“Dave’s Diary” column [Bert Kelly], Adelaide Stock & Station Journal, March 2, 1960, pp. 52-53.
I know everybody is wanting to know what happened about Clarkson’s new bore, but I feel that I can’t tell you yet — not until I feel stronger, anyhow.
I don’t know what went wrong.
Perhaps it was that I made the wrong kind of wire or something, but things didn’t go according to plan and at the moment I’d rather not speak about it.
Later on when I’ve got over the shock I’ll tell you all what happened.
Clarkson has come back from his trip to the Northern Territory, bulging as usual, with self-importance.
It seems that he went up there to see if land could be cleared in the Northern Territory, using methods that have long been used in the South-East and in Kangaroo Island. As far as I can gather from Clarkson, it was quite a successful experiment.
He says that they cleared an area of 50 acres in 2.5 hours using two D7 tractors and a heavy chain.
According to Clarkson this is a good deal better than people in the Northern Territory have ever done before using their usual method of bulldozing and you would think, if you listened to Clarkson, that he’d done something really important.
All the same, it seems a silly way for a politician to behave: surely we expect our member to be addressing meetings and opening fetes, instead of messing around clearing scrub, and I think it’s about time someone told Clarkson this.
It’s not as though he were clearing his own electorate.
Why he wants to leave us to our own devices and mess around right away up there, I just don’t know.
Of course Clarkson says in his usual pontifical way that he’s engaged in work of national importance and all that; but what I want to know is why he’s not home telling me what pastures I ought to grow and things like that?
There’s another thing too.
I’ve got so many answers on how to make a mouse proof barn that I’m just overwhelmed.
I’ve got plans and specification all over the office floor and I just don’t know what to do next and how to go about it if I did know.
The trouble is I’ve made such a song and dance about it in my diary that it looks as if I’ll have to do something.
In my opinion, Clarkson’s proper place at a time like this is by my side so that he can help in this tremendous problem that I’m facing of actually how to go about building this barn I’ve created such a fuss about.
What’s he doing about the effect of the margins increase on our costs, that’s what I want to know?
Before he went up there he was telling me that he thought it was going to be very serious; I remember him giving me a bit of a lecture about how it was going to affect me a good deal more than I realised at the time.
Well, having said that and having got me quite worked up about the subject, away he goes to the Northern Territory and leave the whole matter up in the air.
When I tackled him about this, he said he hadn’t been idle while he was up there — he’d actually made up a piece of poetry about the subject.
Now, that’s what I call the last straw!!
He goes away just when I could do with some advice about pastures and the barn, leaves the whole matter of margins increase to manage as best it can, and then goes and writes poetry about it.
It isn’t as though it’s very good poetry, either. It’s more like a hymn than a poem, I thought.
Of course he’s written it out for me, so I suppose I’ll have to put it in.
And here it is: I think we have got to call it “Clarkson’s Hymn”.
Have you had an increase shown?
Pass it on.
It was not meant for you alone.
Pass it on.
Just raise the price you hear them say,
That man down the line will pay
And isn’t it a lovely day!
Pass it on.
And Servant sighs in woe
Pass it on.
Complains that he must have more dough
Pass it on.
If one really cares a rap
Finds it in the farmer’s lap.
And watches the poor silly sap
Pass it on.
Farmer tries to for a while
Pass it on.
Told to take it all and smile.
Pass it on.
Tries to pass it to his mates
Finds he cannot pay his rates
Collapses on the ground and states
“It can’t go on”.
Clarkson is tremendously impressed by his talent as a poet, now he is trying to get someone to “set it” to music.
I think he hopes to sing it at his political meetings. I suppose the next thing is, he’ll ask me to come round and play the organ for him.
I think it’s pretty feeble poetry and what’s more I don’t quite know what he’s getting at.
But I didn’t like to tell him so because I know he would then come over and spend several hours telling me, and I didn’t think I could face that, not just at the moment with this bore business fresh in my mind.
All the same, if the position is really as serious as he says it is I think it’s about time he did a bit more about it besides making up feeble poetry like this.
It’s all right for him to make up poetry but he’s got his Parliamentary salary coming in all the time. I haven’t — at least not yet — and I think it’s about time that we had a bit of action from Clarkson and not so much hymn singing.
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