Mainly African Verse

! The ABC of Treason

! Absence From Africa

! Africa

! Africa - A Geographical Expression (And School Certificate Subject)

! Africa in My Heart

! Africa's Rewards

Arsenals of Democracy


! Bad Business in Africa

! Bad, Coarse, Worse Verse

Because They Must


Biafra - Britain's Shame

! Black

The Blacks Got a Nation

! Bottomsupyours Treadmill Blues

Bronx Rap

The Bubble of my Times

Carol in a Blue and Yellow Scarf

! Catharsis, Crimson, Purple, Black Blood

Coastal Oil

Colonial Gauleiters

! Commitment

Continental Drift

The Diaspora

Don't Ask

! Due Process

! Entrapment

Exile - A Dagger in the Heart

Farringdon Distorters of Truth

! Fear

! Get Out of Here

! Good Morning, Africa!

! The Guarantee

! A Guardian Away Game

The Guardian Hymn

Guardian Treason to its Clerkly Readers

! Here We Are Again

Honest Injun: Surprised?

I Don't Care

Ikoyi Bush Telegraph Poet Tree

! Incarceration

In Love with Africa

! It's Still The Same Old Story

! It's the Economy, Stupid!

! John Locke's Essential Rebellion in Africa

! Jolly Good Jack Straw!

! A Killing Has Been Arranged

Labour Since 1945

Lagos Resthouse Calypso

! Last Edition

Lawmaker - Outlaw

! Left


Lib Lab

Limbo Land

! Living Dangerously


! Looking Out For Yourself

! Lucy - Your Date

Man of Straw

Man with a Golden Tool

The Mrs Miniver Brigade

My Brother's Keeper

! My Love Walks Tall

! The New Jerusalem


1943 - 1948 - 1949 - 1956

! Nineteen Sixty

Nineteen Sixty Eight

! Nogoinfo (It's All in Chomsky)

! The Northern Sense of Humour

Not Really

Orientalism - The Nigerian Transfer

Our English Friends

! Our Green Years in Africa

! The Piano

Play the White Man

! The Reunion

Saint Hugo of Farringdon

! The Secret Basement

Selfcensorship, Verso, X, Y, Zed


! Spring at Widbrook, 2001

! Tales of the Secret Service

! This Book Has Fallen

! Tick, Tock: If You Can Hear This, You Survived!

! Tom Sargant

! Transparency

Treason is Sneaky, Via The Rear Entrance

We Didn't Know

Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?

What Is It?

! What Kind of Fool Am I?

When Britain Ruled in Africa

! Whitehallgate

White Man's Juju

! White - Oh Dear!

Widows and Orphans

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The ABC of Treason

The spies' alphabet
Is a Boys' Own kit
Of adventure,
Nurtured on Hotspur,
Wizard, Skipper, Rover,
Boys' Own Paper,
Of daring-do
And skulduggery
For permanent
Eleven year olds.

Boyhood spirits,
Youthful Brits,
Reared on Biggles
And beastly Huns
And Gottenblast;,
Gott in Himmel,
Dumkopf and Bosch-like

Where do I sign?
I'm an agent of MI Five
Or Six,
Or numbers in between.
I swear I'll serve
Nasty politicians
And the Queen,
And whatever the idiots
Call on me to do
That's unlawful
And criminal, and beyond
The call of duty.

For I'm the shit,
Five or Six,
Who's at your call for filth,
And treason, and the dirty work
Which Whitehall calls on
Rather than rely on reason.

I was once decent,
Normal, lawful,
Reasonable, balanced,
An average citizen.
Now I'm the filth,
The scab, the cruel crud.
I gave up honesty
For this cruel pursuit.

And now grown up,
An adult with kids,
I see a wasteland
Created by chums like me.
I could have been a lawyer,
An engineer, or just me.
And yet I'm an addict
Of soul-destroying
State criminality.

March 2001

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Absence from Africa

The Nile,
The Niger,
The Zambesi,

Absence from Africa is cruel,
Because driven away
By British threats of death.

However, although it is a cliché
To say that absence
Makes the heart grow fonder,
How can that be of Africa
When our love was and is

For Carol, as for Africa,
When she is away I grieve.
But my heart is full
Before she goes.
Still is a great joy
When she returns.

Carol and Africa were one,
And my heart responds
To both, a continent
And Carol, the same,
For both are loved dearly,
And Carol was Africa,
And together we were at home
With African people.

Africa was home,
And home was Carol, and
Helen and Louise
Feeling good in Lagos.

Ruined by the British
And then labelled
Totally corrupt.

Well, they would, wouldn't they?
And they did.
Perhaps proving
In so doing
That not all the Brits
Fell in love with Africa.
Isn't that sad?

Nile, Niger, Zambesi,
Carol, Helen and Louise.
Nile, Niger, Zambesi,
Africa our home,
Our love, our family.

March 2001

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Africa, Africa.
Whence come these names
For a Continent

Africa, Africa.
Snowy mountains.
Delta creeks
And deserts.
Green savannahs
And forests of teak.

Africa, Africa.
For the suffering
Of its peoples,
The Holocausts
And the laughter and lament
Of a troubled Continent.

Africa, Africa.
Each baby, newly born,
Testifies your courage
And age-old beliefs.
We will survive and dream of
A black eternity.

February 2001

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Africa - A Geographical Expression
(And School Certificate Subject)

British Africans, like Nwokedi,
Agents of the Queen and OBE,
Are left to rule
After a pretend departure
And face a dilemma.

They despise the Africa
From whence they came
And dream of an England
Of cricket, cream teas
And School Certificate Shakespeare,
Where their good manners, old chap,
Will permit of course - well perhaps -
Total acceptance
Despite a black skin,
For they are Persil white underneath.

They are twixt and between
And are further confused
When Brits at ease
With African aspirations,
Like Michael Crowder,
Whom I introduced to Francis,
Love Africa more than they do.

How can that be?
Don't they see the dirt,
The shitty ways, the ignorance
The palms and bush tracks,
Old chap?

Why come to dreadful Nigeria
When Cambridge beckons?
'Don't you see, Sean,'
Said Francis to me,
'Africa is awful
And Nigeria's not a country
At all, but simply, as
Awo says, only
A geographical expression.'

Which comforted Francis
As the most powerful civil servant
When he played a major role
In destroying Africa's
Leading nation, and centrally
Plunged a dagger in its heart.
Isn't this the real tragedy
Of British colonial rule?
To produce men of ability
Who despise their own country?
For our own ends
We plant treason in the hearts
Of decent people.

March 2001

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Africa in My Heart

The foreboding I felt in Egypt
By El Hamra, the red mountain,
Peering toward the red sea.

The bitter lakes
Matched my bitterness,
For I saw peaceful peoples
Doomed to conflict
And red bloodshed.

The year was 1947
And in 1948 Palestine was ignited,
And red flames And red blood
Were everywhere.

The foreboding I felt in Nigeria
Around Lagos
The red laterite soil,
The red sunsets.

The British were plotting
Mock celebrations of Independence,
A national anthem,
New hotels, embassies,
Mercedes cars,
Symbols of corruption.

The year was 1960
And I had taken a stand
Four years earlier.
Now my friends were blackmailed into silence.
Bloody red war was near.

The years was 1966
And by a Lockean dispensation
Revolt against tyranny was legitimised,
And young Majors did their duty.

And the British waged total war
Against the African people
And killed three million
To celebrate the end of Empire.

Africa is in my heart.
Africa my soul,
Africa my dedication,
Africa my code, my belief, my being.

Poor bloody Africa
Spilling its red blood
To feed
Imperial British greed.

March 2001

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Africa's Rewards

After Africa, in distress
We reach London.
Carol teaches with success
And we work charitably
And wait twelve years
For a proper diagnosis
Of a tropical disease,
Though our minds are sick too
Of British treason in Africa,
Find no textbook,
Medical or political,
Cures that.

Yet charitable work for decades,
An act of faith
Repays us well.
We're not sure why.
Perhaps to be reminded
Of true perspectives,
And what real troubles are.

And we're renewed
And come full circle
And welded together
And stronger than before,
Seek to help Africa from afar.

And Africa more bloody,
More crippled with disease,
Is not short of well-wishers
Though Britain is not one of these.

We must be patient
And bide our time,
For treason one day will be exposed
And history put to rights,
And a true diagnosis
And a cure found
For Africa's troubles
By African people,
Who will find fulfilment
As we have done
In loving Africa.
What better reward
Can there be?

March 2001

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Arsenals of Democracy*

My letters go astray!
Even the Chronicle loses mine,
But they can be replaced!

My newspapers are stolen
Every day, say the newsagents,
'But who would steal
The Guardian,?' we ask!
'The Chronicles, yes,
And they can't be replaced.'

There's a ghost
In the works.
Who would delay
Our talking to
Journos in Bath?

'Surely not!' we say.
'What do they fear?' we ask,
'These agents of the Crown,
These evil parasitic spooks
Who make ordinary crooks
Seem honest
By comparison.'

These agents steal the truth
Of what our leaders do
In their name,
For their game
Is treason,
And they poison and
The arteries and arsenals of
Our democracy.

* Franklin Delano Roosevelt

February 2001

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Tell me, Zik, and Awo too,
Were there geniuses around like you
When Britain played its age-old game
Of divide
And rule?

Why, Zik, did you fall for
Governor General of nothing,
Rather than Prime Minister
Of Nigeria and Africa?

Why, Awo, did you allow a war
Against Zik and join the North
In British skulduggery?
Because you had served
Time in prison and
Concluded that
Zik had it coming?
(Which he undoubtedly did.)

You settled a score
And three million died
For your pride,
Dear Awo.

February 2001

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Bad Business in Africa

Where does evil reside? In ignorance?
Yet the thrill of the illicit
Reveals knowledge of the good.
In not being properly brought up?
Or errant genes?
I don't know why I do it.

In greed if crime always pays?
In fear of the good
If criminality is the rule?
In wilfulness, waywardness,

In stupidity?
"He don't know no better."
In being cruel? The pleasure
Of inflicting pain?
In misusing authority?
In abusing power?

We progress towards the good.
Our civilisation improves -
It's called evolution.
Yet empires expire.
Where do we go from here?
There was a heaven once
But God is a fiction,
An imagined being,
Though once millions believed.

I love, I pray,
I care for Africa
And its peoples.
A playground, a reservation,
A killing field for the wicked.
Pure Africa!
Poor Africa!

TB, Aids, Imperial greed.
Democracy destroyed
As in Nigeria
By the evil Brits,
Who pose as good guys
And killed three million.

More laws, more police,
More preachers, more teachers,
More poets to lament
When evil triumphs.
Yet again more wasted words.

In board rooms?
It's a bad business.
It's a poor show.
It isn't cricket.
An awful shame,
Fuck their luck,
They had it coming
Those black bastards.
'If we don't kill them
The crocodiles would eat them,'
Said a BP Director.

March 2001

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Bad, Coarse, Worse Verse

The Writer:

The lady on the keyboard
Is averse
To computing
Rough, unsteady rude verse.

Especially when her husband's
Had a drink
And he tells those
Labour fuckers what he thinks.

When he sets the common people
In their stride
In a march for human rights
And people's pride.

When Africans are starved
Into submission,
When Asians are bombed
Into oblivion,
When media TV creates
Bent opinion,
His tone is classic Chomsky -
Pure derision.

The Keyboard Operator:

Your rage, dear heart, I understand.
You grieve for the people
Of this land.
I share your love,
Your hopes, ideals,
Your compassion, for
You are, dear heart,
Cut to my own fashion.

Yet when relieved
Your verse to my machine
Is delivered,
It is delivered.
It is delivered
To my heart.

I feel the pain.
I feel the pain
Of all the suffering,
And pray my typing
Could diminish
By a grain
The sum total suffering
Of all world pain.

March 2001

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Because They Must

In the 1950's
When we were there
No horns could be sounded
In Tinubu Square.

The traders and clerks
In indigo blue
Chatted and laughed
As Lagosians do.

In Kingsway Cold Stores
The Colonial mums
Shop to fill up
Imperial tums

In Ikoyi the fridges are
Purringly full
Of burgers, now distant
From abattoir culls

And somewhere in
Africa's deepest bush
Animals go hunting
Because they must.

December 2000

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Harold, Harry, Rodney
And Al,
And Sean and Smithy
Et al,
This Smith knows well that
Smith is no name at all.

'Whatever happened to Harold Smith?'
Asks a film subsidised by Government,
Which has stolen
My named website.

David, - sorry - Lord Puttnam
(Note the peer's name)
Subsidised and bought
A Labour victory,
And was suitably
Reimbursed with jobs,
Loot and honours.

Sue me, David,
If you dare,
For your criminality
I rejoice in,
Revealing all we need to know
Of guilty knowledge and
Criminality amongst
Blair's cronies and Callaghan's.

February 2001

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Biafra - Britain's Shame

The anguished scream
Of an English officer
And gentleman,
One Auberon Waugh.

'This extraordinarily disgusting
Episode' in
British Imperial history
Must mean the end of the road
For Britain as a country
Fit for world power.

Well said, dear, compassionate Auberon,
Though deeply scarred from childhood,
Unworthiness never checked
British blood lust.

Goodbye, dear Auberon,
However flawed,
You represented
A decent England
And stood for civilised values
Against Cold War Hitehall warriors,
The heirs of Hitler.

January 2001

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As an Ace of Spades,
As a darky's bum,
As a bastard's tum,
As a bucket of tar,
As the night when the Klan
Left their calling cards,
A burning cross
At a humble home
And desecrated the
Life of Christ.

And the progress
Of civilisation,
Which seemed so thin
And grim
In Alabama
In the fifties,
When children
Were assailed
For their innocence, and sin
In loving learning
Tho' black skinned.

Yet there's hope
For we have seen
Our people rule
In Washington.
And black sportsmen
And film stars
Are now esteemed
And respected
And adored,
And the Klan's a relic
Of barbarism
And deplored.

February 2001

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The Blacks Get a Nation

Well, kind of (sixty years later)
For on January One
Nineteen hundred zero zero
An African chunk on the Westside
Became Nigeria
And a British Protectorate.

Black became pink
And Manchester wraps millions
Of Yoruba girls in Technicolor garb
Before even Sanders of the River
Was shown in Lagos'
Shanty Kinemas.

The Empire,
A journo opines globe-wide,
Has one heart, one head,
One language, one policy
(And an arsehole in Whitehall?)

Roll on 1960.
Hi-life Zik, Awolowo,
Squalid betrayal by the British,
And a shitty stooge,
Name of Balewa.

Goodbye, Colonial boys,
Polo players and pension takers.
Lips sealed lest British treason
Is revealed.
A splendidly squalid goodbye
To Paludrin, Tilley Lamps,
The Lagos trot,
Apapa, Kingsway Stores,
Kano, Jos, Enugu, Ibadan.
Welcome Lumpers,
Purley, Cheltenham,
Cotswolds and life
Without Africa... and honour.

January 2001

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Bottomsupyours Treadmill Blues

Here's a health
Unto the Labour lot,
Wotalot, wotalot,
Wotalot-a loot we got.
If you're a payroll fucker
In the Millbank lot,
Wotalot, wotalot,
Wotalot-a loot you got.

It's the big diviup
Of history or yourtony
Or laborlavatry.
Wiv perksaplenty matey
It's hystericlee funee
Wotalot fuckinlolly
Thatya got
For beinjacko
Or a clony
Or a crony
Of the newlotterylaborlot.

