‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the world Science warned of the perils which soon would unfurl Like a veil across nations, some variant virus Respecting no frontiers, a fate undesirous.
But bad politicians (who cared not one jot For the weak, old or ignorant) hastened their plot To party all night while denying the fact; Just flaunting their privilege, which others lacked.
But turkeys will finally come home to their roost, With leaks to the press and the media now loosed. It all adds to the sins seeking bottoms to bite: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
A reflection on contemporary politics, after a Conservative PM, his Cabinet and his coterie were revealed in December 2021 to have partied through 2020 while the country went through various lockdowns and periods of self-isolation.
With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and his poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ (1822)
People who park on pavements, leave cars on corners, park where it says No Parking, gaze haughtily from their gas-guzzlers, tailgate you when traffic is heavy, and make your road a rat-run: may their pumps always run dry.
Pooch owners who don’t clear up poo, or leave doggie bags on branches (like votive offerings to Almighty Dog), or rip up signs saying Keep Dogs on Leads on grass where livestock grazes, or irresponsibly let them roam: may they forever gag at canine waste.
Bodies who deny you personal space, who treat you to their taste in loud music, liberally scatter cans and cast-off plastic, jettison food wrappers or household junk, and trash the world on which we all live: may ghouls invade their dreams each and every night.
A nightmare is not just for Halloween: please pray there’s no peace for the wicked.
Thus sayeth the rulers, All hail key workers!
And we did hail them.
They that provideth health we hailed, and social care, and childcare;
those in teaching, social work,
the justice system and, yea, in religion we lauded.
They who claimeth authority
by popular mandate
requireth managers of the deceased,
the Fourth Estate, and many others,
to do their duty as prescribed;
and also those in government
that respondeth to exigencies of plague,
and provideth for the management
of message massaging,
all as deemed necessary by the rulers.
And many other such toilers
as the rulers shall choose to designate,
in their wisdom and their charity.
The rulers shall lead key workers
out of the slough of despond
created not by their own inadequacies,
as their enemies do proclaim,
but by those very enemies;
and their names shall be exalted,
and may their profits endure forever.
This caustic coronaverse is brought to you by the letter K.
The hypochondriac’s wet dream includes some or all of the following:
Fever or high temperature. Maybe a continuous dry cough. And a sore throat.
Fever or high temperature, fatigue too, perhaps: body ache, chills, headaches.
Yes, I feel that.
Fever or high temperature, and a loss of (or change in) sense of smell or taste, even loss of appetite.
Anosmia. That’s a good word.
I’ve got that.
Perhaps it’s “high” fever:
is the cough more severe,
with shortness of breath?
Is it — pneumonia?
So, I seem to have high fever and anosmia, muscle weakness,
a tingling and a numbness,
yes, in hands and in my feet.
Ticking all the boxes.
I’m dizzy and confused,
and probably delirious too.
That’s it, I’m off to bed.
In Bristol thousands of young climate crisis protesters turned out in the rain to listen to Greta Thunberg.
Despite the atrocious weather the rally was peaceful and no rubbish was left behind.
Afterwards some locals complained that the protesters should have been at school and not churned the grass to mud.
Wars in Syria and elsewhere have resulted in many dying, others becoming refugees.
Meanwhile coronavirus is spreading almost unchecked around the world.
The good news, however, is that some Christian groups say the end of the world isn’t imminent because we haven’t had widespread famine.
The majority of the cabinet supported austerity after the global financial crisis of a decade ago, opposing pay rises for nurses.
Because of the referendum many foreign nationals in the health service have now left the country, leaving it understaffed.
This week the nation will again applaud health service staff who help tend those affected by the virus, including the prime minister.
Three pieces inspired by Félix Fénéon: in French nouvelles translates as both ‘news’ and ‘novels’
Mary had a little lamb
(she ate it with some mint):
She’d killed it with her own fair hands;
Her heart was cold as flint.
Sing a song of sixpence,
Spouting arrant nonsense:
“Brexit, do or die!”
Jack and Jill weren’t taught to kill
but he went on to slaughter:
to have some fun he took his gun
to shoot some son or daughter.
He wished to make his country great
or maybe strong and stable;
with every breath he dealt a death
as fast as he was able.
Cursed may be the warmakers,
the liars and the news fakers,
the politician oath-breakers,
the hackers and the muckrakers,
the refugee forsakers,
and billionaires who want more still.