Thursday, 21 May 2009
The Secret People
There is undoubtedly a huge amount of public anger at the current goings-on in Westminster and I have seen G. K. Chesterton's poem The Secret People quoted once or twice. This poem speaks of some of the terrible things done in this country by those in power over the centuries and compares us and our apparent apathy to the French and Russians and their revolutions. It is a little long to reproduce here in its entirety, but these are the last lines: "They have given us into the hands of new unhappy lords, Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords. They fight by shuffling papers; they have 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 evening; 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." It seems to me that his words could apply equally to our current Parliament and to the dreaded European Commission.