Telling Campaign Tales

Ring out the sounds of state
With the deadweight of strained thought
And the soft focus of a mediocre media
Sing tedious warnings and panicked pledge
Bring forth the heavy intellect of dinosaurs
The dread threats of the buyers and the bought
Sling in the pimped endorsement of the A-to-Zed-list clique
Because, where would we be without a High Def guest to grace the frame?
Just pile-em-high and sell-em-cheap
And to the Commons, do the same.

Recommendum (#indyref)

Oh, Scotland!
I could say
don’t go!

Oh, I could tell you
you are loved
more than you know;
that we share in
Common foes;
that we despise the same
unkind and wilful blind politicos;
that I have also had my fill
of socio-economic blows
that rope me to an all entropic State –
whose fears create to kill my dreams
and dash my modest hopes;
that we, together,
all in –
all the way –
could fight for better
and that no one’s really independent
anymore, anyway.

Or, Scotland, I could say
Quick! Run!
Quick, run away!
While scope permits
to save yourselves from neoliberal grip
and manufactured terror;
that a ‘No’ might be the bigger risk;
that you are adults with the wit and means
to hallow Hearthstone;
that your errors and your triumphs
be your sovereign growth to own
and that it’s time we grew a pair
down here and brought our battle home.

The world queues up to follow you
and, Right, on cue, advises you.

But, Scotland,
what you’ve got
is opportunity
so rare,
so huge,
so vital,

I just wish for you to dare
to be entitled

and go where your Free Will sits;
where heart and mind are meet
for there, your world, a prize to greet
with trust enough to follow it.

If Labour said…

“Dear Citizens

You are right: we’ve failed you. We have been letting you down for decades. We got so sucked into the machinery of modern establishment that we came to represent its interests first and always more than yours. We got so swept up in the glamour and excitement of Business, markets and competition that we didn’t notice how our obsession with outsourcing expansion to profiteers was shrinking your choices, your opportunities, your own standards of living. We became so dependent on the good will and approval of the televisual and printed press that we lost our heads to the purpose of self-preservation. We put our egos first and disregarded how Media was positioning both us and you. We realise, now, how you have been subjugated through a feedback loop of perpetual spin and hypocrisy; how your intelligence, wisdom and common sense have been treated with contempt; how we’ve made you feel you are not trusted with unadulterated facts and complex problems because it meant ceding our desire to engineer ideological direction and to control expedient outcomes if we did.

We understand, now, why you have so little faith in our abilities and even less in our motives. We realise that, although so much of what New Labour did under Tony Blair was seen and sold as progressive, we did, in fact, end up building on Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberal dreams. We recognise how this contributed, in turn, to the emboldening of the present Conservative-led Coalition to the worst of that end, to libertarian values that produce fragmentary, patronising policies of false economy that serve the few at the expense of everyone else. We recognise how our failure to examine and oppose David Cameron’s policies with the scrutiny and logic available – that you all knew they warranted – and, up until now, our own future intentions, justifies the common accusation that we are all the same.

Call it déjà vu; call it Labour’s dark night of the soul, dear citizens but our lightbulb moment has come. We understand, at last, that you are cynical and sensitive because we became cynical and defensive; that because we stopped believing in you, you stopped believing in us.

We have remembered that you, You, the People: you are the State, the backbone, the soul of these lands; that your needs are what we first serve; that without you, there is no nation. We’ve realised that we need not fear Democracy nor Justice. We have remembered that you are all of equal human worth, regardless of your ‘status’ in society and that you deserve to be treated with decency and respect and equally under Law, whatever your orientations, be they given, real or apparent.

We have remembered that a good economy fits Society, not the other way around; that life must work for us, not that work is what life is for; how essential it is to have space to just be; that having time and space to be creative and productive comes at least as much through freedom and leisure as through scheduled ‘paid’ employment; that you and your children are not malleable commodities to be herded and nudged from cradle to grave; that contribution to a society comes in more forms than being forced into the dead-end of poorly paid work merely to placate ideological cliques. We have remembered that it is the responsibility of a government to facilitate an economy that provides a decent standard of living for all abilities and/or ambitions; that if a government cannot or won’t, it has no right to say who is ‘deserving’ of compensatory assistance; that to punish the young for our failings is petty, misguided and soul-destroying. We’ve remembered that pushing the sick and disabled to constantly justify entitlement to what are pretty modest benefits and into further vulnerability and distress on pain of penury is cruelly uncivilised.

We’ve remembered that we should be discerning about what and how we make and grow for the future because we want an ethical, viable and sustainable environment on all levels and our relationships to be built on integrity, both at home and around the world. We recognise that this starts with honourably serving you.

We’re finally getting it.”

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ~ Dr. Seuss

Ed Miliband, playing the game

Ed Miliband,
playing the game –
oh, for shame!
All the pain that we suffer
is gonna get tougher
and Labour can’t see
we’ve had more than enough
of the drain and the waste
and the damnable cuts
that make life cruelly rough
to bring gains for the toffs
who depend on a bluff
to keep bending the Law
to deprive us some more
by keep selling our stuff
and berating the poor
with their psy-ops
and myopic moral crusade
that keeps rich people paid
and democracy stayed
and has done for an age
as the Commons observes
by the fabric that frays
knowing it is betrayed
by the ones who self-serve
and the good ones afraid
of upsetting the cart
beyond hinting to start
and then slinking away
to jump back on the bandwagon
growing the chaos and leaving
the citizens lost and enraged
at the cheapness of Life and
the price of their cage.

Conservethemselves, free-roaming

built a modern
with con-centric
where profit is
their opium
and from their
crony podiums
with blowholes
like euphoniums
display outright
and trade it on
as hopium