It’s a shallow, slippery step; a trap that sets you tumbling all the way from mere dissembler, like Grant Shapps, to fully fledged Duvalier;
from duck island expenses cheat to something rather scarier: an unremitting and complete Tiberius, or Beria.
It starts when you begin to feel, with no real justifying cause, the interests of the commonweal are perfectly aligned with yours;
and therefore you suppose it’s true, (and it’s already understood) that everything you ever do is always in the public good.
And if a few delinquent kids, at parties where you let off steam, are roughly used, humiliated, stop up your ears, ignore the screams,
they're worthless and can be paid off, and anyway your chums concur your work's important and it's tough shit and what else are the poor for.
That's grotesque, a parody, you say, decent folk misrepresented, and it couldn't happen nowadays. Well, it shouldn't have then, but it did.
Tim Turnbull’s poetry collections are available from Donut Press. He has worked in adult literacy, particularly in prisons, and was a forestry worker for 19 years. He recently finished a first novel and is working on a collection of short stories, more poetry and digital paintings. For the record, his idea of the exemplary politician was Joan Maynard, who he had the pleasure of meeting at T&G agricultural and allied trade group events a few times.