Advice to a Conspirator
by Chris Norris, with image by Martin Gollan
You've told us lots of times 'it's do or die'
For you, this Brexit thing, so if the 'do'
Bit doesn't work, however hard you try,
Then don't despair: there's always Option Two.
I know you'll wriggle out of it, you'll lie,
Prevaricate, and bluster, but if you
Seek one good deed to be remembered by
Then it's that second choice you'll carry through.
If things go pear-shaped, why not be the guy
Who'd read his Classics, tried to stage a coup
Sejanus-style, but, when it failed, thought 'Why
Not play the Roman, pay the forfeit due?'.
At least you'd exit on a lifetime high,
A final act we plebs could cheer, not boo,
As you fall on your sword and groundlings cry
'Great Boriolanus dead? About time too!'
Note: Lucius Aelius Sejanus [20BC – 31AD) was a soldier who rose to become a powerful figure as friend and protégé of the Emperor Tiberius. However he soon made equally powerful enemies and, after standing in as deputy ruler while Tiberius was away in Capri, he was accused of sedition and executed.
Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff. He is the author of more than thirty books on aspects of philosophy, politics, literature, the history of ideas, and music.