Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


A Poem Called Boris [AUDIO]

in Europe/World by



They’re calling you Boris, the tragic Greek hero
So far the story’s been nothing but sorrow
Yeah, full of the stuff of bad dreams
Where everything looks as bad as it seems

While Jacob’s reclining, Parliament’s declining your
Call for a ballot
Maybe wishing you’d gone to Shepton Mallet
For sex and drugs and rock and roll
This serious career is taking its toll

Whose idea was all this?
—not Sophocles the Greek but Dominic the geek,
making you want to seek
Shelter in the rewind to Bullingdon fine wine
When you had seniority, instead of no majority
When it was all just a laugh and a bit of a spaff
So you’re praying to St. Theresa
For a blissful release from this pop star persona
‘I never meant to cause you trouble
I never meant to cause you pain’
Now it’s trouble at the double
Your money or quits
You’re out for a duck, but who gives a
sign or any indication
that they think you’ve found your lifetime’s vocation
Theresa says ‘we’re square’
For how dare you cast your fellows out
‘Cos they didn’t vote for your shout
After you pissed all over theirs three times
So who did the crime?

No brother, no others
And no no deal so you’ll need to keep all your eyes peeled
pull out all the backstoppers
Give money to the coppers, to the schools, to the sick, to the needy
And better be speedy. No time to be greedy
Austerity, well it wasn’t meant for posterity
Now splashing the cash—like you’re some kind of charity
And if you’re thinking of pulling a fast one
Just remember what happened when you tried the last one
A word to the wise, don’t try to export or even resort to those porky pies
Otherwise your kipper goes under a bus, the red one—the one that belongs to… us

And though it sounds mean, c’mon tell us
Did ya lie to the queen
about her speech, making the state screech
To a halt while you act the lovable pro rogue
Pictures in Vogue, down the yellow brick road?
The Supremes have stopped your game
Eleven to nil, they decided you’re to blame
‘There must be some way outta here
Said the joker to the priest
Too much confusion, can’t get no relief
Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late
‘Cos all along the clocktower
Whitehall’s princes kept a view’
On what it is the good chaps are always meant to do
There’s just one last thing that I really need to know
When and if they kick you out,
where am I supposed to go?

By Dog Dylyn of Downing Street
Folk hero and winner of the No Bull prize for Literature

With thanks and admiration to Kate Tempest for the inspiration



Ted Sullivan is a retired senior lecturer in journalism from the University of Northampton where he specialized in teaching law, public administration and politics. He has worked in Canada, Hong Kong as well as the UK. Sullivan’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post and he has contributed to BBC and community radio in the UK.


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