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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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The trial of ethnocentricity

Part 1 - The case of Jobsworth

In the dock was a man looking terribly pained,
and appalled by the charges on which they arraigned
him to answer for treason, and trifling with power,
and for drinking the custard when sherry went sour.

He had been in an office of state for the Queen,
while his minions ignored all the laws there had been,
and instead served their conscience as best they saw fit,
whilst the will of the millions ne'er counted a bit.

He answered to Jobsworth, a man of repute,
who had risen through spittle applied to the boot
of the leaders of left, or of right, or of both,
for with each and with all he had plighted his troth.

The accusers were gathered with countenance grim,
and Sir Herbert declared that their chances were slim,
since the jury had heard the whole story before,
and had backed the defendant in serving the law.

Cecil Berridge defended the hack for his fee;
that the public should pay it, all sides could agree.
For the nation paid Jobsworth to do as he willed,
and as long as he did it, the public were billed.

Now at last, as the gavel began to descend,
forty years of delay met their ultimate end.
It began with the killing of Ignorant Pig,
whose extinction was marked with a dance and a jig.

But the Pig (who was Ignorant mostly of lies,
and had eaten the worst of the nation's supplies)
had refused to lie down with his feet in the air,
and reduced his opponents to rage and despair.

Sir Herbert began with a startling call -
he decided he needed no witness at all,
and explained that his case made the finest of sense
by examining those who would speak in defence!

For the whole prosecution was based on the view
that the wretched defendant at every stage knew
that the way he was running an office of state
would develop new dangers, and trifle with fate.

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