Archive for the ‘republicanism’ Category

Priorities

November 23, 2016

Three hundred and sixty million? Cough, splutter.
For a fraction of that, I’d fix the gutter.
How many council houses could we buy?
Buckingham Palace, a modern Versailles.

Let Queenie herself pay for the job:
The Cullinan, that should fetch a few bob,
Empress of India, and all that palaver.
Empire long gone; old, stuffy cadaver.

In austerity Britain, we’re under the cosh.
While Royals claim yet more of our dosh,
Food bank queues only grow longer,
Working-class anger only grows stronger.

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Lines Written on the Occasion of the Queen’s Speech to Parliament

June 3, 2014

In the UK, the Queen’s speech is apolitical – she merely gives royal assent to Parliament’s wishes. This year, the Queen’s speech includes legislation removing the right of landowners to object to underground pipelines traversing their property. Should this right then not extend to fracking beneath Buckingham Palace, Balmoral Castle or across the Duchy of Cornwall?

Companies such as Cuadrilla have bullied and strong-armed our government, corrupt and spineless as it is, into allowing the spread of fracking and underground coal gasification, to the extent that local authorities are being given money to continue with these insane and inefficient practices. Large swathes of Britain, including National Parks and Sites of Special Scientific Interest have been given over to exploration of underground reserves of shale oil.

Fracking and extreme energy present huge risks to underground aquifers. We are continuing to fuel the greenhouse effect by burning our remaining sources of fossil fuels, releasing CO2 and methane in the process. Moreover, each fracking well uses up millions of gallons of water, which requires thousands of lorry miles to transport it, in order to pump the shale oil from beneath the surface. The whole process is therefore an extremely inefficient way of obtaining energy.

The only sustainable solution is for massive investment in renewable energy and to take energy out of the hands of private companies, greedy for profit at the expense of our environment. We need a socialist solution to unfettered capitalism, and we need to move towards a sustainable economy.

Oil may bring wealth to a tiny elite, but we cannot drink the stuff!

 

The Queen’s Speech

 

Anachronistic, antagonistic. Angry activists

Bellow, “Bury beneath Balmoral, Buckingham Palace!”

Campaigners contend controversial

Decision. Delving deep,

Earthworks excavate energy.

The futile failure of fracking’s

Grip on government. Greenhouse gases given go-ahead.

Halliburton harvests heinous haul.

Idiotic, ill-conceived idea.

Judgement jettisoned, unjustified

Knackered, kaput.

Loot and lucre

Make maleficence mellifluous.

Nullify necessary, natural,

Overwhelming objections. Obeisance to oil,

Petrochemical pollutants proliferate.

Queen quells queries. Aquifers

Ruined. Removes right to refuse.

“Shovel under Sandringham. See how she suffers.

Transport tragic teratogens ‘twixt tubes

Underfoot, underground.”

Vehement, vociferous, vexatious, vengeful,

Wondrously wilful. We won’t wait to

Extinguish extreme exploitation.

Won’t yield to yellow-bellied, oily political yes-men.

Zero tolerance. Zero fracking. Zero royal assent.

 


You can read some more of my poetry in ‘Little Red Poetry’ (£4 pbk, £2.50 pdf e-book).

All proceeds go to build a new party for ordinary people, against cuts and privatisation. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Copies are also available from Left Books

Why I didn’t watch the Royal Wedding

July 29, 2012

Do we really need to scrape and bow, to tug the forelock

Before Liz Windsor, and all the rest

Of her unillustrious line?

Should we not assert the old claims of the Diggers?

Against Kingly Power, for England to be

A free common-wealth, not of imperialism and slavery

But wealth in the hands of the many

Not given by divine providence

To a handful of upper-class scroungers attended on hand-and-foot.

I don’t desire to dine on delicacies of Quails Eggs or Langoustines

Washed down with gallons of Pol Roger Reserve Brut Champagne.

I have nothing in common with toffs who sit on thrones,

Who glide about the country in a Royal Train or get helicopter rides for free.

I did not celebrate sixty years of the Windsors scrounging on state handouts.

We are the ones who paid for the Queen to float down a barge on the Thames like a duck

To be honest, I couldn’t give a toss, what Kate was wearing, her designer frock.

The rest of us have to work to survive.

Or abase ourselves at the job centre every fortnight to receive our pittance.

We no longer have to pay tithes to the lord of the manor,

But we still pay through the nose to keep Her Maj

In the style to which she is accustomed

And uphold the tradition of the divine right of kings

Which should have been buried long ago

By the Diggers and Levellers who stood up for their rights

To plough and sow and govern themselves.