Works in the Bulletin 1913

Liberals are not bothering about the fiscal question, if it can be called a question - or proclaiming a fiscal faith, for the very sufficient reason that the tariff is not present in issue. - Melbourne ARGUS.

"Haw!  Good fellow I'm not doubting
   Your intentions are all right,
And your general appearance
   Is intelligent and bright;
But the question you're discussing
   Rather flicks me on the raw,
And it really doesn't matter;
   So we'll close the subject.  HAw!"

Since the every first reformer Made suggestions in the trees All the old earth's agitators Meet with phrases such as these. And it acts as brake and hobble On the progress of mankind, This superior aloofness Of the static type of mind.
"Haw!" It rings throughout the ages Since dim neolithic years, Striving to discount the credit Of philosophers and seers; And the richest, fattest molluse Spat it out in savage hate When he marked his fellow's yearning Towards a structure vertebrate.
"My good chap, enthusiasm's Right enough just now and then; But your pose is idiotic In the sight of sober men. Calm yourself, my worthy fellow, Stay that wildly wagging jaw. The-ah mattah you're debating Isn't on the tapis. Haw!"
Spoken in a haughty fashion, With an apathetic glance, Then that simple interjection Clothes a mass of ignorance. "Haw! The fellow is a boundah! Do not heed his fuss and fret, And the subject he alludes to Isn't mentioned in our set."
Friend, if you have privileges Fairly come by - more or less - And the claims of poorer brothers Cause you most acute distress - When all argument has failed oyu 'Gainst their Socialistic law Cultivate the distant manner And the haughty Tory "Haw!"
Cultivate the cool aloofness When they seek with howlings rude To assault your proud position. Cultivate the platitude: And, when they bring forth suggestions Of a democratic type; Tell then, friend, it is "un-British," And, "the time is not yet ripe."
When with calm, unswerving reason, And with logic merciless, They convince your better nature That abuses need redress, Do not weakly yield to measures That your prejudices hate. But remark, "It's not at issue," And that closes the debate.
Still, my friend, despite your coldness, 'Spite reactionary, "Haws." These reformers somehow get there When they have a worthy cause, And the fat and foolish molluse Who the vertebrates ignored, Did not block all evolution, So the scientists record.
As the world goes bravely onward Leaving molluses far behind, Progress ever has to reckon With the static type of mind. And the fighters in the vanguard Recognise this simple law, "Social evolution mainly Is the overthrow of 'Haw!'"

The Bulletin, 6 March 1913, p9

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004