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Thursday 7 May 2015

Painful politics

Voted today, but with a heavy heart. I believe masochism will affect the result and I've never favoured self-harm.

Five years ago the Tories inherited national debt at record levels, due to reduced national income and Labour's decision to bail out the banks. And thus was born a golden ideological opportunity that even Mrs Thatcher was denied. Austerity would be the watchword and would be achieved by dismantling the state.

How do you dismantle a state? By cutting employment, services and benefits most of which help the poor and the needy. Thus the last five years.

Austerity hurts and is unfairly distributed. But do you know what? - the more unpalatable the medicine the more the patient imagines it's doing good. Too many  UK citizens are now doggedly habituated to austerity even though there are alternatives. Too many will mark their cross today saying, in effect, whip me harder so I can do my bit.

While others will successfully avoid the whip altogether, welcoming the reborn Middle Ages.

I tried to peg out soldierly, - no use!
One dies of war like any old disease.
The bandage feels like pennies on my eyes.
I have my medals - Discs to make eyes close.

Almost any tiny evocation of WW1 (I'm guessing here) causes my throat to contract. The screw tightens when the speaker fails to complain. War a disease - why didn't I think of that? Medals used in that way - why not? And how well slang works in the first line.

Wilfred Owen (Who else?)


  1. Line 4 of the nudge seems gratingly reminiscent of line 3, a re-hash of the notion of coins on the eyes. Each line a good idea, but in succession they fail. Or are we to take them as delirious gasping?

  2. MikeM: Wilfred Owen who was killed on the day before WW1 ended was usually in control: see, for instance, his poems interwoven with the liturgy in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem.

    However, try as I might, I cannot make Line 4 scan.