Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Count Down

Certain clever-cloggses, including the poet laureate, are saying we ought to have a state funeral- on a par with the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill- for the last surviving veteran of the Great War.

At present there are 11 surviving veterans- all of them well over 100. So, lets start the count-down:

Eleven green bottles
Hanging on the wall,
Eleven green bottles
Hanging on the wall,
And if one green bottle
Should accidentally fall.....

No, no, stop it! Let's not.....

Quite apart from the ghoulishness, these men don't belong to us. If they belong to anybody it's to their families and friends. That bit of their lives when they were soldiers is long, long ago and since then they'll have done all sorts of other things- more important things- like having babies and grand-babies and grand-grand-babies. There's more dignity in riding to the local crem with your loved ones driving after than in being shouldered down the abbey aisle with Prince Charles and Tony Blair in attendance, shedding their manly tears. Besides, this willingness to turn Grandad Jack into the universal soldier and stick him at the centre of a nationalist-crybaby-wankfest belongs to the same "Your Country Needs You" state of mind, subordinating the individual to the corporate, which got us into the Great War in the first place.

For shame.

So, shove off, Andrew Motion- go write one of your "poems".
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