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Sound: the Opposition whip

Audio file

Hear the poem 'To the Opposition whip'.

There were poems about particular individuals, such as H.A. Ingles, who as government whip in 1872 miscounted the number of votes for the government in a division. The poem was written by 'Silver Pen', the pen name of Mrs Corlett who published Parliamentary skits and sketches in the 1870s.

Transcript: 'To the Opposition whip' (selected verses)

Most noble whip, you've done your duty well,
And like a gentleman, as all can tell;
The opposition ladies, all will bless,
Henceforth and for ever, Mr Whip Ingles.

How well you've shepherded your wand'ring flock,
and sav'd the votes of those who, on a rock
Of tipsy folly, had almost been lost,
Which would your mighty schemes have tempest toss'd.

Cartoon of MP riding horse whipping other mps

J.G. Harkness, the Opposition whip, acts as 'Political Buffalo Bill' in rounding up votes.


Audio: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Image: New Zealand Graphic, 26 August 1893

How to cite this page

Sound: the Opposition whip, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated