And More Still


I wandered lonely as an honest man
Amidst a crowd of politicians
My torch in daylight outdid Diogenes as it had batteries
But the result was the same
Still I wandered, ever hopeful
Ah! There was one
A large hat accompanied by a man
He looked honest
In a head piece like that and the sun so hot
You could cook eggs on the ground
So I thought I would listen to his words
He said that if the world’s buying it,
There’s a market for it
How interesting I thought
Could he mean tobacco, cocaine, heroin or illicit weapons?
Oh no! Fancy that
He was speaking of coal
So I had to assign him a different role
He was not my honest man
The search continued with my torch alight
I went to the office of the Sydney Times
But they failed my test as they were obsessed with crimes
They were not my honest men
An estate agent next caught my eye
But there I detected a plant who helped the agent to rant
And make the price climb higher
That was not my honest man
Next was an ad-man who seemed not a bad man
Until he declared junk food was good for the nation
He was not my honest man
And so the day wore on seemingly coming to a sorry end
One more guy caught my eye
A Prime Minister attending a rally
But the boos and jeers that struck my ears
Defined him as an Aunt Sally
He was not my honest man
The sun was getting ready to set
It was time for me to go home
I switched off my torch and wended my weary way
Almost home, I passed a man who was sweeping the street
Reaching for my key I disturbed my Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin
It is extremely valuable
It rolled out of my reach and disappeared
I searched in vain
Suddenly the street sweeper called out to me
“Here it is. Under my broom. Saved from the maintenance hole.”
I had found my honest man
Or, more accurately, my honest man found me

Trophy Madness

And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote —
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

“Vitai Lampada” – “The Torch of Life”
Henry Newbolt

Look at them
Hugging each other en masse
Jumping on the spot like fire walkers on hot coals
Apparent confetti flying everywhere
One of them holding a trophy on high
Flames leaping out of the ground with lascivious orgasmic delight
As cameras bring the excitement to the world
What a strange focus!
Winning is so important that you bury your opponent
The loser, in an unmarked grave
Those of us whom the years have not condemned
Will remember the dignity of Bradman
A touch of the cap in response to the thunderous applause
Perhaps a waving of the bat
And then on with the next century
Why is it so?
Why the trophy madness?
One answer could be Can-do Capitalism
Money is so ingrained in modern sport
That winning is a financial coup
Losing is just not good enough
It’s a disgrace and if you do it too often, you get the sack
As for the modern tools, the coach and his entourage of helpers,
Every step you take could be your last
Four losses in a row is like filing for bankruptcy
Any more and you’re gone
So here’s to the heroes
Those who played for nothing and inspired us all
They will live in memory
When all the balance sheets are waste paper

The Nil Hypothesis

Let it be
Clear the decks of wise and intelligent planning
Turn competition loose
And things will simply fix themselves
Give egotistic entrepreneurs unencumbered tax free licence
And things will fall into place
Paradise will be regained and maintained ad infinitum
By the mission linked to profit
Call it freedom and you can then wage highly lucrative wars
To defend it
Set the robber barons free
And all will be right with the world
Open all services to the free market
Link up with the wise and realise what a joy it is to privatise
Tie hospitals to profit, education to financial returns
Hand over the media to Midas and ignore how much he earns
Let free enterprise be you daily hymn
Ring it out loud and clear
Sell off every amenity
And you’ll have nothing to fear
If things go wrong just sing the song that echoes down the ages
Pass the buck to guiltless rivals maligned on Yellow Press pages
Never admit a planning error, invent an excuse as the reason
Let the guilty off the hook as if fools were then in season
This above all
Never stop talking about your own success
Spread it abroad on radio, TV and in the colourful press
It then shall follow as morning follows night
There will be no significant difference between specified populations
But triumph will come to the chosen few

A Study Of Lies

That politician just said that all politicians are liars
Oh dear! Can it be that he is telling the truth?
Epimenides has us then firmly in his grasp*
But let the paradox be
Let us examine lies more closely
It may indeed be worth the effort
In a world where pretence is so profitable…
Lies have many shapes and sizes
First for our attention, the inverted lie
When Nelson saw no signal at Trafalgar
He held the telescope to his blind eye
So in order to lie, Nelson actually told the truth
Then there is the racist politician who hates foreigners
But blames people smugglers
For his keeping refugees in indefinite detention
Next in the fabrication genre is the fuzzy lie
A high sounding statement with no real and clear foundation
Freedom, our way of life and our past history reveals
Are common examples of the language
The CIA overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953
Largely over oil but the perjury was to foster a better way of life
Many more examples of this category exist…
Then alas, there is the mega lie
So potent it belongs to what we can call the master fabricator
The first example is the Trump fantasy of election fraud in 2020
There are still many, many believers all ready to act
Though it turns the Flat Earth Society into Nobel Prize geniuses
A second mega lie is linked to the GST in the Australia of 1955
When a heavy tax was imposed on the poor and the rich equally
Despite a mega lie by then Prime Minister John Howard
Who foretold its introduction with: “Never ever. It’s dead.”
Finally we end a mere introduction with the private lie
This above all: to thine own self be true**
All lies are deadly, but most lethal when you lie to yourself

*Epimenides was a Cretan who made one paradoxical statement: “All Cretans are liars.”.

** Shakespeare: Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3


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