The Hustings Shuffle

View of a Hustings in Covent Garden by James Gillray

The Hustings Shuffle

Promises promised, but not to be kept –
They know it, we know it, and they know we know –
But it must be this way – it is what we expect.

Their promises come and their promises go –
We want to believe but we try to resist,
And say to ourselves that it’s only a show.

Their policies spin and their arguments twist –
We’re warned of the dangers their rivals equate –
Then hands must be shaken and babies be kissed.

We try to engage and we try to debate,
And try to remember it’s us who’s the boss,
Just looking for servants to tend to the state.

They beam out the smiles that they sharpen with floss,
They pose for our photos and laugh at our jokes,
And feel for our anger and pity our loss.

They tell us and tell us they’re average folks
From average backgrounds with average smarts,
Who love to get down with us ordin’ry blokes.

Beware their seductions, their flattering arts
That promise the world if our trust they may borrow –
We give up our votes and they crush our green hearts.

They leave us defiled and they show us no sorrow,
They love us today and they jilt us tomorrow.

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