Daily Archives: 23 September 2015

The Farewell: Part Two

Concluding my versification of Tony Abbott’s farewell address. Click here for the first instalment, and here for  video of the speech on the Guardian’s site.

The Farewell (Part Two)
Video 3:11–3:36
‘I’m proud of what we’ve done against the odds.
stayed focussed right until the white-ants’ coup,
though we’ve been men, and women too, not gods
walking the earth, not perfect. Very few
can meet all expectations. [We poor sods
of course have trampled on a life or two,
protected child abusers, bent the knee
to Murdoch – yes, we’re only human, see?

Video 3:37–4:28
‘Politics has changed since I’ve been in it.
Commentary’s hijacked by the trolls.
Soon we’ll have a new PM each minute,
and each one sacked by colleagues spooked by polls.
It must affect our country. I’m agin it.
Don’t help self-serving traitors reach their goals,
O Media, stop conniving with dishonour:
don’t be the knife that’s plunged into a goner.’

‘[For me the press has been more like a bludgeon
– there’s Bolt, Jones, Hadley, Sheridan, Devine
and Photoshopped front pages, all high dudgeon
my office leaks, no treachery of mine
but acts of war. A pintle to my gudgeon,
the press that serves my higher ends is fine.
But steady now, I mustn’t lose my head.
Stick to the script and leaves such things unsaid.]

Video 4:30–5:32
‘I must thank many. First my family
[spot who’s missing from this paragraph],
my Margie for her grace and dignity,
my party, the armed forces, and my staff,
devoted to our country – Oh malignity
with which their chief was savaged. That’s no laugh.
I thank my country [’Tis of thee I sing]:
for being asked to lead is no small thing.

Video 5:32–6:12
‘My maiden speech, I quoted Holy Writ,
the text for the first sermon in this land:
“What shall I render to the Lord … ?” I quit
the top job, knowing I can proudly stand
and say I’ve rendered all. [If modesty permit,
I’d say my all was really rather grand,
and could have been much more with loyal ranks.
I love this country still. God bless it. Thanks.’

Video 6:12–6:15
No weepie script, and read like hard De Niro:
a man for others, no tears on display.
With furrowed brow, a classic Western hero
he turns and does a John Wayne walk away.

Go little poem, I hope worth more than zero,
to mark the very end of one man’s sway.
I’ve added frills to feed my rhyming habit,
but most of what you see is true to Abbott.

Tony goes

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