After some of the pronouncements of Mr Reid et al earlier in the week it seemed appropriate to remind people of Norman MacCaig’s poem “Smuggler”. MacCaig had been a conscientious objector in the Second World War and worked as a school teacher for many years. He maintained a healthy cynical attitude to politicians. This is from p 165 of the 2005 Poems of Norman MacCaig (corrected edition) (well worth the cover price but reduced via Amazon).
Watch him when he opens
his bulging words – justice,
fraternity, freedom, internationalism, peace,
peace, peace. Make it your custom
to pay no heed
to his frank look, his visas, his stamps
and signatures. Make it
your duty to spread out their contents
in a clear light.
Nobody with such luggage
has nothing to declare.