Chesterton

This week’s Daily Telegraph has done a great deal to educate us about our rulers. Reading about the activities  of Phil Hope, from the  Ministry of Health, I was reminded of Chesterton’s 1922 poem about education, Citizenship:

For he will learn, if he will try,
The deep interior truths whereby
We rule the Commonwealth ;
What is the Food-Controller’s fee
And whether the Health Ministry
Are in it for their health.

2 Comments

  1. The Shadow
    Posted May 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that he’d have something to say about a government who allow their soldiers to die because they won’t kit them properly, but feel not the slightest shred of guilt about defrauding the families, friends and fellow countrymen of those soldiers.

  2. Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he’d have said something along the lines of:

    They have given us into the hands of the new unhappy lords,
    Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
    They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
    They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
    And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
    Their doors are shut in the evenings; and they know no songs.

    We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
    Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
    It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
    Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
    It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
    God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
    But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
    Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

    (from The Secret People)


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