A Very Eton Kind of Far-Right Coup
by Chris Norris
(to mark the event of an attempted UK far-right coup, August 28th, 2019)
Not long since witty heckling might
Have stopped the bastard dead,
But we just thought 'it's not our fight',
And laughed at what he said.
Great thing, the wisdom of hindsight,
Stuff we now take as read,
Like judging when the time was right
To nail the lies he spread,
Take action, raise the cry: 'Unite
Against this knucklehead
Or watch the creeping fascist blight
Bring all the things you dread'.
O yes, we marched, we put on quite
A semblance of street-cred,
And told ourselves the plebiscite
Would soon be put to bed.
We cautioned 'Don't be fooled despite
The lies they parroted;
If that lot win they'll re-ignite
The fire the Führer fed'.
But some were fooled, some put to flight,
Some too compliance-bred,
And others apt to jump in fright
At each new watershed.
So when the crisis reached its height
They simply lost the thread,
Ignored ‘the doomsters’, and made light
Of what the papers said.
They thought 'it’s not so black-or-white,
Keep calm, don't be misled',
And then, lest truth reveal their plight,
Watched ‘Love Island’ in stead.
It’s fools and fascists take a bright-
Side view of what’s ahead
Although, god knows, the appetite
For hope’s our daily bread.
So if our warning-calls invite
The fascists to see red,
Just think: this one’s no proxy-fight –
Strike now, or that hope’s dead.
This poem is taken from Chris Norris's forthcoming collection for Culture Matters.
Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff. He is the author of more than thirty books on aspects of philosophy, politics, literature, the history of ideas, and music.