by Viv Forbes, Executive Director, The Saltbush Club, ©2023

(Mar. 1, 2023) —

Away back in the good old days
    when men could find a job;
When money was as good as gold
     and tax was just two bob;

When men would work and say with pride
     that they weren’t on the dole;
T’was then that politicians came
     to play an active role.

“We must unite,” the statesmen said
     “in case we have to fight;
We need a central government
     to maximise our might.

We’re all Australians too, you see,
     not rough colonial folk;
We need a sign to show the world
     this nation is no joke.”

“We’ll plan a grand new Commonwealth
     of which we can be proud;
We’ll build a national capital
     with lakes and parks endowed;

For no expense can be too much
     with national pride at stake;
Our children will recall with thanks,
     we did it for their sake.”

They confiscated men and tools
     to build themselves a home;
It started with a gabbing place
     where useful flocks once roamed.

They capped the hills with monuments
     and manicured the grounds
And the quarters of their servants
     spoilt the land for miles around.

Then their horde of tax collectors
     spread like locusts through the land,
And their rules and regulations
     drained the cash to lawyers’ hands.

The courts became political
     (mere creatures of the State)
The rule of law and common sense
     became quite out-of-date.

The people then grew restless
    at this cross they had to bear;
“It’s time for us to question
     if this road leads anywhere.

What should have been our watch dog
     sitting quietly by the gate
Is in the house and now he snarls
     if we don’t fill his plate.”

We must dismiss the traitors
    who have got us in this mess;
The federation must return
     to things it can do best.

Defence is what we hired them for
     not meddling in our lives;
If they protect, while we produce
      a new dawn will arrive.”

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