The Genesis of Gloom (Australian Variety) by C.J. Dennis

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Once upon a time, in days remote,
A politician bought a vote.
   The price he paid is not quite clear,
   But probably a pot of beer
Secured his end.  But he got in;
So folk excused this venial sin.

Now if the thing had stayed right there,
We might have dodged a load of care.
   But pots of beer soon failed to serve
   The candidate of dash and nerve;
And, with cold cynicism, came
The urge to organise the Game.

Soon the political machine
Beheld the profit it might glean
   Thro' gifts spread thro' electorates
   To help the "Outs" the "Ins" frustrate;
While shrewd "Ins", not to be outdone,
Increased the offers two to one.

Later, the craftiest M.P.'s
Perceived that loans from overseas
   Might help them hand out cakes and ale
   Upon a most colossal scale;
And Parties with each other vied
To spread their largesse far and wide.

Railways were built from here to there
That served no purpose anywhere,
   And public works that did not pay
   Like mushrooms, sprouted in a day,
With promises were issues fought,
And whole electorates were bought.

Millions and yet more millions flowed
To go the same old easy road. . . .
   Till, with a dearth of easy cash
   The game was up; and came the crash.
'Tis pitiful; but there you are.
With pots of beer in some back bar
   This evil had its genesis
   And it has brought the land to - this.

First published in The Herald, 13 February 1931

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 13, 2013 5:58 PM.

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