An Eclogue Apologue


One year ago today were two stories which deserved to be combined and remind us that the whole recessionary period actually started through financial mismanagement in the banking sectorAn eclogue is a classical bucolic poem involving dialogue between two shepherds.  I thought I’d try it with this bizarre story and create an analogy with the financial mess the country was in.

An Eclogue Apologue

Twenty-eight sheep have lost their way, baa, baa, baa
Twenty-eight sheep have gone astray, baa, baa, baa.
Down in Heathfield town today, baa, baa, baa.

Honorary shepherd one, aloof,
a policeman thinking on the hoof,
said “’Scuse me sir, ‘ere listen mate,
could you open up your garden gate
and let this flock of sheep come in.
‘Twould be a kindness, ‘twould be no sin
to let them graze upon your lawn.
They’re lost, bedraggled, so forlorn.
And whilst you have them under guard,
I’ll trace the owner it won’t be hard.”

Honorary shepherd two, polite,
the garden-owner believing there might
be loads of wholesome, free manure,
said “Officer, of course, I’m sure.
Let them in, they can come and graze.”
Little knowing that they’d soon raze
his show-piece garden to the ground.
‘Twas three hours later that he found
the lawns long gone, the flower beds bare,
just piles of sheep poo everywhere.

Deep dip,
shallow dip,
sheep dip,
a triple-dip recession.
The banking sheep have come and grazed
and razed our country to the ground.
Like lambs to the slaughter we’ve been led.
They’ve bled us dry.
No more blood left in this stone,
only dust-bowl dirt.
No green and pleasant land.
No grass, not one single bit.
Just politicians full of shit.

25th January 2013 – headlines from the BBC and the Guardian

Notes:  “Lost sheep herded into Sussex garden remain unclaimed”. A couple who allowed police to herd 28 lost sheep into their garden while officers looked for the owner said they have not yet been claimed.  The wandering flock in the Heathfield area, in East Sussex, were reported to police at 03:00 GMT.  Officers knocked on Cam and Mark Nichols door asking if they could keep them in their garden as it had a gate.  However, the owner has not been found and the sheep have remained in the garden eating all the plants. “Britain halfway to triple-dip recession as manufacturing sector stalls”.  Britain is now halfway to an unprecedented triple-dip recession due to a stalled recovery in a manufacturing sector that was supposed to kickstart sustained growth in the aftermath of the credit crunch.  Industrial production was growing strongly in 2011 but the government’s aim of rebalancing the economy away from financial services and towards the manufacturing belt of the Midlands and north England appears to have foundered.  A fall in manufacturing output in the last three months of 2012 countered a small rise in construction between October and December to leave a 0.3% contraction in GDP, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  The economy achieved zero growth for the year as a whole as the services sector, which accounts for three-quarters of national output compared with manufacturing’s 10%, also struggled to grow.  The decline was blamed on the recession in the eurozone, which has hit exports; bad weather, which hit shops and farmers; and a temporary drop in oil and gas output in the North Sea.


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