The Lonely Voice by C.J. Dennis

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When opening a recent conference of poultry breeders, the Minister for Agriculture (Mr Hogan) is reported to have said that the only criticism now heard of the Egg Board was that the prices were too high.  Whether that was so, he said, was "for egg producers to decide."  Evidently the egg consumer, who pays the price, has no voice in the matter.

I'm but a meek consumer
   Who likes his breakfast egg;
My "rights" are but a rumour,
   Ruth is all I may beg.
I am the hapless victim
   Of Bureaucratic czars;
I must accept their dictum
   And jest about my scars.
The blows and stripes are all for me,
   With none to heed my agony.

I'm but a poor Australian,
   Yet I must eat to live.
They ship goods to the alien
   At price I'd gladly give;
But when they seek for profit
   They sock me in the eye;
For the egg, if I would scoff it,
   I'm charged for doubly high,
And, if for cheaper eggs I yearn,
   I'm told it isn't my concern.

This morn I asked my grocer,
   "Have eggs gone down today?"
He answered glumly, "No, Sir;
   There's tuppence more to pay.
Some goes to the producer,
   The rest goes to the Board.
But, muffs like you an' me, sir,
   Our interests are ignored
Until the basic wage they bump
   To catch the cost o' living's jump.

I'm but a meek consumer,
   A pawn, a handy peg;
And, in a bitter humor
   I pass my breakfast egg.
I almost pass my breakfast,
   I haven't any rights,
My fortunes go to wreck fast
   Until I dream o' nights
I've sailed afar across the deep
   To buy Australian produce cheap. 

First published in The Herald, 16 March 1938

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 16, 2013 8:17 AM.

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