The Shoe Leather Express

Writing and Comedy from James Harris

Tag: David Cameron

Two politicians talk about God

This poem was written in 2012.

 

Cameron and Clegg at Downing street,

Last meeting before Christmas done.

Nick puts on his coat to leave

And Cameron stops him with ‘Nick.’

‘Hmm?’ ‘Just one thing, chum, a question –

Do you believe in God?’

A pause, and Clegg answers hesitantly,

‘Actually I don’t. Since my youth I’ve been an atheist

I’ve never had much use

For bells and smells and promises

Which life itself can’t keep. I read

The works of Samuel Beckett, who would’ve

Prayed to God but -’

‘He doesn’t exist,’ says Cameron.

Then Clegg: ‘Surprised you know the quote.

I don’t believe in God, but

In the interests of full disclosure I should state

My sons are being raised Catholic.’

Nick goes further into his coat, then farther

To the door; at which point he turns, seeing

David stood in the room’s middle

Blowing his cheeks out,

Face puffy and red-eyed

From tiredness and overwork.

‘And you?’ after a moment Nick asks.

‘Oh it comes and goes.

I like to read the Bible…

I’m a cultural Christian…

But I wouldn’t say I believe.

Increasingly I find in meetings

My mind hovers above the fray,

In our interminable monetary discussions

I end up somewhere else.

The scene I see is seashores

And families playing there;

Ice cream on children’s faces,

Wasps in the orange juice.

I believe, I think I realize,

In a very British God –

A kind of aquatic protector

Who keeps this island safe.

I operate in a basic wavering

Position of vague belief;

You could say I’m a coalition

Of certainty and doubt.’

Nick nods and turns back to the door,

Then holds just another tick.

‘We should talk about these things more often,

It might help us win the day.’

Cameron gives a half-smile then says, at last

‘Give my love to your family

And enjoy the Christmas break.’

Cameron Clegg

Image Credit: The Cabinet Office.

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After the election

The whole city felt built on vanity that weekend, and
Even to write a line like cracking rocks. To tell lies
Though was easy, and they did so, the white-shirted
Traders unsure why their hearts were unmoved.
David Cameron meanwhile just didn’t get that
A certain person didn’t want to hear him talk about money
But more to watch boats on the crystal-sludged Thames.
Down there, a man was building a sandcastle
On which he’d written ‘Take pic, leave tip,’ and as he chiseled
From time to time the brown coins rained down.

Image at

       Image from mazz_56 at pixabay.

Harris’ Political Dictionary

Harris’ Law. A political law by which the leader of one political party is better placed to realize the agenda of another. The law results from the natural need of a leader to demonstrate their authority over their own party, and that the best way to do this is by making the party support them in something it finds unpalatable. Hence, Obama supports cutting Social Security in the States, Angela Merkel commits Germany to a nuclear-free future, and David Cameron seeks to bring about legal gay marriage in the U.K. Although these leaders come from on paper the ‘wrong party’ to advance such positions, they have found themselves adopting them despite or to spite their own party’s traditional stance, though in fairness to Obama, the U.S’s contorted political landscape has seen him unable to even compromise his principles effectively. It is also a way in which a leader seeks to define their own particular period as party-head and distinguish it from what has gone before. Of course it is not a consistent rule as in other cases the leader simply tries to realize the party’s actual agenda (see Attlee: NHS) or an agenda no-one thinks is a good idea (see Blair: Iraq).