Thursday, May 23, 2024

If 2022


(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can lose your head when all about you

Are keeping theirs and still voting for you,
If you can trust yourself when all sane men doubt you,
And make no allowance for their doubting too;
If you can prate and not be tired by prating,
Or lying, always deal in lies,
Or hating, do give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too bent, nor talk too unwise:

If you can dream – and make utopian dreams your master;
If you can think – and make footling thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with voter and alt-broadcaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the safety-speak you’ve spoken
Exposed as coercive, pointless rules,
Or watch the things commoners gave their lives to, broken,
And stoop and smash ’em up again with new-found tools:

If you can make one heap of all your expenses
And risk nothing on speeches of abject dross,
And win a seat, and forget about your modest beginnings
And never breathe a word about your boss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To slate your country long after it is laid low,
And so hold on when there is everything in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Let go!’

If you can talk with tech giants and lose our statues,
Or walk with crowds – nor lose the elitist touch,
If censored foes can never hurt you,
If all pharma companies count with you, and most too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of falsehoods spun,
Yours is the New World Order and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be an MP, my son!

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Stuart Major
Stuart Major
Stuart Major is an independent scholar based in Sussex.

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