My response to http://www.minioperas.org/stories/the-death-of-a-government-inspector/
INSPECTOR: Yesterday, along my way, I met a man who would not say.
A woman too was also dumb, they could not say which way I’d come?
I remember last a strange place, people vying to start the Race,
A race I did not mean to run, I don’t recall where it begun?
Somewhere - yesterday? In that strange place,
Of lust and grime and leering face,
Everyone SHOUTED, they did not listen,
They raged and ranted and shared a vision:
WOMAN: Misogynist bastards, they cover our face, call us “infidel – unholy race”.
They want submission, control, subjugation, ban our suffrage, anti-discrimination…
MAN: We’ve fought them over many years, our Crusaders brought them many tears.
It’s time to resume the good, good fight, and put the heathen back to flight.
INSPECTOR: The man I met along the way, I told him things I should not say,
The woman too, said "Do what’s right", But the House of zealots, followed a different ‘light’.
The people answered - some of them: Mothers, students, family-men,
But democracy had a trusted source; global allies, spies, resource.
A Curveball feeding deep, dark fears, with lies of paper thin veneer.
COMMITTEE: Did you reveal our secrets then? Official Secrets, beyond your ken? Challenge our why and where and when? Traitorous, oh, most venal of all men...
INSPECTOR: ...But there was nothing to justify! Trigger a war of eye for eye...
COMMITTEE : And you honestly thought that it could work? Our reputation could be besmirched?
Lefties, socialists, the bleeding hearts - Against economy, security to last!
INSPECTOR: ..But mothers weeping, orphans crying,
WOMAN: Those men, in their stinking caves…
MAN: With WoMD, filled with rage…
INSPECTOR: all about, people dying
WOMAN: They want to smother progress, they have the power!
MAN: Targeting our homes, within an hour.
COMMITTEE : We bring a rabid cur to heel,
Before the Western World, they’ll kneel
And grateful too, when it is done,
They will realise the gifts they’ve won.
INSPECTOR : And then they took my mouth and ears,
My tongue, my throat, my eyes for tears.
Alive, I’d tried to voice my fears,
Now I’m an echo, down the years.
And the man I met along the way, the woman too - they melted away.
My entry for the ENO mini-opera
"The death of Dr David Kelly on July 17 2003, on Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire is the emblematic tragedy of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, an involvement that was to claim so many other lives – military and civilian, Iraqi, British and American. Kelly’s work as a weapons expert led him into the murkiest with only the light of his own Baha’i faith to guide him."
Here we meet the weapon inspector's bemused and forlorn ghost, tormented and unable to 'move on' ...