If You Can't Join Them
Let us un-invent the wheel,
Let us dredge the silted river,
Let us use a rod and reel,
Watch our catches as they quiver,
Let us beat them till they squeal
Within inches of their liver.
Old ways best: the pole and perch,
The furlong, troyweight and the acre.
Where's the mammoth? Let us search.
Bully beef and Kenneth Baker:
Let us love the scourge and birch.
Naughty children, shake him, shake her.
Let us worship what is past,
Run the future down the drain:
If the children can't be arsed,
Let them feel some decent pain.
Let us tie them to the mast:
Let us manufacture cane.
Torture is a lingua franca:
Let the sweat out from their pores.
Bring back ruin, savour rancour,
Show them steel and vicious claws,
Let us praise the humble spanker.
Children, this is called a tawse.
Progress, progress, Mr. Chips!
Let us split the willow's tail,
Never mind the teacher's tips.
Better that they weep and wail:
Cannot join them? Beat with whips.
Flail them all. A school's a gaol.
Click here for the story in The Times Educational Supplement.