Thursday December 14, 2017 22:44 pm 
John F. Wilson

(with apologies to the authors of ‘Salad Days’)

When I was given this that high position,
I pictured myself (poor fool that I was !)
As a wise all-powerful magician,
A sort of political legal Wizard of Oz.

“At last,” I thought, “I’ll know for certain
What diplomacytwo systems’ really means.
I’ll soon ring up that Iron Bamboo Curtain;
I’ll soon be seen behind the scenes.

But all my job appeared to consist of
(Much to my chagrin and dismay)
Was a painfully comprehensive list of
Things I must never do or say.

Don’t ever ask what job you’re on say what work you’re doing
It’s hush-hush.
Don’t ever ask where the Empire’s gone say where the Governor’s going
It’s hush-hush.
If you invent a code have an idea that’s new,
Nobody must be able to
Decipher the code Discuss the idea – not even you !
It’s hush-hush.

Your safes must be as safe as rocks a rock
And baffle all investigations.
Double cross your double locks
And keep on changing your combinations hide your copy of the Declaration.

Don’t ever ask who won the war mention the Basic Law,
It’s hush-hush.
Don’t ever ask what the war was for say what the Law is for,
It’s hush-hush.
If a foreigner comes to stay gweilo comes to tea
(Especially from the U. S. from oversea)
Don’t ever say “What a lovely day” mention the J.L.G. –
It’s hush-hush.

When you go to a foreign shore,
Take, to give you a certain cachet them a good impression,
The briefest case The bulkiest file you ever saw,
And also a semi-detached attaché But don’t ever mention ninety-seven.

At Russian teas At Chinese meals lest you forget,
And make a remark you might regret,
Write on a Soviet serviette chopstick ‘ho gei-mat’
Ne crasniette‘Top Secret’.

If you are knighted transferred by and by,
Accept the honour, don’t be shy fact, don’t groan and sigh.
But don’t ever try to find out why –
It’s hush-hush.

[Written in Hong Kong for the AG’s Chambers Revue, 1990 in memory of my years in the Special Duties Unit 1984 – 1989]



~ Prince Splendid and the Dream Machine
~ The Commencement Conundrum
~ The Law Draftsman's Song
~ Hush Hush
~ The "Mod" Attorney-General
~ To the Lancaster Jurors
~ Contrasts - the challenges of drafting in a developing country

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