Lent

Repent
Your shameful need
Take up
Your own sackcloth
And ashes
For your purple pain
Oh mighty men of greed
It’s time you went
Relent
Your pompous passion is undone
Unholy hosts
Your time has come
And your crony cross
Stands, now, among
The kindling dross
Of your beloved spin
To burn your neoliberal sins
To dust
That we might live
And gods forgive.

Champions of serfdom

David Cameron and his Con Party’s latest wheeze to appease the I’ll-only-pay-for-mine brigade is that the unemployed young ‘should do community work’.

The scam, sorry – “scheme” requires NEETs to do around 30 hours a week of mandatory community work and, for this, they will be paid the Youth Allowance, a brand spanking new branding of JSA , at £57.35 a week. The types of jobs? “Making meals for older people or working for local charities, alongside 10 hours of job hunting.”

A forty hour week for £57.35? That’s £1.43 an hour! And will they be sanctioned for the slightest slip? Probably, I reckon, don’t you?

But, there are either jobs available to do or there are not. Making meals for older people and other community work sound like real jobs to me. And real jobs should pay an hourly rate that at least respects the worker’s time if it cannot reflect his or her experience. And a full-time job should supply a wage a person can live on.

Cameron says “what these young people need is work experience and the order and discipline of turning up for work each day.” Experience aside, as that is about time and opportunity and everyone starts out needing that, if a young person has managed to get to school each day for years and stay there, then community work to instil order and discipline is really insulting them.

“From day one they must realise that welfare is not a one-way street. Yes, we will help them, but there is no more something for nothing. They must give back to their community too.” – NEETs are to be assumed as ‘scroungers’ and punished for it – just in case.

The Government seems conveniently to forget that, from the age of 18, these young people are adults under UK Law. But, then, this government is desperately trying to preserve neoliberalism so it is battling against Democracy in order to champion serfdom and where better to reinforce it as a cultural shift than by abusing the least experienced..?

About the stupidity

Stupidity: ‘Behaviour that shows a lack of good sense or judgement’ – OED

‘Stupidity is a talent for misconception’ ~ Edgar Allan Poe

Today, as I began to absorb the day’s ‘agenda setting’ diet (though only Sky News actually admits this – even boasts about it) from the smörgås board of global and domestic affairs and ingested some of the polarised views on social media, I lurched, in my head, from explosive reactionary to numbing despondency, back and forth, back and forth, my mind on the whole but my thoughts on shuffle. My sense of doom and gloom at the utter scale of political stupidity was overwhelming. I don’t know why today, particularly because the standard of news, debate and analysis was no worse than yesterday’s or the day’s before. Nor is this the first time it’s happened. It’s just that usually I recognise stupidity overwhelm quite quickly and either channel it or tell myself I need to step away. Today I felt that I couldn’t do either. I felt like a coiled spring, frozen. I told Twitter and Jill Segger (@quakerpen), a writer whose own wonderful writings always portray her soul’s beauty, told me: ‘Write about the stupidity. Write about how it affects you. Just write!’ (How I have missed the assistance of a brief!)

On the stupidity of our political climate:

Cause and effect has lost its place in socio-economic terms, straying into the realms of subjective philosophical selective relativism. Symptoms are now mis-identified as causes; bugs are perceived as features; stereotypes are taken as read. This makes for superficial political solutions that not only insult wide demographics and disingenuously create others but then openly scapegoat them for seeming populist but reckless purpose. This divides and demeans everyone. This is serving only the most insidiously toxic agenda of neoconservative expedience. This is a progress not worth having that relies on such indecent destruction of Humanity and its social fabrics. It is short-sighted, regressive, unnecessary and decidedly wicked. This is not progress at all. It is certainly not ‘recovery’.

Pick a topic of political, socio-economic issue. Any topic you like: Education, Health and Social Care, Welfare, Law and Order, Energy, Sovereignty, Liberty, Environment, Conflict and Terrorism, Democracy, Art, Religion, etc, etc and tell me: how is it not connected to all the others? What meaningful solutions can be offered that work by isolating it? How does looking only across its surface provide a deeper understanding? How does selecting out one tiny aspect of it and nominating that as the main cause, even the very root of an ill, inform appropriate policy? How does focussing intently on one aspect of a larger dilemma justify a blanket policy of punishment or reward?

