Works in the Herald 1931
If Stanley were what Stanley seems
No person in his wildest dreams
   Would say, "Beneath that shiny hat
   There stalks a sturdy democrat."
His air of elegance and ease
Hints at patrician tendencies,
   Yet this deceives: for Stanley can
   Swap hard knocks with the toughest man.

The years were kind when Stanley reigned; Loans all too easily were gained, And so he splashed the cash about. Tho' not so much as some make out. For men, wise after the event, Now point him out to represent The fool who rides before the fall, But - stop a bit, were not we all?
He spent a bit. But just the same, Did we not all play Stanley's game?, Yet now we've ridden to the fall, We'd make him scapegoat for it all And heap upon his luckless head The sins of statesmen long years dead. Too prone the while to underrate His wiser acts to serve the State.
They say that Stanley's coming back, Why not? The demagogue, the quack Propound their schemes, and still we lag Upon the road while dull weeks drag. Better the chastened man, say I, With past mistakes to profit by, If he's a sound, sane democrat. And Stanley may be all of that.

Herald, 6 March 1931, p6

This is number 8 in Dennis's Political Personalities series.
The "Stanley" referred to above is Stanley Bruce who entered Federal Parliament for the National Party in 1918 where he stayed until 1929. He was re-elected in 1931 but resigned two years later. He was Prime Minister from February 1923 until October 1929 when he became the first (and still only) sitting Prime Minister to lose his seat at a general election.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002