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The Lost Leader

Poster by Sophie Lewis, ANU. Used without permission.

(With apologies to Robert Browning)

After a brief shining moment he (1) left us,
Abandoned by those who were scared to lose votes.
Faint in denial their treason bereft us,
Left it to others to turn back the boats;
Those with the coal to sell doled him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allowed
Much of our taxes had gone to his service
Ties they were blue, Ms Credlin (2) was proud.

We who had loved him so, followed him, honoured him
Lived in his wild and magnificent eye
Learned his great slogans, caught his clear accents
Made him our pattern to live and to lie!
Minchin (3) was of us, Murdoch was for us,
Thatcher and Hayek — they cheered from the grave!
Although he failed to be wisdom's suppository (4)
He sloganned onwards, the nation to save.

We shall march prospering — not thru' his presence;
Slogans inspirit us — not from his pen;
Denial continues throughout his quiescence,
Keep on denying till the earth cools again:
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
One more devils' triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!

Life's night begins: he can never come back to us!
There would be cabinet purges and pain,
Forced praise from warmists — the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again!
Best fight on well, for he taught us: lie gallantly,
Lie until voters take our fears as their own;
Then let him create some new slogans and wait us,
Glorious in heaven, the first by the throne!

(1) Anthony John Abbott. Prime minister of Australia (2013-2015). Soul-mate of Stephen Harper, former PM of a country that Mr Abbott called Canadia

(1a) Abbot Anthony. (251-326AD). Saint. Also known as Anthony the Great. Founder of christian monasticism. In contrast, the commitment of Anthony Abbott (also known as Tony the not-so-great (and also known as the mad monk)) to saintly lifestyle was insufficient, even with the aid of a celibacy counseller, and Mr Abbott abandoned his priestly vocation.

(2) Peta Credlin. Mr Abbott's chief of staff. Responsible for maintaining factional dominance and choosing Mr Abbott's ties. This period of government (to use the term loosely) is described in the forthcoming book "Fifty Shades of Blue"

(3) Nick Minchn. Senator (1993-2011). Minister for Industry Science and Resources (1998-2001). Led climate denial in the COALition parties. Powerbroker responsible for installing Mr Abbott as party leader, deposing Mr Turnbull who had overseen bi-party negotiations for greenhouse mitigation.

(4) With typical modesty, Mr Abbott declared (August 12, 2013) no one (even him) was the suppository of all wisdom.