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The trial of ethnocentricity

Part 5 - Mr Trubbland Strife

“Mr Strife,” began B, “please defend the accused;
tell us now of the policies, many years used,
that have striven to rid us of Pig and of Grief,
and for forty long years have brought light and relief.”

“In essence,” said Trubbland, “the point is to blame
all our troubles on Pig, and avoiding the same.
It is very well known that the Pig’s skin was white,
so preventing the white being Pigs must be right.”

“But what would you do with a Pig that was brown?”
asked Sir H. “There’s not one to be found in the town,”
replied Trubbland. “Indeed, to invent such a swine
is a Piggist opinion, overtly malign.”

“So what would you call those who blow up our folk?”
asked Sir Herbert. But Strife would just splutter and choke;
he insisted that brown Pigs were really not swine,
though they hated the white Pig, and all other kine.

“Well, what if they say plain as day that they will?”
asked Sir H. “And they say that they only lack skill,
yet if given the chance they would gladly destroy
all opinions but theirs, woman, man, girl and boy?”

“That’s outrageous!” said Trubbland, “believing their word!
And the fact that they act on it proves it’s absurd!
They are just like ourselves – for we know that they teased,
when they said they were different, and must be appeased!”

“Mr Strife,” thundered Herbert, “you’re making my case,
for you speak different words from each side of your face.
On the one hand they’re different, the other, they’re not;
please advise us again, just in case we forgot!”

“I have served as a minister forty long years!”
thundered Strife. “I can only cry crocodile’s tears.
I must answer with cant, Double Dutch, and with Greek,
for all know they’re the tongues I habitually speak!

Ethnocentric we’d be, if we made those who come
to our country behave like the rest; to succumb
to our patterns of thought, to our cultural views,
to our laws, or our taxes; instead, they must choose.

They must surely be free to act just as they please,
to ignore our opinions, and live at their ease;
for to ask them to change would be Piggist and foul -
and besides, we’ve taught Pie he must jump when they howl!”

“Then what,” said Sir H, “would you call the idea
of deciding the minds of all those who come here?
To ignore their opinions, assigning their view,
despite all that they say, despite all that they do?”

“That would be Ethnocentric!” snapped Strife. “We decreed
Mr Jobsworth should never so act, and indeed,
if he did, we would ask that the Piggist resign,
and insist he inform us of all other swine.”

“But you did it,” growled Herbert. “You said that they shared
all the views Humble Pie has avowed and declared,
when they don’t, and they say that they don’t, and don’t care,
in our Tolerance, older or newer, to share.”

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