Welcome to England!
England is a happy country.
Here is a happy English businessman.
Hating is money, he spends it all
On bibles for Cambodia
And charity to preserve
The Indian Cobra from extinction.
I'm sorry you can't see our happy coal-miners.
Listen hard and you can hear them
Singing Welsh hymns far underground.
Oh. The singing seems to have stopped.
No, that is not Saint Francis of Assisi.
That is a happy English policeman.
Here is a happy black man.
No, it is not illegal to be black. Not yet.
Here are the slums.
They are preserved as a tourist attraction.
Here is a happy slum-dweller.
No, his answer is impossible to translate.
Here are some happy English schoolchildren.
See John. See Susan. See Mike.
They are studying for their examinations.
Study, children, study!
John will get his O-Levels
And a O-Level job and an O-Level house and a O-Level wife.
Susan will get her A-Levels
And a A-Level job and a A-Level house and a A-Level husband.
Mike will fail.
Here are some happy English soldiers.
They are going to make the Irish happy.
No, please understand.
We understand the Irish
Because we've been sending soldiers to Ireland
For hundreds and hundreds of years.
First we tried to educate them
With religion, famine and swords.
But the Irish were slow to learn.
Then we tried to educate them
With reason, poverty and unemployment.
They became silent, sullen, violent.
So now we are trying to educate them
With truncheons, gas, ribber bullets,
Steel bullets, internment and torture.
We are trying to teach the Irish
To be as happy as us.
So please understand us
And if your country
Should be forced to educate
Another country in the same way,
Or your own citizens in the same way -
We will try to understand you.
poem by Adrian Mitchell