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Pro Patria Mori

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est

I woke this morning, skipped the customary microsecond of alrightness and proceeded directly to the crushing reality of life in 21st century Britain.

Britain's Prime Minister (right).

The news was not good: homelessness up, suicides up, economy down and the morals of our leaders lower than a special advisor's knickers at a COBRA meeting.

While no one was looking, America went mad with the promise of cheap mortgages and huge pay-offs for the dealers and wholesalers who trafficked them.

For some reason I've been unable to fathom, the cripples of Britain must now be left to wallow in their own piss, be driven to penury and some to their deaths to pay the bill.

The late Paul Willcoxson
Paul Willcoxson was a homeless man described as having a "history of mental health problems". He originally came from Corby in Northamptonshire. His suicide in Hampshire was briefly reported by the local press

His death is an insignificant and rapidly fading blip on life's radar. A few pathetic scraps from his short life litter the Internet

 ...fun and friendly guy looking at meeting new people whilst on this great site, i enjoy chatting to any tom, dick or harry...

...it's my b'day and going to do a bit of fishing down the thames in chelsea tonight, might catch a big'un. lol. hope all is well in that small place called corby ...

The New Republic followed up every scrap of this short and wasted life looking to flesh out the brief news report, to write some kind of meaningful obituary to a Nobody. The only response we got was suitably terse and tragic

he was ma mate but i had not seen him for years sorry i cant be any help

Even His Imperial Majesty Simon Borat-Cohen can't get over the cost of cripples: “A recent economic analysis of the total annual cost of autism in the UK estimated this to be £28 billion”.

So, that's enough about the real world. Let's give you an update on what's being going on at the New Republic

What the fuck are you talking about? Ich Bin die Übermensch!
Contrary to press reports at the time, the £100,000 defamation action was not the reason for TNR's extended hiatus. Some unfortunate Old Folks issues, that many of a certain age will relate to, precipitated a nasty bout of oh-fuckin-christ-is-this-really-happening?

The spectacularly litigious and career changing videograph
It's taken me three days of effort to get this short piece written. It's nothing like the essay I struck out to write. In my mind it was a cogent and concise epistle on contemporary Britain inevitably to be republished by Liberal Conspiracy, drawing a gasp of admiration from Nick Cohen, and lauded by the magnificent polemical writer Andy Worthington.

As it is, it stands as a fine monument to a brilliant but genetically disorder mind, and is probably nothing more than another paragraph in an extended suicide note, written and rewritten in the desperate small hours in a mind-numbing cloud of medicals and assessments and bills and the dead and the dying.  

This time we're taking it to the line. And of course, legions of dear readers, you'll all be along for the roller-coaster ride that will be New Republic in the Age of Austerity.

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.”

(And yea, before you ask - I am drunk again, but it's only because I'm too fuckin poor to ride the Horse)

Original Material © 2011 The New Republic.
Excepting Fair Use, do not reproduce without explicit permission.
edited (i) 10 July 2011 - no substantive changes
edited (ii) 10 July 2011 - substantive change due to get-sued stress

2 Replies :

Selina Postgate said...

Crying on your behalf here x

Socrates said...

Oh! Don't mind me, Hamster... Apparently they've got some more people coming to see me next week who are going to ask all about what my problems are and all about the help I need. It's being going on for three years now. You'd've thought they'd understand by now, I need a hand getting to Tesco's. I've just said, elsewhere, I'd swap my benefits, (non-existent) social care and council house for a brain that works properly. Fair deal, eh?

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