When a ‘populist’ looks more like the creep you try hard not to find yourself alone with at parties and, because few in your circle seem to be willing or able to properly stand up to them, makes you feel uneasy, even when they’re absent, because you now can’t help but question your peers’ judgements and boundaries on a whole host of other things.
It is because I love this land that I despise
Your dirty rag. It is because I love this planet
And humanity in all its hues that I have never
Purchased you. And yet your reputation,
So preceding is it, that I’ve never needed to,
For what you do and say is parroted from every
Right-wing quarter every day and poured into my
Eyes and ears by all your corporate, mainstream
Peers as though your narrow, xenophobic tract
Did constitute empirically known fact.
But you are everything you claim to hate –
So rabid in your enmity of citizens and State.
You make your living sieving any information
That ingratiates you to the racists, homophobes,
Misogynists, elitists and the nationalists who’d
Have us in our places. You are bigots with a
Passion for a petty use of microscopic focus;
You are locusts to the fields of understanding,
Tolerance, compassion and perspective; an
Invective to goodwill and unity and common
You are the dumbest form of patriot, besotted
By false flags, nametags and high-horse myths
With which to moralise. It might be funny if your
Preaching wasn’t reaching the messiahs set on
Profitable power and the happy-to-be vacuous,
Enthralled and tooled up with perceived consent.
Yes, you’re a self-important vent to fundamental
Imprecision and pernicious propaganda for a
Willing and uncivil baying mob that sees a virtue in
The seizing of some value from your puritanic gob.
In the company of Light
But not quite equal
Populists are dangerous creatures
Hunting for bugs to sell on as features
Thumping away at their primitive chests
For the tyrannous point
Where the Right meets the Left
Into vacuity pours every salivating nihilist
To vault bridges and dance the day invisible.
The disarmed pray
As hedonists look away
And the powerful wring their hands.
All prey, standing side-on;
Humanity, becalmed and haunted, waits
For spark and wind to wake the auditors.
There once was a bully called Trump
Who had views on perpetual pump
He was easily triggered
And bigly on twitter
Persisted in taking his dumps
He used the best words that he had
To rant like a babyman nursing his Jack the Lad
As his orangey skin
Punctuating his nap time… Sad!
No body is safe from his whims
He is scary when challenged and worse when he wins
From his sore, swollen glands
To his teeny wee hands
Sex and money and war are just Business to him
The cartoon for this POTUS in place
Has the world beady-eyed on the space
Will The Real Donald last?
Is this narcissist’s farce
Gonna blow up the planet or piss on its face?
Did you get the memorandum?
Truth is not a referendum
That’s reflected in a ballot,
In accordance with our palate.
An opinion doesn’t mean you’re right
And blackmail is a pretty risky
Filthy way to start a fight
And bleeding hearted populists,
So expert in promotion,
By exploiting our emotions:
They well know it.
And it shows if you try looking
At the mess they’re busy cooking,
That they haven’t got a frigging clue
Beyond what they told us to do
And if you think about it, nor may you.
For a better understanding,
Take a gander at the chaos
Of the dross with which
They play us.
Do you know which face is speaking?
Can you count the fakes and spot the spin
In all the lines they’re tweaking?
Have you looked around the back for strings?
Seen the cracks within the shite?
Checked your confirmation bias
And that lazy soundbite?
Do not pander to post-truth.
Don’t misunderstand a purpose
Where agenda can usurp us;
Have a pref’rence for some proof.
Stop pretending white is black,
Cease meandering around the facts
And open wide those glassy eyes,
Unglue the ears and hear the guile
And change the dismal diet,
For at least a little while.
Leaders blamed all the wrong things
to hide their shortcomings
and a lot of very silly people met them
when yet more silly people blamed
all the wrong things, again,
the same lazy leaders went and let them.
It was an age of outrage,
wasted by the justified.
Others were just keen.
And here we are,
to twenty seventeen:
Year of the Audacity of Arrogance
– an age sold to fools,
told by idiots.
[June, 2014 – Tragic pertinence needs must rework and repeat]
What would you have us value, then?
What passes for these British traits?
Is it the wilful diminution of democracy
That separates the people from the State?
Or maybe our incessantly insistent view
That what we do is “help” the world for its own sake?
I think I’ve got it: it’s that fair play code we think we own!
How righteously polite we are!
Perhaps we should commission us a global honour mission
Thus we won’t feel so perceptibly alone.
So, is it in our famous law and order you’ve translated into Money talks?
Our globe-anointed tolerance that shadow-stalks the local masses?
Could it be the age-old choreography between the economic classes?
Is it in our Blighty-quaint ability to wait in lines? The neoliberal culture of
I’ll only pay for mine?
Stiff upper lip, is it?
The non-complaining strategy that manifestly rhymes
Neurotic and sclerotic with our passive-born aggression?
Or perhaps it’s that amazing, self-congratulating way
We tend to trip out on our history’s big lessons?
No, wait! Don’t tell me! Let me guess:
You mean like how you cherish our belovèd NHS?
Or could it even be our undeniable capacity
To finger-point with swinging lead and buried heads?
Or might it be our deep, rich, grass-root, time-was Cool Britannia,
Now, by Cowell’s ilk and cynical palaver, made an operatic lather?
Is it in the way we gush and gift a paltry nobody to unreserved celebrity
And rush to make pariahs of the stars beyond our knowing?
Is it how we gloat and glower over uncontested power?
Yes! It surely has to be the Press, with all its freedom to impress?
Or is it how we toe the line
When Lord America decides
We might be useful hand-tools, after all?
Is it our poodle disposition or our sniffy exhibition
That defines our island character?
Do Britain’s expositions make her values truly worthy
Or just pompously perfidious and small?
What the hell and where the heck
Are all these dandy ‘British values’?
Suffer me my ignorance but,
Is it in the way you favour those already able?
Is it how you keep your brother
Or the fear that looks for other
In the refugee and immigrant?
The prisoner? Disabled?
Is it how you treat the NEETs?
The homeless, sleeping on the streets?
The single parent? Needy elders?
Every worker like a serf?
Is it how you are transfixed by everybody’s patriotic worth?
Perhaps you’d like our babies stamped at birth, like eggs,
With redly roaring lions? Then, once they’re schooled and duly cloned,
Be branded with a standard – maybe tractors backed by Union Flags
To make their British value known –
For, what is value worth that can’t be shown?
What are we?
Who are we?
What have we become?
What have we done
But that we strut and curse
With Human ignorance
We sew pockets of hell on Earth
And fret when it’s too late
And still yet tell ourselves
That any fiction is infinitely better
Than to fess up; than to face our
The World weeps bloody tears
And suffocates under fractious clouds
That wreck and reek to retching
Sick, the planet heaves,
Clamouring for more glamour
And belief’s cold sweats
Out of disconnect
Selective fear and fury
Stalks the Psyche
Into frozen thought and feeling
The whole world is reeling
Dancing to discordant tunes
Tectonic Titans crunching
Scraping scraps with blades
All is percussion
World made glass and straw
And poisoned shores
In hearts and thoughts
The whole world wrought
To overwrought and overwhelm
And all for nought.