The Tyranny of the Majority

The Tyranny of the Majority

 

The tyranny of the majority is the cause of all this woe
Almost equal numbers can turn a friend into foe
Because the larger figure dictates how we must run
Yet a bare majority is hardly everyone

If the rule of a majority is by which we must abide
And by the bigger total on the issue we decide
Then no matter how small the extra votes may be
The disappointed losers still have no valid plea

But the problem then is that it fosters discontent
The significant minority might very well dissent
The referendum winners will expect their will be done
But then the losers find their aspirations overrun

In such a plight our nation seems to wallow
No-one yet knows what from this will follow
Any consensus is very hard to discover
Who from this log-jam will help us to recover?

Politician and judges and all the good and great
Even the Sovereign dragged in to decide our fate
Perhaps all of this is down to our creaky constitution
Being un-written – as they say – perhaps it’s just illusion

But we can’t go on forever neither in nor out
Our friends in Europe wonder what its all about
We need to make our minds up and decide which way to go
Perhaps the tyranny of the majority we simply have to thole

Ken Fisher

Climate Change

Climate Change

This is the challenge now we face
Suddenly it’s become a race
Against passing time and rising tide
The threat can no longer be denied

Young folks rise up in alarm
‘Gainst those who downplay the harm
Polar ice continues to melt
Effects around the world are felt

Island strands buffeted by tempests
Little defence against such impacts
Hurricanes wreak devastation
Carnage heaped upon these nations

Some delight in unaccustomed sunshine
But scorching heat is not benign
Forests burn ‘neath rays incessant
While we remain quite acquiescent

But perhaps some sign of hope we can discern
As in loud protest we hear concern
Expressed by thousands on parade
As their urgent warning is relayed

Ken Fisher

Niceness is a Thin Veneer

Niceness is a Thin Veneer to give the Impression of Civilisation

I wonder if you agree that niceness can be  just a thin veneer
Which we apply to our persona so that others think well of us?
But many consider the word nice to be really meaningless
Simply anodyne, not likely to provoke dissent or offence

And yet I suppose most of us would like to be considered nice
That is agreeable, pleasant, good-natured, congenial, friendly
Because few of us make it our avowed intent to be the opposite
Nasty, spiteful, argumentative, arrogant, hateful, repulsive

But if our niceness is only a thin veneer, sprayed on for effect
Then it seems to suggest that we are not always good guys
Yet we feel obliged to display qualities that would meet approval
Pressure is forcing us to be hypocrites, needing public praise

Apparently the social media has shown the propensity
For people to be anything but nice to others
On-line harassment is on the rise, computer rage rampant
The uncontrolled release of these emotions is damaging to health

So perhaps we need to recall that aphorism “It’s nice to be nice”
But we don’t need to sacrifice our honesty, or deny the truth
We simply have to calmly accept the reality of life
Stand our ground but be civil in all our dealings

Ken Fisher

 

The expression Niceness is a thin Veneer ………
Is a quote from journalist India Knight in the Sunday Times
Magazine 19 March 2017

Don’t Reheat the Porridge

Don’t Reheat the Porridge

I don’t know if this is sound culinary advice
Should you heat up your cold porridge twice?
Perhaps this guidance is not about food
But about our lives when we try to do good

Cold porridge is something quite unappetizing
It’s gone off the boil so it is not surprising
That like salt which seems to have lost its savour
This pudding is quite bereft of good flavour

Stale porridge might be just a metaphor
For things we once loved but now seem to abhor
The lost joy from a broken relationship
But no chance to rekindle companionship

Stale porridge my bear some resemblance to
Some passion or cause we no longer pursue
But now all our zeal simply withered away
No light shining forth at the break of each day

Stale porridge is like a thought our hearts once excited
But has lost all its power to make us delighted
No effort the magic can rejuvenate
Or our languid spirits can motivate

So stale porridge is best left quite unattended
No further energy on its substance expended
Sometimes food must simply be cast in the bin
And a new recipe for our life we ought to begin

Ken Fisher

Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear

 

Crystal clear is a term sometimes used by politicians
When they are justifying some proposition they have made
Claiming that there never was any doubt or confusion
About their intentions. In reality it was totally opaque

Crystal clear means completely transparent and unclouded
And so we are not sure if the politicians are implying
That we suffer from blindness or at least myopia
Or we lack the understanding to catch their vision of reality

Yet one wonders how this can be if crystal clear means
Unambiguous, easily understood, unequivocal?
Perhaps it is a different perception of clarity
Which is said to be the quality of being definite or certain

Mind you I don’t think politicians enjoy a monopoly
Of claiming clarity while promoting obfuscation
Perhaps also academic writers, social commentators
And critics of the arts, music, literature and dance

And of course don’t forget  the scientists who lambast us almost daily with
The latest ‘research findings’ intended to clarify our thinking
Many of these new pronouncements are anything but clear
To the laity. Confusion made worse by opposing findings soon to follow!

So what to do about the so-called Crystal Clear concept?

