For Mark Chapman, PPC
So well is our real government concealed, that if you tell a cabman to drive to ‘Downing Street’ he most likely will never have heard of it…It is only a ‘disguised republic’, which is suited to such a being as the Englishman in such a century as the nineteenth.
THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION, Walter Bagehot, 1867.
HM’s Garden Parties turn the Bagehot trick,
showing GB as it really, really is:
the Law, the Cloth, clerks, hacks, uniforms,
diplomats, local government officers
and the odd charity bod – some wearing gloves!
Strangely, though there are two regimental bands,
there aren’t enough chairs, the ice cream runs out
and so many guests leave early – out
into London’s levelling traffic.
Fresh from the slaughter at Culloden,
the Duke of Cumberland’s men created
Virginia Water, a little bit
of highland wilderness in Surrey
– the land, a gift from the Duke’s grateful dad,
Her Present Majesty’s great-great-great-
granddad, for stuffing the Scots for good.
And it’s still in the family – with all
those acres and paintings and pottery,
liveries and lackeys, vanity and greed.
How well they obscure where real power lies!