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One February night in ’74

the Army occupied Heathrow Airport.

The BBC’s Nine O’Clock news explained

the occupation was an exercise

in how to deal with a terrorist threat.

The new Prime Minister, Harold Wilson,

learned of the exercise from the TV,

recognised it as the dress rehearsal

of a coup against his premiership –

a coup that would have been sanctified

by an announcement from her Majesty,

an emergency government led by

her husband’s uncle, supported solemnly

by appropriate newspapers, and followed

by one or two assassinations –

but he kept his counsel, did not react.


His misdemeanors were: the wrong sort of school,

the wrong sort of accent, being ‘too clever

by half’; believed to be a KGB agent,

and to have poisoned his predecessor

as Labour leader, a Wykehamist;

believed to want peace in Ireland rather

than the IRA’s annihilation;

refusing to join the US in Nam, thus

causing the defence industry to forego

extra profits, preventing working class oiks

from becoming dead heroes, denying

regiments additional battle honours.


Wilson resigned less than two years later.

So, Jeremy Corbyn, what chuzpah

on your part to assume you could succeed!





© Copyright David Selzer
4 Responses
  • Jeff Teasdale
    December 18, 2020

    Great, David. A dark tale that exposes all the problems of this country and who rules it (as opposed to actually rules this ‘sovereign democracy’). I fear we will never be rid of it, so deep does it run through our national strata.

    • David Selzer
      December 18, 2020

      I agree, Jeff. Fortunately there are optimists like Jeremy Corbyn to challenge our pessimism.

  • Alex Cox
    December 18, 2020

    Wonderful. And the following year the same crew of spooks and oligarchs disposed of Gough Whitlam in Australia. Why weren’t we taught these things at Wirral Grammar School, beneath the honours board which bore the name J. Harold Wilson at its very top? (I know… because our teachers were still learning them themselves.)

    Thank you for this ongoing process!

  • Adrian Ackroyd
    December 19, 2020

    As always you make us think a little more.

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