Excuse me friends, I must catch my jet,
I’m off to join the development set.
My bags are packed, I’ve had all my shots,
I have traveller’s cheques, and pills for the trots.
The development set is bright and noble,
our thoughts are deep, our vision global.
Although we move with the better classes,
our thoughts are always with the masses.
In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations,
we damn multinational corporations.
Injustice seems easy to protest,
in such seething hotbeds of social rest.
We discuss malnutrition over steaks,
and plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African droughts,
we face each issue with an open mouth.
We bring in consultants whose circumlocution,
raises difficulties for every solution,
thus guaranteeing continued good eating,
by showing the need for another meeting.
Consultants it’s said believe it no crime,
to borrow your watch to tell you the time.
The expenses however are justified,
when one thinks of the jobs they might later provide.
The language of the development set,
stretches the English alphabet.
We use swell words like ‘epigenetic’,
‘micro’, ‘macro’, and ‘logarithmetic’
It pleasures to be so esoteric,
it’s so intellectually atmospheric.
And though establishments may be unmoved,
our vocabularies are much improved.
When the talk gets deep and you’re feeling dumb,
you can keep your shame to a minimum.
To show that you, too, are intelligent,
smugly ask, ‘is it really development?
Or say, ‘that’s fine in practice, but don’t you see,
it doesn’t work out in theory?’
A few may find this incomprehensible,
but most will admire you as deep and sensible.
Development set homes are extremely chic,
full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye level photographs subtly assure,
that your host is at home with the Great and the Poor.
Enough with these verses, on with the mission,
our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray to God the Biblical promise is true,
‘the poor ye shall always have with you!’