Can’t Get the Staff

Is there a time, since 1869, when first the poor,

A proletariat, began, attained to sign

To write more than their name or modest mark indite

Becoming set among the rolls productive

A lettered class, by rote named educated:

 

No time since which have high-ups shown such open candour

Of ignorance – bragged ignorance banner-wide

And broadcast through the realm before a nation hobbled

No sweet pearled Peirean Springs, but a great coach and four

 

Through over-licensed bids astray amid the esteemed paths

Alas, our suchlike high-ups raise no more than curious laughs

Dismissed are they now, deem themselves unvoted

Their gaffs and impositions; and the people walking mad

 

Learning soccer, horses, lotteries, with insidious instant wins

From scratch cards aptly named to explain their total hopes and whims

The time’s lost losers, boosers, who disburse their scanty cash

Upon a hapless joke, and buy their tickets for the rich

 

Those rich who frequent operas, and who swindle parliaments

And gain from paupers’ losses thrown away in lieu of life

Into a skim collecting tin for use in jolly romps;

That those who have enough, too much, should revel on the poor

 

And nothing’s said, no qualm or conscience ever moves

For Natural Selection’s Nazi’s boot, has to them proved

Them apposite, the risen cream, just right for lacing phials

Of privilege embezzled from some subclass, untoward

 

In synthesis, analysis, let down by schooling flat,

By fools high-up, their monitors, whose acumen at large

Hoists on it own petard by pitch and sell and pitch and sell

Sails down a murky river simpering idle sweets of trade

 

Its market sacrifices pitched at Dagon-like stock stones

Run practices and rituals such as might to mind beseem

Of taste and grasp all failure, in their own preserves bereft

But spoken for, still honoured, having squandered light away

 

Now search about and grapple in the broadest light of day

Where taken down to lowest common factors

From physicist to mystic crystal chiropracters

We stumble over objects our own manuals put our way

 

All by ourselves we know not why nor how.

And so we have top academies who can’t work out, explain

The very derivation of their glorious ancient name

Succeeders leaving schools without a grade, bearing a spade

A vast amorphous herding to a middle ground of cattle

 

And lowly on the ground floors some few labourers earnest still

To honour God do good their neighbours need………

But this? This is absurd, just junk, and instead favours

And graft float Britain’s ship along a darkling tunnel; slaver

 

Fulfilled with souls to Mammon sold up, harvest-rendered,

Who missed their sacred lessons, never went, untaught,

As by the tutor foregone; forms free-floating make surmise

Instead, and so, their Saviour’s grace appears their pack of lies

 

So that today we offer proud and haughty ignorance

Stood on the fourth plinth wonderfully against Trafalgar Square

Proclaiming national expertise in shooting off its toes

To escape The Great War scrummaging against those to whom it most owes

 

We are the fools who do not know our staunchest surest friends

Our judgements boned up selfishness weak waver, windy wend

Into that anyplace where prejudice prevails,

From suchlike Sloughs of Despond can our friends make out our wills

 

Declaiming so insistently upon our witless vision

We’d rather finish freindships, to make purpose for our prison

For a store of life dilemmas, sore denied designed disgraces

And bear with fancied honour yet more egg flat on our faces

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