This poem by J. Ansell evokes both humour and questions about the state of our nation.
Fred Hollows knew no cure for wilful blindness,
No lens for she who can, but will not, see,
Who spikes the truth to serve a cup of kindness:
Her truth is what she wants the truth to be.
No doctor yet has cured revisionosis
In doctors doctoring documents of old,
The states of state amnesia and hypnosis
Ensuring only herstory is told.
To hasten bloodshot visions of dystopia
The traitors to their own apportion blame:
In kingdoms of the blind those with myopia
Are king, or by the queen are made a dame.
In varnished halls the party’s sacred doctrines
Are liberally applied to varnish truth
And doctorers peer review each other’s doctorings,
The better to indoctrinate our youth …
… With euphemisms baked for the occasion,
A smoothing glaze of phrases warm and slick,
In towers of ivory and sleek persuasion
As soft green ivy cloaks the hard red brick.
What kind of university, what college
Where great things said and done were learned and taught,
That now equates diversity with knowledge,
Cannot abide diversity of thought?
Where scepticism, even witticism
Now constitute unconscionable acts
And critics who can bear no criticism
Take refuge in safe spaces from the facts.
(Such critics of the critics are conflicted
And hypocritical — this bit’s the gem —
For criticism by them’s not restricted,
Just criticism critical of them.)
Where those who parrot party lies are knighted
And those who speak the truth are jailed and fined,
Opponents to debates are not invited
And invitations not to lie declined.
Where graduates must heed The Doctorer’s dictum
To tell the truth — unless it means being mean
To anyone The Doctorer deems a victim
Of history as she’d like it to have been.
Dispensing with the custom of historians
To trust the scribes with eyes on the event,
The Doctorer, de-meaning wise Victorians,
Deems what they’ve written not what she’d have meant.
That golden rule of history now is history.
The gold’s become the orange standard now.
Strong sedatives of sophistry and twistery
Prescribed by that beknighted sacred cow.
Red eyepatch on, The Doctorer, hale and haughty,
Inside her fertile mind where herstory’s made
With 1980s views of 1840,
Enshrines the party line and tribute’s paid.
A 2020 view of 1840
Could not be had in 1987,
Despite the views of doctorers most haughty
Defaming famed reporters long in heaven.
The thinker’s brain must first be disconnected,
As on his quest for truth the youth embarks,
Lest he should be politically-corrected
By doctorers keen to shower him with Marx.
What hope for this indoctrinated nation?
What future for the brains they cannot wash
When by the left they’re frogmarched to the station
For free re-education with a cosh?