One magpie brings you sorrow; turn away
the omen with a greeting. 'You can say
hello to him and those you cannot see,
friends and relations.' That's what she taught me
how to avoid the sorrow and the joy
outwit the birds and never be the toy
of all the fates they bring. Yet sorrows came
however long delayed, hurt her the same
for waiting. If she trod a pavement crack
She blamed herself for pain. Close, at her back
she felt some Fury's breath and its stern gaze.
We want escape - and that desire betrays -
from what cannot be helped. These rules console
a bit, though mad, where we have no control.
Nick Clegg had to become Deputy Prime Minister; he didn't have a choice.
Who, as I like to say, caused everything that has happened.
1. He has an affair with a posh Rightwing woman.
2. To Impress her, he wangles a residence permit for her nanny.
3. He ends up making his Permanent Secretary get involved in this.
4. He ends up having to resign and being a major sleaze scandal'
5. The Permanent Secretary gets moved sideways in mild disgrace
6. The former Permanent Secretary becomes Deputy Governor of the Bank of England
7. The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Rock looks sound...
I wouldn't mind so much but:
1. Blunkett voted against an equal age of consent
2. Blunkett said at the time that he would rather rage the heterosexual age of consent than lower it for gay men.
3. When he was at Employment, his Department made a serious effort to claw back employment rights trans people had won in industrial tribunals.
4. Someone in Cabinet was pushing for Sterilization as a pre-condition for getting GRCs. Wonder who that might have been?
I don't think his behaviour this morning on the Today programme made a difference one way or another.
BUT As Clement Atlee said, a period of silence on your part would be welcome.
So another poem for Abigail
22nd May 2009
The head burns slow; the heart burns slower still.
The thin burn quickly while fat people fill
ovens with sudden wild-fire, char the bricks.
And what's left afterwards is just a mix
of fine white dust, misshapen bits of bone,
screws from your crowns, perhaps. And all you own
sits in a cousin's attic, or a skip
out in the street. A memory of your lip
quivering on a nipple, or a speech
you gave once, lasts. But very shortly each
of those who loved or hated you will go
through the same process. This is what we know
without a question. Everything will pass
cities and mountains, songbirds and sweet grass.