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Poem: 'The game of politics'

Audio file

Hear verse one of the poem 'The game of politics'.

This little ditty, probably composed around the time of the 1911 election, shows public scepticism of politicians is nothing new.


To play the game of politics, a member to become,
Learn all the little bag of tricks, and this is how it's done:
First toady to the Labour crowd, and promise all they ask;
Tell all the women you are proud to undertake the task
Of driving all the liquor out, to make the country pure,
No matter how you turn about whence once your seat is sure.
This simple plan will never fail, Then always be prepared
To slide down from your seat upon a rail, And join the winning side.


Sit on a rail and feel quite sure, and don't have any fear,
Just fool the people and secure three hundred pounds a year.


Ministry for Culture and Heritage

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Poem: 'The game of politics', URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated