Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Mild Colonial Boy



There was a mild colonial boy, by the name of R.J.Hawke
You'd think that he was Jesus Christ to hear the bastard talk
He is the system's only hope, the bosses pride and joy
The darling of the media is this Mild Colonial Boy

He's never faced election by the workers' rank and file
Yet every night on telly, we're condemned to watch his dial
He'll scowl and raise an eyebrow, 'tis nothing but a ploy
A useless bloody tamecat is the Mild Colonial Boy

He growls and drops expletives in a manner rather fierce
He's just about as radical as good old Eric Pierce.
He claims to be a socialist, he's not the real McCoy
A Labor opportunist is the Mild Colonial Boy

He loves to meet with Fraser, and they have such cosy chats
He's loaded with ambition and he wears too many hats
An action that is militant is certain to annoy
That gruff abrasive cream-puff called the Mild Colonial Boy

And if he gets to parliament, we know he'll never stop
Till he's the biggest windbag in that well-known talking shop
He'll shower them with bull-dust, for he's seldom ever coy
And that's the last we'll hear of him, the Mild Colonial Boy.

From Therese Radic's Songs of Australian Working Life.

Written by an anonymous builder's labourer in the 1970s, this parody of the Wild Colonial Boy showed an incredible lack of prescience.  At the time, Bob Hawke was president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.  He did go on to enter parliament, but rather than disappearing from view, he rose to serve as Prime Minister of Australia for 8 years.

The illustration to this post is a photograph of Bob in his ACTU days.

For more biographical information, visit the National Archives entry.

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