of red-hot news
from Albion's shores, and whether we need a
sing, shrunken Muse]
This is the culture-clash with class, the whole
how shall the English ever reconcile
England with England?
Our dreamtime is the shires: churchyards,
the Wye, the Thames,
Sir Walter's burr, Keats, Alice and steam trains,
at Master Blake's, and Palmer's golden slides,
Burke at the bar
declaiming, while Cobbett takes his rural rides
around John Clare.
No Leveller's Arms, no Oliver Slept Here's
above pub beds;
it's all Lord Nelsons, Laughing Cavaliers
and King Charles' Heads.
From which we have advanced, and given the
to citizen John,
tied, suited, Dalek-voiced: a compromise
our Chief of Men]
Who'd have thought it: Pitt, Winston, Her
loosing the Tebbit,
now polystricken John, caught in the glare
like any rabbit.
A decent chap. A docile chap. A son
of fortune's wheel
thrown up in panic at the Rubicon
to the top of the pole,
that greasy habitat . . . from whence he fears
that he might fall
to mighty Brussels, little Englanders
or bugger all.
A decent chap. Oh quite. 'One of us.' At
least, he seemed that then.
But now he's used more lifetimes than a cat,
all things to all men.
'Who gives a toss for the old dormouse?'
said Clark of Howe,
the Party Pepys, the diuretic diarist
bluer than blue
with all that whores after the Iron Duke.
lives on, ready to rope the highest neck
with tar, cement,
rat-poison, razors, nooses, Roman baths,
or else the Lords:
leaders who don't deliver must fall at last
upon their swords.
Poor John] Poor classless John, whose citizen's
charter doesn't stretch
to cover his bottom, nor any of the venoms
of Right and Left.
'Radical' this, 'reform' of that, 'think-tank',
is just a joke,
pinching the smart agenda while still hitched
the Establishment yoke.
He stood for . . . what, exactly? We might allege
lack of extremes,
the putative middle ground: roast beef, two veg,
fair to middling dreams.
He stood for anti-conviction, stuck fast by
the good old British
myopic squint: unexamined history
and no French sauce.
Deserves a pat on the back for the Downing
Declaration - sure,
but should've stood up to the Orange bigots
As for Europe . . .] And as for England, well
what's in store for us -
warm beer, two nations, Tarzan, the Heritage
and more of the bogus
shamans of 'enterprise', carving careers
fit for the rich,
while the Wye silts up, and the haywain's steered
straight into the ditch?
A republic to challenge the pink elite -
let's get that born.
Yes] to the lion's actual working feet,
down with the unicorn
if he can't lay his soft head in the lap
of common things
where virtue wears an apron, or a cap.
No blazons, wings,
just gardeners with green fingers, or with black,
mending the bike,
who helped each other out of Noah's ark
and never looked back.
Except they did] To God, and to his reps
on earth below,
selling us fealty to those formal chaps.
But I don't know
any good reason why we can't, won't pitch
out those old tithes
whose day is gone, like rotten old thatch,
and live our lives.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content