Rather to the discredit of modern Bureaucracy, a leading article calls attention to recent protracted disputes and deadlocks between the Railways and the Harbor Trust, the Lands Office and a local reserve committee, the Metropolitan Board and another public body, besides endless bickering involving other State and Municipal departments.
I happened in Gosh on an ancient day, In the land of Glugs far, far away Where the skies are green and the grass is pink And the citizens rarely troubl'd to think. Each had a vote; they were proud of that; But they left all else to the Bureaucrat. Still, of course, such folly never could be In a civilised land this year A.D. A junior clerk in Department A Sent a requisition in one day For a mousetrap to Department B. This came to the ears of Department C, Whose head said, "Just a moment please. You control the traps, but we the cheese." Then Department D chipped in in a trice And cried, "Checkmate! We control the mice." Then Departments E, F, G, H, I Became involved, and the talk ran high, Till the Livestock Branch got dragged in, too, And the Vermin Board, and I don't know who Besides, till the mousetrap matter grew From a mild dispute 'mid a trifling few To a Public Question so immense That a tax was levied to meet expense. Well, time rolled on, as it ever has rolled And the junior clerk, now bald and old, Received a pink form one fine day Which said, "One trap, mouse. Passed O.K." But he answered, this impatient chap, Grown peevish, too, "Keep your blinkin' trap! For a trap I made from an old jam tin Long since; and I caught my mouse therein." So an issue rose of a different sort, And they sued the clerk in the State High Court Which sat so long and talked such bosh That a fierce Dictator loomed in Gosh; And he took one long, deep, shuddering breath And condemned that junior clerk to death And then, when they sought the man, they found He had been some twelve years underground. Such is the tale. But, understand It happened in Gosh -- a backward land Inhabited then by a race called Glugs, Free-born, with a vote, but mostly mugs For, of course, such nonsense never could be In a modern, model Democracy Like ours. Things never could happen so. Absurd!... Or could they? ...Oh, I don't know.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-05