22 February 2016

How they brought the good news from Aix to Kent (a poem)


With apologies to Robert Browning

I ladled out syrup to Boris and he
Said “Golly,” Gove quibbled, we quarrelled all three.
“No deal!” said the mayor with a cavalier wave,
As he mounted the saddle and left me to save
This mad sceptic isle from a leap in the dark
(A vote-winning phrase that I got from Ken Clarke).

After battling for Britain, I thought it ingrate
Of Boris and Michael to subvert my fate.
In Brussels I won a magnificent deal,
Its details were concrete, triumphant and real.
For toddlers unborn, from Gdansk to Lublin,
Get less pocket money from 3015.

Westminster’s sovereign now, all that it takes
Is total agreement by fifteen more states.
These freedoms I won – and I say it with pride –
Because I had Angela Merkel onside;
And only last week she most kindly called me
A valuable part of the EU acquis.

I love Boris dearly, but – ’twas ever thus –
I fear our great mayor has a problem with trust;
In schooldays m’tutor warned one should beware
Of Turks bearing gifts (it’s in Virgil somewhere).
So, treat all careerists and hacks with disdain,
Save ten million jobs with a vote to remain.

Gerald Warner is a political commentator.