Poetic Licence

The Moral Crusade
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The Independent Culture
Tony Blair vowed this week to launch a new moral crusade for the young. His ministers, meanwhile, promise to clamp down on 'workshy' youngsters, in a move which will deprive 'persistent refuseniks' of their benefits for up to six months

At the break of a burnished autumn

When the shadows lay long on the land

Came a knight on a knackered old destrier

With an often-used lance in his hand

But the knight was as fresh as alfresco

With a tan from the Tuscany hills

And a pledge in his heart for his people

To vanquish society's ills.

Or this was the gist of the pledge

which he made.

As he rode his high horse on the

moral crusade.

Now it happened to pass in this kingdom

That its striplings and maidens ran wild

For the striplings were idle, un-lettered,

And the maidens were heavy with child.

And it bothered the knight and his household

That these loafers weren't pulling their weight

And the drain on the kingdom's gold coffers

Had grown correspondingly great.

So the crusading knight set about them

With the sword of St. Nanny Knows Best

And a method for getting them moving

Which he'd cribbed from the King of the West

Until all of the striplings were settled

With a call-centre job and degree,

Or else fannying around with computers

While concocting some spurious CV.

And no one got fat on the wages

they paid

Though that's not the point with a

moral crusade.

From the burger-flip mum in the precinct

To the three-year-old scrawling his name

The flag of Sir Android de Workfayre

Flapped over the kingdom the same

And except for some homeless refuseniks

Oh... and actually, quite a few more.

The farrago continued as usual

In much the same way as before.