Works in the Herald 1933

Since Sir James Barrett has called attention to the extent of the "park nibbling" that has gone on in and about Melbourne over a long period, earnest efforts are being made to awaken a sense of civic responsibility to prevent further depradations.

Let us have a little nibble at a park.
   It really is nobody's affair.
Tho' the citizens may own it,
Venal members will condone it
   If we only show them that the votes are there.
Seek a favor, form a habit.
Claim a vested right; then grab it!
   And the citizens may go and breathe elsewhere.
Let us tentatively nibble at a park.
   There's a formula, you know, to work such things;
Get some influential members,
While you hide the glowing embers
   Of ambition, as you gently pull the strings.
If these steps be wisely taken,
Ere the public can awaken
   The park is ours, and all the cash it brings.
Let us have a sporting nibble at a park ... 
   And so the game goes on, with subtle tricks,
Devious shifts and engineering,
While the owner, little fearing,
   Scorns to dabble in such shady politic;
Till he comes, one summer morning,
On a frowning fence adorning
   His late playground, and the warning, thus: "Admission Two-and-six."

Herald, 1 February 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005