Poetry -When Britain is no more

When Britain is no more

What is it that we will leave behind

When Britain sinks below the waves

And the sun finally sets?

Democracy and freedom?

Fighting for the underdog?

Creating dreams with few regrets?

We are masters of the understatement.

We have the humour and the wit,

The empathy and daring

The bravery and grit.

All part of a culture to be proud of.

The best of what we are.

So put the bad stuff in the past.

The best will take us far.

When Britain sinks beneath the sea

We’ll know it will not have gone –

As long as people stand for their fellow man

And can still put those words to song.

Opher 11.12.2015

When Britain is no more

The British have always been a creative race. We like dance, song and music. We know how to have fun.  We are problem solvers and wonderers.

We’ve sailed the ocean and discovered the world. We’ve searched our hearts and discovered poems and songs.

We set up trade across the world and tried our hand at many things. Our genes were enriched with those of others from diverse parts of the world.

I set my Britishness upon the ideals of William Wilberforce, Wat Tyler, Mary Wollstonecraft, Emmeline Pankhurst, William Lovett, Henry Hetherington, the Swing rioters, Tolpuddle martyrs and all those who fought for liberty, social justice and better conditions. They stood for fairness, respect and equality. That’s Britishness for me.

The British speak up for justice in the face of brutal government or despotic tyranny.

The trade union movement grew out of that long struggle. It created a fairer society.

What we need now is another wave of social justice that sweeps aside the inequality. The rich are still getting richer at the expense of working people.

When Britain is no more I hope that those values of fairness, tolerance, compassion, democracy, equality and justice will still be a beacon for the world.

I hope that the values will be enshrined in song, music, poetry and drama. I hope that people will speak out with the same fury at injustice, racism, tyranny and misogyny. You defeat fascism with song and dance, ideas and a smile.

4 thoughts on “Poetry -When Britain is no more

  1. Once again, Opher, the Darn-Poor Rhymer has been treading the same ground as you. Your thinking was at its very best back in 2015! But on this occasion, unlike the Anthem for which I wrote the tune in 2016 and the words only in 2019, I think I just pipped you to some of the ideas.

    England and Britain
    (September 8th, 2014).

    (To be sung to the hymn tune “Bemerton (Caswall)”)

    England is a nation,
    Britain is a state.
    England’s past redemption,
    Britain’s out of date.

    England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
    (December 13th, 2014)

    (To be sung to the hymn tune “Innocents”/“Conquering kings their titles take”)

    England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales,
    When the state that rules them fails,
    They won’t sink into the sea!
    They’ll be there for you and me.

    (Alternative last line – February 28th, 2015)
    They’ll be ours, and we’ll be free.

    1. Better together Neil! I can’t see how breaking the Union does anyone any good – it’ll just make us all poorer.
      Cooperation over competition any day.

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