Decision Time Is Looming

Decision Time Is Looming

As we steadily approach the twelfth day of December
I assume there is little prospect that you won’t remember
The General Election will demand the participation
Of every eligible voter throughout the British nation

Of course this time I think it’s fair to say
The endless debate seems like an affray
Where protagonists of every varied hue
Convinced of the virtue of their own view

Each broadcast debate or discussion
Sounding like the clashing of percussion
Strident voices raised their point to prove
Of every other stance they must disapprove

Truth seems submerged in exaggeration
All opponents will lead you to perdition
To make the choice we advocate
All wavering or doubt you will eradicate

But perhaps more so than in days of yore
When only leaflets popped through our door
Now by social media we are lambasted
Outrageous claims leave us flabbergasted

The fundamental problem seems to be
On basic issues no-one will agree
Brexit has cleaved the nation wide apart
Division of opinion piercing through the  heart

Of course the politicians draw to our attention
Traditional issues still bringing apprehension
Health, education, employment  – an extensive range
And more recently our response to climate change

So here we are heading towards the day of decision
Why can’t we set aside all insult and derision?
Among those who aspire to have our mandate
Pray civil discourse they might reinstate

And let us hope that when the result is declared
From further prevarication we are spared
By the final count the issues we thus arbitrate
All then willing to accept with equanimity their fate

Ken Fisher

Apocalyptic Headlines

Apocalyptic Headlines

It seems news can only be news
If it is apocalyptic

Around the globe this is what we read:

Inundated by floods
Engulfed in uncontrolled grass fires
Ravaged by a rampant epidemic
Swallowed up by erupting volcanoes
Drowned by tsunamis
Devastated by earthquakes
Unrelieved angst about climate change
Civil unrest and international warfare
Corruption abounding
Life cruelly halted in multiple motorway pile-ups
Overwhelmed by economic disaster
Impoverished by hyper inflation
Scourged by widespread unemployment
Imprisoned in over-crowded housing
Education that pays no ‘dividends’

Depressed and despondent mental states
Poor health and short life expectancy
Inadequate health service provision
Loneliness and isolation
Trapped in elderly care provision
A society which has lost faith in anything

And right now (here at home)

Disgust at the antics of politicians
Longing for a Brexit solution
But unconvinced that the election will bring release

But surely there must be something
To bring a little levity to the headlines?

One Press Cartoonist today has said

“At least a December election  will put
a stop to all that ‘Season of Goodwill’ nonsense”

Ken Fisher

Shehovah

Shehovah

If God is a woman how would we feel?
Would that idea have great appeal?
Would traditionalists be thrown into confusion
Or accept it as an advance in social inclusion

For a few this proposal is somewhat heretical
Contrary to earlier pronouncements prophetical
Where God as a man is always depicted
His gender thus never been contradicted

But others might say that God need not be man
Being all-powerful, to change he certainly can
And if to trans to a woman is the preferred choice
At least half of creation might well rejoice

After all in this age of universal equality
We need not be concerned with causality
If God has decided that he is a she
We must accept it I’m sure you’ll agree

Of course a womanly God can bring advantage
There are few things a lady can’t readily manage
I know an omnipotent God can multi-task
And being female could cope with whatever we ask

So if God is a woman let’s not be upset
A lady-God is as good as you’ll get
Let not male pride send men into despair
Male or female this God will still surely care

Ken Fisher

Dithering

Dithering

The kindest thing I can say right now
Is that politicians don’t seem to know how
To make up their minds on the Brexit issue
Leaving them all in one unholy dither

You would have thought they have had enough time
To somehow arrive at a common mind
The public outside are completely frustrated
And even further delay makes them more aggravated

Why doesn’t someone bang their heads together
As opinions change as much as the weather
Get on with the job, you’re under a delusion
The pubic are anxious that you reach some conclusion

Enough is enough, you’ve had so much  time
Get the job done, or just all resign
Like ourselves, our European pals are really quite sick
So stop dithering now and get it done quick

Ken Fisher

The Rule of Law (2019)

The Rule of Law

[As Brexit looms larger and  when Law is being challenged at the highest level
this may may be worth some further reflection]

Who needs lawyers? You may well ask
To give an answer, quite a task
The law seems a profession quite lucrative
Its rewards are clearly remunerative