It's the minikid,
Minidad, minimum
Dolehandout pot
For the crispsanhalf a bitter
Workingclass lot.
We got the fucking billions
When wetax you fuckers
And splashiton the rich
Like ourselves.
Our national debt
Is not to wartime footsloggers
Or natinsurewelfare buggers
Who've gotfuckall to show.
But to Islingtonelite
Like you and me,
That's what we're for Tonyslot
Upyerslot, upyerslot

March 2001

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Bronx Rap

Hi, you Delta hi-lifers
In your penthouse retreat,
Sipping Manhattans
Like the laptop elite.

I'm like in the bush, man
It's worse than EB.
This man is real poor
And in no fit state
To shell out some cash
To an Editor manqué
In oil-rich Nigeer-E-A.

So what the hell
If I mangle the rhymes
And my rhythm's all shot
And my stanzas don't scan,
For my muse is out begging.
Can you spare a dime
To pay up to Demon
The hire of this line?

So farewell,
Delta denizens
And confreres
And gringos
And critters.
I'm going fishing in the market
To find me a kipper, for my tea.

Down in the Delta
It ain't a lot of fun.
Here come the military
To kick arse
And watch us run.

There comes a time
In the life of all men
When you need to lighten up,
Grab a beer and dance,
And chat up a lady,
And say, 'Oh baby,
You are the cat's whiskers, and
Something to me.'

And even if we are
Wrapped up in the Stars and Stripes,
The Delta's in our hearts and souls.
Though relaxing
In the Empire State,
New York's bush tracks
And lamp post palms
Cannot take the place
Of the Delta in our hearts.
Though Nigeria's a myth
And the East's a complete mess,
There's no place in this world
Where we want to
Helter-skelter, for
Our heart's in a shack
Deep down in the BRONX?

February 2001

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The Bubble of My Times

I am trapped inside
The bubble of my century.

In 1900, one in four
Of the world's population
Was ruled by the British,
And the Wright Brothers would soon fly.

In 1927 another Smith was born,
In 1941 built mobile
Power stations for the USSR,
And was told about the atom bomb
At Metropolitan Vickers.

In 1946 I joined the dam busters,
And, with the remains of the Afrika Corps,
Swam in the Bitter Lakes,
And watched Jew-hater Bevin
Do his dirty work impartially
Against Arabs and Jews,
All Christ's descendants and in-laws.

I saw Africa abandoned and raped,
And murdered and loved for its oil,
Circa 1960 in Nigeria.

In 2001 it got worse,
And our God is OPEC.

At 73 I am beyond despair,
And marvel at Whitehall evil
And the dumbing-down of Britain.

(Mediocrities walk
Where great men triumphed.
Welcome to Blair and Hague land.)

And dream of Africa and its people,
And innocence and life, and the Nile
And the Niger, and the failure of the 20th Century.

The Twentieth Century fucks.

January 2001

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Carol in a Blue and Yellow Scarf

On December 15
In London Town
I met a girl - my Carol.
At Queen Mary College
On the Mile End Road
In a scarf all blue and yellow.
Her long golden hair
And her cute little nose
Bewitched the other fellows.

But in 1950
In a Joe Lyons café
Alongside the Thames
Two students' hearts entwined
Like the colours in her scarf.
The name of my girl is Carol.

London, 1951

In Gore Road, Hackney,
Near Victoria Park
A room was all we needed.
Mrs Tarlow gave us board
At the top of the stairs
With a gas stove out on the landing.

A narrow bed,
A tiny sink,
Food in a cupboard and a table,
Books on a shelf,
And a radio,
And life in Hackney was heaven.

In Hackney, E9,
As students we lived
With a Co-op
And a Library on Mare Street.
We shared all the joys
That young lovers have
And lived in a socialist country.

The joys, the dreams,
The Mile End Road -
Its greasy spoons are history.
But Carol's happiness
At dear QMC
Will live on while there's memory.

London, 1953

And it came to pass
That when love came our way
We spoke of it to none,
For no one then could say
That love's laws we'd obeyed,
That others we'd betrayed.
We prayed our love would last
And so it came to pass.

When love's sincere
It's like a rose
Round which columbine
Never grows
To twist and wrest
Away its life.
When love's sincere
Make her your wife.

When Carol's in London
Two loves are one.
When Carol's in London
Clouds leave the sun.

When we are walking by the Seine,
Together again,
Our hearts together are bound.
But Paris is on the Thames
When Carol's in London Town.

London, 1954

The First Time...

The first time
That I heard Carol's name,
The first time
That she said, "we",
The first time
That she spoke my name,
I realised
What might be.

It was December 1950
In Russell Square
That I held her
Close to me,
The first time
That I knew what love
And happiness
Could be.

The first time
That I took her hand,
The first time
We had tea -
It was London by the Thames
In a Joe Lyons café -
I realised
What she meant to me.

The first time
That I fell in love -
Her name was Carol Oxley -
Was the last time
That I fell in love
And the first page
In my history.

February 2001

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Catharsis - Crimson, Purple, Black Blood

To purge, purify and cleanse
By tears, as in drama,
To relieve tension and anxiety
By bringing repressions
To the surface and
To consciousness.

Africa!, Africa! Africa!
Africa screams out for catharsis,
For release from pain,
The bloodshed, the holocaust,
The slaughter, the wars,
The chaos, the killing -
All Africa's fault?

The Aids, the TB, the sex plague.
The dying, the dying, the dying!
Pray for Africa.
Ask forgiveness for Africa.
Scream for Africa and the children.

And in white western cities,
The architects of so much African evil
Tut tut, and say, 'Dreadful business,
After all we've done for them.

It's true we destabilised
For a good end - the Cold War.
It's true we fixed elections
As at Independence in Nigeria.
It's true we flooded Africa with guns.
It's true we were cruel to get
Cold War oil, minerals, gold.

We give them aid.
We give them charity.
We'll give them drugs
If they pay for them.

It's a bloody shame about Africa.
Dreadful about the children.
We feel it so strongly
That we switch off the news
All the time.
One can only take so much.

It's their own fault you know.
One gets compassion fatigue,
And we've doubled our Oxfam donation.
It really is a bloody shame about Africa.

Christ, people like us need
Catharsis from all that!'

March 2001

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Coastal Oil and Troubled Waters

The seven littoral states
Of Nigeria
(A nation in deep trouble
That we love),
Namely Akwa Ibom, Boyelsa,
Cross River, Delta, Edo,
Ogun, Ondo and Rivers,
Are asking the Attorney General
To stop stealing their oil,
As Britain did too.

The Urhobo Historical Society
Has put it more politely, elegantly,
And at greater length, but
We all fear what the
Outcome might be.

I am perhaps prejudiced.
Carol was secretary to the
General Manager of BP, when
Shell-BP were prospecting in the Delta.
Carol's boss, Cliff Simpson,
Feared there was a tragedy
Here in the making.

My job was to protect the Health and Safety
Of the Nigerian people
And my laws,
Said the British Attorney General,
Were the finest, best presented
And drafted that he knew.

If only I could draft
Laws to help those
Wonderful people, namely,
The citizens of
Akwa Ibom, Boyelsa,
Cross River, Delta, Edo,
Ogun, Ondo and Rivers.

It was my privilege
Once to serve
These fine people, and if
The Nigerian Attorney General's mentor,
The truly great Awolowo
Were here today
(I loved him too),
And running Nigeria
As he was meant to do,
He would bring his great
Wisdom to bear,
And justice would prevail.

Awo was a true founder of his nation.
Though British, I too was hounded
And criminalised. 'Treated like
An African', someone said.
The truth about Awo
Has yet to be told,
And all my efforts
Have been foiled by the British.

Chief Bola Ige, the Attorney General,
Can't appreciate how Awo's suffering
Was associated with Delta oil,
Which Britain contaminated by anointing
A great Empire of Nations
With the blood of
Millions of innocents.

Bloody, bloody Britain,
To soil a fine record
With this foul Treason!

I pray for the souls
Of three million dead.
I pray for the Nigerian Commonwealth
Of nations,
Crazily combined for no
Good reason.

I pray that British war criminals
Will one day be condemned
For destroying these
Fine nations.
And I commemorate,
Celebrate and rejoice
In the diversity and richness
Of all Nigeria's peoples,
Of whom the peoples of
Akwa Ibom, Boyelsa,
Cross River, Delta, Edo,
Ogun, Ondo and Rivers
Are great examples

February 2001

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Colonial Gauleiters

The Colonial Chums I liked
Like Orwell, Virginia Woolf's hub Len,
Joyce Carey and another two or three,
Like Phil Haywood of Education,
Made history modestly
And must be honoured by me.

Others like Commissioner Foggon,
Deputy Commissioner Cook,
Chief Secretary Foot and HE
Were small-beer Nazis
And Gauleiters like George,
Who said Nuremberg was a joke -
For obeying orders was a rule
Which excused stuffing gas ovens,
And killing Babies and Homos
And Jews and Gypsies,
And Trade Unionists and Priests,
Communists, Russians and
Sundry Slavs, etc. etc.

Cook could have fucked
For Scotland International
If buggering boys from the Alakoro Exchange
Was an Olympic event.
George said he did it unofficially
And out of office hours,
So that was all right.

Destroying democracy was a duty,
For blacks were children.
And in loco parentis
We did only the necessary.
And the faux Foots agreed,
For getting on
And covering up
Dirty colonial deeds
Is their creed.

Where are they now?
The Army and Navy,
Home and Colonial,
Imperial Wine Gums, Mints
And Empire Day
And the Empire News?
The China Inland Mission
And the C M S,
And Bishops of Bulawayo,
Lagos and Zambesi,
And dedicated Missionaries
And Methodists and Salvationists,
What happened to them?

Does the Nile still wend its way
Through the Sudan? And the Niger
Mythologise and mystify,
Seep through the Delta
As ever?

Are the Palm Wine ruffians,
White slavers and Adventurers,
And Explorers and British Colonials,
And gun runners, and mercenaries,
And SAS, SIS and MI5
All history? Not quite.

While BP, Shell, Amoco,
Esso and Total,
UAC and RTZ -
The new initials -
Take their place
In raising throughput and raping
Poor bloody Africa
Again and yet again.

January 2001

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Professional standards in TV,
If they exist,
May only be honoured
In the breach.
What does that mean?

Can any code
Guarantee anything?
What is in or left out,
Or slanted, or twisted,
Or diluted or reversed
In meaning?

Does anything that's said
With conviction,
With sincerity,
A smile,
Commit, tie
Bond, involve,
Mean anything?

Trust me,
I'm TV,
Means nothing -
Believe me.

March 2001

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Continental Drift

Is the world map
Still hanging on the wall
Of our classroom,
The pink British Empire
Resplendent, cocksure?

The script at the bottom
Says, 'Phillips of London',
And the chart
Was acquired
At the CMS bookstore.

The Brazilian quarter
Of dirty old Lagos
Roars like a circus
Of tigers and lions.
There are elephants and crocodiles
Lurking in the undergrowth,
And mammy wagons and traders
Complete the uproar.

The shape of our Africa
Is etched on my memory,
The oceans of blue
And far away, Brazilian shore.
We acquired our geography
From Hollywood movies,
A Coca-Cola land of rum and coffee beans,
The Yankee dollar and the poor.

Our people in the slave days
Were the cargo of frigates,
Chained by Bristol sailors,
All shipshape down below,
While Liverpool captains
Calculated columns of profit
And cursed the subtraction
For the dead overboard.

In a tabernacle schoolroom
We chanted our tables
While the rain beat down
On a corrugated roof.
And we squeezed together continents
Made separate by an ocean
Aeons of time ago
Before mankind began.

Yet our peoples had in history
Already stitched these lands together.
How else could we live
In a Lagos Brazil?
On a tabernacle wall-chart
In dirty old Lagos
We felt the heartbreak,
The suffering of our forebears
Sent as slaves to Brazil.

Through Colleges, Academies
And Universities we progress,
With Libraries now plundered
And ransacked Treasuries.
From tin tabernacle teaching
We're now executives and accountants
And barristers and solicitors
With PhD degrees.

The Ibo we helped vanquish
At the behest of the British,
They tried to steal the oil
That belonged to Shell BP.
The Ibo left their dead
And their bikes and their bush tracks
For the USA of our primeval ancestors,
While we Yoruba
Drove Mercedes
Round Lagos motorways.

Now we're united in a Diaspora
That's not of our making.
We're Yankee teachers and
Accountants and Digital Computees
In Brooklyn and Texas, Chicago and Washington,
Harvard, MIT and Silicon Valley,
And the Florida Keys.

We've long outgrown the tin
Tabernacles of our infancy,
The Cherubins and Seraphim,
The Holy Roman doctrine of our youth.
We're rootless black intellectuals
In world's still uncharted
On the wall map still swinging
On a wall in old Brazil.

February 2001

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The Diaspora

The dispersal, the refugees, the haunted,
The emigrants, the transported, the migrants,
The stateless.

A Nigerian with a PhD
Drives a taxi recklessly.
The tall towers lining
The bush tracks of New York
Are Lagosian.

In Central Park he thinks of palm trees
And the wine. On African literature he is
Matchless and introduces Amos Tutuola
To cast him aside as a
Faux illiterate.

He is proud, even brazen, and can hardly
Be pitied or even secretly sympathesised, if
There were such a word. And he would know
For his knowledge of English and its grammar
Is faultless.

It pleases us to know that his superior intellect
And put-downs of his hosts
Mask the visits of the ghosts whom Amos
Wrote about when he spent the day
Laughing to himself as he scribbled on his veranda desk
Outside my office in the Labour Department
On the Ikoyi Road.

I teased him for the primitive reputation
Which kept the Faber royalties pouring in.
A primitive, whose hobby was
Building radio sets.

Nigeria - and the British should know -
Has three million ghosts of innocent folk
That Amos could not have nightmared in 1955,
As we joyously contemplated Independence,
Freedom, Liberty and Progress.

A Nigerian with a PhD
Drives a taxi recklessly,
But sometimes screams into the Bronx
And Brooklyn night of wanton deaths
And mighty wrongs,
And weeps for what our Africa
Might have been.

December, 1999

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Don't Ask?

Why Mossad
Worked for the Nigerian

Or why our cottage
Was staked out
In the dark
By SAS armed type

Here in Wiltshire
Near Salisbury Plain
Where the Army, Navy,
Airforce, Submariners
Are everywhere!

Chris Patten
Covered himself.
He prayed for someone
To shut up the Smiths
Like Mossad,
But couldn't be seen
To be encouraging them.

We are surrounded
By whom?
Does it matter?
We are Quakerish

Three million were killed
By the British.
They'd rather we kept it secret.

February 2001

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Due Process

When a Lord Chancellor
Of Great Britain,
If only the next one up
I.e. a Shadow,
Who was at Magdalen
Years before me
And got a third -
I don't know why
I say that,
But everyone does -
And the hell of it is,
I can't remember his name,
But anyway he told
Tom Sargant of Justice
To tell me
That he'd reviewed my case
And the interrogation of me
By the most eminent
Cross-examiner in the kingdom -
Let's call him XYZ,
A QC, a Tory MP.

Where was I? Oh yes.
So Tom Sargant tells me
That I will never ever
Be allowed into
An English Court of Law
(Yes, Tom said 'English')
And so I could have
Out of court, says the Shadow Chancellor
A huge sum of money

'Great,' I said,
'But I was
Protesting the rigging of the
Independence Elections in Nigeria.
Yes, I have suffered financially,
'Yes,' said Tom,
'And you would have to give
Your word...'
Never to speak of that again.' I said,
'They offered all that and
More before, and a knighthood.'
'I can't...' said Tom.
'Advise me. I know,' I said.

'Thanks Tom, but no.'
And walked out of due process
And Magna Carta
Into outlawry,
For the law only applies
To subjects within the law.
Outlaws as criminals
Are within the law, naturally.
However, innocent subjects
Who, in defiance of Government,
Reveal State secrets
Involving criminality and
Defence of the Realm
Are most definitely
In an awful lot of trouble,
Which double knighthood, etc. etc.
James Robertson told me
In his study in Government House
Where he was Governor General.

