His ghost has bewitched Bob Jones and made him think he is a poet. See below. Read it aloud to yourself trying to fit the metre which is a bit uneven.
A Hack’s Lament
Maxwell watchers go on watching
Til their dying day.
‘Cause that Czech so very bouncing
Made their lives seem quite like Hell.
Writing to Lord Thomson,
Pearson, and O’Reilly too.
Blackening their reputations.
‘Conducting their own vendettas
Obsessed and full of spite’.
But most of those Maxwell watchers
Did not hate at all.
Like Bob Clark his merchant banker
They knew Bob’s personal fate.
Exiled by the Nazis
From his native mountains so far away
To the Oxford plains where the people spoke so posh.
Bob Clark he most wanted
To reform and train the Czech
How to prosper without cheating
And reign in his nasty bullying.
Poor Bob, he failed, not once, but twice.
But if there was a more decent merchant banker
Him I did not know.
And better to have tried and failed
Than never to have tried at all.
The watchers, like the bankers, did not want
To put Bob Maxwell in to Wandsworth Jail.
They only wished to stop, his very rouguish ways.
Like stealing from the pockets
Of the Mirror workers’ fund.
All the watchers loved him
When his empire twice collapsed.
Because it got them front page headlines
And brought them passing fame.
Now he is not buried
But certainly drowned and dead
They have no longer
A vendetta to pursue.
But they want all young tycoons now living
To know that, yes, though, sometimes charming,
He really was a crook.
And if they try to use
His very clever tricks
Though they may fool the bankers.
They will have to face the watchers of today
Who are learning the journo trade
The old watchers are quite busy doing other things.
But they do have time to tell
That they must not change
What is clearly
A tale, so very, very black
To one a lightish shade of grey,
Where the wily Czech is just ‘alleged ‘
To have stolen five hundred million quid.
And the watchers do have time to tell
Their jolly Maxwell stories
To young journos in the pub.
With many years to learn just
How to stop, those would-be Robert Maxwell’s
Robbing pensioners today.
They’ll tell the youngsters
That they must learn to be ready for
Attacks on characters and skills
By those super rich and holding power.
Paying thousands to PRs
To make their lies look just like facts.
If they really learn our humble trade
They’ll get some passing fame.
But better far than fame or wealth
Will be the welcome they receive
When they go into journo pubs.
Because all the blokes around them
Will know what they have done.
And though our trade is often grubby.
When we sometimes get it right.
Chaps like Richard Nixon have to
Leave that house so White.
And journos world wide over
Raise a jar to Bernstein and his buddy
And old Ben Bradlee too.
And any journo who does journalism
Even near as good as that.
Will have what is most worth having
Not praise from Rupert or Lord Rothermere
But smiles on the faces of the journos
Drinking in the pub.
Which is just what academics call.
‘The esteem of one’s colleagues’.
It does not rhyme.
Nor fit the metre.
But that’s academics, folks.
Hurrah, for journalists.
Another round, anyone?