21 October, 2012

Premier Wombat

In the city Brisbane on the River Brisbane,
Cammy the Wombat was Lord Mayor and did reign.
He dug lots of tunnels and ran up lots of debt.
He ruled through the drought and through floods that were wet.
But people cleaned up and helped those in need.
And most people were happy.  Quite happy indeed.

They were... until Cammy, the Lord Mayor of them all,
Decided the city he ruled was too small.
"I'm ruler", said Cammy, "of all that I see.
But I don't rule enough.  That's the trouble with me.”
“With a sinking City Hall, I look down Queen Street Mall,
But I cannot control other Councils at all.
This City that I rule is far too, too local.”
“Queensland ought to be mine!" he said to a group that was focal.
"If I could take George Street, how much greater I'd be!
What a Premier! I'd be ruler of all that I see!"

So Cammy, the Wombat, lifted his hand
And Cammy, the Wombat, gave a command.
He ordered young wombats to support his campaign...
And, using these wombats, back on track went his train.
He made each young wombat hand out ‘how-to-vote’
And he learnt all his lines and recited them by rote.
And then Cammy got up and won Ashgrove’s seat.
Never before had there been such a defeat.

"All mine!" Cammy cried.  "Oh, the things I now rule!
I'm Premier of the coal! And this coal seam fossil fuel!
I'm Premier of the schools! And, what's more, beyond that
I'm Premier of the hospitals and a tit for tat!
I'm Cammy the Wombat! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am Premier of all that I see!"

And all through the winter, he sat in George Street on high
Saying over and over, "A great Premier am I!"
Until 'long about June.  Then he heard a faint sigh.
"What's that?" snapped Cammy
20 000 people he had sacked.
And he saw, at the bottom, a developing crack.
Just a part of the public service.  And this plain little clerk
Looked up and she said, "Beg your pardon, Premier.
I may not be one of your mates.  I may not be front line.
But what I do is important, though I don’t farm, build or mine"

"SILENCE!" the Premier Wombat barked back.
"I'm Premier and you're only a clerk that I’ve sacked"

"You stay in your place while I sit here and rule.
I'm Premier of the coal! And this coal seam fossil fuel!
I'm Premier of schools, hospitals and race tracks.
But that isn't all.  I'll do better than that!
My surplus shall be larger!" his tiny voice thundered,
"So sack some more clerks! I want 'bout two hundred!"

"Ministers! More Ministers!" he bellowed and brayed.
And the public servants 'way down the food chain were afraid.
They trembled.  They shook.  But they came.  They obeyed.
From all over Queensland, they came in by dozens.
Whole families of Liberals, with uncles and cousins.
And all of them stepped on the head of the clerks.
One after another, they climbed up the perch.

Then Cammy the Wombat was perched up so high,
He could see the Gold Coast from his office in the sky!
"Hooray!" shouted Cammy.  "Now let’s cut down some trees”!
Let’s dig up more coal and ship it out overseas!
I'm have my four pillars and jobs for my mates.
Let’s increases the mining royalty rates!
I'm Cammy the Wombat! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am Premier of all that I see!"

Then again, from below, in the protests now packed,
Came a groan from that plain little clerk who’d been sacked.
"Your Majesty, please... I don't like to complain,
But out on the streets, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
As ex-Public servants we, too, should have rights.
And now out the front, at the sides and the back!
Stood the family and friends of the Clerk who’d been sacked.

"You hush up your mouth!" howled the Premier Cam.
"You've no right to talk to a short syndrome man.
I rule from four pillars! I ship coal overseas!
There's no one, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!"

But, while Cammy was shouting, he saw with surprise
In opinion polls, opposition was starting to rise
Up over his bald head, came the deafening sighs.
"What's THAT?" snorted Cammy.  "Say, what IS that there
That dares to be more popular than Cammy the Premier?
I shall not allow it! I'll go higher still!
I'll build my William Street tower higher! I can and I will!
I'll call some more mates.  I'll stack 'em to heaven!
I need 'bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!"

But, as Cammy, the Wombat, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little clerk as a matter of fact,
The same little clerk who Cammy had sacked,
Decided she'd taken enough.  And she had.
And that plain little clerk got a bit mad.
And that plain little clerk, she was doing it tough.
She voted and her vote was enough!

And Cammy the Wombat, the Premier of four pillars,
Premier of tourism, mines and construction and farm tillers,
The Premier of hospitals, schools and race tracks...
Well, nobody knew which on track it was back.
For Cammy, the Premier, of all of Queensland...
Lost Ashgrove’s seat and all the things he had planned!

And today the great Cammy, that Marvelous he,
Is Premier of the tunnels:  That is all he can see.
And the clerks, of course... all the clerks are now free
As clerks and maybe, all creatures should be.

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