But the Rule of Law is much more than lawyers’ pay
About precepts that control our every day
Our freedom, our rights and our obligations
Legal rules forming society’s foundation

If people wish to live together in community
In ordered peace, and with impunity
From the imposition of others’ aggression
Their rights protected from transgression

They therefore need rules imposed by state
Which in disputes will arbitrate
So when crime is committed or contract broken
Justice will not simply be forsaken

Through history, law has come from many sources
The Common Law and Equity, followed by the Statutes
Rules made by Parliament to govern our affairs
Intended to ensure that common life is fair

Judges too have played their part
As legal interpretation turned to art
Laying down new precedents
With which lower courts must be content

Some European laws are imposed on our nation
These are Directives and Regulations
This may change in double quick  time
If Brexit becomes the new paradigm

[Indeed politics and law are now in conflict
Politicians resent the law that might restrict
Their power our future to determine
This question they would re-examine]

Then there are local rules and even byelaws
Devolved legislation for simple causes
Thus we are enmeshed on every side
We must conform or woe betides!

The Rule of Law requires the Courts
Wherein the lawyers do besport
Judges and juries all required
That true justice ne’er be denied

And then we have our worthy police
Maintaining order, even peace
The Rule of Law they will enforce
That’s what their duties will endorse

Thus a whole apparatus is put in place
That the Rule of Law might be manifest
But above all the population must agree
That justice is what they want to see

Equality under the law is fundamental
Exceptions would be detrimental
To its strictures we must all comply
Even sometimes with a sigh

International law seeks to see fair play
Holding nations in its sway
Maintaining law where’er it can
Seeking justice for every land

In the end we have to have the Rule of Law
Or nature prevails, raw in tooth and claw
And to obey the law is surely wise
To sustain a world more civilised

Ken Fisher

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

*John Stuart Mill in On Liberty (1859) argues for freedom of speech
and argues against “the tyranny of the majority”

 

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

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

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race
[Ecclesiastes Ch 3 v 9 & 10 Bible NIV]

Perhaps the life of faith and trust
Is for most of us simply too much
Submission to God’s sovereignty
Great strictures denying  humanity

Sufficient that we do our best
Without accepting His request
To live life by our God obsessed
Each moment by the Lord possessed

Those who labour in God’s garden
Shouldering a mighty burden
Toiling  for some heavenly gain
What earthly joy for all their pain?

And yet a life of dedication
Can provide true compensation
Extending love to one another
God’s face discovered in our brother

Ken Fisher

Punch & Judy Politics

Punch & Judy Politics

While watching a broadcast of Question Time
I wonder if your feelings are the same as mine
Must every session be a confrontation?
Why is there no room for moderation?

Of course politicians alone need not take the blame
Journalists are behaving just the same
Each interview used to debunk and deflower
Strip the MPs of all vestige of power

It seems a pity with so much at stake
Rational argument they seem to forsake
Of course they must not renounce the party line
Whose dogma all wisdom is said to enshrine

But this conviction rules out compromise
Even when events prove it would be wise
The result is that they simply harden their stance
Of rational thinking there is little chance

But in these days when there is no sign of unity
Our leaders should grasp the great opportunity
To draw us together, promote harmonious attempts
Rather than viewing each other with disdain and contempt

So my plea is cancel the Punch & Judy show
Drop dogged devotion to the manifesto
In the public discourse behave with respect
Then our precarious future we might yet protect

Ken Fisher

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

Election Over

Election Over

 

The Euro Election has come and gone
Some are pleased, others forlorn
Brexit party fired a huge barrage
Launched by smiling Nigel Farage

From the EU, Brexit wants us out
We must stay in, the Lib Dems shout
SNP say yes to Europe,  but in UK don’t stay!
Most other parties in complete disarray

The Tories have wasted almost three years
Infighting among their peers
Labour simply prevaricate
And now they’ve left it much too late

The Greens have gained a high profile
Something sure to make them smile
The planet is what they want to save
From a perpetual heat wave

In Europe itself there has been change
Centrist parties hit across the range
Europe’s voters are making different choices
Not a fact in which everyone rejoices

So there we are, the election’s over
New MEP’s will now take over
Who knows how that might make us feel?
Only the future will all reveal

Ken Fisher