He had just told me
My suspicions were totally correct
And he had, acting on orders from
Rigged the Independence Elections
So the victors were told they'd lost,
And the losers also were told
They had lost.

But by special dispensation
Of the British government
And the Opposition leaders too, they
Were now the victors
Subject to certain conditions
Like, to get rid of the
Guys who really won, pretty smartly,
By hook or by crook
(An apt phrase)
Before they came
After you bastards
With a gun! So
If anyone out there
Can tell me how to get
Due process or whatever,
My address is Turnpike House
Widbrook, Bradford-on-Avon,
BA15 1UD,
And my name is Harold Smith.

For the Record

The Shadow Chancellor,
I now recall,
He was my lawyer!
I had a Lord Chancellor!
I was his client!
Expenses paid by Justice,
The British branch of the
International Commission of Jurists.
Did they tell all the other
International Jurists? About this?
Did they hell!

God, I've forgotten his name
I've now also forgotten again
The interrogator, a QC and Tory MP,
And famous.
He was pretty horrible
To me, and suddenly he
Took my hand
And smiled And said, 'I believe you.
Sorry, but I had to test you.'

And later Tom said he,
The QC,
Liked me,
Believed me,
Knew I was honest, truthful,
But didn't like my mentioning
Homosexuality, because his
Secretary might not have liked it.

His secretary?
'Yes, she was behind a screen
In the corner,
Taking everything down
In shorthand,' said Tom.

'I didn't know that!'
'You weren't meant to.

You came over well
In the transcript,' said Tom.

We only saw you,' said Tom,
'Because this was of great
National importance
And involved Government
And State secrets,
And you spoke to Amery,
Macmillan's son-in-law.
And top civil servants are involved,
And the Cabinet,
And probably the Privy Council,
And Labour leaders too.'

We sat in this Joe Lyons -
Or was it posher -
Near all the Courts,
And then we spoke about Naomi,
Tom's daughter, who'd married,
And now was divorced
Or would soon be
From our student friend,
Peter Kelly, a communist,
And now Professor at Southampton,
Who wouldn't do it with Naomi.
Tom, like everyone, asked why.
I said to Tom who was relieved
That it wasn't Naomi's fault.

'Why?' asked Tom desperately.
'The Governor General wouldn't say.
He said it was necessary.'
'I meant Naomi and Peter,' said Tom.
'They're both really nice people,

Tom,' I said.
'I don't know why
Peter wouldn't fuck her.
Or, come to that,
Why the British have
Fucked up democracy
In Africa.'

Gerald Gardiner - that's the name
Became Lord Chancellor in the
Wilson Government in 1964.
Sir John Foster was the QC
And Tory MP.

Peter was blameless.
It just happened.
He married again.
Ginger was a Naomi clone
And crazy about sex.
Once he got the hang of it
And had lots of children,
He lived happily ever after.

Naomi married Andrew
Who became Leader
Of the GLC Labour Group,
And was ousted by Red Ken.
Andrew was given a peerage
By Michael Foot,
So Naomi became Lady Naomi
And Head of Channel Four
And a Professor
And Pro Vice Chancellor
Of the Open University,
So Tom must have been thrilled.

When Peter and Naomi divorced
They divided up the friends, but
They couldn't agree
About me.
So I lost them both,
And Tom too.
It's good to see young people
Get on.

March 2001

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Day one in Africa -
The Commissioner explains,
After his Deputy has departed,
That Mr Cook is an evil pervert
And he's going to sack him.
My prospects are excellent.

Day two in Africa -
The Deputy explains,
In the absence of the Commissioner,
That this useless arse-licker,
A one-time Exchange clerk
And German Control Commission
Gauleiter, will not last long.
'We will work together to get him out.'
My prospects are excellent.

Day three - the Commissioner
Orders the drafting of a Factories Act.
The Deputy says, 'Ignore it!'
'May I have that in writing?'
Produces anger, rage and threats.
The Deputy is merciful
And the offer renewed
And declined.
War is declared.

Sabotage, disruption, disorder
The Commissioner retreats to a bunker.
Someone has to take the flak.
Someone has to work
At home,
And a Factories Act is born
On a kitchen table
To hosannas of praise
By the Attorney General.
And the Deputy warns
Of danger to life.
And the Commissioner says
'We won't give you credit for this,
But you will be rewarded one day.'

Entrapment is pernicious.
Be careless and get dropped in it.
Be too suspicious, life is misery.
However, beautiful girls appear -
The Minister's nieces. Dozens?
All happy, care-free ladies.
Orders to chauffeur them home,
To the hospital.

She has a headache.
Take her home.
Stop at the store for aspirin.
Please buy it, my headache -
I have forgotten my purse.
Oh dear, some small purchase -
Please pay for me.
Lingerie? Panties, bra!
You are so sweet to buy
These presents for me!

An African friend, Nwokedi
Mounts a rescue
And announces to everyone
How much I enjoyed
This delightful tease -
A joke, a prank.
'And here,' he says,
'Are the pounds you spent.
A less decent chap
Would have expected
Favours in return.'

very large African businessman
Produces a wad of banknotes
When no clerks are present.
Sprint from the office,
Have him shown out,
Thrown out.

A riot at the Labour Exchange,
With staff calm a crowd,
Very excitable. Clear the grounds
And bar gates.
And screams as the gates are
Mysteriously open. And alone you
Face a charging mob
And stand your ground
For a second, before being
Lifted up and carried
And eventually pinned against
A building wall.
And you raise the arm
Of a giant thug
And declare him the victor.
To run would have been
A fatal error.
The mob's mood changes
And laughter and cheers
Greet the humiliation of
The big white chief
Who is really only me.

The Commissioner says,
'It's nothing to do with me!'
And his Deputy, enraged, says,
'You were lucky that time!
Next time...'

But the next time
Is the Deputy's triumph
Over his boss,
Who he knows has taken bribes.
'And now I've got him!
And you!...'

And worse, much worse -
The Independence Elections
Are rigged by our people,
And I say, 'No!'
And the Commissioner,
Now his Deputy's slave
Because of guilt,
To appease his Deputy
Sacks me.

The Deputy Governor General
Sir Ralph Grey
Says, 'No way
Can you sack an honest man
Of great service to the State.
He is to be commended
And you, Commissioner
Are ordered to shake his hand,
And to cease this bad behaviour.'

The Commissioner's revenge
Is to get a lawmaker
Sacked in civilian life,
And again he is reprimanded
By Whitehall.
And a lawmaker reinstated
Returns to Africa,
Where elections are rigged
And crooks put in charge,
And the British
Issue death threats.

Pursued from job to job
Around the kingdom.
The Prince comes along
And lends support.
A Minister complains
To the Prime Minister -
His father-in-law.
A Lord Chancellor-to-be
Offers vast Government
Compensation in return for
A lawmaker's honour.

Out in the wilderness,
Free, broke and clean,
One speculates about
Treason, entrapment
And Whitehall criminality.
What can one say but
That filth
Is not for me.

March 2001

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Exile (A Dagger in the Heart)

I was a blue collar guy
Apprenticed to Metropolitan Vickers
And Lancashire Dynamo, a journeyman
Building mobile power stations
For the wartime U S S R,
And an air gunner-to-be
At fifteen as an air cadet,
RAF Volunteer Reserve,
A kamikaze kid.

An anti-Stalinist
Working for Russia?
Me and Churchill both.
The Smiths are patriots
With missing limbs as proof.
A wartime intake on
Active Service,
Though peace had been declared.
A year in Egypt, under fire and
Recommended for a Commission.
I loved this blue collar RAF.

In Manchester I meet
Prime Minister Attlee.
I am a Labour leader to be
And denounced in the Press
For converting Conservatives
To the Labour ranks,
And attacked by Communists
For converting Communists,
And the Communists
Exile me from my Union,
My craft, my fellow engineers.

They can't do this?
They did.
I am an Ex -
Ex engineer,
Ex Trade Union activist,
Ex blue collar worker,
Ex Labour candidate,
And blacklisted,
Unemployable. Exiled
(Join us, says MI5).

Scholarships to Oxford.
And with Diplomas,
And Degrees,
And highly commended,
And recommended,
H M Government
Seeks a law-maker journeyman,
For its African Empire
Is bolshie and will be placated
If good guy Smith
Window dresses
For a fake Independence.

Smith protests
And protests
And protests,
And is sent packing,
And is declared a traitor,
And highly commended,
And cleared,
And vilified,
And criminalised,
And blacklisted,
And declared innocent.
(Join us, says MI6).

Africa needs me, yet again
Whitehall declared
You are a good guy,
A hero.
Africa awaits
And on the Boeing
Is an ex-Sudan thug,
Also Lagos bound,
With a mission.
Charged to demonise.
Demoralise, destroy
The Smiths, for
Treason of course
Is on course,
Of course.
(Join us, says the CIA).

Sir James was brisk
And to the point.
"You deserve death,
The usual sentence for disobeying
Orders on active service
For an officer."
And he is my
Commanding Officer in Chief.
"Be a good chap.
You've seen how beastly we can be.
Your poor wife, your children -
You are making me be cruel."
('A safe haven in Washington,' says the CIA.)

The highest ranks of the
Foreign and Diplomatic Service
We salute you.
We respect you.
We honour you.
Arise, Sir Harold,
And become
One of us!
However, he added quickly,
Your word of course
And permanent exile -
A necessary precaution -
You will never see England

Again? Again!
Never see England again?
Permanent, life-long
For ever...
For I am a traitor
And on probation
And cannot be trusted
To honour my word.
To be a criminal
For ever,
As Sir Harold Smith,
Ex blue collar engineer,
Ex blue collar air gunner,
Of Magdalen College,
The University of Oxford,
Master of Arts,
Diploma in Administration,
Law maker,
Diplomat, Ambassador-to-be,
Like my student chum
Ambassador to Moscow,
Head of the Secret Service.

You will never be employed again.
No Sir!
You will be in deep trouble.
No Sir!
Nobody will believe you.
No Sir!
You will be barred from the Press.
I will be banned, branded,
Damned and
So be it.

Sir James
Doesn't care.
He needs me
To defy him.
There was a vacancy.
He strides to the door
And might have struck
This traitor,
But thrusts me out
Of his office, the Empire,
The Commonwealth,
The United Kingdom,
Into Exile.

And Oscar,
Late of Magdalen,
Says, "Welcome Sean
To Exile for
You're a journeyman again and
Internal or external,
It's the same
Dagger in the heart.

February 2001

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Farringdon Distorters of Truth

There is in Farringdon, far away,
A tribune for us all
Where daily Truth is crucified -
A lesson for us all.

Our Guardians tell us truth is precious
Too precious to wantonly waste
Democratically on you and me.
That's not to Whitehall's taste.

Politicians in their palaces,
The people at the gate,
The journalists with their passes
Inside - the truth conflate.

Glory be to our masters,
The journos late of Fleet Street
Now in Farringdon and Wapping
They print the news that fits.
Daily they remake history
Distort, select and spin.
Even the liberal Guardian
Vomits like the rest
The daily propaganda
Drip, by drip, buy drip.

Let's invent a Readers' Editor
And corrections by the score.
In Utopia we'll print pages
Of truths so far ignored.
We're not really Guardian fuckers
Who betray you day by day.
We profile radical heroes
In order to share their fame.
This burnishes our image
And proves our integrity
Though we cover up Whitehall treason,
Good men betrayed beyond reason
And murder, slaughter, killing
By the million
And more.

January 2001

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A presumption of innocence
Used to be
A guaranteed defence
Of our civil liberties.
Until the Irish,
Violent protesters
Came to mainland Britain
And set off bombs.

Now the Secret Police
Can do anything they like
For no MP wishes to be seen
As the terrorists' friend.

And if there is Irish peace
Nothing will change
For an endless supply of
Terrorists can be found.

'You might be a terrorist!'
Is Might or Maybe
Or even Possibly
Enthroned to Certainty.

The Miners' right to assembly
Went out of the window
Under the eyes of TV
And the mines went too.

All this is a cloak
For our Government
When in terrorist mode
To do its dirty work in secrecy.

In this topsy-turvy land
The honest are labelled traitors
While a Government
Is always innocent, however evil.

Real war, pretend war,
Real terror, pretend terror.
'You could be...'
Becomes certainty.

While probability
As in science
Is suppressed as the enemy
Of our Police State.

A free society
Is the best defence
Against the occasional bomber -
Usually our Government.

March 2001

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Get Out of Here

Bola Ige is a good man.
Get out of here!

Bola Ige compares the
Commonwealth of Nigeria
To the mighty USA.
You crazy, man?
Get out of here!

Bola Ige says the
Whole damn Western World
Has been dropping Nigeria
In the shit too long.
Halleluia Brother!
With some help from the British
And their local stooges, man!
Get out of here!

Bola Ige wants Nigeria
To be the first black superpower.
And it will be Nigeria USA
If the Diaspora to the Americas continues.
Show respect, you idiot,
Bola Ige is the damned
Sheriff of this hick place.
Lawks a massy master,
We've seen those Westerns too.

And will Bola get a posse to
Run the bad guys out of town?
I hear his wife's a fair shot
With a Winchester repeater!
Now you're talking man!
Let's get out of here!

February 2001

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Good Morning, Africa! For Emeka

It wasn't our fault!
We're not to blame!
Our children are innocent!
As are their fathers and mothers!

Transparency says we're corrupt,
That Nigeria is the pits,
But Britain is tops
And honest
And clean
And decent,
And they didn't rig
Our elections (honest!)
Put crooks in charge (honest!)
Steal our wealth (honest!)
Steal our oil (honest!)
As years ago they didn't
Steal our children,
And didn't
Sell them into slavery.

The British had reformed anyway
And been good to us for a time
Until 1960,
When the bad old habits
Took over again.

Brothers and sisters,
It is you, not the Brits,
Who are not to blame.
It wasn't your fault, Africa!
You are honest.
You are clean.
You are decent.

So, walk tall, Nigeria!
Swagger a little, Africa!
And look down on
Those bloody, corrupt Brits.
And if you can find it
In your hearts
To forgive the brutal slaughter of
Three million innocents,
Do it! For you are the good guys,
For you are the tops,
The best people,
The good people.

The truth will out one day, Africa!
For Emeka Onono
Has told me so.
Good morning, Africa!

March 2001

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The Guarantee

If left switched on
The bulb in this torch
Will last for twenty years
Guaranteed, well almost.
The battery - an hour?
My life, a split second of cosmic time.

This clock is radio controlled
And won't lose a second
In a million years,
Guaranteed, well almost.
And the clock?
Binned one Monday morning,
Only a million years too soon!

I am seventy-three
And only yesterday
I was a blue-collar guy,
An engineer building
For the mighty Zambesi
The Victoria Falls Power Station.
Are the turbines still spinning,
The switch-gear still distributing
And lighting up Africa in
This third millennium?

I am in the danger zone,
My guarantee almost expired.
My turbine is faltering,
My switch-gear failing,
One nightfall soon
My power plant will fall silent.

In Egypt by the Nile
Inside a tomb
I touched a bandaged lady.
Who was she?
What was her name?
A Carol too, my destiny?
Taken from the sunlight and the Nile
Into this darkness, and disturbed
By Harold Smith ( in some Euclidean symmetry?)
By Harold Smith, an Air Force sparks,
Who flew machines (like a toy bird or kite)
Over her ancient homeland.

And again in Niger lands
We needed all the power
And light we could command
To confront evil and the dark
In the hearts of the powerful,
Whose moral fuses had blown.

