Thursday, February 02, 2012

Betjeman's "Bill Newton Dunn"

Liberal England's advert for a meeting with Bill Newton Dunn reminds me of the late Sir John Betjeman's great poem about the MEP:

A Prodigal’s Love Song

It’s Bill Newton Dunn, it’s Bill Newton Dunn
Banished and vanished from Lincolnshire sun,
What marvellous motions put in committee,
He in the Parliament, our MEP.

First Tory, then Liberal, oh weakness of joy,
Crossing the floor with the grace of a boy,
With cheerfullest seriousness, upping by one
the ELD Group, it’s Bill Newton Dunn.

It’s Bill Newton Dunn, it’s Bill Newton Dunn,
How mad we are, glad we are now that it’s done.
The old Tory party, it’s back to the wall,
But Bill isn’t part of their d. and fall.

The plenary is voting, the votes are all cast,
The day of the Tories is well in the past,
Our Bill we all welcome to the home of the free,
That’s Liberals and radicals like you, Bill, and me.

It’s Bill Newton Dunn, it’s Bill Newton Dunn,
I can hear from the tribune, his speech has begun.
Oh ! full Brussels hemicycle ! headphones on tight,
in twelve different languages, thinking him right.

Around us are Frenchmen, Germans and Greeks,
Above us the galleries watch as he speaks,
And here on the floor is the man of our choice,
With the lilt of his prose and the chime of his voice,

And the drift of his thought and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous voting ahead.
He came to the conference in 2001
And now he’s a Liberal, is Bill Newton Dunn.
(Lines written after looking into Lord Bonkers’ column in June 2003)

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