May Day

Rue every Briton
and American
the day
not the words
(but the idiocy)
bespoken by May1
Labour’s love
a century lost
in schools
in sick beds
Ypres dead
bearing the cost.
When the graves
are ploughed
French’s pestilence
is coughed
wallowing
following
Haig’s spirits2
in troughs
From July
to November
generals
like to remember
in the embers
of hell
population control
like that at Fromelles,
where harrow
and rugby
with philips
foul seed
like harvard,
yale
and oxenbridge
feed
May they finally
feel
what Burke3
so decreed:
Malthus4
and Arnold5
Newman and Babbitt6
hunting ordinary
people
like the fox
and rabbit.
Not for the food
n’er for the good
but for light blinding,
blight unending
for liberty unwinding
with their wrath
with their swindling
with their hate
ever kindling
the world to inflame
for their fortunes
infame.

  1. On Monday, 18 July 2016, the new Tory Puppet (aka PM), Theresa May, told the Commons in reply to a question by the honourable member for East Lothian, Mr George Kerevan (SNP) that a deterrent meant one must be willing to use it, hence HM Government would willingly annihilate unarmed civilians with atomic weapons. []
  2. From 1 July 1916 until 18 November, General Sir Douglas Haig, whose family wealth was derived from dealing in alcohol addiction, slaughtered nearly one million men for King and Country (and the armaments manufacturers). From 19 – 20 July 1916, some 12,000 men were massacred in the Battle of Fromelles alone. []
  3. Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) published his Reflections on the French Revolution (1790) which became a favourite argument for reactionaries throughout the English-speaking world against democracy. []
  4. Thomas Malthus (1766 – 1834) was an English cleric, grain speculator and economics charlatan whose Essay on the Principle of Population served/ and serves to justify starving the poor in order to maintain the profitability of agribusiness. []
  5. Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) published Culture and Anarchy (1869) in which he argued that education should instill absolute obedience to the established order. He was a student of John Cardinal Newman and son of the Master of Rugby School. []
  6. Irving Babbitt (1865-1933) was a US American reactionary employed as a scholar at Harvard University. He was the American academic incarnation of British reactionary politics. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..