My friend and I, we pondered why John Howard looks so well.
How Canberra hasn’t damaged him, we’re at a loss to say.
His body’s trim, he’s hardly aged since he took on the job
Of leading this Australia fair down Economic Way.

Then we recalled a tale was told about one Mr Gray,
Who sold his soul to forces foul for his own personal gain.
His portrait aged and wore the marks of all his evil deeds
While he remained an ageless youth, untouched by mortal pain.

We puzzled where John Howard then might hang his own portrait.
He doesn’t seem the arty type : the image doesn’t fit.
And then it hit us — no painting!  His governance instead
Has marked his loyal followers.  It’s all his Cabinet.

They wear the marks of evil deeds that he has ordered done:
Detention centres (this our shame, impris’ning refugees);
Blind following of Mr Bush, no matter that he’s wrong;
Work-place reform; work for the dole; the bloody GST.

Howard tells his henchmen true, honeying his lies :
“The end will justify the means. Curtail democracy!
Just let them choose on voting day. That’s really all they need.
Then we can change our promises.  A simple plan: you’ll see!”

Phil Ruddock, once a normal man, with conscience clear and good,
Seems now emergent from the crypt : a human travesty.
His face is grey. His smile alarms. I wince to hear him speak.
What happened to the man who once believed in Amnesty?

There’s Abbott, with a rat-like grin, t’would make a rodent squeak.
And Costello’s eyes are flinty as our taxes he extracts.
Amanda Vanstone’s like a tank, and flattens all before.
They once were human — weren’t they? (‘til Howard made his pact).

But Howard’s end — our dream and hope — how will it come about?
Who will destroy the picture false our country still is fair?
When Opposition won’t oppose the lies, deceit and spin,
It’s only people power that counts.  Come on, Australia: care!