Shrouded in secrets
The men from F-Branch
Recite the techniques
Undiscussed in advance
Of Democracy's dance
Democracy's Dance with Terror.
Outside the port of Umm-Qasr
Hundreds of men
Hooded in the dark
Of the midday sun
Kneeling on the run
From Democracy's Dance with Terror.
Suspected by students
Back home and online
Theories get conspired
Petitions get signed
"Stop Democracy's Dance!
Stop Democracy's Dance!
Stop Democracy's Dance with Terror!"
The attorney general
Is called for advice.
A solemn exchange
Top down bottom line.
His argument is
"If it's nice it's all right."
Ministers from Ministries
Are detained and questioned
By the goggles of a press
Suffering sleep deprivation.
It's like a game of touch rugby
Outside downing street
With a twist on the rules of 'Just a minute'.
And outside the port of Umm-Qasr
Democracy doggedly dances her dance.
But the rhythms of the dance
The stress of white noise
And escaped on the wind
Blowing through the forgotten kindness
Of confused hearts and minds
Escaping through the drafty guilt
Of hung up uniforms
Dancing on the mumbling lips
Of sleeping soldiers
With wives, partners, families, friends
Who don't know what it's like
They don't understand the drill
They can't do the moves
They don't know what it's like.
But the dance did not stop
It did what every bad vibration does
And moved elsewhere
And was henceforth known
By an unpronounceable acronym:
And now we join James
Young musclebound man
With a drink in hand
Back from tour of duty
It's a Saturday night
And the Weston women like a soldier,
A real man.
The fact that he
Has been doing his duty.
"Do you mind if I ask..." Asked Deborah
Showing more than necessary of her bra
"Where was you based, your base in Iraq-
Your third base, in particular?"
"I'll tell you," Said James
And the ladies came quick
Putty in his hands
Just like a joystick.
Said James, with the gravitas
Or some silverscreen star,
"While out in Iraq,
I was stationed
At a British logistics base in Shaiba.
It's outside Basra.
Basra in Iraq.
You have heard of Iraq?"
But by then,
Deborah and her bra and her friends
Were talking to another group of men
Who worked in property development
And apparently, Deborah, they're neighbours
Or something, because that one said
They've got seventeen houses between them.
But what James hadn't told them is this
The exact meaning of words in English
Like British Logistics camp is
Not always what you think that it is.
Oh did I say camp?
I meant base.
Please delete any mention of camp
From the record.
It was not long before
That James' routine
Had been... very different
To say the least.
Indeed soon after crossing the border
And re-invading his parents' home again
He'd been watching Jeremy Vine when
He spotted a pattern of systematic abuse
On the curtains
Whenever he muted the telly.
James decided to get out of the house
And to help him get a grip
He decided to go shopping
But when he looked down at his list
11 Electric plugs
52 Alarm clocks
122 pairs of earmuffs
117 blackened goggles
132 stress positions
39 enforced nakednesses
And by this stage he realised
That perhaps he ought to see someone.
But instead of seeing a journalist
Or the Swedish King of wikileaks
He went and saw a military psychiatrist
Who charged him a lot to let him speak
On a one-off profit plus! contract
James ended asking the same question
Week after week -
Do you think I'm crazy?
What does all this mean?
The doctor replied:
"Of course you're not crazy,
It's just your mind is very ill,
I'll tell one part of it to ignore another part -
Here - take one of these little pills
They're only one pound ten each
And if you take one
Every three hours
For the rest of your life
(Or until you die,
Whichever is longer)
You'll be fine.
The dance continued to be taught
Like capoeira on a foreign-office team-building course
On the art of interrogation
Aimed at prisoners of war.
But the footsteps of karma
Where circling once more
And the base back at Shaiba
(Near Basra. In Iraq?)
Was once more withdrawn
This time to the airport
Along with other UK forces.
Now relatives of the victims
Both at home and abroad
And those most susceptible
To empathy's ill-considered force
Were planning to divert the dance -
Divert the Dance!
Divert the Dance
with Demo Dances,
Then it was the turn of the politicians
To work their magic of popular logisticians
By answering the questions no one has asked
Like are we human or are we just dancers?
We are just humans
Doing democracy's dance
Democracy's dance with
And the news reporters
With their sleep-deprived goggles
Reported in such detail
As to make one's mind boggle
Each step, each move and each deliberate error
Of democracy's dance
(To be Continued... on the BBC)