To Sara Khan and friends, re Rudyard Kipling’s “If”

“Students have defaced a mural featuring Rudyard Kipling’s If in a stand against his “racist” work.
The author’s 1895 poem was painted on a wall of Manchester University’s newly renovated union building.
But student leaders erased the work, replacing it with a piece by Maya Angelou in a bid to reverse “black and brown voices” being written out of history.
The union has apologised for failing to consult students on its choice of poem.”
BBC 19th July 2018


By Panopticon


With apologies to Rudyard Kipling’s “If”


“Do you like Kipling?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never kippled”
                                                                                                                 J. K. Stephen, 1891


If you can lose your head when up above you

A poem to inspire you has appeared

And you suspect the genius who wrote it

Probably had bollocks and a beard

If you don’t want to speak with those who planned it

Or ask for a discussion, don’t do that,

Or plead your case politely; just demand it –

That you control the students’ habitat


If you can’t see the benefits of  taking

A logical approach to this dispute

Politely pointing out that Rudyard’s poem

Alluded to a war of ill-repute

Whose origins involved a raid by Jameson

(who was the inspiration for the verse)

which led to the creation of apartheid

So their choice of ode could hardly have been worse


If you, instead of stating your revulsion

Would rather see the mural be defiled

And slap on it a bucket of emulsion

And scribble in the manner of a child

If you can get your mates to take a photo

To show your handiwork for all to see

And upload it on all your social media

In the hope that you’ll be on the BBC


If you can strive to signal all your virtue  

And state that you’ll defend diversity

Whilst making foes of people you object to

Whose outlooks or opinions don’t agree

If you can’t stop, consider, for a minute

The hypocrisy of all the hate you hurl

The future may be just the one you asked for

You’ll be a PC liberal, my girl!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s