This is Not my Empire


What if the shaman-shooting, pygmy-robbing,

Irishman-selling, continent-carving,

child-hanging, Brahmin-flogging,

farmhand-conscripting, peasant-starving,

chimneysweep-buggering empire

could redeem itself

by stopping a jackboot-

and-toothbrush-moustache-wearing fellow-Saxon

who drowns nations in gunfire –

with no help,

no over-saluted Mason-Dixon

apple-pie-chompers around for two years

to (what’s that, Jim-Bob?) “bail it out” –

from chalking his blue-eyed battering ram

and, as Lenin’s cue-ball head careers clattering

to the ground, rolling over the blood-stained carpet

and under the Nazi fruit-machine (lemon, lemon,

Göring’s face), smacking into the pocket

like a goose-stepping Steve Davis Omsk, Irkutsk, Petropavlovsk,

Anchorage, Seattle, Chicago,

Washington, and rescuing every human

on this raison-d’être-starved husk

of a planet from a lederhosen-fetishist’s ego,

stopping the world from turning into a concentration camp

(which is another great English invention),

wouldn’t that be cause for pride and pomp?


Not really, because by burning cherub-ringed treble-cleffed Dresden

to a skeletal necropolis England did

nothing to put out the bonfire

that it and its rivals and friends had lit

in the first place, that every empire-

fondling, dreadnought-dreaming, lambchop-

sideburned chimneysweep-fucker in Europe

had stoked, carving a bombshelled barbwired scar

through poppy-fields and young men’s

heads, all in the dirty double-barrelled name of bourgeois-

democracy, then swiping cabbage

from German mouths, spectacles from German eyes,

fabric from German society, sweeping their own cultures

into the star-and-striped petrodollared garbage-

pail of goddam history. So, sorry, girls and boys,

but the Englishness of those peace-pipe-smashing land-filchers

is no food for pride.                                     But,

Englishness is no food for shame, not

for my people, who marched level-eyed with bold Gurkhas,

noble turbaned sepoys and loyal African lions

who squashed the swastika. Brave British workers.

Just as my people marched, clad in irons,

blanketed in mud and cholera and mustard gas

and took sword-gashes, gunfire, spears and arrows

for them, not for us,

dancing for centuries a chained one-legged tango,

all the while thinking, “This is not my empire,

hii si himaya yangu, a maro

samrajya nathi, ini bukan

empayar saya, nid yw hyn yn fy ymerodraeth!”

Society, you still owe my people our land

fit for heroes. Society, you owe the working class

everything.                                                  But instead

we pull levers, carry barrels, stack shelves, kiss

arses, get ignored and mocked and branded brainless bigots,

sell our souls along with our labour for a loaf of bread

and pint of beer an hour to Churchills behind desks

like we’ve done for centuries, while at Eton and Harrow

and every other plummy-voiced bumming-parlour

chaps learn to play the violin, design mosques

or bomb them, biographise Emperor Nero,

speak Greek, use the right spoon, disarm Wat Tyler,

just like when they sat sipping Chablis

while Private Thompson saved their empire

with blood gushing from his throat.


Society, with your single-glazed ideals and wobbly

morality, you owe the working class

everything.                                                The working class does not

owe anybody anything, no matter what

you whining, white-male-demonising,

gobshite-studying, groupthinking, self-hating,

negro-pitying, Pakistani-patronising,

guilt-assuaging, morally masturbating,


Mummy-and-Daddy-funded, champagne-gulping,

wrist-slashingly hypocritical,

coalminer-ignoring, bricklayer-insulting,



holier-than-thou, cleverer-than-thou, more-popular-than-thou,





liberal-fascist, ethnomasochist scum

whose idea of intelligent debate is “Disembowel

Enoch Powell! Disembowel Enoch Powell!”

or “shut up you stupid stupid racist knuckle-dragging stupid racist

I’m not listening la la la you’re just wrong la la la shut up

shut up shut up” blather at us. Do you understand?


We wipe our proletarian proudly-British bums

on your abject vainglories.

Your imperial-guilt-crammed robot programs don’t apply

to us, and why?

Because of the lines of cloth caps, shovels and typhoid bugs

along the mud-tracks to Westminster,

because of spinning jennies, nine-tailed cats

and soot-blackened children carrying canaries.

Because we are the natives, we are the colonised,

we are the slaves, we are the Niggers of this land.

Do you understand?


Your right right right right right right right

left left left left left left left

left right left right left right left right

all-trampling automaton army of imagination-dead professors

of “white male privilege” sheep-noise

turns the oppressed into an oppressor,

rips our class into scraps for the jackals,

rips man from woman, black from white, worker from worker

with your inverse-racist, inverse-sexist,

woolly, bleated, smug heckle,

shovelling lecture-halls of fuel

into the government’s furnace of divide and rule.


What do you swaggering grovelling cock-suckers

know about being leftists?

What do you Guardian-reading, bruschetta-brained, rotten-

souled, morally-swivelling fakes know about frustration

or resentment or feeling forgotten,

you snivelling, privileged, civilisation-

shrivelling drivel-machines?


Squelching toadying liberal slugs, you owe the working class

everything.                                             You ought

to offer us every last sauce in the pantry,

lick the backs of our knees, teach us the cello,

pay us before you even consider

paying anyone else. Until you do,

if we want to shout and swear and billow

clouds of class war fury and make you shudder,

then we have that right,

if we want to sing and bellow and march for our country

or tattoo bulldogs and Union Jacks across our faces,

then we have that right,

if we want to hurl a concrete slab through

a bank window, throw a general strike,

sign on the dole, sabotage the stock

exchange, burgle a tax-dodging millionaire,

bludgeon the Bullingdon Club into microscopic pieces

or set fire to Anjem Choudhary’s beard and stick bacon up his nose,

then we have that right

and it’s got nothing to do with you.


We don’t have to hand hot water bottles

and fluffy slippers

and our pubs and seaside piers and bingo-halls,

our cobbled streets and lampposts

to a homosexual-hanging,



this is Europe.

This is our continent.

Do you understand?


Do you understand,

you snooty, snotty, slimy,



indoctrinated yuppie mouthwankers?





© Gammon 2020
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