The Nile,
The Niger,
The Zambesi,
The Mersey of my boyhood
In the Barlow meadows.
These four rivers
Flowed through my brief span
Before I too returned to dust.

I hope I gave some satisfaction
And lived up to some degree of
My electricity guarantee.

I fought to illuminate
Whitehall's heart of darkness.

March 2001

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A Guardian Away Game

'Talk of Rivers of Blood
Was a disgrace,'
Said the Guardian pundits.
'It could never happen here
At home.'

But when the Brits
Play an away game,
It's a different story,
And the rivers of blood
Did flow
As Nigeria knows
To its cost.

The Guardian distorted the Holocaust.
It became a non-British Tribal War.
Nice one, Enoch (Mr Powell),
But wrong Continent.

March 2001

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The Guardian Hymn

We are the Guardian staffers
Radical girls and boys
Oval and Lords
And parliamentary chores
Our northern accents daily adorn.
Alan and Peter and Hugo, we three
Symbolise liberal treachery.
We are the Farringdon twisters
That the Wapping whores abhor
For our moral superiority and
Left-wing shine
Reinforce our readers' moral spine.
Excuse us while we flagellate,
We're the conscience
Of the bleeding Fourth Estate.

On defence secrets
We're just apple pie.
Our duty is to reheat
Refrigerated lies.
We're the friendly face of MI6.
We're the sewage and the sewer
For Establishment pricks.

Of holocausts we've had our fill.
The Biafran one is secret still
For not one notable
(An exception was a poet)
Met his death through millions
Of bloody British bullets.
Three million black men died
So Shell and BP lads
Could fill your tanks
And warm your pads.
We spare you the anguish
Of true history
And, pissed, guard State secrets
For posterity.

We're hacks who
Lack the decency
To hack the truth.
Our mission's to keep State secrets
On behalf of you.

February 2001

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Guardian Treason to its Clerkly Readers

Impressive is the Guardian
Saturday Review of
January 20th, 2001.
Intellectual, liberal and
Kind of radical.
For 75 pence one can
In a humdrum existence
Feel good, brave
And leftward leaning.

Here is adulation of Noam,
Marxist one-way streets
And culs de sac,
Marxist mythology
Angst and nostalgia.
Not we shop, therefore we exist,
For Guardian readers
Are not capitalist imperialists
For all the fashion pages,
Expensive cars, houses and
Lifestyles of capitalist imperialists
As in the vulgar Tory press.

For we are secretly Tory too,
A handmaiden of MI5 and MI6,
And our news is censored
And spun, and lies prolific lurk
In Guardianese, concocted by
Whitehall to dupe
Innocent Guardian readers
Who are not to know,
Because of Guardian decrees
Of many a hidden holocaust,
Which never truly happened
Because unreported and unseen.

January 2001

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Here We Are Again

Here we are again,
Happy as can be,
More examples of Blair's hypocrisy.
Never mind the poverty,
Never mind the shame,
Just because we're responsible
Doesn't mean we are to blame.

We've stolen Tory policies,
Do nothing lest we must,
So let old Labour stay at home -
We'll win with Tory votes.
No, seriously, trust me -
I am the people's friend, and
I'll really drop you in it,
If I take you in again.

I'm happy bombing foreigners,
It's a Christian policy.
I'm spreading your word, Lord Jesus,
Let little children come to me.
(If they can get through Immigration.)

Lord, Lord,
I've made them wholesale.
Sorry I can't tell you more.
You're now free not to know.
Here we go, here we go, here we go!

March 2001

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Honest Injun: Surprised?

When honesty and
Getting on collide,
Number two loses out
To number one.

The boy scout code
Belongs in the Jurassic
With courtship,
Fidelity and family.

Words of honour
Really do count, however.
HM Government demanded mine
To cover the necessary killing
Of three million.

A knighthood and a fortune
And a VIP job,
If you'll just agree
To a criminal job description.

See my website
For the above
And the usual Whitehall cover-up
By Blair and Cook, et al.

February 2001

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I Don't Care*

I don't care - if British rig my elections?
I don't care - if military take away my vote?
I don't care - if Zik wear Admiral's uniform?
I don't care - if you destroy Action Group?
I don't care - if Northern stooges run Government?
I don't care - if Britty Balewa is made Boss?
I don't care - if you lock up Awo?
I don't care - if you destroy Nigeria,
Kill democracy, murder our men,
Starve our women and children?
I don't care for any of this.
And I don't care if you marry lorry driver either?

* 'If you marry taxi driver, I don't care.' (Hi-Life popular song. Lagos. Circa 1957.)

February 2001

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Ikoyi Bush Telegraph Poet Tree

Richmond Postgate of the BBCee
Arrived in Lagos and asked to see
Artist intellectuals like you
And mee.

Michael Crowder and
Robin Horton and Peter
Marris and Cyprian Ekwensi
And me.

Cyprian wrote novels.
Robin did anthropologee
Michael a cultural magpie
Peter sociologee.
The poet was me.

The future was bloodshed
Chaos and anarchee.
I cried bitterly.
The elections were rigged.
I saw plots, treason
And conspiracee.

'You are prejudiced, jaundiced
And bitter,' said Rich,
Who saw none of this
At the BBC.

Michael was my double
Though brown-eyed not blue.
We shared so much -
Laughter and generosity
And kindness and curiosity but not
His homosexualitee.

Michael was blackmailed
To shut me up
By the Governor General
Sir James Robertson.
And he was outraged,
But later hymned praise
Of the jolly bear-like thug
With orders of honour and
Nobility, who engineered the
Murder of millions
Sans humanitee.

Three became professors
And Cyprian a rebel. I was
Expelled and hunted down
And Richmond rejoined the BBCee.

Some would say later
That Smith had the gift
Of prophecee.
But you knew better
And are not surprised
That I did not prosper,
For truthfullee
The gloom, the horror
The dark I forseed
Imprisoned me.
Is that what poets are for -
To observe in stillness
Colossal evils with humilitee?

January 2001

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The Carter Center
In Atlanta, Georgia,
Hearing of my plight,
Asks if Harry Smith
Is incarcerated and where,
Which is sweet
Of the wonderful
Carter family
To care.

Correction to Atlanta -
No incarceration except
As a figure of speech,
As in life sentence as traitor
And sentenced to total ruin
Of wealth, health, et cetera.

Friends were threatened, however,
With imprisonment
For homosexual practices.
Real in one case,
Imagined in another.
In the latter case worse,
For how to deny what
Never happened?
And Michael was promiscuous,
But not with me.

Shut up, Smith, or
Michael Crowder of
Nigeria Magazine
And Philip Williams,
Nuffield Fellow and
Future Gaitskell biographer,
Will be locked up
And ruined too.
It was said of the
Great Gatsby only
That he murdered a man.

By the way,
Following failed entrapment -
Bribes, theft, grand larceny,
Graft, whores, queers -
We have made you
Lieutenant Colonel,
The better to cashier you
For running off with
Regimental Mess Funds
And the Regimental Goat.

Dear Carter clan.
Three million died
Of blockade and British bullets.
And a nation so new
And its democracy too
Were destroyed.
Please pursue.

The Smiths are fine.
Think not of us
In Widbrook, Wilts, UK,
But of three million innocents
And the Whitehall gents
We hold accountable
For their deaths.


March 2001

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In Love with Africa

Despite the paludrine
And other anti-malarials,
Despite the vaccines and
We are in love.

Africa gets in your blood,
They say, but some are immune.
Those of us who are infatuated,
Besotted even, are thrilled
And excited and frightened too.

'Let's go home to Africa', said Helen.
She was a child and had
No idea of black and white,
Of racism, race hatred or difference.

We returned home to Lagos
And British treachery.
But no matter.
Africa is accustomed to treason.

At home in Ikeja and
Ikoyi, EB and Ibadan?
And rains that flood
The stinking drains?
And the insidious heat
That creates a little death
Of a necessary siesta?

Oh to be in Africa
With the geckos on the walls,
The sandfly chewing ankles
The cicadas and the storms.

And African people
So decent and so warm.
Oh to be in Africa
Yet never feel alarmed.

But needed and required,
And useful and desired,
And called on and appreciated.
Africa is our home.

We are the English in Africa
Cut off from our roots
We have fallen in love with a Continent
And know we are absurd.

And that our passionate desire for acceptance
Will end in rejection and despair
And return to our insipid homeland
Of plastic and weak beer.

Oh to be in Africa
Now we are retired.
With frangipani and flame of the forest,
Canna lilies and moonflowers.
We love a dark continent
And share in its great pain.

Oh to be in Africa
With all its gaping wounds
The massacres and cruel wars
The coups and corrupt regimes.

This strange love of a place
That intrigues and enchants us still
Will perplex us to the end
And we will never sort it out.

Goodbye, dear love, dear Africa,
The sun, the heat, the thrill.
You gave us warmth and happiness
And memories tender still.

Oh to be in Africa
Where once we were young and true!

January 2001

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It's Still the Same Old Story

My dadastic verse,
I know,
Suffers because declamatory,
And hoes a line,
And sends a message,
Pleads, begs, adopts
A politician's tone,
Not suited for the medium,
And righteous and
Boring, boring, boring.

Write of love, they respond,
And comedy,
Men's cock-sized brains,
And drink and piss,
Clinton's and all the subtle
Variations of connection.
Make me laugh,
Make me cry,
Make me go
'Dink-a dink-a-doo',
But please try not
To make me think

Of Africa, Africa, Africa,
Of America's Vietnam,
Iran, Iraq and Yugoslavia,
I've had enough of those.
Send me jokes, riddles,
Comic verse.
Write of those who live
And not of death.
And please remember this,
A kiss is still a kiss,
On this you can rely,
Etc. etc.

March 2001

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It's the Economy, Stupid!
That's Why You Starve!

We can control

Steam turbines,
Atomic fusion.

The speed of cars,
The rate of combustion,
The beat of the heart.

Yet we cannot control
Supply of arms,
Supply of mercenaries,
Supply of troops,
Supply of coffins and/or
Body bags.

We can increase

The length of life
With sound nutrition
I.e. lots of good nourishing food,
Particularly protein.

We choose not to control
War and starvation
For there are problems
Of supply and distribution.
I.e. when we supply it, they eat it,
And we're back to square one.

When there's a plague and starvation,
Declare a blockade because there's a war,
Or was or will be.
Next question please.

Our hearts bleed -
It goes without saying.
We'd rather give you food
Than the bullets.
But bullets fuel our economy.

The answer to any erudite,
Scholarly, academic, complex
Questions in this verse -
It's the economy, stupid!

March 2001

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John Locke's Essential Rebellion in Africa

In 1966 Nigeria exploded.
British-trained African Majors
Overthrew a tyranny
Britain had installed.
There was rejoicing
And British chagrin.

The Brits responded
With countercoup and murder
On the streets,
And reimposed the tyranny
And waged war
On the nationalists.

When in 1960
The British destroyed
Democracy in Nigeria
By declaring the losers
To be the victors at Independence,
The seeds of legitimate
Rebellion were sown.

The justice, the necessity of
Rebellion against tyranny
Were set out by John Locke,
Who declared the right to Liberty,
And was the father
Of the Enlightenment
And inspiration for
The US Constitution.

And the British?
Immoral, evil, villainous,
Traitors, criminals
And murderers,
And much more -
The countrymen of John Locke!

And Transparency tell us that
Nigerians are the most corrupt
And the British, honest and decent.
And Transparency is therefore
An umbrella for falsehood,
Treachery and mischief.

March 2001

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Jolly Good Jack Straw

'Jolly good,' says the half-page
Ad in Media Guardian of
Twenty-sixth March two thousand and one
For Home Office
Communications bods at forty-nine K.

Jacko controls
Immigration, Prisons,
Police, Special Branch,
Need I say more about Jack's
Failure to communicate?

According to Jacko's advert,
The HO is for
Equal opportunities,
And has no regard for
Ethnic origin,
Religious belief,
Gender, sex orientation,
And is building
A safe, just, and
Tolerant society, and is an
Investor in people and
Positive about
Disabled people.

But this is the bastion
Of freedom and
Open, honest journalism -
The Guardian,
The Secret Services'
Parish Magazine and
The whore of Farringdon Road,
Which stood by and watched
Silently the slaughter of
Three million innocent Africans
In a black holocaust, and
Covers it up still.

The Guardian is Jacko's
Secret tool,
So you can believe
Everything in Jacko's
Guardian Media ad
Of course. Jolly good, eh?
For the corridors of Whitehall,
We are told, are
Witnessing a quiet revolution.
So quiet in fact
Because it isn't actually happening
Except in Jacko's
Infantile fantasies.

The HO, we are told,
Needs blue-chip
Thinking to create
A true culture
Of Joined-up working
In an HO world
Of total bullshit.
(I added the last bit.)

And by the way,
For forty-nine K
Your share of the
One thousand million
Secret Service vote,
Mainly wasted by Jack,
At twenty guys like you
Per million -
That's only twenty thousand
In total
Employed to ensure
That the public
Don't find out
What Jack's really up to.
Jolly good, eh?

Want to tread
On a bowler hat
And be one
Of Jacko's lads,
To be at the vanguard
Of the change process,
More than comfortable in
This nightmare of Kafka?
This is your unparalleled opportunity.
Quote Reference: B5559.

March 2001

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A Killing Has Been Arranged
(For Harold Wilson)

Harold killed
Three million.
The UN says
Three million.

Britain says some
Died in a tribal war -
So that's all right then.

Think three,
Because three million is less
Than three.
Three is thinkable.
Your wife, your two children.
Three million
Is impossible.

A quick end, a quick kill
Is preferable
Said Labour politicians,
So excused from moral blame.
Supply the arms
For a quick kill
Said the socialist
Military strategists.
Sadly, it took four years.

The Africans, Nigerians,
Biafrans, Ibo nationalists
Were black sambos,
And Harold was not at ease
With black men.

Harold knew that
Britain had denied
Those black people
Victory at Independence.
However, they might have
Misbehaved and stolen
Britain's vital oil supplies,
So we struck first.

Ungrateful for our
Denying them
The pains of office,
They struck at our stooges.
There's no gratitude,
So we taught them a lesson.
Don't mess with socialists!
We can be tough.
We are not an easy touch.

Three million, zillion, trillion.
We're patriotic Brits,
The Churchillian breed,
Bulldogs, Britannia, Dunkirk.
They were savages.
It's true they were using
British arms.
Look how many they killed!
Three million!
Bloody savages.

March 2001

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Labour Since 1945:
Jerusalem at Home - Holocausts Abroad

Victorious Britain in 1945
Was bankrupt
And idealistic
And built a New Jerusalem.

Our great Empire
Was bogus, a sham,
Like Britain and its cars

Morally a great power
Britain was bust.
The Empire had to go, but where?
Confusion reigned.

Dead dog Britain,
With US aid,
Opts for Cold War
And Korea.

Dirty work abroad
James Bondery the theme.
Fuck blacks and wogs for oil
To prop a socialist dream.

Persia, Suez, Nigeria
All get the dirty stick.
Barmy, decent Britain
Now vicious, cruel and sick.

Disguise chicanery
A Commonwealth theme.
Cover up the squalor.
Visits by the Queen.

SAS in stealth
Slaughter Imperial dreams
Murder and assassinate
The democratic theme.

Britain was benevolent.
Was bankruptcy the reason
It turned its back on decency
And favoured bloody treason?

January 2001

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Lagos Resthouse Calypso

A West Indian lady plied her trade
In a thin-walled Ikoyi chalet
During a steamy resthouse afternoon,
And the bed springs created a symphony of sorts
Of faded lust, a jangled melody.
And then her voice so plaintive
Was heard so clearly.

'Please, please Master, fuck me faster.
Please, please Master, fuck me faster.'

