I am a British value,
Well-mannered, plump and pink:
You shan’t neglect me, shall you?
There’ll be a frightful stink
If you give me your elbow’s edge
Or leave me on a dusty ledge.
A white knight, I must thrust this
Lance of honour through;
I stand for peace and justice
And for toleration too.
The one thing that I cannot stand?
A clammy European hand.
I also don’t like workers
Who have the right to strike,
And do not like the burqas.
I think each tiny tyke
Should put a prayer-book in his bag
And, once a day, salute the flag.
I like the English foodstuff
Like marmalades and curds –
I like to read the good stuff
(And not the Mockingbirds).
Oh I said ‘English’, did I not?
Of course the word subsumes the Scot.
Be clean, and listen to my voice,
And whisper this for me:
There is no other god but choice,
And please don’t disagree.
Nor should you be an atheist:
Be Christian. Other faiths, desist.
Click here for a Guardian article
Click here to buy a copy of Bill’s poetry collection Ringers
Click here for Bill’s New Statesman research project