The Special Relationship

special relationship









When William Hague,
The Foreign Secretary,
Visited Japan

He said to the Mayor
Of Hiroshima,
“Everywhere else

We’ve been in Japan, the streets
Have been higgledy-piggledy.
Yet here in Hiroshima

Your streets are laid out
In a well-organized grid.
How did you achieve that?”

Quietly, the Japanese Mayor
Informed the MP, “We had some help.
From the Americans.”

Imperviously, the Foreign Secretary
Now drools over his Special Relationship
With the United States.

Seven days a week,
The demands of the CIA and the Pentagon
Are met with and serviced.

‘Please do let us bend over
So you can kick us harder
Or fuck us up the arse.

‘House your nuclear bombs
In England’s green and pleasant land?
No probs. Be our guest.

‘Take over our commons
For use as your military bases
With all your own laws?

‘Neo-con us all,
Then kill our teenage soldiers
With your ‘friendly fire’?

‘Happy to oblige
For old times’ sake. After all
We speak the same language.’

But the shared language spoken
In the Foreign Office is still that
Of an Imperialist elite –

A foul, crass language
Whose words are radio-active
And which gets people killed.

Thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan
America’s chickens come home to roost,
And they can come anywhere.

“But Britain must help out,”
Insists the Foreign Secretary,
“In the fight against terror” –

Whilst he snuggles up
To the greatest threat to world peace
The world has ever known.

British soldiers are thus burdened
With the ‘Special Relationship’
Thanks to their government –

Though they nickname those they’re forced
To fight beside, the Yanks, the ‘septic tanks’,
Or ‘seppos’, and with a penetrating contempt

Observe that they have “all the gear and no idea”.
It’s known the ignorant can cause a deal of damage
And, with its thousand bases worldwide

And its destructive mind-set, America isn’t short of space
In which to prove that thesis to be true –
Whilst its ‘exceptionalism’ persuades America

That subordinate powers exist to smooth its passage
Then to wipe America’s butt after they’ve been shat upon…
Those who refuse are ‘anti-American’, and its enemy.


Heathcote Williams
Illustration: Duncan Long


By Heathcote Williams

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2 Responses to The Special Relationship

    1. Says it all, really.

      Comment by John MacKinnon on 28 August, 2014 at 7:30 pm
    2. Ditto. Tweeted it :0) peeps too bogged down in the phoney democracy election fever at mo. The voting system is SHITE. #stitchup.

      Comment by Jan on 5 May, 2015 at 11:27 pm

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