Playbook For Dictators

In this poem which was written earlier this month I give my take on the events which are currently happening in Ukraine and why the British establishment’s support for Ukraine sounds both hypocritical and hollow when you consider their past colonial adventures closer to home adventures like the Highland Clearances and An Gorta Mor or I call it the great starvation I’ve given it the title Playbook For Dictators I hope you enjoy the read

Playbook For Dictators


Boots on the ground
invade en masse
marching to terrorise a nation
who seek closer ties with others
as innocents discover that freedom has a price
they can’t afford to ignore

rockets are sent by hostile forces
to give warnings to the hosts
of the might of the aggressor
towns and cities lie ruined
and those who can , seek refuge
in welcoming lands who understand their plight

meanwhile in the dead of night
ghosts from the past give flashbacks to cold war generations
this is how it was in their early years
for those who disobeyed direct orders
Soviet borders were red lines
no comrades dared to cross
lest a hard hearted mother
discipline her errant children

family were to be taught obedience
and this was never to be questioned
independence is not the way of the tyrant
leaving home was never permitted
nobody knew what happened
behind curtains which were permanently closed
now an old man wants to return
to glory days which were never truly glorious

he yearns for the golden age when his lands were victorious
masters of all they surveyed
or at least to the tines
when they we’re able to say that was the case
in the days when Pravda was yesterday’s RT

the world has moved on
since the days when an angry bear
was feared throughout the globe
but incandescent with rage
a veteran actor wants to command centre stage
orders the world to do things his way
says he wants his empire back
and has sent us this chilling warning
he is ready to strike back to get it

the world has been stunned in silence
at these bouts of mindless violence
to subdue a neighbour whose only crime
is an unfortunate geography where the location of the land
is too close to an agressive nation
still yoked to the chains of the past

now as most countries do their bit
to ease the human suffering
the UK does nothing but sit on its hands
understanding this catastrophe
by framing it in Westminster language
and by putting Ukrainian flags on social media profile pictures
as we smile for photo opportunities
whilst looking in the other direction
pretending not to know the difference
between refugees and economic migrants
and like Pontius Pilot washing our bloodstained hands
of atrocities committed by Redcoats and Tans
in the name of Britainia’s heart and hand
when the Britain of Wade and Pitt’s command
wrote the playbook for dictators

© Gayle Smith 2022

4 Replies to “Playbook For Dictators”

    1. Hey Beth. I think it shows up the hypocrisy of the British establishment who are virtue signalling support for Ukraine so as not to be seen as being out of touch with the rest of the world whilst secretly hoping for a quick victory in favour of Putin and Russia. They really are a parody of what a government are supposed to be. Well call me cynical if you want but you don’t give free reign to Russian oligarchs one minute then support their neighbouring country they’ve invaded the next. The facts don’t stack up on this I’m afraid especially when you consider their past adventures. I mean they weren’t immune to using that kind of brutality themselves and they’d do it again in a heartbeat if they thought they’d get away with it.

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle. XXX

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