Simply we may be prepared to give the pundits a hearing
But we should not turn our living into a knee-jerk reaction
To each and every pronouncement thrust before us
The reality is that only a crystal is that clear – and even
They can sometimes be flawed with a range of defects

Ken Fisher

Bathroom Fittings

Bathroom Fittings

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The world of bathrooms and toilets has been truly transformed
The endless array of fittings would boggle your mind
From the old outside ‘privy’ completely reformed
To a shiny new palace of the ablutionary kind

When you enter the showroom you are quickly confronted
By gleaming examples of baths of all shapes and sizes
Toilet pans and bidets of any design you wanted
With slow-closing lids avoiding noisy surprises

The modern shower units encased in bright glass
With their temperature control and powerful jets
Incorporate features not seen in the past
A hydraulic solution to wash away stress

Then of course the showroom displays all sorts of taps
And wall heaters and mirrors in which you reflect
While luxuriating in steam you will surely relax
As if you are being subjected to the greenhouse effect

Without being too philosophical I have always believed
The yardstick of civilization is the gurgling water closet
If in hygienic surroundings you can be duly relieved
And even better still if you can find two shiny faucets

The Romans showed how this may be achieved
The bathhouse not just for cleanliness but for contemplation
Thus the rigours of life they could there relieve
The basilica the pride of that noble nation

So the message is this, buy some new bathroom fittings
The smallest room in the house deserves some attention
So don’t delay any longer, just make the decision
And now flush away all prevarication

Ken Fisher

 

ShrinkFlation

ShrinkFlation

You may not have noticed a quite subtle change
Which at first sight you reckon to be somewhat strange
Supermarket items have been subject to shrink
Which somehow prompts me into doublethink

Because as well as this hidden shrinkage in size
At the same time I witness prices that rise
This certainly causes some consternation
A phenomenon now wellknown as shrinkflation

Of course the sellers hope that we will not notice
Otherwise it would surely result in a protest
But because the changes are not easily perceived
By this sleight of hand we are duped and deceived

By the twin tactics of giving less in the packet
While upping the price, a duplicitous racket
The makers extract even more from our purse
Without any intention us to reimburse

Despite this assault on the public at large
Less goods provided, yet increasing the  charge
For our money ‘great value is still guaranteed’
And from too heavy packages we are relieved!

Well I suppose in the end we have little choice
A boycott best way to have a clear voice
Thus express our response to the trick of shrinkflation
Which by stealth has encroached on the whole British nation

Ken Fisher

Time is of the Essence

Time is of the Essence

Time is of the essence in our contract law
You can’t ignore its steady beat
Or the buyer might withdraw

Time matters when we make a point
Words can inflame or calm
Words ill-timed doomed to disappoint

Time is the fourth dimension
Length, breadth and height the others
Yet time alone eludes our comprehension

Time of our life, our progress down the years
Because time is our life for sure
Present joys tinged with future fears?

‘Time for amendment of life’ as the Prayer Book pleads
Essence of our living captured in each moment
The score of that life the sum of all our deeds?

Ken

I’m Absolutely Fine

I’m Absolutely Fine

When you’re feeling down
Your brow wears a frown
And you really just need to whine
You put on a brave face
Although you want to grimace
And say I’m absolutely fine

From the pressures of life
All its troubles and strife
When there’s never quite enough time
There is too much to do
And it’s all down to you
But still I’m absolutely fine

When it seems no-one cares
And you’re nearly in tears
You might even need to resign
But you just soldier on
When the others have gone
‘Cos your still absolutely fine

Perhaps you must learn
That the peace that you yearn
Which all your hopes will enshrine
You can only attain
When you learn to complain
Saying I am NOT absolutely fine!

Ken Fisher

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

 

‘Thus, on the day o’ solemn things, The bell that in the steeple swings To fauld a scaittered faim’ly rings Its walcome screed; An’ just a wee thing nearer brings The quick an’ deid.’

These words from A Lowden Sabbath Morn – R L Stevenson

A long way we have travelled from these epic verses
The strictures of habit and belief cast readily aside
Church bells conveniently muted, sleep left undisturbed
The call to prayer a distant wistful echo in our ears

No longer do we acknowledge preachers’ admonitions
Or the authority of Sessions or Assemblies
Are we on a hand-cart to hell?
Rather than a golden chariot to paradise

But do we care? What of our inexorable progress
From the quick to the dead?  Has fear gone with belief?
Our confident exterior shows no sign of terror
And we fill our secular Sundays with worldly pleasures

And yet, and yet………..
Is there not still  some emptiness in our soul
Amidst the clamour of play and pleasure
Turn down the volume and we may yet hear
The whisper of that Still Small Voice

Ken Fisher

Grace

Grace
A highly regarded word


A word to warm the heart and cheer our spirit
Grace, the gift of God that we don’t merit
That sign of generousity and goodwill
An attitude that never bodes ill will

Grace, we recognize it when we see it
Thankful too whenever we receive it
Difficult to define grace’s essence
Yet conscious of its gentle presence

The quality of grace has many faces
Good manners are thus described as social graces
Elegance of movement thus refined
Manifold ways by which grace is defined

So let us seek in aspects of our living
Through word and deed and in our thinking
To demonstrate to all a gracious heart
And thus to them our loving grace impart

Ken Fisher

Unwillingly to School [August 2019]

Unwillingly to School 

 

“And creeping like a snail unwillingly to school”
[The Seven Ages of Man]
Shakespeare – As You Like It

Spare a thought for our kids today
As once more they join the fray
Wave adieu to days of freedom
As to learning they are ransomed

Knuckle down to discipline
To instruction they must listen
Co-operate with earnest teachers
Help to build a brighter future

Parents too will find relief
Saves them from a lot of grief
As they despatch their young offspring
Called to classes as bells ring

All designed minds to expand
The curriculum thus duly planned
Presented with unending tasks
Where will it lead? Our pupils ask

Who says all this is democratic
Our elders remain quite emphatic
On opening day it’s back you go!
The reason why you need not know

Ken Fisher