The Northern Resident,
A polo-playing prick,
Was not amused at her haste.
He was a king in the feudal North,
And there were hours to fill
Before dinner.

'Please, please Master, fuck me faster.
Please, please Master, fuck me faster.
I got to go cook my husband's chop.

'Fuck your husband
And fuck his chop.
And fuck this fucking dump
And fucking Lagos too.
I've had enough of fucking Africa.'

Well, if Africa was fucking him up or down,
It was a return match.
Africa got fucked by everybody
In and out of the resthouses.

This is not to name or blame
Mr Fuckup the Resident
Who served the North well
In his fashion.

The big black spider,
Which eased his departure,
Was a fake Independence,
Which tore Nigeria apart
And took three million lives.

'Fuck, fuck, fuck,' he grunted
Then threw himself aside.
'Thank you, master,' she said
As she replaced her costume.

'Fuck off, you whore,' he responded.
'I now go cook chop,' she said.
'Fuck the chop!
Fuck Africa!' he yelled.

Africa still gets fucked
One way or another.

January 2001

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Last Edition

Hi there, guys!
I'm looking for

Now hold on there.
I know it's unusual
For the subject to
Come investigating
The guys who should be
Investigating him.
But it's been forty years and
I'm getting no younger.

So what's my beef,
As they used to say
Before foot and mouth.
Well, I'm afraid to say
In case you shy away.

Did you know no one
Got killed at Watergate?
The CIA told the
State Department who
Told Nixon about me,
And he much enjoyed
The way things turned out
For me.

And Nixon's biographer
He helped me
And said it was a miracle
I didn't get jailed or killed.
Then they jailed him
Instead of me.

I got threatened with death
And a lot of entrapment
Came my way,
And then my friends
Got blackmailed,
And it worked.
And I got framed
So many times -
Just dirty games,
That sort of thing.

And sure I have met
Creme de la creme
Of journos' best
And well served,
But we all failed
To score,
Which is sore in a way,
Or would be if
Expectations survived
My forty year sentence.

When I say a life sentence,
President Carter and your staff,
No incarceration was involved
Except maybe of my soul
And faith in newspapers, media,
And that ring-a-ding,
Though Jack and Anne to
Name but two,
And two who later ran,
Robin and Steve.
Why, there were four
Who saved the honour of
All hacks, for what they risked.

At Nottingham Trent
They train the reporters in theory
To look into me, and in practice might
Except my transparency means
They can't see me.
Now there's a thought.
I'll visit this place, ex BBC,
And there'll be no riot
As at Shepherds Bush,
When the cameras
Turned on me.

I was with the
Dambuster squadron
When Nottinghamshire
Was full of Yankee fliers,
Or the survivors -
Poor sods - of ghastly
Daylight raids.
And Trent University
Will get bombed and strafed
If I drop my
Undercart Trent way.

And who will investigate
And write obits for Trent?
Who investigated a case
Too far, too deep,
Stop Press, Last edition,
And millions dead for keeps.

March 2001

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Lawmaker - Outlaw

To create the laws of a great new nation
That was my task, my duty, my privilege.
My handiwork, the Nigerian Factories Act,
Was hailed as the finest of all laws,
The best presented, the most beneficial, the most noble.

'Write it in secret', I was ordered
By George Foggon, the new broom Nazi
Commissioner of Labour.

Six weeks later, Nigeria -
The mighty African Empire -
Had a draft Factories Act, and no one knew.
My role was unacknowledged.

Later Foggon said I was unfit
Ever to be employed by anyone.
I had all the faults of my race
And was disloyal, arrogant, and
Horrible with a variety of Thesaurus synonyms.

This because I protested for four years
Through official channels at
The destruction of democracy in Nigeria.

The carrot - a knighthood.
The stick - death.
A decent spy said, 'Flee!'
The CIA said 'Flee!'
And offered protection, a refuge,
A safe haven in Washington.

A refugee lawmaker on the run
Is not finely presented.
He is not noble and certainly not beneficial.
The Lawmaker is outside the law tho'
He protected the safety and health
Of many millions.

However, lawmaking did not prevent a
British-caused war which killed
Three million innocents. His own safety
And health are at serious risk.

I was a lawmaker, now
I am a fugitive outlaw
An unacknowledged legislator of mankind.

June, 2000

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Lib Lab, Suck Suck

Don Foster of Bath, a decent lad,
Is honest as the day is along
(Even allowing for Summer Time.)

Don Foster of Bath, MP,
Could blow the whistle
And bring down a Government.
Will he? Not a chance.

A Lib Lab Pact,
Whether open or closed
Ensures the
Third alternative
Is honestly a sham.
Believe me!

'Expose the Secret Service
Is not an option,' says Don.
'For my leader, Paddy Ashdown,
Was a secret Secret Agent.
Hush, hush,
Believe me, I'm a Liberal.

February 2001

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There's hard left, or was.
There's centre left, or was.
There's soft left, or was.
There's jelly left, as is,
And there's Robin Cook et al.

'It's not our fault
If Saddam's children die,'
Shouted Robin on TV.
If our planes kill,
It's a humanitarian gesture.
We bear no ill will
When we kill.
We stand by Kuwait,
An arsenal of democracy,
An arsehole of plutocracy,
Some cynic said.
(Yes, that was me.
I plead guilty.)

'Saddam drinks whisky'
Challenged Robin.
And who would know better
Than Robin, who was pissed
Out of his tiny mind,
The appeal, the duty
To drink to excess
To sodden what's left
Of his conscience.

'We've taken millions
Out of poverty,' shouted Blair,
'And, having overfilled our prisons
We're going to empty them,' said Blair.
'We haven't got a fucking clue,
And we'll say anything
To win a few votes.'

'Let's hope the bleeding public's
Got amnesia,' said Alastair,
'For all the fucking ballsups
And fuckups, like the Dome,
Bernie the bagman
And lots more.
We've bribed everyone
Who'll take a drink,
Not to tell.

'Let them drink whiskey,' said Robin,
Warming to his theme,
Before men in white coats
Took him home to sober up,
But that is hell
For this slimebag,
A former idealist.

And these are the good guys
And Blair's a Christian.
Suffer little children to come unto me,
For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
'Let them drink whiskey,'
Shouted Robin.

March 2001

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Like HTML,
Which is rarely seen
By the casual reader,
Of computer composed copy,
Behind the law-abiding
Whitehall scene
Is one thousand million p.a.
Pounds of Secret Service
Financed jungle.
Rarely seen
Because obscene
Which manipulates
What casual citizens

There are also many volumes
Of Media Law to do with
Secrecy, Censorship, Defence,
States of War and Treason,
For the State is at war
With the Fourth Estate

The only law in this
HTML jungle
Behind the scenes
Is that no law operates here.
The traitor or victim
Or whistle-blower or prick -
Take your pick -
Has no rights
Or entitlement to justice

He is casually mired,
Denied employment,
Health destroyed,
Tempted to self-destruct.
'Suicidal? Oh, good,' say MI5,
'Mission accomplished.'

Should he not easily break
But keep on trying
To communicate
With the enemy -
The British public -
There are extra measures
We can take,
Like breaking his marriage,
By scandal created
For this purpose.
Fit him up in theft
And worse, and as he's innocent
He'll spend some years
Proving he's really clean.
Then tie him to pornography -
A speciality of the Spy filth brigade.
We ensnare, entrap,
Fit up, make form,
Even with murder
If the occasion demands.

The world moves on.
Our victim's state secret
Is now common knowledge
But the victim is still
Demonised, destroyed,
For the HTML is timeless
And his sentence is for life.

I am now seventy three.
Oh, don't pity me.
A knighthood was offered
And a fortune in cash
To this poverty-stricken jerk
Once, for his silence
And his word.
How absurd

'He forced us to be cruel.
True, the elections we fixed
In our African empire
Brought on civil war
And three million dead.
We thought of making it
Three million and one.'

But he fled
And, when discovered,
Was gravely ill from
Poisoning by Porton Down,
A Defence Minister said.

A Rear Admiral phoned
To say 'You are free
So far as this Ministry
Is concerned.
The Editors on our voluntary
Self-censorship Committee
Have set you free,
Though they will not publish
For fear of bad

'I'm sorry about that',
Said the Rear Admiral.
'I hope you're
Not too fucked up
With our secrecy.
Nothing personal, old chap.
It's the English disease.

'Don't lie to me, you fuckers,'
Said Patten of Bath.
'I'm a Minister of State,
And if Harold Smith
Is kidnapped by Mossad
Acting for our African chums,
The reporters could be
Waiting, outside my gate.

'So SAS his safety
In the dark, with deadly arms
Around his home
For although I can't be seen
To participate
I may need a cover story
If he meets his fate.'

My neighbours, awaiting poachers,
Are truly fascinate
To see men in black
Surround the Smiths' home
To fight off Mossad killers,
Who also wish
To silence the Smiths.
Why don't they collaborate?

Let's fuck him with
His neighbours.
He's an enemy of the Queen.
And if patriotically
They kick his arse,
The police will be busy
Checking parked cars,
And he has it coming
For the Smiths are the enemy
Of our secret state.

Our secret police,
Like HTML,
Are rarely seen
Especially by Editors,
Unless they are unique
Like Jack Brennen of
The Wiltshire Times,
Who believes -
(Where've you been, Jack?)
That journalism is an honest craft,
And truth is might
And shall prevail.
You gave us heart.
God bless you, Jack.

February 2001

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Limbo Land

Nigeria is in limbo because
When the Brits departed
They did not legitimately
Elect a lawful Government.

The crooks we placed in power
Were our stooges
As everyone knew,
But the Brits
Didn't give a fuck

For laws, decorum
Or all that truck.
The jackpot the Brits got
Were oilfields so rich.
They have involved every
British Government since
In a colossal cover-up,
A great criminal conspiracy.

Must the Smiths stand alone
In speaking up
For what our people think
This nation represents?

February 2001

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Living Dangerously

Some people think
Nigerians don't laugh.
They're too busy sitting around,
Thinking of some new wheeze
To fleece the Brits
Who let their greed
Run away with common sense.

You think they have no sense of humour,
And they lived with the
British here, all those years!
In my office at Ikoyi
Not a sound
Except the fan swishing.
I'd leave, and pop back for something.
A circus, pandemonium. Gales of laughter.
A couple lying on my desk smoking.
My clerk in my chair trimming his nails.
hey never let me have a good time!

Amos Tutuola laughed,
Mainly at me, when I told him this
He only had to see me and he'd
Start shaking his head and laughing.
No good asking him why.
I really liked him.
One day, discussing politics,
I was on dangerous ground.
I said maybe it wasn't a good idea
To keep his money in Zik's Bank.
'It could be dangerous,' I said.
Amos said he'd take the risk, and added,
'You think I live dangerously, Mr Smith?'
Then he laughed and laughed
Till he had to lean on the wall
So as not to fall down.
'You're the one living dangerously, Mr Smith.
Mr Cook (the Deputy) would like to
ut you into slices,
Put you through a mincer
And feed you to the crocodiles.
'And Mr Foggon?' (the Commissioner), I asked.
'He'd pay for a ringside seat.'
'Amos, Amos, what's new, Amos?' I asked,
But Amos had fallen off the

February 2001

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By Commonwealth
We do not mean
To share out all our lolly.
To give the yobs
More sustenance
Would surely be mere folly.

An Empire isn't a charity
To reward the Sambo peasants
For golliwogging
On their backsides
Because work is unpleasant

The system's meant to enrich
The Queen, and greedy Brits,
Who hog most of the moulah.
Her chums the aristocracy
Share in the loot
And for their cut
Promote the notion that
The Empire is for noodles like you.

The Duke of Edinburgh
Whispered in my ear
The truth about this horror.
'The Commonwealth,' he confided
In 1960,
'Is just a load of bollocks.'

February 2001

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Looking Out For Yourself*

(* 'I don't trust a man who isn't.' Sidney Greenstreet as the Fat Man in the 'Maltese Falcon,' 1940, written and directed by John Huston for Warner Brothers.)

Fat men don't trust me
Nor thin men, too nervous,
Who have a lean and hungry look.
Sir James Robertson
The Queen's personal representative,
And Governor and Commander in Chief
Of our Lagos establishment,
Said he'd have me killed
Rather than published.
He had the making
Of the killer literary crit.

Criminality pays,
Honesty does not -
At least not in Whitehall
Where I was offered a knighthood
(Sir Harold Smith!)
To join the criminals,
Which I declined.

The alternative -
Not a good career move -
Was permanent unemployment,
Retirement without a pension,
At thirty-three!

Poor Robo Cook,
A pathetic hairy bum
Whose sole claim to fame
Was a proclaimed honesty,
Says the Smiths are liars.
His lackeys, whom he had ordered,
Told him so.

"You are telling me that
Mrs Caroline Smith
ILEA Staff Inspector for
Is a total liar? (I hope!)"
'Yes, Minister.'

"Likewise her pathetic,
Horrible, ghastly,
Old Labour
Socialist - ugh -
Yes, Minister.'

Poor Robin
To come to this,
The biggest liar
In a Cabinet of liars.
Poor Robin.
He had this delusion
That he was honest
And a Socialist.
Just a hairy Scots bum -
As we suspected.

March 2001

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Lucy - Your Date

These marks on paper,
I knew no other way
To record a feeling that
Has neither time nor space.

For love seems ephemeral
To those who aren't lovers,
To those who fuck around
With women, who deserve
Rather more than that.

Don't let your cock
Waste your time around this work!
Where we have so little time
To enjoy the wonder,
The joy that we create
When we find a Madonna
In Lucy, who was just a date.

on't fuck around.
Women deserve your respect.
If you haven't grown up,
Just fuck a hole in a tree,
For your not-joined-up infantility
Doesn't reflect on the girls you abuse,
But simply loudspeakers to the world
That you're not a man yet!

Don't fuck around
If you don't love her.
Don't fuck around
If you're not true.
Don't break her heart
By telling her lies.
The person you're fucking up
Is really you!

If she makes you smile
Then you've discovered
She's found a way
To enter your heart.
Try to exercise
All your good manners,
For Lucy, the Agency girl,
Could be the only girl that's
Destined for you.

March 2001

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Man of Straw

There are
Myths and
About our dear
And beneficial
Said Jack - radical - Straw.

We investigate only
Subversives, hard core
Who intend to do
As we did
And overthrow, as in Nigeria
By violent means,
Starting with Independence
Elections, which we -
As is our rule -
Rigged in favour of a
Criminal element,
For we are fools.

Young Jack had a file
Which proves MI5
Sometimes gets it
Are you all right,

February 2001

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Man With a Golden Tool

He moved like a panther,
A Hollywood grin floodlighting
His approach.
And women shivered,
Suddenly naked
As his eyes appraised
And settled on his prey.

His confessions, a switch of mood
Now vulnerable, now inviting protection,
A boy child married to an older wife,
Caught women by surprise
Though on to his guile.
They now held the panther close
And let him suck.
He was the man with a golden tool.

His wife smiled knowingly
Love brushed through hurt
As his intelligence flashed
Only curtailed by his
Strategic abasement to the
Powerful, the rich.
Others hurt by his treachery
Smiled with his wife at the victims' stupidity.

Francis Nwokedi was Britain's boy.
Francis Nwokedi was Britain's toy.
Francis Nwokedi gave top Brits joy.

As an admirer I was labelled friend.
As a friend I could be used.
An intimate used invites abuse.
Now bewildered, how could I choose?

His nation was Nwokedi.
He lived in Nwokedi.
His loyalty was to Nwokedi.
He was a citizen of Nwokedi.

Nigeria was a hostile state.
His contempt was total and
Robbed his face of the beaming
Power-sized charm.
Cynically he enslaved
Alien Nigeria's inhabitants and
Locked them into cages
Through electoral deceit and infamy
Plotted by his British chums.

