Works in the Herald 1935

The Victorian Police Administration still refuses, for some obscure reason, to take the public into its confidence regarding facts about current crime, thus engendering a suspicion that there is something to hide.

A copper's a kindly kind of a cove,
   And he'd talk if he could, but he can't,
Nor babble the facts of criminal acts
   To even his favorite aunt.
Tho' he's "bustin' with news," he has got to refuse
   To chatter of this an' that.
For the fiat is out an' there's never a doubt
It is bad for the "foorce" to let anything out;
   He must hang to it under his hat.

Tho' theft may be rife, and a citizen's life,
   With his property, threatened by crime;
Strict silence is gold, if it cannot be told
   That the ill-doer's doing his time.
So lull him to sleep, tho' the sleep may be deep
   When the burglar's a-prowl on the mat.
Why should constables "mag" if he elopes with his swag?
   So harbor it under your hat.

Tho' thugs be abroad, we can never afford
   To be candid concerning their deeds;
Tho' various lags go a-snatching at bags,
   To mention such matters but leads
To the horrible thought that they rarely are caught.
   And, I ask you, why advertise that?
So, copper, keep mum.   'Tis wise to be dumb.
   Hang on to it under your hat.

Oh, Solon in blue, when you're on to a clue
   Put your tongue in your teeth and lie low;
Then who can assail your repute if you fail,
   Or criticise what they don't know?
But, if you've success, up and proudly confess,
   Men build reputations like that.
So the fiat goes forth; and beware of the Wrath
   Lest you keep it all under your hat. 

Herald, 14 November 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005