The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 5 (September 1, 1928)
Dream of a Model Speech
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen.—No man could hope for a greater privilege than I have on this platform to-night, and no man, however well he may be qualified, as I am, for the people's suffrages, could be quite worthy of this splendid assembly. (Loud applause from organised squads, 1, 3, and 5.)
I have before me a galaxy of democracy, a concourse of the most intelligent representatives of a country far-famed for its progressiveness. Wise men of the east, north, south, and west, the four corners of the globe, and the parts between, come here to admire us, and I have before me many of the most admired and unsurpassable, in all fields of effort—physical and mental.
I am a plain man of the people. There are no frills and flounces to my character. I am not eloquent, as Brutus was, but the heartiness of my words can, I hope, make amends for any scarcity of flowery phrases. I am of the people, for the people, by the people, with the people through thick and thin, fair and foul, and I would do the people as they should be done by me. I love this district and its monuments, its fair women (also the brunettes—in fact, all the mild, medium, and full strength beauties of all colours and creeds) and its brave men. I am even the familiar friend of its animals; I know its oxen and its horses, its asses and goats. My faith in this district is as large and as firmly fixed as its mountains or hills. I believe its cows are more cowy than any others; I believe its butter butts better than any other; I believe its birds are more birdy; but this great love and devotion do not blind me to the wonderful features of New Zealand. My heart is in the highlands of this district, and in the lowlands, but it is also in New Zealand, from sea to sea. (Tremendous applause.) I often shed a tear over the love of Hinemoa for Tutanekai, and I feel proud of the fact that I have caught sprats where Maui fished up the North Island.
I am in favour of the simple life. I agree with the words of Tennyson; “Why should we toil who are the root and crown of things?” There is too much toil. We should have more science—the kind of science that will acclimatise the bread-fruit tree, the banana, the brazil nut, and other good food—the kind of science that will make guinea-fowls lay golden eggs. We should make old Mother Earth do more for us. Our heritage is the fruit and fat of the earth, but what do we get?
(A voice by arrangement): Give us politics.
I'll give you justice, rights, humanitarianism, peace and plenty. You have had politics for millions of years. What have they done for you? We want something better than politics. We want a fair deal for everybody. (Cheers.)