Only Zik inspired his respect.
For his guile, his cunning,
His ability to survive were a model
Ready fashioned and waiting
To be used by the now Permanent
Secretary of Labour and Foreign Affairs
And United Nations diplomat.

The Sandhurst Majors struck
And Africa cheered at
Necessary bloodshed of despised leaders.
The Majors stuck uncertain
And Ironsi and Francis
Took a bow, and then a fall
While Francis, taking pages from Zik's book,
Refashioned himself as a
Master dealer in arms.

Francis Nwokedi, you and me,
I'm in exile, you are free,
Biafra invented for your vanity.
Bonny Francis Shafto.

Cheering on rebel students while on TV
And stuffing caviare inside
Those flashing white teeth,
And living five star in total luxury,
Bonny Francis Shafto.

Ignoring endless bloody savagery
Abroad and spending freely
The Enugu Treasury.
Three million die in misery
While Zik excuses heartfelt treachery.

Our friend Francis was Britain's boy.
Everyone's friend Francis was Britain's toy.
Nobody Nwokedi gave top Brits joy
And retired to Sierra Leone
From model colony to Holocaust.
He fucked his way to a great fortune
And fucked Nigeria into posterity.
Poor sad failure Nwokedi.

January 2001

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The Mrs Miniver Brigade

Don't mess with Carol,
You bastards!
You crooks, you filthy
Labour politicians!
Robin Cook,
War Criminal!
Anthony Lynton Blair,
War Criminal!
Alastair Campbell -
Faux Eminence Grise -
War Criminal! The Tories are Tories,
But you rotters
Pretend to be idealistic

While letting many
Thousands of children die
Because Saddam Hussein
Is today's villain.
Tomorrow he'll be on
The Whitehall payroll,
And another 'enemy'
Will have been invented.

Take the money,'
Hints Ramsay of Lobster,
Not knowing that Carol
Would not only have my balls,
But his too!
We liked Robin before
He became a cowardy custard!

We are grateful, too,
To Steve Dorril, also a
Lobster founder and
A man of great integrity,
Who is wobbling
Because frightened - with reason -
That MI5/6 will delete him.
Are you still there, Steve?

Carol is a Queen Mary College girl -
A fearsome breed of honest people,
Whose habitation on
The Mile End Road
Has made them as hard as titanium.
Marcia Falkender was loyal
To her ideals, and tougher
Than the man she served
To the end - Harold Wilson.

Dot Weiner, Verna Rosen
And other QMC Girls of
Massive integrity do not
Trim their principles to
Today's political Fashions.

There's Audrey and Bob Millar also
(Alastair's in-laws - say no more),
For these Ruskiners,
Respected by Cole,
Are socialists to their very core.

The Queen of Hollywood,
Greer Garson,
Mrs Miniver herself,
Was a QMC girl.
Take my word for it,
You bastards in Whitehall
And Westminster,
You fucking war criminals,
Don't mess with QMC girls!
You still holding your balls?

February 2001

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My Brother's Keeper*

First they came for the Yoruba, I did not
Speak out because I was not Yoruba
When they came for the Ibo, I did not
Speak out because I was not Ibo.
When they came for the Ogoni, I did not
Speak out because I was not Ogoni.
When they came for the Christians, I did not
Speak out because I was not Christian.
When they came for me... There was
No one left to speak out for me.

*Paraphrase of Testament by Pastor Niemoeller, who died in a Nazi death camp.

Lagos, 1955-60

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My Love Walks Tall

My love walks tall
Through this poetry.
Though I'm a nobody,
A poet's perks are these.

Though I'm broke as a peasant,
Drive an old banger,
Despite my seniority,
Though my friends have millions,
That means nothing to me.

Yes, they have wives
And happy families -
I state the plural
For some have had two or three.

For we live in a cottage
And it's pretty road noisy,
Not exactly luxury,
Yet we have something special,
My life's all poetry.

For I live inside a poem,
A verse written for me
And Carol's the poet,
For she created me.

She lets me do my thing,
Really any old thing.
There's not much bread in what I do,
Yet she treats me
As her very special guy.

My lyrics I know
Will never do an Elton John.
No Cole Porter I,
I'm a peanuts sort of guy.

Yet when I study a tree
And rush home to tell Carol
That spring's erupting again
And she expresses wonder,
I feel rewarded
For observing life renewed.

And I put it in words
Rather ordinarily
Like these, like me,
For Carol my poet,
Who created me.

March 2001

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The New Jerusalem

There ought to be a Society
For the prevention of cruelty
To poor old Labour Party Members
Like me (from '43.)

To pensioners like us
They offer seventy-five pee,
And this from Labour leaders
Living in luxury.
We shout 'Pee off!'
But they never ever listen.
They switched off their mobiles
Long ago - to socialists like me.

They tax us pensioners secretly
To let off their rich chums
And drink their Ramsay Macs
With hilarity.
They have a role model for their treachery
To loyal Party members like me.

They've found out
How to rule in perpetuity
By moving right of Thatcher,
Stealing privatisation policies.
They don't need sensible members
Like me, and the Tories can't oppose
Their own policies.

The inner city children
Have malnutrition and disease
When even in wartime
They got orange juice
And vitamins.

We give them unemployment
And Sky TV,
The opiate of the masses,
Is what they need.

Give them football and sex
And pornography
And the quickest way to lose with
The lottery and booze,
The route to our new
Jerusalem, aka Sleazeville,
And Irvine's grotesqueries.

There ought to be a society
To lock away these cronies
Of Toryism, Tony's clones.
Their role model's Ramsay Mac
Of the nineteen thirties.
They plan to complete
What Macdonald began
And destroy this working class Party.

March 2001

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Change your name?
Gold Coast to Ghana
We can understand, but
Change it back!
Sierra Leone and Gambia -
Who gives a damn?

And Biafra was poetic
To what was there before.
And the North is the North,
And the West is the West,
And Nigeria is black.
Is that really the best?

For a nation so large,
A nation defamed by a corrupt world,
So guilty of criminal intent
To a continent screaming for help,
Names for a colour
Disparaged like dirt -
You deserve better.

Transparently Britain
Was evil for centuries
Before they destroyed democracy.
In Nigeria in 1960.

And yet Britain is clean,
And decent and good,
Because British hypocrisy is legendary
And its bloody record is lost to history,
For the British wrote the book.

Where are this African giant's historians?
To rescue its good name,
To reclaim from the dark
A Commonwealth of peoples,
Innocent of blame,
Who deserve fair play,
Justice and a break.

To win a British PhD,
Nigerians twist their history.
Time to turn away
From this Britishry
And tell the truth objectively.

My friend Michael Crowder,
A historian of repute,
Wrote histories of Nigeria
Which are a lie for what he left out,
Though he gave me his word
That he wouldn't.
He was blackmailed to lie
When his homosexuality
Was a criminal offence.

And Michael, like Peter Cook -
The Deputy Commissioner of Labour -
Was very promiscuous,
But for reasons of State
Cook's reign of terror won favour,
For it involved the British élite,
While Michael was just a
Beginner without influence.

I sympathise, Michael.
It's human to be frightened.
But you claimed to be in love
With Nigeria's peoples, and yet
You betrayed them.
So we take away your historian's chair.
It is vacant and awaits an African scholar
Who will tell the truth
About the peoples of this slab of
The African continent,
And expose the evils about Britain
Concealed by its own false
History fabricators.

March 2001

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1943 - Fighter Pilot Bill

Bill Manchester of Manchester was
My friend and truly beautiful.
He joined the Communists in 1942.
I'm not sure why.

When Bill tired of selling the Daily Worker
He quit, which I said was wrong,
Tho' I was anti-Stalin.

Bill loved flying and we joined the Air Cadets,
But at eighteen Bill was drafted down the mine
And took his life.

His girlfriend, who lived in Moss Side, followed
His example. She was jealous of Bill's other friends
And didn't like me.

The three of us had worked side by side on K.Rheostat
At Metropolitan Vickers.
I was sixteen and moved to Lancashire Dynamo
And handed in my cadet's uniform.

Bill wrote poems, so I wrote poems,
And at Oxford I was published and
Surprised to be introduced as a poet.

1948 - Irene's Breasts

My girlfriend Irene had no breasts.
When she was ten
Her mother died of TB.
Her Dad put a rope around his neck
And kicked away a chair.
And Irene said he could not
Live without her Mom.
'But what about me?' she cried.
And her breasts didn't grow.

I mourn my girl friend,
Irene Gosling of Miles Platting
Who was beautiful and had no breasts.

I mourn also for Bill and his girl
Whose name I forget.
And I can't write poetry about them
As you can see.
For their tragic lives and deaths are
Too bitter a memory.

For Irene - 1949

On cobbled earth's reflected light
The echoes of Miles Platting
Gently fall.
A curtain of suffering shrouds the night.
Tubercular sweeps
The thin brick walls.

At night the spirits, freed by sleep
Stay their flight
And for a time tell of lives
That wasted, seep.
The spongy womb and soil decay,
Birth and prime.

The gods who took Irene's parents,
When you fled
Did you need to punish too
A girl of ten,
Painfully abandoned
And deprived of love?

Who, with proud disdain,
Denied her loss.
Yet her beautiful eyes,
Telling a different story,
Plead for a Hollywood happy sequel.

I loved her dearly, but
She gave me pain
And sent me packing
When I knew her tale -
Because I saw her tears?

On cobbled earth's reflected light
The echoes of Miles Platting
Gently fall
On new tenements
Already decayed.

Are they haunted by a child
Wandering in pain?
A rare beauty -
Seemingly serene?

Once in moonlit Platting
I shared her pain and cried.
And in that moment
Knew her love for me had died.

1956 - And Later

Francis Nwokedi, my friend and boss in
Federal Government, Nigeria, passed on to me
Orders from the Governor General.

With many staff and vehicles
My secret orders said
We should interfere in Elections
And be corrupt. That was in 1956.

For four years I disobeyed
Official orders, and protested
And protested and protested
Ad infinitum
For four years, though commended
Until the Governor General
James Robertson
In charge of the imperial rot
Said he'd have me shot
To put a stop to my rebellion,
For he admitted that Whitehall and Westminster
Had indeed destroyed democracy in Nigeria -
So there. However no one would believe
The Smiths or accept for one moment
That he, Sir James, would do such a thing.

For four years we fought
Until we were totally exhausted.
Democracy was destroyed.
And six years later a failed coup,
By those we had betrayed,
Forced the Brits to retaliate
And kill three million
Between 1966 and 1970.

This darkness entered my heart.
No more poetry, only now
At 73, this fractured verse.

I weep for Irene's breasts, for
The lives of Bill and the girl he called
His wife, and for Nigeria, and the
Three million lives shed.

This had to be said
Tho' my muse too is dead.

May, 2000

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Nineteen Sixty...

Was a very good year
For Cold War warriors
And World Resource wasters,
But for Africa
A bad year.
For Nigeria was stitched up
And its infant democracy
Shat on by the Brits
Though the Smiths protested.

I hid out at the
Holloway Labour Exchange
Where the Queen and Philip
Found me, and also
John Hare, A Minister,
Who later,
After visiting Nigeria
Blew his head off.

And a city lawyer
Took my story to
Macmillan's son-in-law,
Julian Amery, my Minister.
Julian was told I did not exist,
And Justice through an
Eminent Barrister,
Who took up my cause,
Told Amery I was honest.
And the Government
And Labour through its
Shadow Lord Chancellor
Concocted a deal
To give Smith vast sums,
Top jobs, and a knighthood
In return for his silence.

And the CIA
Said "They'll kill you.
Go back to Africa for us,
Or we'll hide you
In Washington.

Or they'll poison you."
And I was wasting away
And too ill to know
Much more about
Nineteen sixty,
Which was a very good year
For treason and conspiracy
Which would kill three million.

Nineteen sixty
Was forty years ago,
And unmarked graves
In the bush are all that
Remains of British honour.
And we strive to bring to account
Bloody British mass murderers,
And, right on,
Write on.

March 2001

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In 1968, so we are told
No British forces were involved in war.
A record since 1939
Which must be reason to celebrate.

Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.
Three spontaneous cheers
And raising of headgear for 1968
The year of peace.

But what, you ask, about Biafra
And a war against nationalists
Which took three million lives?

My friend, civil wars don't count
And it was a tribal conflict anyway.

Wait a minute, hold your horses.
I was there in 1960 when
We rigged the Independence elections
Against the Yoruba and Ibo
And gave the nation to
Feudal Hausa henchmen,
Allies of the Brits!

We destroyed democracy and
In 1966 the nationalists
Took back by force of arms
What was rightfully theirs.

A counter coup conspired by the Brits
Put our thugs back in power - so there! -
And encouraged them to wage war on the
Ungrateful nationalists who were
Incipient Bolsheviks, and wanted to
Rob us of our oil. What rotters!

We saw them off and killed three million
Before our blood lust was satisfied,
With more bullets and guns and shells
Than the British Army used in World War Two.
We made massive profits - and that in 1968
A year of peace, when no British forces were
Involved in War.

And that is a prime example of
The finest British bullshit, we say.

July, 2000

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Nogoinfo (It's All in Chomsky)

Student revolutionaries,
Like Jack Straw,
Should be given power at twenty-one
Or shot
Before they grow up
To become
Adolescent, obsolescent
And seize power.
(It's all in Chomsky.)

Orwell saw Jack coming
In '1984',
Where good words
Are window dressing
For the opposite.
Jack's Freedom
Of Info Bill
Is more censorship
And less freedom.
The Tories are sloppy.
Labour efficiency
Demands total compliance.
(It's all in Chomsky.)

The demarcation
Between free and unfree
Is what's unimportant
And what we dare
Not let you see.
It is between hopefully decent
And Nuremberg trials,
Where Jack the lad
Is the latest Nazi.
(It's all in Chomsky.)

What is nogo for you
Is my blood-soaked killing zones,
Which could not exist
With public scrutiny.
(It's all in Chomsky.)

The Tories were gents and amateurs
Who disliked the dirty games
Of diplomacy, and tried to be
Decent, and were hypocrites,
And were guilty and were
Denounced by Straw
And Cook and Blair et al.
But blue Labour are not
(It's all in Chomsky.)

Reprobates of course.
Hypocrites no,
For they are totally
Dedicated to criminality
For those professional student
Are Stalin's as well as
Thatcher's heirs.
(It's all in Chomsky.)

When Labour stole
Tory clothes
They reached for jackboots first.
Your boots, Jack,
And Jack's books.
Dear Orwell and Machiavel of course
Are Jack's
Recipe books,
His guide books.
(Sadly, it's all in Chomsky.)

March 2001

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The Northern Sense of Humour

He was very shy and quiet,
One of the first Northerners in
The Senior Service.
We had him round for supper.
There were long lacunas,
Silence all round.
Stupidly, I thought to lighten things,
A few jokes.
It was like that film 'Ninotchka'
When Garbo will not laugh.
I get desperate. More stupid.

'There's this film producer
Goes to make a film in the North.'

'Where?' asked my guest, waking up.

"Nowhere special. OK, Kano.
This camel...'

'What sort of camel?'

'Just an ordinary camel. He sits down.
I don't know why. He just sat down
And would not get up.
The producer tried everything.
I don't know, he gave him
Whatever camels eat.'


'I don't know. It's a joke.
Anyway, along comes this fellow...'

'What was his name?'

'He didn't really get to know him.
Anyway, he explains his problem,
And this guy goes over to the camel
And does something,
And the camel jumps up and
Races over the sand dunes and away...'

'Near Kano?' my Northern friend asked.

'Wherever. So the film producer
Says to this guy,
"What did you do to the camel?"
'This guy says, "I tickled its balls."
'"Well," said the film producer,
"You'd better tickle mine, because I've
Got to catch the bloody thing."'

