“If” (Daily Mail version)


If you can pick on Ed, when all around you
Are at the Tory conference writing wittily on Dave,
If the simplest of ideas, like “truth”, confound you,
If nineteenth-century England is what you really crave,
If you can lie and not be tired by lying,
Or crashing some memorial, like the classy folk you are,
Or rooting through the bins, to see what someone’s buying,
And still make out that somehow, you raise the moral bar:

If you can let that Littlejohn write nonsense that no reader
(If they’ve half a brain, that is) could bear to read at all,
If you can fill your articles, and leader after leader,
With prose that’s just appalling, and stories twelve feet tall,
If you can feel quite proud to see the lies that you have written
Keeping innocents and victims from their sleep at night,
If your guide on every topic, from Syria to kittens,
Is a view that even Hitler would think too far to the right:

If you can make one heap, of all your stories
That have a whiff of honesty, of insight or of wit,
And set fire to that heap, your journalistic glories,
And find it’s only ashes before it’s even lit,
If you can make a middle-England Tory feel sorry
For working folk, the unemployed, the lonely, weak and poor,
If you can make up cancer scares to panic and to worry,
You should have figured out by now this century’s not yours:

If the politics of ignorance are something that you cherish,
And the stalking of celebrities is perfectly ok,
If “naked” “dead” and “communist” are all words that you relish,
And you secretly think foreigners should all be locked away,
If you can fill your newspaper – and still not want to bin it –
With sixty pages worth of spit and bile,
Yours is the Mail, (and all the bollocks in it)
And from the grave of Viscount Rothermere, a hearty “Sieg Heil!”


If you liked this, there’s more poems and sketches here, extracts from my novel here, and a selection of the best posts here. Oh, and please comment, like, share, whatever takes your fancy.



  1. Moelwyn · · Reply


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