How do I feel about the stupidity? I feel that it will slowly and surely reduce us all to husks and dust and that, although many will tediously look back at these years and wonder what happened, as though it were a sudden, unpreventable, unpredictable catastrophic event, it will still be all our own collective fault if we let the prevailing groupthink continue. Because we did not appreciate the interconnectedness of things. Because we couldn’t apply with integrity what we already knew, let alone what we newly learned. Because we had so little regard for the beauty and majesty of Life. Because we didn’t respect paradox or appreciate unity. Because we thought simplicity and complexity and the macro and micro where either/ors that couldn’t be reconciled when, in fact, it is imperative that they are married.

How do I feel about the stupidity? That this, too, shall pass. Eventually. So I feel despair, rage, doubt, bemusement, intolerance, contempt, pity, incredulity, bored, exhausted, alert, pumped-up, apprehensive, impatient, compassion, suspicious, empathy, enthusiastic, ambivalent, hopeful, vulnerable, bossy, sheepish, impotent, frightened, brave, capable, powerful. And more. Pick any sensation and, a bit like an electron, I’m there! And also probably not, for nothing lasts but nothing is lost.

How shall we sanction..?

How shall we sanction
self-inflated MPs,
tanked-up banksters,
coked-up traders
and puffed-up,
piss-it-up-against-a-wall
hoarders & raiders?
Who does destroy us?
The perilously ill
the unskilled
or employers at the mill
and the kleptos on their high hills
dishing out their poison pills
scattering morality
upon the disaffected
and rejected
and dejected
not because they really care
for a poor and troubled soul
(even those who ask for help
find an undermining climate
so compassion ain’t the goal)
but because it suits them better
to have scapegoats ‘over there’
to persuade those
who wish it true
that all we have to do
to restore the economy
is arbitrate autonomy
and offer empty motions
about services that bare exist
because of neoliberal pish
that utterly refutes
the abuse
of serfdom as its fuel
won’t compute
that its all-consuming cause
is ridiculously
tediously cruel
in its correlating flaws
for, those who can afford
to negotiate their way
should be careful what they say
about punishing by poverty
the tragedy of fixing
just to get through each day.
Oh, Professor
Dame
Carol Black,
please do
a ‘rapid review
of that.

One, two, three, four, five

One, two, three, four, five.
Once I bought dodgy advice
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then saw so had all my friends
Why did you bother, so?
The Law is soft on those with dough.
Which Law has eased this might?
Whatever he says on my Right.

One, two, three, four, five.
Once I sought to cheat to thrive
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then my luck began to end
Why did your luck run out?
Because we’d always leased our clout.
What clout is that then mate?
The one that operates the State.

One, two, three, four, five.
Once is fooled but not so twice
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
We must turn the tables then.
How shall the temple fall?
Its altar has outgrown the walls.
Cometh the hour, lends
A new beginning in its end.

 

#pmqs in blue

Jeering
Sneering
Relying on his peers
To mock with a crock load
Of bull between his ears
He avoids
He evades
With an unalloyed contempt
For the offices of service
He’s supposed to represent
He parades
And he trades
Asymmetrical tirades
To deflect the criticism
That his leadership has risen
Go compare
Look over there
Is his default ammunition
Having little substance other
Than the relativist’s cover
No contrition
No humility
Devoid of the ability
Preferring the MO
Of I don’t know
I don’t recall
It wasn’t spoken of at all
And where were you
What did you do
Because we’ve only had five years
And I’ve been servicing the gears
Just ask my donors
They’ll attest
That I work hard for them the best
And stop your moaning
About how I’ve sunk the country
Into terminal distress
Because my cronies love
My monumental mess.

 

“It’s time Britain had a pay rise”

“It’s time Britain had a pay rise”
cries the latest copied in haste
and pasted neocon fix to this
interminably
long-term economic plan.
Look! There it is!
Away and over the horizon
hence why
no serf can perceive it
and no self-serve business man
will voluntarily conceive it
more than meaninglessly
light request and clear
electioneering scam.

pots and kettles

pots and kettles locked
in a mirrored box
shout
tyrant!
terrorist!
dissident!
heretic!
out of their spouts
in a stream of steam
ever keen
it would seem
to materialise
the reflected splinters
in opponents’ eyes
all bothered and hot
passing buck
with each shot
replicating accusations
in a blow-back
ad hoc
tic tac
tick-tock

‘Social Mobility’

Social mobility
lost its agility
since who you know
dealt the what a low blow
and the how did bow out
to political louts
having clout to dispense
with the gates in each fence
squeezing power in towers
for their recompense.