Love and Politics – Can they go together?

Wilson Tuckey

Wilson Tuckey

A while ago, the Poetica poetry group, of which I am a member, set a task of writing a love poem from an unusual angle.  I was thinking about this for a while, and struggling with the concept.  One Saturday morning, whilst passing the time before a poetry slam, I thought to myself “who is the most unlikely person for me to write a love poem about?”.  Answer: Wilson Tuckey.  I sat down and knocked this one up in an hour or so, and performed it at the poetry slam that afternoon.  It didn’t win, but a lot of people liked it.  Veronica Matthews, who is the SA Libraries co-ordinator of the poetry slams, came up to me two years later, and said she still remembers the poem.

It’s always been a favourite of mine, because it still makes me laugh. I sent it off to Voice magazine (a ‘left leaning’ journal) over a year ago. I think the editor missed the point, because he sent it straight back to me by return post, with a note suggesting it would be more suitable for Quadrant (a ‘hard right leaning‘ journal).

Poor old Wilson got kicked out of politics in 2010.  No doubt with a handsome tax-payer funded pension.

Wikipedia tells us some of the highlights (or lowlights) of his career :

Tuckey was one of the most controversial figures in Australian federal politics. In 1967, while a publican in Carnarvon, he was convicted of assault after striking an Aboriginal man with a length of steel cable. It was alleged that the man was being pinned to the ground at the time.He has had the nickname “Ironbar” ever since.
In 1986 Tuckey taunted the then Labor Treasurer, Paul Keating, in Parliament about a former girlfriend called “Christine,” leading Keating to call him “a piece of criminal garbage.” In one notorious exchange, Tuckey told Keating: “You are an idiot, you are a hopeless nong”, to which Keating replied: “Shut up! Sit down and shut up, you pig… Why do you not shut up, you clown?… This man has a criminal intellect… this clown continues to interject in perpetuity.”

 In short, the man was a buffoon. Here’s my love poem to him:

Wilson Tuckey, I Love You Man

Wilson Tuckey, I love you man

the way you look over your glasses

as you kick those journos’ arses

I love your hairy nostrils and your square double chin

but most of all I love the way you know everythin’

not a skerrick of doubt, any subject, any time

you can hold forth. you’re ready to chime

Wilson Tuckey, I love you man

you don’t need no research. no need to hold back

here is your wisdom, you’re on the attack

here is the gospel according to Tuckey

you front them with macho, you front them so plucky

you tell them the answers straight from the heart

they look like stunned mullets as you take them apart

Wilson Tuckey, I love you man

you run rings round those greenies, those tree hugging scum

with their talk about warming, their climate change glum

I trust you Wilson, you know better than them

you can leave them all gobstruck with a home spun gem

Wilson Tuckey, I love you man

you can spot a terrorist at a hundred paces

the ones with the beards and the slightly dark faces

we don’t want them here taking our jobs and houses

with their Qurans and burqas and baggy white trousers

Wilson Tuckey, I love you man

you show us what it means to be Australian

some call you redneck, some say you’re not cool

but you are our bedrock, you are no fool

you are the brown substance of this wide, sunburnt land

and that’s why, Wilson Tuckey, I really, really, really love you man.