As Amersham achieves Privatisation
And sells the way hot cakes do when dirt cheap
We realise with a sickening sensation,
As of a skier on a slope too steep,
That if the soundest firms owned by the nation
Are flogged, the duds are all we’ll get to keep –
And when the auction ends they’ll sell the hammer.
We’re heading downhill faster than Franz Klammer.
On that one deal the public’s out of pocket
Some umpteen million quid or thereabouts.
Thatcher gives everyone concerned a rocket
But re her policy betrays no doubts.
Around her neck she wears a heart-shaped locket
In which lie curled some undernourished sprouts
Of Milton Friedman’s hair plucked from his head
Or elsewhere during hectic nights in bed.
I speak in metaphor, needless to say:
Milton and Maggie you could not call lovers
Save in the strictly intellectual way
By which they sleep beneath the same warm covers
And wake up side by side to face the day
Throbbing in concert like a pair of plovers –
Though Milty while he shaves sometimes talks tough
And tells her she’s not being rough enough.
Monetarism as an orthodoxy
Is lethal preached by one like the PM,
Precisely because she’s got so much moxie.
She burns deep like the hard flame from a gem,
Sticks to her guns like glutinous epoxy,
And views the dole queues others would condemn
As growing proof that cutting out dead wood
Can in the long run only lead to good.
No need to say those millions on the dole
Are there because the Government decrees it.
The contrary idea is a live coal,
A notion so dire that the mind can’t seize it.
Suppose that unemployment on the whole
Would be the same no matter what ... Stop! Cheese it!
Better believe that Maggie acts from malice,
Childishly spiteful like JR in Dallas.
An aircraft hijacked in Dar-es-Salaam
Arrives at Stansted full of Tanzanians.
The Immigration officers keep calm
Almost as if these folk were Europeans.
One wouldn’t want to see them come to harm.
Stansted’s a long way north of New Orleans.
But dash it all, eh what! What a kerfuffle
Just to sort out some minor tribal scuffle!
It seems these hijack chappies hate Nyerere
And think that Stansted’s the best place to say it.
The SAS are on tap looking scarey,
A mighty strong card if we have to play it.
As hijacks go, though, this one’s airy-fairy.
The price they ask is vague and kind words pay it.
Believing that their cause is understood
They throw down weapons mostly carved from wood.
A mess on our own doorstep’s thus averted.
What started it we fail to comprehend.
Once more we in the plush West have asserted
Our will that awkwardness must have an end.
And yet it’s possible that we’ve just flirted
With some great grief no words of ours can mend,
In which we might well once have had a hand –
A homing chicken coming in to land.
Speaking of which, one fears that Mr Thorpe
Will not reign long as Amnesty’s new chief.
Placed under stress he has been known to warp,
As David Astor points out with some grief.
I must say that Thorpe’s nerve gives cause to gawp.
A decent silence should not be so brief.
One does feel he might wear more sober togs
And do things quietly in aid of dogs.
Marcus Aurelius said there’s an age
Beyond which we should scorn the public eye,
Put down our seals of office, quit the stage,
Settle our business and prepare to die.
No one denies the emperor was a sage:
His precepts, though, we nowadays defy.
Old Brezhnev, for example, will stay there
As long as there’s enough dye for his hair.
Perhaps he’s dead already and controlled
Remotely by a powerful transmitter.
Another waxwork poured in the same mould
Might stir up protest or at least a titter.
His chassis, valves and circuits have grown old.
The struggle to replace them could be bitter.
At checking-out time for the ape-faced gremlin
Try to avoid the front desk of the Kremlin.