This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Friday, 12 October 2012


“We can’t force the people,” said the politician
“To send their children to school
And as for asking ‘em not to breed
You must think I’m a fool.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said the ‘prime minister’
“That we bribed our way out of a jam
The people voted for us next election
So they approved of the scam.”

“The prices rise higher, true,” said the Economist
With a feral friendly smile
“But that’s just an indicator
That things get better all the while.”

“It’s proof the economy’s growing,” said the minister
“That everyone’s so affluent, you see
And anyone who whines about starvation is
An enemy of our great democracy.”

“The forests may vanish,” said the industrialist
“The environment can go straight to hell,
If I’ve got mine, that’s all I want
And a little bit of yours as well.”

“For we’re a democracy, a democracy
And all we want is your vote
And after we’re elected we’ll suck you dry
For our venom there’s no antidote.”

“I shall not tolerate,” said the Emperor
“That the people of Libya are not free
So we will bomb the hell out of the souks
Of that oil-producing country.

“We will not tolerate,” added the Emperor
“That tyrants should abound
We’ll bomb their palaces and smoke them out
Of their holes in the ground.

“Of course it’s true,” added the Emperor
“That we can’t be everywhere all the time
So if you don’t have oil, you’re absolved
Of every great and little crime.

“Oh, we’ll spread democracy, we’ll spread democracy
By TV and rocket, film and bomb
And the only place you’ll be free of freedom
Is when you’re safe in your tomb.”

“Oh we can do anything, we can do anything
So long as we speak the magic word
Behind all the noise of Democracy
Your agonised screams will never be heard.

“Your vote doesn’t matter, for we’re the same
Two sides of the coin we are
And you may think you’re making a choice
But  whoever loses, we win the war.

“Athens taught us the way, the Greeks knew
They knew just how to do things right
Their high-born men voted in the councils
While women and slaves toiled out of sight.”

I listened to the ‘prime minister’
To the Emperor I lent my ear
And ignored the orphan standing by
With frightened face and silver tear.

I must be careful, I told myself
Now that I know I am free
I can’t any longer denigrate
This wonderful democracy.

I could be slaving in a dictatorship
Where voting means nothing at all
And dissent can get me stood up
In front of the nearest wall.

Instead I live in a land of wonder
Where I can choose who can rule
It doesn’t matter that children slave 
Instead of going to school.

For we’re a democracy, a democracy
And that means we are free
And I must be mad, or evil
That it seems a dirty word to me! 

Copyright B Purkayastha 2011

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