Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The New Religion

I performed an edited version of this yesterday evening, between 6.30pm and 7pm, on BBC Radio 5 Live. You can hear (and see!) the abbreviated poem here. The full text is below.

The New Religion


Is unpleasant reality getting you down?
Do you feel that your life’s in a terrible mess?
Well, hey!  There’s a new religion in town:
whatever the question, the answer is yes!

Independence, dear flock, is the way and the truth:
there’s a book full of words with the weight to impress.
It is self-evidential; there’s no need for proof.
If you will but believe, then the answer is yes!

We must hope with our heart and not fear with our head,
with uncritical fervour our credo profess.
For doubt is offensive to those who want led
into absolute certainty.  Good folk vote yes.

Because they love their children.  I ask you: do you?
Do you care about all your successors’ success?
Are you not on “Team Scotland”?  I’ll give you a clue:
unless you’re a traitor, the answer is yes.

We are not anti-English, except when we are.
Northern Ireland and Wales?  Where are they?  I digress.
We’ll cooperate fully – la-la-la-la-lah –
I can’t hear what you’re saying while I’m shouting yes.

We must stay in Europe!  So that’s why we’ll leave.
For our rebates and opt-outs we won’t have to press.
They will wave us back in with one rule-waiving heave.
Spain will toast us in Catalan Cava, oh yes!

If our allies say no, they don’t mean what they say.
If we can’t hear them scream, it means foes acquiesce.
We know what’s in their interests far better than they.
They will crumble like Jericho if we trumpet yes.

We will keep Scotland’s pound – you can bank on my word
(though I have a plan B that I’ll leave you to guess).
Need our own central bank?  Why, the notion’s absurd.
Independence is about freedom, not responsibility.  Vote yes!

We’ll stay culturally British – although we are not.
Institutions won’t change; though they will, I must stress.
Why should Scotland pay in to the BBC pot
to get Radio 5?  That’s no loss!  Just vote yes.

Though I’ve led Scotland well, I’ve no real power at all
over devolved matters like courts, crime, police, NHS,
education, arts, transport, local government.  My stall
is that we can’t do our jobs properly so you have to vote yes.

All this British austerity’s evil, we’ve learned.
Let us borrow our way out of debt!  More for less!
Failing that, who needs liquidity when there’s oil to be burned?
All our weather will be warmer if we choose to vote yes.

If you’re normally socialist, liberal, green
or right-wing, you’re in luck – for our hopes coalesce.
Every vote that you cast hereinafter will mean
that you get what you want.  Hipsters, bigots, vote yes!

To vote yes or be wrong is for you to decide
in this positive debate on how righteousness should progress.
We’ll build national consensus by civil divide
into goats who vote no and the sheep who vote yes.

True believer or not, you must follow the band
and proceed in whatever direction we go
to spend wilderness years in an overpromised land.
There’ll be time to worry later – unless you vote no.

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