Nero Tolerance


Here I sit in tatty toga
Jeering on my hired swords
Letting loose my local ogre
On the undeserving hordes

Tuning up my feeble fiddle
I decide the felons’ fate
Barbecue them on a griddle
Clap their hands and amputate

This is what I call a circus
Wolves are waiting at the door
Ready to rip up the shirkers
Dining out upon the poor

Emperor and vigilante
I’m a populist with teeth
Dribbling in my warm Chianti
Sitting on my moral wreath

Time to spread your netting broader
Should you finish off the scum?
I could give the final order
If I didn’t suck my thumb

     

[May 2000]

From the book Make Mine a Double

The film “Gladiator” opened. William Hague claimed that a “sociological” justice system was not severe enough on the poor and unemployed.