Spi­ders & Flies

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of th­ese ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

There are other things to life than pol­i­tics. Mary Howitt wrote “The Spi­der and the Fly” that could con­ve­niently serve as a “Vot­ers'Guide” even to­day. Mary mixed with many im­por­tant lit­er­ary fig­ures in­clud­ing Charles Dick­ens, El­iz­a­beth Gaskell, El­iz­a­beth Barrett Brown­ing and Wil­liam and Dorothy Wordsworth. In Lon­don Ten­nyson was her neigh­bour. She was clearly part of those days' celebrity set. The next time you read a glossy pre-elec­tion man­i­festo, bear Mary's poem in mind and you might be able to re­sist false prom­ises and down­right lies. Now to the poem:

"Will you walk into my par­lour?" said the Spi­der to the Fly, (= give me your vote) / 'Tis the pret­ti­est lit­tle par­lour that ever you did spy; (= what I choose to re­veal to you) / The way into my par­lour is up a wind­ing stair, (= your vote, ninny!) / And I've many a cu­ri­ous thing to show when you are there." (= bro­ken prom­ises.) "Oh no, no," said the lit­tle Fly, (= voter) "to ask me is in vain, / For who goes up your wind­ing stair can ne'er come down again." (= un­til the next elec­tion, which you will rig by chang­ing con­stituency bound­aries any­way.) "I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soar­ing up so high; (= be­liev­ing the lies of the other party) / Will you rest upon my lit­tle bed?" said the Spi­der to the Fly. (= you can trust me, even in bed, this well used con­dom will pro­tect you.) / "There are pretty cur­tains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin, (= flimsy prom­ises of bet­ter days to come) / And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!" (= fuck you over; ex­cuse my French.)

"Oh no, no," said the lit­tle Fly, "for I've of­ten heard it said, (= re­ported in The Star)

/ They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!" (= Lead­ers for Life.)

Said the cun­ning Spi­der to the Fly, "Dear friend what can I do, (= I'll prom­ise any­thing be­fore the elec­tion) / To prove the warm af­fec­tion I've al­ways felt for you? (= MY love for MY peo­ple which al­ways comes sec­ond to MY love for MY­SELF) / I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice; (= bribes a-plenty) I'm sure you're very wel­come - will you please to take a slice?" (= vote for me and you'll get a good slice of any con­tract you de­sire.) "Oh no, no," said the lit­tle Fly, 'kind Sir, that can­not be, (= what about the In­tegrity Com­mis­sion?) / I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!" (= I don't want any­thing to do with your shady af­fairs, in­sider "Sweet deal­ings crea­ture!"and il­le­gal said de­ci­sions.)the Spi­der, "you're witty and you're wise, (= flat­tery is the di­rect route to the voter's voice) / How hand­some are your gauzy wings, how bril­liant are your eyes! (= can't af­ford new clothes and your eyes are glazed over from de­pri­va­tion) / I've a lit­tle look­ing-glass upon my par­lour shelf, (= where I keep all my bro­ken prom­ises) / If you'll step in one mo­ment, dear, you shall be­hold your­self." (= I can make you be­lieve any­thing I want you to be­lieve.) "I thank you, gen­tle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say, (= thanks for the Bull­shit) / And bid­ding you good morn­ing now, I'll call an­other day." (= “Bug Off!” as we in­sects say.) The Spi­der turned him round about, and went into his den, (= Yes-man Cabi­net) / For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again; (= you can fool some of the peo­ple all of the time) / So he wove a sub­tle web, in a lit­tle cor­ner sly, (= and all of the peo­ple some of the time) / And set his ta­ble ready, to dine upon the Fly. (= your vote is fod­der to the politi­cian.) Then he came out to his door again, and mer­rily did sing, (= the sweet sounds of dul­cet de­cep­tion) / "Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and sil­ver wing; (= flat­tery gets you every­where) / Your robes are green and pur­ple (= they should be RED) - there's a crest upon your head; (= trust me: you

never had it so good) / Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!' (= a slip up: a lapse, a mo­ment of truth.) Alas, alas! how very soon this silly lit­tle Fly, (= con­stituent) / Hear­ing his wily, flat­ter­ing words, came slowly flit­ting by; (= tempted by false hopes) / With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, (= a fly to the FLAME) / Think­ing only of her bril­liant eyes, and green and pur­ple hue (= vain hopes of bet­ter times ahead) / Think­ing only of her crested head - poor fool­ish thing! (= job sal­va­tion) / At last, Up jumped the cun­ning Spi­der, and fiercely held her fast. (= once in power, all bets are off!) / He dragged her up his wind­ing stair, into his dis­mal den, (= the mis­ery of the past man­date pe­riod) / Within his lit­tle par­lour - but she ne'er came out again! (= not for 5 years any­way.)

And now dear lit­tle chil­dren, who may this story read, (= the elec­torate) / To idle, silly flat­ter­ing words, I pray you ne'er give heed: (= ig­nore false prom­ises) / Unto an evil coun­sel­lor, close heart and ear and eye,

(= re­ject failed Lead­ers for Life) / And take a les­son from this tale, of the Spi­der and the Fly. (= vote the Bug­gers out!)

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