Tag Archives: society

While You And I

The chatter
Of girls who clatter
On stillettos high,
Giggling about their latest guy.
Pointy heels delight,
And tear apart
A young man’s heart.

Girls once dreamed of mansions in the Cheshire countryside
But time’s tide
Runs on.
Youth is almost gone
And dreams turn to the waking nightmare
Of the needle-strewn stair
In a tower block too high
For you or I
But a mother and a screaming baby live there,
While you and I pretend to care.


Deep in the soul
Where CCTV
Can not penetrate,
A devil does wait
And whispers, “my goal
Is to make you free.
Come with me
Where the light is no more
And see what pleasures are in store
For those who would ignore
Society’s law.

Empty the brain
And do not restrain
Your carnal needs.
Only the herd feeds
On the myth of The Fall.
Pleasure is all,
Come with me
And be free”.

One may look up to heaven above
And call upon God’s love.
But what if we are alone
In our temple of skin and bone,
With only our conscience weak
To speak?
Shall the meek
Inherit the earth?
I fear
There is a clear
Of proof
In support of this “truth”.

A Dialogue

There is a frame of mind
that says “leave as you find.
Let the great oak alone
and spare the ancient stone
for they serve a purpose
if one looks beneath the surface
of things”.
Others bring
to bare a mind
which no beauty doth find
in oak and stone
“for they stand in the way
Of a brighter day”.
“But if you pull the tree down
what then supports the ground?
For the roots go deep
and people weep
when the oak falls
on ancient halls”.
“Let us wield the axe and be glad
for the old ways are bad.
New seed we will sow
The past must go”.
They are arguing still
As the sun sinks
o’er vale and hill.

Windy Park

The wind blows through the park,

My mood is bleak and dark.

Teenage voices glad,

What hope do they have?

In a world gone mad,

Should not one be sad?

The weather speaks to me,

Why can not man be free,

Flying with the breeze,

Amongst the dancing trees.


A Girl Singing

A young woman sings quietly.
What has been done can not be undone, yet her song continues, words floating on the crisp morning air.
Barely out of girlhood, she sings the song of a man who beats women, her mind filled with dreams of street gangs, “power flows from the barrel of a gun”.
What has been done can not be undone.
Just a girl, late teens, heading somewhere, singing.

Inner City

A cold space, vast, aisles stretching seemingly forever. Musak plays,with occasional monotone interruptions regarding offers which one simply can not afford to miss.

Outside, an icey wind blows newspapers along streets lined with discount stores. Young men unable to articulate beyond “yeah” wander down urban pavements where “the decent” fear to tread. The inner city. Cold, desolate, dead.

I Am

I am the shadow which follows hard on your heels late at night, hood covered face, feral eyes gleaming under the street lamps.

I am the teenager aimlessly hanging around decrepit shops, their windows plastered with ads for “massage”.

I am the 14-year-old child who asks you to buy cigarettes or alcohol on my behalf. You pretend not to hear as you hurry on by.

I am the single mother, yelling at my kids,my once pretty face lined with care.

I am the drug addled thief, householder’s beware.

I am the one the press like to blame, “Those feckless people, have they no shame?”

You fear or placate me. I am your shame. Stubborn, immovable the underclass is my name.

The Club

“Jock my dear chap its good to see you. I don’t think that I’ve seen you in the club since January”.

“Good to see you to Phillip old man. I haven’t visited the old place since December. I’ve been travelling in South America, Columbia mainly”.

“That would explain your absence. Can I get you a drink?” Phillip asked.

“Most kind old chap. I’ll have a whisky please” Jock replied.

Phillip signalled to one of the soberly dressed waiters.

“Yes Mr Drummond?”

“Two whiskies please Robert”.

“Certainly sir”.

“Bring them into the library there’s a good chap”.

“Of course sir”.

The two acquaintences ensconced themselves in huge leather armchairs in front of a blazing log fire. The fire light shone on the spines of the leather bound tomes which stood in the heavy oak bookcases. Jock lazily scanned the books his eyes pausing on an early edition of Hobbes’s Leviathan.

“And which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” Jock said.

“Do you really hold such a pessimistic view of the human condition” Phillip said stretching his long legs out towards the open fire. “Life is good. We have this excellent whisky which we are enjoying in one of Pall Mall’s most exclusive clubs and you go quoting that old pessimist Thomas Hobbes”.

“One mans pesimist is another mans realist my dear chap. Hobbes saw the necessity of a strong government to keep the herd of humanity in order. Tell me Phillip my old friend what in your opinion is the greatest evil, that which man fears most?”