There was silence.
'Did he catch it?' my friend asked.

'I had a terrible dream,
This afternoon. I slept too long.
This film producer...'

'The same one?' he asked.

'Maybe,' I said. 'It was a dream.
He's filming this great scene
When all the horses charge,
And the warriors all wave their hockey sticks.
They're meant to go round the film crew,
But got so excited they mow them down.
They take a right turn
And in no time, there are tens of thousands
Heading south through Yorubaland,
Heading for the sea.
When the Southerners hear them coming,
They start running, and millions
Of Southerners dive into the sea.
They do the crawl, the breast-stroke
Until they get to Florida and Brazil.
That's why there's an awful lot of Yoruba
In Brazil. Funny, eh?'

There was silence.

Then he said, 'Are you sure
They can swim?' And he began to laugh
And ended up on the floor,
Under the table.

Don't let anyone tell you
"Northerners don't laugh."

February 2001

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Not Really

In Lagos, Nigeria, in '56
A showpiece of democracy was
Being fashioned -
But not really.

The model colony -
Three nations in one -
Was to be set free -
But not really.

Oil had been discovered
By Shell BP,
Which would ensure prosperity
For the new country -
But not really.

The British would leave
For the old countree
In October sixtee
When the Smiths
Had drafted preparatree
Laws befitting a new nation.
Hallelujah! Not really.

For Whitehall had other plans
And Africa's largest nation,
After ten years of treason, would
Plunge into a holocaust, a blood bath
Where the demon British
Brought to fruition
A decade of treason.

London, 1970

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Orientalism - The Nigerian Transfer
(For Edward Said)

Of power to British stooges
Of our oilfields in perpetuity
Of our customs to anthropologists
Of our rhythms to musicologists
Of our beliefs to Christianity
Of our shrines to archaeologists
Of our markets to superstores
Of our peace to bloody war
Of our caring to selfish greed
Of our bodies to early graves.

June, 2000

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Our English Friends

All things bright and beautiful
Dear England sent them all.
Grammar Schools and Chapels
And also Kingsway Stores.

In Lagos there was the Marina
And a 'whites only' Victoria Beach,
And Government House with a sentry,
Which was the Governor's seat.

All things wise and wonderful
The English walked so tall.
The villas in Ikoyi
With geckos on the wall.

The English Club so cool
The links so fine and green
The children in the pool
Yet nothing what it seemed?

The Courthouse was in Tinubu.
Somewhere, a private Zoo.
A Museum and a Library
CMS Bookshop too.

A racecourse for race meetings
Glover Hall for concerts too
A Labour Exchange at Alakoro
And Carter Bridge for views.

Deep storm drains were a feature
And Leventis and PZ too.
Also UTC and cinemas
Plus all denominational pews.

All this in our capital
Made Lagos seem quite fair
Despite the shanty dwellings,
Too often beyond repair.

Add markets and processions
Drums and hullabaloo,
An airport at Ikeja
Ships moored in the lagoon.

The Brits in shorts of khaki
Their wives in Kingsway frocks
Amid crowds of lappered ladies
Greeting kin at Apapa docks.

Lagosians in the fifties
Might have suffered colonial blues
But before a fake Independence
To Britain they were loyal and true.

The Brits rigged the Independence elections
And treacherously put the North in charge
The Brits got control of the oil
Its stooges ruled by force of arms.

If this was liberty and freedom
Then bring back British rule,
With English laws and benevolence
Even if we were fooled.

We believed the English honest
As in cricket and fair play
In words of honour and decency
And game playing by the rules.

December, 1999

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Our Green Years in Africa

Our green years,
Seen through
The pain of old age,
Are still fresh
And clean and a joy.

In Lagos,
Excitement, laughter, drums
As a continent
Awaits liberation
Its fate?
Not necessarily.

The lagoon,
The creeks,
The beach,
The retreat
From morality,
By what had seemed
A benevolent regime.

Primitive schools,
Some medical care,
Decent policing,
Sewage beware,
Clean water,
And an introduction
To civilisation.

And laughter, gaiety,
Bicycles and palm wine,
Textiles, markets,
Hi-life and sunshine.
And unnecessary funerals of babies,
And storms,
And rain, rain, rain.
A vast empire of nations
Suddenly has fame
And is being framed.

Forced to co-operate
With our treacherous Brits,
Zik and his chums
Sign away power
To the bad guys
And Nigeria is doomed
To forty years of blood and chaos.

And the joyful Nigeria
We knew
Carries the burden of
Three million dead
And the title of
Most corrupt nation
On earth,
Which rightly belongs to Britain
For replacing our green love of Africa
With decades of grief.

Those green years of ours
And Africa's youth
Were interlocked and woven through.
We screamed a warning
That wasn't heard,
And were forced to flee
From the peoples
We loved.

Green years,
Green palms,
Blue costumes,
Blue lagoon,
Red laterite,
Red blood,
And a proud nation of promise
Made a pariah
By the British.

Our green years in Africa
Viewed through decades
Of treason and pain,
Will Africa ever
Be green again?
Will young Brits
Like the Smiths
Be welcomed as friends
And treated as family,
Brother and sister,
When they knew us,
By the beautiful peoples
Of our once green Africa.

March 2001

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The Piano

The piano, on approval
From Maples
(See Maples and die!)
Was a boudoir grand.

Maples' piano department in
Tottenham Court Road! Ah,
Insalubrious Tottenham -
Foul-mouthed football fans
And black estates,
Slimed by the press,
But a pleasant suburb actually.
The Tottenham Court
A different proposition.
See Heals and kneel at
A shrine to modernity.

And the piano,
Delivered by Maples' men
Who, after assembling,
Joined us in a cuppa tea.
'Don't mind, squire,'
Actually they said,
And filled us in
On the boudoir's history.

'That bleeding piano, guv,
Strike me down if I tell
A fucking lie,
Is famous.
It's Maples' finest
And owned by the bleeding
Wigmore Hall.'

'Cor blimey, strike a light,'
I said.

'What was that, mate?' one said.
'You taking the fucking mickey?'

'No, actually,' I responded
In measured tones.
'I was curious about
This delightful piano's ancestry.'

'Well then, square to rights,
Why didn't you say, because this
Old Joanna, Wigmore's finest,
Was hired out to embassiesMany a time. Bill, my mate,
And me, have carried this
Piano into every bleeding embassy
In London.'

'I'm absolutely forced to agree,'
Said his colleague.
'This fine musical masterpiece
Knows every National Anthem,
Known to the UN, even in reverse.'
(In translation, that is, for
In actuality he remarked,
'That bleeding piano, mate,
Knows every bleeding anthem
Backwards. All the top
Ambassadors and their chums
Have had bleeding knees-ups
Around that old Joanna. Many
A toast and pints and
Champers have been
Sitting on that lid.'

When the Maples' tuner
Asked if we relished
Our piano's tone and
Would be offering her a home,
I responded,
'That bleeding piano, mate,
Strike me down if I tell a lie,
Is famous.
I don't give a fig
For its fucking tone.
Let this cherished family
Heirloom go?
Why, it would be like
Spitting in Queen Liz's eye.
That old Joanna's
Got a lineage
And now it's mine.'

The tuner smiled -
Sadly blind -
And said to himself,
'Bill and his mate
Are Maples' best
And could sell
Snowballs in hell.'

March 2001

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Play the White Man

Play the white man, Carruthers.Call them Victoria Falls.
And Adelaide sounds
Rather jolly.
And Georgia and Virginia
Are droll in their way.
And Delaware sounds
Rather pally.

New England's presumptuous,
But the natives meant well.
And New York
Misnamed a back alley
Pennsylvania a pig sty,
And Boston's a place
For fisher folk, traders
And the Oirish.

Wherever we settle,
The landmarks we name
To commemorate our blessed nobility.
We civilise the savages
With a Carolina flourish
And Louisiana is nourished
By a Royal escutcheon.
Play the white man, Carruthers,
And Anglicise and civilise
The colonial rabble.

February 2001

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The Reunion

At Magdalen, Oxford,
Everyone remembered me,
Especially those
Not in my years - 1952 to '54.

While those in my years,
While remembering me,
Had lost the details of their lives
Which then enchanted me.

David had a smoking jacket.
'No, I did not.'
'You played the piano...'
'I don't play.'
'...And laughed at my lyrics.'
'You write songs?'

'I wrote a line
About Jealousy making
Acid drops of dames,
Which had you in fits of laughter.'
'Really? I don't recall.'

His wife said later,
'He did play the piano,
And I recall the jacket well,
But those years in Africa
Were hell for him.

And now he runs
An old people's home,
And he's forgetful too.
I hoped this College get-together
Would remind him of his youth.'

The Labour Club boys
Were now rich bankers,
And my, their wives
Were young and pretty,
But they were replacements,
Not the original works.

And the New Buildings,
We remarked,
Were fifty years older and,
Being cleaned, looked worse.

And the new President Smith,
A wonderful fund-raiser,
Had turned everything upside down,
And expanded and extended
And extracted and expended
Millions of old boys' cash
To change what was
Topsy-turvy and loved.

Why did we go,
We dry old sticks
To revisit our youth?
And reminisce of a College
Barely understood in that first tour
In the years '52 to '54.

March 2001

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Saint Hugo of Farringdon

Though Rusbridger has his share of awards
And Preston's a journo hero too,
Our Hugo's Freedom
Of Info personified.
"He's for it," says Whitehall.
What a thrill!

Our Hugo's for it.
What a thrill!
But doesn't actually do it.
What the hell,
Being for it
Is courageous in Farringdon country,
And daring for a journo tycoon
And positive.
And Whitehall loves him still.

Hugo thinks we're stupid,
Gullible and daft,
And Hugo must be right
For we accept his crap
And hypocrisy.
And Hugo's with us still.

This totally bogus sham
Of a journo is a total disgrace we know.
But there are dozens with taint
Waiting to take his place
Who could make Hugo
A latterday Saint.

February 2001

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The Secret Basement

The British Establishment,
As well as its traditional
Has a secret basement
Where unsavoury dealings
Are concealed.

Rebellious, truthful,
Honest civil servants
Sooner or later
Get dropped in it.
That is the Basement
Where special rules apply.

Politicians, judges, VIPs
Generally know all this,
But say, 'A nasty business',
Shudder and turn away.

When on the point
Of being dropped in it,
Special procedures are observed.
Deniable threats,
Even of death,
May be issued.
Entrapment is common,
As is blackmail.

The procedures are well worn
Because used for centuries -
Cat and Mouse,
Tough and nice police,
Denigration and flattery,
Smiles and scowls,
Pain and pleasure,
Death or a knighthood?

A full confession
From a Governor General
Takes the breath away,
As does the death threat,
But also the highest honours
Entrapment by pretty whores,
Pornography, perversion and buggery
Are not charming, but bewildering.

And your career
Goes down the tubes,
With your health, reputation,
And friends who run like hell.
For getting on
Is the sensible, practical ethic,
For we have wife and kids -
So goodbye, dear friend.

And the Basement?
Don't ask
Lest you get
Dropped in it!

March 2001

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Self-Censorship. Verso, X, Y, Zed

Publishers Guardian,
Pepper Red and Zed,
Verso and New Left,
Leave out three million British bullets and
Nigeria's honoured dead.

Lapping on TV
Has no time for me
Or truth about
British blood lust in Africa
Called Biafra
Or even Nigeria.

The Smiths are unpeople,
Mark Curtis of Chatham House
Rightly proclaims,
And then ambiguously deletes our name.
And Nigeria's holocaust finds no place
In the Index to his excellent
Zed books. Hall of Shame,
British evil abroad since 1945.

Noam says it is
And it is long overdue
So he claims.

'The Biafrans
And the Smiths
Are unpeople,' says Mark.
And so we remain.

January 2001

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'Your story is dynamite,'
Said the Shadow Lord Chancellor.
'And you will never be allowed
Into a British Court of Law.
Government will settle - out of court.
A huge sum of money
In exchange for your word.'

Later a knighthood too
Was added by Sir James Robertson.
His actual words were,
'Honours of your choice; the highest.'

For four years
I had said, 'No, sir.'
And very resigned and sickened,
And ill and totally shattered,
I accepted the injustice, the criminality
The murder of a nation
And shame of Britain too.

I walked into the margin
Of history, and became a non-person.
'No, sir,' I said, and was ruined
Because Sir James said
That a squalid end to Empire
Was necessary.

And I said that
It was necessary too for me
To protest and say no,
And exit into the shadows.

London, 1964

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Spring at Widbrook, 2001

In February 2001
All is normal with the Smiths.
No smoking guns here, we're told
By a TV Executive.

And it's true we're very healthy,
We keep very fit,
We garden, walk and exercise
And, for excitement,
Visit the theatre every week.
We're sane and rational
And laugh with joy at the silly nonsense
Of the MI5 boys.

A TV Company,
For reasons unfathomable -
With undue haste -
Says we'll call you, goodbye!
After our first hello.

And another, 20/20,
Says in our home, rudely, you haven't
Got a smoking gun.
And what's more you never did have,
Never will have,
And you'll never get on TV.
Get published (again?) ever
(You son of a bitch?)
Was unsaid, but felt.

And they'll say you're
A child molester, criminal,
Pornographer, etc. etc.
Whatever, whenever, if ever
And thanks for the
Lunch, and particularly
The fruit crumble, Mrs Smith,
Which was delicious.

And we try for Noam,
Pepper Red which,
Like all lefty mags,
Wants us dead
And doesn't reply,
Index too.
They can't all be infiltrated by MI5
As rumour has it?
Amnesty, likewise.
Guardian Ombudsman ineligible.
We're not allowed to speak to you.
Bath Chronicle, mail
Lost in the post - what's new?

And The Guardian,
No longer deliverable
Because stolen from box,
Or lost, or forgotten,
Or the newsboys lazy or stupid,
Or total amnesia or stoned.
And please go away, says newsagent,
'Cos you're not going to get it
Anyway, every day. Never again?!
They relent!

And the post goes
To the wrong address?
Like in Lagos?
Where thousands each day
Were fed into a furnace,
As I observed.
Better that than the
Bodies of the people
Who get no mail
Because decreed by those
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
That they are traitors, terrorists,
Suspects, Smiths -
Take your pick.

No papers! No mail!
Lost? In or out?
Like in jail?
The telephone? Don't ask!

And my name's on a website
For a film company,
But not for me, curiously.
Whatever happened to me!

And a revisionist editor,
Who's turned his coat,
Says what's wrong with you
Is - you must be - p.p.p....
What's the derogatory word?
For none of this happened
In our free society.
And PS, Why don't you take the money?
You deserve lots for what they've done to you.

All this recalled in February 2001,
For we're ineligible for
Human rights, it seems.
And Paul Foot,
Whether metric or not,
Says the reason The Guardian
Did not have space for forty years
Is because we're unimportant.
Three million deaths
Involving his Dad must be embarrassing
And unimportant and boring,
And embarrassing,
So don't write again, please.

And that goes for Uncle Michael too,
Apparently. It's just that -
Oh, what the hell -
It's who you are and we all know
The answer to the film title question.
By Government decree
You don't exist, Harold Smith.

And 20/20 says it's infamy
To say that BBC reporters sign
The Official Secrets Act,
Even if John Cole, once
Top political chief at the BBC
Says so in print.

John, now retired, also writes to say that,
While Deputy Editor at The Guardian,
Neither he nor the Editor
Saw my many letters!
And Hetherington of Suez fame,
Shortly before he dies,
Writes to say the same
And PS,
Please don't write again.

