Two Poems on the Establishment

Two poems written in 2015 at HMP Highpoint after reading Owen Jones’ book called the Establishment. There is little new of importance for me in the book, although I did find it well written and easy to read. I was struck throughout by the feeling that Owen Jones himself is so much part of the Establishment that he decries – a fact which has, indeed, given him the ability to write and be published. Personally I am more concerned by merely inherited power which interferes with, or is gained outside, the democratic process. Hence my references to republicanism and tribalism.
On the Establishment I is free in form – as if translated from the classics. The second is much more in my usual style and should be read with a driven rhythm.

On the Establishment I


O Guardians of the Golden Gates

Hold hard against the hungry hordes

Pushing at the portal of power

Lest the excluded enter the Establishment


Let those qualified by birth

Be brought before their brethren

Lest the holy be hindered by the humble

For they shall become our Masters


Let those qualified by faith

Prostrate themselves at the altar of acceptability

Lest our church chastise the Chosen

For they shall become our Chaplains


Let those qualified by might

Show the strength of their submission

Lest they reflect upon rebellion

For they shall become our Guardians


Let those qualified by wealth

Be accredited by accountants and actuaries

That the Masters be richly rewarded

For they shall become our Financiers


Let those qualified by education

Elucidate their erudition

Lest our leaders lack lucidity

For they shall become our Experts


Let those qualified by creative merit

Consent to be censored

Lest the consensus be contested

For they shall become our Communicators


Let those qualified by election

Be revered by all, regardless of affiliation

That they create credibility for the Masters

For they shall become our Legislators


Let those that transgress

Due to disregard of these directives

Be imprisoned in perpetual purgatory

That the population be appraised of our power


Let there be beauty beyond the Gates

And let the people perceive progress

That we may better conserve our status

Unperturbed by universal suffrage


Let the writer of these words

Be unique among our number

That he may manipulate the message of the Masters

Let him profit from poetic and literary licence



On the Establishment II


The Masters meet within the Gates

The horde outside impatient waits

For a glimpse or glance of the ruling class

Establishment Elders before them pass

Wending their way to weave their words

Into the text that may be heard

By the Masters in the Meeting Room

That deliberate on others’ Doom


They decide on how the future’s planned

In every town, in every land

What can be thought, what can be said

What can be bought, what can be paid

They recompense for service versed

They penalize the private purse

And humiliate the many men

That live their lives to be like them


The Masters of the Universe

Plunderers of the public purse

Let harangue the humble human herd

That hang upon their every word

Who cannot count the tax they’ve paid

Nor can they touch the wealth they’ve made

Desire may drive them to distraction

Pure envy pushes them to action


But their actions bring just minor change

Analysis falls beyond their range

They sadly seem to stimulate

The system they should surely hate

It matters not to some above

What those below may know or love

Their lust for power propels them on

As a mirage to the hangers-on


The mirage is by media mounted

That all may be by crown appointed

If not unto the Meeting Room

Then through the Gates, beyond the gloom

This poor pretence that denies the fate

Of most that stand outside and wait

The pursuit of power penetrates

Those it tries to emasculate


But, wait, we hear dissenting voice

That makes awake fair freedom’s choice

Those outraged by this status quo

That refuse to follow the ebb and flow

That accept to row against the tide

That fight against the class divide

That think all men should equal be

Regardless of the majority


Republic! Raise your rational head

That might by right might soon be dead

That birth build not a power base

That good be seen in gentle grace

Burst wide the Gates, reduce the fear

The time of freedom now is near

When humankind will see at last

The need to break with our tribal past