Proper gander?

I read this at a World War I exhibition:

‘It is understood that poetry could have such an impact on public opinion that the secret government department of propaganda, Wellington House, commissioned poets including John Masefield and Bertrand Russell…’

Up until reading this, I didn’t know that:

• Poetry had ever had any discernible effect on public opinion
• Wellington House existed
• Bertrand Russell was a poet

I thought Russell was a philosopher and activist. Mind you, I thought that Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party, but I’m led to believe by a propaganda machine bigger than Wellington House that he’s all sorts of things.

The homepage for this website states: ‘I am Neil Laurenson. I am a poet.’ Only one of those statements is irrefutably true. Fancy being such a threat to the powers-that-be that you have virtually no control over your own image! Does Corbyn even care? If he did, and if he set up his own Wellington House, I’m sure he’d have no shortage of poets willing to write nice things. Mind you, would anyone read what they wrote?

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