Due respect

From Dot Commons’ Diary:

Speaker John Bercow then joined in the praise, prompting Benn, no friend of Bercow’s predecessors, to quip: “I never thought that I would ever catch the speaker’s eye again.”

Bercow, a keen impressionist, then slipped into a convincing impersonation [sic] of Tony Benn and gave an astonishing recital of the entirety of the working class poet Alex Glasgow’s Socialist ABC.

Never one to miss an opportunity to repeat himself, Malcolm promptly rattled it off — and also from memory:

When that I was and a little, tiny boy,
Me daddy said to me,
‘The time has come, me bonny, bonny bairn,
To learn your ABC.’

Now Daddy was a lodge chairman
In the coalfields of the Tyne
And his ABC was different
From the Enid Blyton kind.

He sang, ‘A is for Alienation
That made me the man that I am, and

B’s for the Boss who’s a Bastard,
A Bourgeois who don’t give a damn.

C is for Capitalism,
The bosses’ reactionary creed, and

D’s for Dictatorship, laddie,
But the best proletarian breed.

E is for Exploitation
That workers have suffered so long, and

F is for old Ludwig Feuerbach,
The first one to say it was wrong.

G is all Gerrymanderers,
Like Lord Muck and Sir Whatsisname, and

H is the Hell that they’ll go to
When the workers have kindled the flame.

I’s for Imperialism,
And America’s kind is the worst, and

J is for sweet Jingoism,
That the Tories all think of the first.

K is for good old Kier Hardy,
Who fought out the working class fight, and

L is for Vladimir Lenin,
Who showed him the left was all right.

M is of course for Karl Marx,
The daddy and the mommy of them all, and

N is for Nationalisation –
Without it we’d tumble and fall.

O is for Overproduction,
That capitalist economy brings, and

P is for all Private Property,
The greatest of all of the sins.

Q’s for the Quid pro quo,
That we’ll deal out so well and so soon, when

R for Revolution is shouted and
The Red Flag becomes the top tune.

S is for Sad Stalinism
That gave us all such a bad name, and

T is for Trotsky, the hero,
Who had to take all of the blame.

U’s for the Union of Workers –
The Union will stand to the end, and

V is for Vodka, yes, Vodka,
The vun drink that vont bring the bends.

W’s for all Willing Workers,
And that’s where the memory fades,

For X, Y, and Zed,’ my dear daddy said,
‘Will be written on the street barricades.’

Now that I’m not a little tiny boy,
Me daddy says to me,
‘Please try to forget those thing that I said,
Especially the ABC.’

For daddy is no longer a union man,
And he’s had to change his plea.
His alphabet is different now,
Since they made him a Labour MP.

 Which Malcolm heard originally in the late Alan Plater’s Close the Coalhouse Door, in the days when the BBC didn’t have to be so politically-correct or to please the Murdoch-Tory rentamob.
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Filed under BBC, Britain, culture, folk music, Labour Party, politicshome, social class, socialism., Tories.

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