the royal blue and white. Brayshaw had found his Field Marshal.
And still the People came. By July an army of 34,000 strong came together at the war-battered but steadfast bunker of Arden St. The People’s turret of an era gone by was demolished in anticipation. Their time was near.
The warmongers became restless. Baroness Wilson of Fairfax Ivory Tower called for arms. Arocca asked for patience.
The Establishment blackmailed The Mob. Critical supply lines were now at stake. The Mob became nervous. In desperation they turned to the Battlers’ Prince. Brayshaw met with them, an army behind him baying for blood. But still he called for calm and Brayshaw the Statesman arose.
In a bold play of bluff and counter-bluff, the promise of clemency was offered in return for The Mob’s surrender. One by one they fell. But still, a small but defiant gang clung to their diminishing strongholds.
A final strategy meeting was held in August at Docklands. D-Day was set: October 29.
In September, the Cavalry were called to arms once more. Battle-weary and in unfamiliar territory, they were outflanked in the third stanza. The battle was lost. Major Shagger and Corporals Sinclair and Thompson would not recover.
But the war raged on. D-Day was imminent.
Then it came. And so did The People.
The Battlers’ Prince spoke. The Mob surrendered and The People triumphed.
The People’s Club was returned to The People.
Long live The Battlers’ Prince. Long live North Melbourne Football Club.