Works in the Herald 1934
EPISTLES TO AB - A LESSON IN POLITICS

Fourway Farm,
Dec. 6, 1934.

Dear Ab,-

It was real kind of you to offer to take your annual leaf now from the office and come and help us clean up after the flood, and me and your ma is real thankful to you for the thought. But taking stock now is all over there don't seem much to do that we cant manidge ourselves. There really ain't much to make a fuss about.

All the seed spuds and most of the top soil and super has gone from the 10-acre and with it all next year's spending money. The buggy shed, fowl house, pig sty and harness room what used to be down on the creek paddick aint there no more, but is somewheres betwix here and the sea coast together with a lot of good harness, two poddy calfs, seven young pigs, three ducks and about 30 fowls. We are in hopes the ducks is still afloat. But apart from that the floods aint done us no damage whatever.

But some of our neibrs have got it in the neck pretty solid. Your brother Joe has been at the Bangoes place for near a week pretty well day and night helping them get their furnicher and cetra out of the creek. Their house is clean gone and the fambly has been camping here with us. Nice people, Ab. Specially that pretty dorter, Brenda Bangs. She is helping Joe fish for the furnicher. Seems pretty good at fishing, that girl. So we are looking to lose our Joe amongst other things through this flood.

Well now, Ab, in your last few letters me and your ma has both noticed that you seem to be worrying about the wrongs and injustices of this world a lot more than is healthy in a young man.

If I was you, Ab, once I had voted at the elections I wouldn't lose no sleep worrying about what sistem of government I was living under. Believe me things would turn out much the same by and large whatever sistem was used penny plan or tuppence colored.

It aint the sistems, Ab, it's the men wot runs em that makes all the difrince. Its carickter counts a long way before any of your fancy theeries.

Takes the cases frinstance of Jack Jones and Sam Smith, Jack Jones is a very clever feller, who generally gets what he wants. Sam Smith is a poor weak downtrodden doormat of a feller what everyone sits on.

Right. Now under out sistem of democracy where do we find these two men? Jack Jones is a rich and influential man living on the fat of the land and pulling all the strings. Sam Smith is a poor discontented worm what takes orders from most people.

Alright. Now someone says this aint right and fair, so the country goes all Nazi or Fasist or something for a change. And now where is these two men? Jack Jones is up among the heads, pulling the strings and living on the fat of the land. Sam Smith is still discontented and takes orders from everyone.

Righto. Things aint right yet. So we will all have to go Bolshie. And now where are our friends?

Jack Jones is a commisar, up among the heads, pulling the strings and living on the fat of the land. Sam Smith is still humble and discontented if he aint already been shot as an enemy of the lower orders.

No, lad; if you want a better world, its men you got to change, no sistems. Think it over, Ab.

Meantime, love from all at home.

Your aff. father.
JAS. JAMES

"Den"
Herald, 10 December 1934, p6

Note:
This piece was originally published with the title "Epistles to Ab" only.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005