Works in the Bulletin 1910

He found that some men...were classified as not being Protectionists, because they did not go so far as he (Mr. Deakin) would go. If these members did not go so far, some allowance must be made for party friction - Alfred Deakin.

They had the whole party previously devoted to the destruction of Protection, agreeing that the Protectionist tariff, as they at present had it, should remain without interference. - Alfred Deakin.

Dear friends, I'm Deakin....
No; no mistake,
You're wide awake.
It's ALF that's speakin'...
I wish to make
A few remarks about - Eh? What,
O, no; I'm not
The least bit changed.
It's been arranged -
You understand?
Between these gentlemen and me.
We fused, you see,
For the - er - welfare of the land....
Come, gentlemen!  I do insist
I am the same!
I'm DEAKIN, the Protectionist.
And I declare I'm not to blame.
There never has been any change in me.
It's all arranged.... We fused, you see.
No harm to fuse.
And I am certain you'll excuse
Us all, when once you fairly grasp the fact
That this arrangement is a patriot's act.
'Twas neither somersault nor slip;
'Twas statesmanship....
Yes, yes.  Joe Cook
And others took
A pledge.
As I allege,
Henceforth to vote Protection to a man....
Well, yes; they ran
Freetrade - some years ago;
But they won't advocate it now.  Oh, no!...
I say again I've not changed in the least.
I leave that all to them.
Their love for the - er - tariff has increased.
What?  Wobblers?  Nay!
Ah, do not blame them, pray!
These gentlemen are neither false nor weak;
But my good friends.
And they will make amends.
A light has broken on them, so to speak.
They're all - er - fiscal converts as it were....
Now, my dear sir!
If you will interject
Time and again,
How can the audience expect
Me to explain?...
I tell you I've NOT changed!
Why, ever since I've been in politics
I've always advocated the - um - er ...
What nonsense! Sir!!
I challenge you to prove my policy
Has ever been... Well, yes,
Yes, I confess
I used to call them names.  But, don't you see,
That is a thing of ancient history....
I tell you it has now all been arranged!
And I've not changed!...
O, well, well, I admit
I did abuse them - just a little bit.
"The wreckage of all parties" - That was it.
"Black Labor party" - yes, and "Tories," too.
I said that; true.
But can't you see?  I ask you, please, to try.
They've changed, not I.
They've had a wash;
They've all been made
Whiter than snow ( I'm sure you understand);
And henceforth Anti-Sosh,
And not Freetrade,
Will be their party brand.
But, to return to my....Eh?  Who's that speakin'?
I tell you I am Deakin!
Who dares to say I'm not?
I am the same brave, whole-souled patriot!
Iam!  I AM!
if you will interject... O, d---!....
Er - gentlemen...I'd have you understand
We are a band
Of staunch Protectionists.  If it appears
A trifle strange
That, after all these years,
These gentlemen should change,
I ask you, gentlemen, to please excuse
The Fuse.
You comprehend?  I wave my magic wand,
And they respond
By bowing meekly to my fiscal creed.
Nay, nay!  No Greed
For Office caused this unaccustomed sight.
'Twas...Country-love and - er - a Sudden Light.
These friends of mine have all come into line,
And, after this, their fiscal faith is mine -
That is...I mean to say
That mine is theirs until the Judgement Day.
I trust, good people, I have made it plain....
No, no; my friends will never change again....
I tell you, with my hand upon my heart,
They would no more trick me than, for my part, I'd ever do
So false an act, or think of 

The Bulletin, 24 March 1910, p7

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002