And Jon Snow, pillar of integrity,
News reader at Channel Four,
Says he turned down double salary
Offer from MI5.
Please go away, Mr Smith,
Are what unanswered letters to Jon say?
And we tell 20/20
Who disbelieve Jon Snow
And, of course, the Smiths.

They have not forgotten
That we embarrassed
The Observer, Guardian, BBC
And Channel Four et al
At a Conference on Censorship.
We refused to leave and took the floor,
And, to a cheering audience,
Denounced them all
For bloody hypocrisy.

And poor Sheena MacDonald,
Who was in the chair,
Tried to renege on a public promise
To let the Smiths speak;
And then forgot her public word alternative
To broker a deal with Guardian editors.
And was later brain damaged
By a police car speeding
Before she could respond
To our reminders and pleading
To her conscience.

It's enough to make you -
What was that word again?
And we send our love to Sheena as ever,
And pray she will recover.

But that was February, and before,
And today it's March
And daffodils and crocuses
Are coming through.
Who knows what Spring in England
May bring the Smiths in Widbrook.
The SAS again? Or Mossad,
Nigeria's secret police?
Or MI5 or 6 who trained them all?

March 2001

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Tales of the Secret Service

Mossad were giving
Package tours a new meaning
By kidnapping critics
Of Nigeria's military regime.

African secret police
Were terrorising critics of Nigeria in London
With maximum tolerance because
Britain installed these thugs
Illegally at Independence.

We told Minister Patten
Of our fears. He was Tory Chairman
And he agreed,
And despatched a squad
To protect us at Widbrook
For we had warned we
Might flee to his nearby,
Police-protected home,
As he was a neighbour.

That in 1991
And Carol entered into years
Of clinical depression
Because she had thought
Patten's special secret police squad
Were Mossad.
And what's the difference
For both were united
In agreeing we were the enemy,
For we loved democracy
And despised treason.

A great comedown for
Imperial Britain,
A fine record of Empire
Ruined at its winding-up
By treason.

And fine Israel too,
Emulating the Nazis!
This gives us enormous pain
For we were Zionists
And pro-Israel to the limit.
Yet now we see the justice
Of the Palestinian cause
Reluctantly, and believe
We were slow to appreciate
The justice of the Arab cause.
We, who fought for Israel,
For Zion.

For we are confused
Because the Jews have
Not learned the proper, the
Appropriate lesson from
Nineteen forty-eight,
From the Holocaust,
From the message of

Holocausts are not uncommon
And the Nazi version
Was the most evil and mechanised.
And the Germans were a
Highly civilised nation.

Israel, Israel,
We believed in you.
We stood by you.
But Arabs were tolerant,
Kind, and in 1947 there was
A rich Jewish community
In Cairo. I know,
Because I was there.

Israel, thwarted, twisted,
Corrupted, spoiled by the
Make peace with your Arab cousins.

Mossad threaten
Enemies, like the Smiths,
Of Africa's military

Patten's boys made clear
That we were threatened,
And now backtracks, and
The Wiltshire Police tell my neighbour,
Who was guarding his chicken farm
In 1991 from green terrorists,
That his son-in-law was dangerous.
And it was not the Smiths
Who were targeted by an SAS hit squad,
Albeit to defend us from Mossad.
They were there to keep watch
On his lousy son-in-law.
So why did closer neighbours
Observe the squad surrounding,
Not the chicken farm,
But our cottage?

So be it.
Who cares?
In our great democracy
We are outlaws, terrorists,
For defending democracy
Against fascist British
Governments who are false.
So be it.

The odds against the
Smiths are considerable,
Thus proving the
Strength of our cause.
We cannot win.
The struggle is our victory,
And the true value of democracy.
Fight on, the common people!

March 2001

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This Book has fallen*

From its author's high
Standards. Why, we ask,
When Karl Maier describes
The Murder of a Nation,
Does he not tell us
Why the British did it?

Karl's superficial description
Of the most corrupt nation on earth
Would otherwise pass muster.
He excuses himself from
Indicting the British
Because it would take many
Volumes of history.
Not necessarily, Karl -
Try half a page?

Karl left out the White Tribe
Which fixed the Elections at Independence,
Installed a gang of criminals,
Who waged war on democracy,
Produced a civil war, coups,
Murders assassinations and
Total bloody chaos for forty years.
How's that for starters, Karl?
You're not really CIA?
Not a good package, Karl!

* Karl Maier. 'This House Has Fallen'. Allen Lane, 2000.

February 2001

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Tick, Tock: If You Can Hear This, You Survived!

A world observatory
Controls every tock,
Every tick
Of my clock.
If it does, that is,
But being deaf
I wouldn't know.
But it won't lose a second
In a million years,

You can always take the clock back,
I suppose,
To Argos,
In a million years.
Shall I mention
For my descendants
This durability,
When my ticker -
Or tocker -
Is not guaranteed
For another beat?

If only the signal
Controlled morality!
But when armies contest
And the million years'
Signal arrived on the
Which side would it
When priests pray on
Each side,

Insurance companies
Cannot ensure life
Or insure death
In war,
But they do operate
Knock for knock,
Setting claims,
Settling claims
Against rival maims,
Or dents, or even major

We guestimate a million
Dead on each side
So please remove a million each
And two million are alive.
Knock, Knock.
Can actuarial analysis
Predict, protect,
Send men home safe,
All on time with the
Tick Tock, or not if deaf,
Of my world observatory radio-
Controlled ten pound Argos

March 2001

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Tom Sargant

Gentle, idealistic crusader,
Commando for the good,
Practical, do-it-yourself moralist,
Working for the Lord.

Quietly, calmly relentless,
A Schweitzer in the suburbs,
A Niemoeller and Bonnhoeffer,
Always there for others.

A lovely man,
A joy to know,
His family was humanity.
Modest and kind,
His hallmark humility.
A truly saintly
Thomas Sargant.

March 2001

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We're going to take
This bloody Colony
And turn it into a democracy
Said the Brits.
Do you hear?
Are you sincere?

We're going to take
A model Colony
And pretend it's
A showcase democracy,
Yes. Then we'll steal its oil
And the pirates we leave behind
Will rob the country blind
As a consolation prize.
And we don't care.

We robbed this country blind
Once before, said the Brits.
We put its people in chains
And took them on a package tour
To the USA
In a rather special way.
Do you hear?
Are you sincere?

You cotton-picking nobodies,
You're going on a one-way cruise
From Nigeria
In a rather special way
To the southern USA.
Do you hear?
Are you sincere?

In nineteen-sixty
An Independence we declared.
We said, you're all free
So long as you work for me.
You've got total liberty
So long as you vote for me.
And we don't care.
Do you hear?
Are you sincere?

We fucked Nigeria up
For a few more years,
Then some Ibo heroes
Who had had enough
Shot the bastards the Brits put in charge
And for one or two hours
We felt really free
Until the Northern Army
Killed our liberty,
And we did care.
Do you hear?
Oh yes, we cared.

Now Nigeria is the world's
Biggest basket case,
And it's all our fault,
Though we never had a say.
And the British Crown,
Which fucked us up and down,
Is honest as the day is long,
Though they stole our people,
Our oil
And our democracy.
They taught us all about democracy.
No one ever got it for free.
And independence can't be given.
It has to be won by sacrifice
Like Freedom and Liberty.

March 2001

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Treason is Sneaky, Via the Rear Entrance

'No one will believe I would do it,'
Said Sir James.
He had just confessed to rigging
Nigeria's Independence Elections.

The Governor General's secretary
Had phoned. What was his name?
At seventy-three names come
And go. Later perhaps.
'You will say nothing unsavoury.'
'Like rigging the elections?'
'No, that's why he wants to see you.
The other stuff -
Buggering small boys.'
'Sure, fine. No buggery.'
'Good chap. See you later.
Come in at the back.
There's parking...'

'I want you to know, Smith,'
Said Sir James,
'How much trouble you are in.
We did all the things you say.
You know far too much.
You know the penalty
For disobeying orders
On active service.'
'I am a civil servant, sir.'
'The Colonial Service is the Army
And I am your Commander-in-Chief
As well as Governor General, you know.

'If you do return to UK
You will never be employed again.
Think of your wife and children.
A top position in the Foreign Service,
Honours, permanent exile. All
In exchange for your word.'

This was not unsavoury?
And future elections
Would all be fixed - necessarily.
And then coups by the cheated
And war, bloody war
I could see before it
Inevitably happened.

'Why, sir?' I pleaded.
'It is necessary,' said Sir James.
'No, sir,' I protested.
'You know far too much
To be allowed
To walk away,' he said.

But I did,
And exchanged pleasantries
With the very personable
John Bongard,
His personal secretary,
Before exiting by the
Back door to the Empire.

Bradford-on-Avon, 2000

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We Didn't Know (For Noam)

Eureka! The white men
Have discovered us!

We didn't know we were lost
Till white men brought us baubles.

We didn't know we were savages
Till they made us slaves

We didn't know black skin
Was ugly, or white skin nice.

Or our bodies should be covered, or
That white men lusted for our women,
Or that they envied our unspoiled ways,
Or that their greed for our Africa
Would be insatiable.

We didn't know, and our learning curve
Is caked with the blood of our people.

Lagos, 1955-60

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Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?*

The Nigeria that we knew
Was publicised
As a Crown Colony
And a showcase
For democracy,
Having been a model Colony.

At Independence
This vast empire
Of scores of nations
Voted against nationalists
Who wanted Independence.

If you believe that,
You'll believe anything,
But the British counted
The vote.

'I rigged the elections,'
Sir James Robertson said.
'See how much trouble you're in?
But they won't believe you
For they'll not believe
I could possibly
Do such a thing.'

He had a double knighthood,
Represented the Queen,
Was Governor General
And Commander in Chief,
And I was only,
Harold Smith.

* A film currently on release.

February 2001

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What Is It...? (For the Chomsky Family)

In awe I salute
The Delta Congress
Through its splendid website
For a matchless intellectual
African voice.

A phoenix has risen
Apparently effortless
To leave the BBC and CNN gasping.
Will African intellectuals
Develop a superiority complex?

The US is vulgar,
Russia shambolic,
Britain full of has-beens
And China an enigma.

Africa has been devastated
Yet is eternally fresh,
Virginal and innocent
And will conquer Euro-disease
Euro-corruption, Euro-bullshit.

From holocaust ashes
The Delta peoples,
Defiant and smiling
With well-springs of steel
And good manners,
Forgive our trespasses.

God damn!
What is it with these Delta people?

February 2001

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What Kind of Fool Am I?

A fool in love
With truth - excessively?
In all honesty
Not to lie,
Cross my heart,
Hope to die,
Boy Scout's honour.
Yet I feel,
As does Carol,
Isolated in our
Constancy or endeavour,
And unsympathised,
Because fools in love
With justice and truth
Act as a reproof
And seem superior
Perhaps, or maybe not.
Who knows?
Have we disagreed
With the secret mores
Of our friends?
For is truth an aspiration,
Like exam questions,
To be attempted
Some of, but not all
Of the time?
Those kind of fools
Are we to love
A relative only of
An absolute, a shadow,
An ideal to be aspired

March 2001

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When Britain ruled in Africa

When Britain ruled in Niger lands,
She was fit company,
If slow to spend, and comprehend
There were sensible whites,
Whose taint was slight,
Who ruled tri-minimally.

When British rule in Africa generally
Was withdrawn in the sixties,
The African rulers were undermined
And also despised
Unless arse-licking stooges
Of a British kind.
We favoured Hausa and the Fulani,
And gave them the kingdom's keys.

When fuck-up time to Africa came
Was it our responsibility?
We kept control of the oil supplies
And turned a blind eye to war
And the waste of three million lives,
And denied the British holocaust.

February 2001

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Richard Nixon
Resigned as President
Of the most powerful
Nation on earth
Because he lied.
It was to do with elections
Like Whitehallgate.

Did someone get killed?
No. Two junior journalists
Checked on a break-in
And the Washington Post
And nailed Nixon.
Shades of Whitehallgate.

When Nixon became President
He was briefed on Nigeria,
A showcase of Empire,
A model Colony,
A shining example of transition
To democracy -
That was the spin.
The State Department
Revealed that the Great Brits
Had rigged the Independence Elections -
This was Whitehallgate.

Nixon never forgot that,
And his officials cited this
As proof of his knowledge of foreign affairs.
And when the cheated Africans
Staged a coup in 1966,
The Brits hastily staged
A counter coup
And then waged war, killing three million.
This was Whitehallgate.

Sadly, Britain only has
The patriotic, treacherous Guardian.
And no outstanding young journos
To find a Deep Throat
And defy persecution
By MI5, by MI6,
By Special Branch, by the Police,
By the SAS death squads
By the Nigerian Secret Police
And Mossad who act as
Agents for our African stooges.
Can you blame young reporters
Who wish to be top Guardian hacks?
And whitewash Whitehallgate?

A President resigned,
But no one died.
The Brits successfully
Fixed elections and destroyed
Democracy and Nigeria
And got away with it,
And no one resigned
Because the Guardian
Has no integrity
And acts as an agent
Of the British Secret State,
Also known as Whitehallgate.

Was Watergate important?
It didn't stop Presidents lying!
Is the destruction of Nigeria,
Its democracy, its integrity,
Its reputation,
Three million times
Less important than Watergate?
It is according to Whitehallgate!

'No rivers of blood
Flowed through Whitehallgate,'
Said our Guardian Editors -
Sad to relate -
Displaying their patriotic zeal,
Though Nixon knew
They lied
And richly deserved

March 2001

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White Man's Juju

Joel, our African driver pleaded for
A uniform and drove around
In a General's gear and
Policemen saluted.

Joel, our driver, slept with
His absent brother's wife, but
Feared the family juju
Might tell all.

Joel, our driver, improved English
As he learned its ways, and
Coined 'deparked' as an
Alternative to 'departed'.

Joel, our driver, reminded us that
If he had juju, we had
Superstitions. 'Touch wood, master'
He laughed.

Joel, our driver, said African
Juju was inferior to the white man's.
African juju might hopefully
Keep children well, but white
Man's juju provided doctors, drugs,
Hospitals, pretty wives, girl friends
Big meals, big houses, big cars.

Joel, our driver laughed when we
Denied a white man's juju.

Joel, our driver, was clever, wise
And a joy to know.
'Master,' he said. 'Money is
White man's juju.

Lagos, 1955-60

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White - Oh Dear!

As a harlot's cunt,
As the White House front,
As the flag of surrender,
As a politician's shirt.
For what it conceals,
For therein congeals
White pus, oh dear!

White, harmonica,
As our Bill of Rights,
As our Independence declared,
As our Court Supreme Writs,
As fashion parade tits,
As a Wall Street rag,
As Times weekly blag,
As the snow still undriven
And the midden it covers.

For dirty is poor,
And unclean are sores,
As is work and sweat
And Labour and shifts
And TB and Aids
And Hispanic maids.

Oh dear, I offend
The virginal minds
Of society ladies
With cosmetic surgery,
Who dye their locks
And tan their skins,
But wouldn't be black
For anything.
Oh dear!

February 2001

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Widows and Orphans

'You're Smith, aren't you?' he queried.
'Yes, that's right,' I replied.
How did he know?
I had parked on the Marina
So I could walk. Better that than the
Lagos afternoon siesta, the little death.
He'd pulled over in a khaki Land Rover.

'They're coming for you.
Get our now before they kill you.'
'Who...?' I began.
'I'm attached to the Secretariat.'

MI5 or 6? A spark of thought.
The Governor General had said
He'd have me killed.

'It could be you?' I asked.
'Get away immediately!' he ordered
And turned away.
'They've cancelled my
Widows and Orphans' entitlement,' I said.
'They're coming for you.' He repeated,
'Get out now!' and drove away.

I felt suddenly cool although
There was no breeze.

Lagos, 1960

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