“Lack of individual freedom. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany both comprehensively stamped on liberty with horrendous consequences”.

Jock smiled sadly.

“You are an all round good egg Phillip and that is one of the reasons I derive so much pleasure from your society. You are incorrect in your surmise though. The thing which man rightly fears most is the lack of social order. He fears the theft of his property by the great unwashed. He lives in terror of the rape of his wife by the sexual pervert lurking in the shadows. Beyond the bright lights of this club their lurks a stinking mass which can hardly be dignified with the name of human. Government is there to keep order, to protect us from the mob and when push comes to shove you and I really don’t care which government holds sway. Our concern is that the authorities keep our person and property free from molestation and the mob in check”.

“But my dear fellow by your logic any government is legitimate provided that it maintains social order. Do you really believe that Franco’s Spain and other similar regimes should be lauded on the grounds that they upheld social order?”

“Tell me old boy how much value would you place in democracy if the people out there” Jock said gesturing in the direction of the window, “decided to run riot and attack your flat in Mayfair?”

“That is extremely unlikely to happen. Democracy has deep roots in this country and the people do, on the whole support the system”.

“Indeed and I support democracy while the democratic system maintains order. Hobbes view was that any government which promotes social stability should be supported but if that system fails then the populace are entitled to switch their alegance to whichever individual or government is capable of preventing chaos. So I am a conditional democrat” Jock said with a smile.

“But dictatorships of the left and right have caused incalculable suffering. I don’t need to tell you about the Nazi’s murder of six million Jews or Stalin’s Gulags”.

“Dictatorships have indeed committed terrible atrocities. However when you face losing your life or property a strong dictator is the lesser of two evils. Weighing everything in the balance it is the lack of order which poses the greatest danger to humanity. Imagine that rather than sitting here in this gentlemans club enjoying fine whisky that you had to cower in a dark corner for fear of your life. That marauding gangs roamed at will across this green and pleasant land. Are you really telling me that under those circumstances you wouldn’t welcome a dictator with open arms provided that he put a stop to the anarchy?”

“I hope I wouldn’t embrace dictatorship. There are other ways of dealing with anarchy other than resorting to authoritarianism”.

“Oh Phillip my old friend you are such a liberal. You are undoubtedly one of the nicest, most civilised people I know but if push came to shove I believe that you would do anything to preserve the life and property of you and your family. Hobbes’s Leviathan is not merely a dusty old curiosity with no relevance to the 21st century. In Colombia I saw the truths of his great intellect reveal itself to me”.

“How so?”

“You know that successive governments have been fighting a losing war against the drug traffickers?”

“Of course its all over the media. Occasionally the authorities will kill or capture one of the leading drug barons but another quickly steps into his shoes”.

“Precisely so. However the really fascinating aspect of the whole Colombian situation is how many of these drug lords are regarded as heroes by the Colombians who live under their jurristiction. The barons provide healthcare and other forms of charity which helps to cement their hold. Granted there is a good deal of brutality but this isn’t the primary means by which the drug traffickers maintain their power. If you have nothing or very little and someone (anyone, even the devil) suddenly furnishes you with money which buys you comforts, you will embrace him as a liberator with open arms. For the poor of Colombia the drug barons release them from the state of nature allowing the people to flourish in an ordered society”.

“But what of the horrendous effects of drugs on the poor sods who’s lives are wrecked by them?”

“If you are a peasant farmer in Colombia is the stupidity of some junkie in the back streets of Leeds really going to be top of your priority? No your concern will be with the welfare of your family. The local drug lord has just provided you with the money to purchase medicine for your sick little girl so why should you care about some silly kid shooting up heroine on the other side of the world? The bottom line is my dear chap that people will do anything to survive”.

Jock paused his eyes taking on a far away look.


The hut stank of bird droppings. Chickens wandered in and out at will.

“You like young girl” the man at the coffee stall had asked.

“How young?” Jock had asked.

“Eighteen mister” the man said in broken English.

The child looked about thirteen. Jock hesitated, what was left of his moral compass holding him back.

“It OK mister. I need money. You fuck. No problem”.

Yes people would do anything for money and security however slight that security might be Jock thought as he finished his whisky.

“Good to see you Phillip old bean. I’ve no doubt that we will run into one another again soon” Jock said rising and shaking Phillip’s hand.

“Nice to see you to old man” Phillip said.

Phillip gazed out of the window as Jock Carmichael walked briskly away from the club. Was his acquaintance right? Was life a mere matter of dog eat dog with the necessity for government (any government however brutal) to maintain order?

“I hope not” Phillip muttered as he reached out his hand for the bell which summoned one of the waiters. Time for another drink he thought.