The Unquiet Death of Decency (In Memoriam Nick Cohen & David Aaronovitch), By Kevin Higgins

photo to go with Unquiet Death of Decency

The usual apprenticeship:
a youth divided betwixt
bad folksongs
horribly performed,
and being against
nuking Kazakhstan,
for which you’ve spent
thirty years trying to grow
a compensatory dickey-bow.

For old time’s sake you
express your disgust
at how the government’s
phasing out the poor –
every day a few less –

by thrice a week feeding
yourself a whole
roast piglet, and reminding
acquaintances, who are
anyone’s for a fat glass of sherry,

that a decent leftist
is a one-time social secretary of
Hampstead Youth Communist League
mugged by the Collected Works
of Edmund Burke,
while inhaling butyl nitrate
in a squat near
Hackney Wick.

Your column in The Stinker
a weekly gust
of foul smelling wind
up all the right noses;
if only they’d wake up and sniff
the threat. One of these days!

You kneel
by your bed and pray
to a statue
of Jihad John carved
in a bar of black carbolic;

that he may send
a representative soon
to extinguish Prince Philip,
or blow up Wembley Stadium,

so you can get
back to the serious business
of saying the wildest possible yes
to bombing wherever’s next.

KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogman’s Cannon Satirist-In-Residence