The people will not hear the truth, nor trust the truth-teller;
Stories fall apart, the centre is not real;
Mere dull geometry to gull a duller world.
Our poll-driven narrative is loosed, but everywhere
The target audience refuses to be wowed.
The best shun social-media, while the worst
Still tweet with manic imbecility.
Surely some course-correction is in hand?
Surely it’s time to take our Second Term in hand!
Our Second Term! Hardly are those words out
Than grainy video-clips, recorded in the Eighties,
Download to my device. Images of conferences past;
A shape with Jim Anderton’s body and Matt McCarten’s head;
A gaze blank and pitiless as Tova O’Brien’s
Is holding a media conference, while all around it
Reel journos of the indignant Fourth Estate.
The cellphone screen goes blank; but now I know
That declaring “They are Us”
And stamping out the coronavirus
Were just the first rough drafts of an historical drama
Still struggling with its author to be born.
This poetic parody was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 27 November 2020.