Politics is War Minus the Shooting

Politics is War Minus the Shooting

[George Orwell once said that Serious Sport
Is like War Minus the Shooting.
Is politics the same?]

I wonder why politicians
Always seem like contestants
In the boxing ring

Ready to fight their corner
Against a hostile world
Whether fellow MPs of a different stripe
Or when bated by the belligerent press

PM’s Question Time like some gladiatorial contest
Insults slung mercilessly from the opposition parties
The Government benches filibustering
Answering anything but the question posed

Politicians pledged to stick to their Party line
Only the odd maverick prepared to speak their mind
Cheering and jeering and waving of order papers
No quarter given or expected

The Speaker fighting to maintain order
The members, like schoolboys running amok
No room for rational argument or calm reflection
Is this simply War Minus the Shooting?

The battlefield extends beyond the House
In TV studios and debating chambers
The skirmishes on a smaller scale
The invective no less spiteful or acerbic

And at election time on hustings throughout the land
The candidates convinced of the validity of their Party’s case
Unwilling to recognise any virtue in the policies of others
Belief in their own Manifesto unwavering

In the war of words
Truth and lies cut from the same cloth
The authenticity of any pronouncement unclear
Veracity and falsity rendered indistinguishable

One wonders if there is no other way
Must democracy only ever be viewed in monochrome
Can no-one ever concede there are shades of colour?
And muzzle their guns in the pursuit of the common good
Ken Fisher

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