In good King Charles’ golden time, when loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high churchman was I, and so I gained preferment.
To teach my flock, I never missed: Kings are by God appointed
And damned are those who dare resist or touch the Lord’s anointed.
When royal James possessed the crown, and popery came in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down, and read the Declaration.
The Church of Rome, I found, did fit full well my constitution
And I had been a Jesuit, but for the Revolution.
When William was our King declared, to ease the nation’s grievance,
With this new wind about I steered, and swore to him allegiance.
Old principles I did revoke; Set conscience at a distance,
Passive obedience was a joke, a jest was non-resistance.
When Royal Anne became our queen, the Church of England’s glory,
Another face of things was seen, and I became a Tory.
Occasional conformists base; I blamed their moderation;
And thought the Church in danger was from such prevarication.
When George in pudding time came o’er, and moderate men looked big, sir
My principles I changed once more, and I became a Whig, sir.
And thus preferment I procured From our new Faith’s Defender,
And almost every day abjured the Pope and the Pretender.
The illustrious house of Hanover and Protestant succession
To these I do allegiance swear — while they can hold possession.
For in my faith and loyalty I never more will falter,
And George my lawful king shall be — until the times do alter.
I received a comment. By the time the profane and defamatory words were removed it wasn’t worth posting but in essence it pointed out that there were four independents elected to the house of reps, that the writer had a low opinion of them and that I had given two of them an easy ride. And so I have.
Lets have a look at them.
At the last election Mr. Wilkie took the safe labor seat of Denison. His electorate would probably have been very disappointed if he had thrown his lot in with the Coalition. In the past he has been a member of both the Liberal Party and the Greens which suggests a rather inconsistent thought process but throughout this recent period he has taken a principled stand against the pokies, principled but totally ineffectual. Best thought of as a very well-meaning jellyfish.
Bob Katter, now a member of his own party, represents Kennedy which is an enormous chunk of north Queensland. I drove through that part of the world during the last election campaign and as I approached each town I could see off in the distance a poster with an ice-cream cone on it. This would mysteriously turn into a photo of Katter as I got closer. He is described as a social conservative. His electorate would probably have been disappointed had he thrown his lot in with Labor. Prone to the odd bit of poofter bashing, best thought of as a loose cannon.
Both these guys have put their mediocre talent to the service of the people they represent. They can go back to their electorate before the next election and say they tried. And lets face it, they both have some entertainment value.
Mr. Windsor is a far better candidate for the Vicar of Bray award because he rode into office appearing to be just the type of bloke they needed. Like the original Vicar of Bray he displays that flexibility that will keep him in place for as long as possible, but he relies far too much on deflection of argument. Perhaps he is simply not smart enough to learn his lines. Instead he hasn’t seen the evidence, or due process gets in the way.
Which leaves the winner, only a shadow of the real vicar, but the man with best contemporary grasp on the repertoire, the careerist … Mr. Oakeshott.
And this be law, that I’ll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever king may reign, I’ll be the vicar of Bray, sir.