Love Thy Labour

Poem broadcast on 25 September 2010 on The World Today on BBC World Service.

Mili-D
v
Mili-E.

Marxist princes,
matriarched
and patriarched,
and bred on blintzes
but, nonetheless,
two reconstructed
brands of bland?

Tweedle D
v
Tweedle E?

Or

Young but old
v
old but new,
a swerve to red,
a lurch to blue.

Right left right
v
left right left.

Mili-D,
the rightful heir
to Mr Flair,
the special one,
the one ordained
v
Mili-E,
the wrongful heir
to Mr Frown,
a sibling's bane,
a sleeper.
A Trotskyite?
A man who talks
good Bolshevite.
A man who isn't
his brother's keeper.

A fratricidal
mess of potage,
theft of birthright
unredeemed
by lentil soup.
An endless loop:
fraternal hugging,
fraternal mugging.

Or

Labour's eternal,
apopleptic,
suicidal dialectic?

Whoever wins,
whoever inherits,
can he fix it?
Can we bear it?


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