The Queen of Diamonds

“Do not heap praise upon your queen, steal her jewelry instead.”
Radical proverb


Gandhi said poverty
Is the worst form of violence.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Cost her taxpayers one billion pounds.
While it was being celebrated,
Twenty nine percent
Of her subjects were in poverty.
“Deep and entrenched poverty”[1]
And their condition is unchanged.
This is to treat them with violence.
Small wonder the Queen is protected
By armed guards, 24/7.
It may be thought by some
That royal guards wear silly hats
And are only there for the tourists,
But they carry automatic weapons
And they’re instructed to use them
Should any of the twenty-nine percent
Of the Queen’s subjects get above themselves
And wish to disturb the status quo,
Or to threaten social unrest
By their pointing out the contrast
Between the Queen of Diamonds
And 29 percent of unhappy hearts.

In 2012 Downing Street was told
By those handling the Queen’s PR
That the Queen had apparently expressed
A schoolgirl enthusiasm for her ceremony
And she wished to have even more Jubilees,
One for “Every year of her reign”.
But some twenty nine percent
Of her subjects, and perhaps more,
May wish to have a revolution instead.
Not every year, just one would do.
A permanent revolution,
Sparked off by the insensitivity
Of a hoarding billonairess
To life on her own doorstep.
“You can make a boulder move”
“Before you can make a rich man
Feel compassion”, runs a radical proverb
But “a hungry man” runs another,
“Who refuses to revolt
“Will eventually starve to death.”


By contrast to the Queen of Diamonds
The President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica
Has been dubbed by the international media
To which he responds, “I’m not a poor president.
Poor people are those who want more and more.
Those who never have enough of anything.
Those are the poor because they live in a never ending cycle.”
Jose Mujica’s most valuable asset is a 1987 VW Beetle.
He lives in a small farmhouse with his wife and a dog.
He donates 90% of his salary to charity,
And he’s richer than the Queen of England.

Heathcote Williams


[1] The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Survey Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion, 2011


By Heathcote Williams

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