Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Now Maggie’s Dead

September 18, 2013

Is this the extent of our democracy?
Infiltrating the pop charts, with a protest jingle
A snippet of a single on the radio?
While the Munchkins were censored,
And the shipyards of the Clyde lie silent,
Wyatt still sings Shipbuilding,
With a will to instill
Decency. Diving for pearls,
Not dear life.

It’s nothing personal, you understand,
I was as eager as anyone
To pull on a Maggie’s Dead T-shirt
Put together a CD of anti-Thatcher tunes
And celebrate the big day.
I just hate Tories and all their ilk,
‘Cos she stole our kids’ milk.
And as she lay in state in the Ritz
Pensioners are dying in their homes, when they lived through the Blitz.
Victims of fuel poverty, privatised energy.

But in New, Blue Labour, Thatcherism’s still going strong
Is there really all that much to rejoice? Once the song
Ends, and you’ve drank one too many, gloating Ding Dong The Witch
Is Dead. Then the hangover begins: tax cuts for the rich,
Lost jobs, empty factories, homeless on the streets.

I was seven when she came to power in 1979.
My great aunt, with old memories of the general strike
Said the unions wouldn’t stand for it.
I’m still waiting.


I will be performing some of my poems at the Donkey pub, on Welford Road, Leicester on the 3rd October, 8pm – saying ‘Goodbye to Thatcher’. The excellent KGB Jazz and The Splitters are also playing, and Bali Rai will also be reading. Tickets available here – All proceeds go to City of Sanctuary.

You can help build an alternative to Thatcherism and support the Socialist Party by buying a short book of my poems, ‘Little Red Poetry’: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The struggle is joy

May 25, 2011

I got a lovely CD single in the post all the way from Portugal. It is the vibrant Portuguese Eurovision entry – the struggle is joy. Sadly, it didn’t make it to the final in Dusseldorf, but I think it was a hugely refreshing change from the usual bland, Eurovision entries.

The song is a celebration of the 1976 Carnation revolution, which overthrew the ultra right-wing dictatorial regime in Portugal. It speaks of the young and the old coming together in struggle to win a better society and is hugely relevant, given the debt crisis across Europe at the moment.

A Luta E Alegria – The struggle is joy

Often you feel hopeless,
Often you distrust.
Often you worry,
Often you despair.

It’s no use to pull the belt ever tighter,
It’s no use to moan about life,
It’s no use to feel sad and down,
It’s no use getting angry to help you go on.

By day or by night – the struggle is joy
The masses march on, they are shouting in the streets.

Bring us bread, bring us cheese, bring us wine!
Young and old, fight together
Bring us bread, bring us cheese, bring us wine!
Young and old, fight together
Let’s celebrate and sing against oppression.

Many are those that say “Be careful”,
Many are those that wish to shut you up.
Many are those who make you uncertain,
Many are those who would sell the air we breathe.

La luta continua!

In Greece and Ireland, the party I belong to, the CWI (Committee for a Workers’ International) has put forward the idea that we should right off debts owed by the government. We can’t trust the IMF bailouts, as they inevitably come with a slash and burn approach to public services.

The only answer is for mass movements of ordinary people to take action to defend jobs and services, to fight back against austerity cuts and unite in strikes and in a political voice for ordinary people. In a small way, the Socialist Party is beginning to do this in Britain through TUSC – but we need this to grow rapidly if we are to defeat the Con-dem cuts.