Dissenting Radical

The Common Good: A 'Christian-Left' perspective on radical theology, progressive politics, authentic culture and sustainable living.

Month: July, 2013

Living in the Last Days (of an Old Empire)

Lost, lost is Rome, her own self her own prey.
She hath made herself a spoil and there is none
That will avenge her.
This flooding sewer of money lent at interest
Has caught the common folk in a double whirlpool,
Their usury has choked them.
Not a house but is mortgaged, not a man but in debt.

The selfsame madness is in politics:
Easy it is to buy a Roman Citizen:
He’ll sell you his vote any day for a penny-share
Or a spot of cash. The man in the street is for sale,
And so is the man in the Senate: they all have their price.
The pristine freedom-loving virtue of the old men
Has dropt away, the power they had lost
Scrambling for gold, their ancient dignity
Rotted by money, trodden underfoot.

(From the Satyricon, 1st Century AD. Translated, with a bit of my own redaction, by Helen Waddell.)

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I wrote a dogrel song about Scottish independence*

Welcome to Tory Britain
(Or New Labour, just the same)
Where the rich keep getting richer
But not the poor, the old, the lame

Yes it’s all still Great in Britain
With Olympics and royal hats
And secret trials and Trident
And the invasion of Iraq

We’re all in this together
We’ll all see tougher days
Except those of us with trust funds
Who will probably be ok.

It’s not democracy that rules us
But a gang of ‘snout-in-troughs’
Who shout and brag, yet cower
When the Bank of England coughs

We’re all in this together
We’ll all see tougher days
Except those of us with trust funds
Who will probably be ok.

If you vote for independence
You can get a better deal:
A democracy that is willing
To serve the common-weal.

We’re all in this together
We’ll all see tougher days
Except those of us with trust funds
Who will probably be ok.

Yes we’re all in this together
We all must tighten belts
Except Westminster MPs
Who still get ten percents.

So let not fear confound you
Scotland will thrive if free
Vote YES for independence
And build your own country!

(* I borrowed part of the chorus from a song I heard on BBC Radio 4’s Now Show some years ago).