Posts Tagged ‘protest’

All around the Clocktower (apologies to Bob Dylan)

July 8, 2018

“There must be some kind of a way outta here”, said Sir Soulsby to the thief.
“There’s way too much crosstown traffic, I’ve got to build me a relief
road through Aylestone Meadows. JCBs dig my earth.
None of our fifty Labour councillors, have any idea what its worth”.

“No reason to get excited”. The thief, he kindly spoke.
“There are many here among us, who think you are but a joke.
But you and I, we know the score, and this is not our fate.
Here is a shiny £1 coin, payment for Braunstone Gate.”

All around the Clocktower – the homeless slept right through
buskers endlessly busking, and street preachers too.
Outside, by cold Welford Road, the Tigers they did roar.
Two riders were approaching, Leicester rain began to pour.

Advertisements

Write on.

January 13, 2015

Carbon-powered, a pocket-sized tree.

To inspire, educate, agitate, satirise.

Pricks pompous, powerful politicians.

Graphite forges words, coal-black and

As hard as diamond, but glides softly.

We need to fight to defend this wonder.

No to scapegoating, violence, or racism.

For free expression, protect human rights.

As censors rub out our freedom of speech.

And cartoon characters laugh at violence,

An indestructible force of human nature.

Powerful weapons, in the right hands

Can begin to change the world.

Shattered, broken they lie.

Pencils write, develop

our consciousness.

Spirit lives on.

Fight back.

Unity to

Win.

little red little green

If you have enjoyed my poetry on this blog, my new collection, “Little Green Poetry” is now available from Lulu – – £4+P&P (paperback) or £2.50 (for e-book readers)

You can still order copies of my first collection, “Little Red Poetry” from http://www.leftbooks.co.uk or http://www.lulu.com – again for £4 (pb) or £2.50 (as a pdf for e-readers).

I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.

To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.

Brazil 2014

June 16, 2014
Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito has created the World Cup's first viral image. Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloito
Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito. Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloito

It is all kicking off.

Riot police go in hard, storm the favelas

To sweep away the poor,

And money is passed

To FIFA – look at that corruption!

Surely a yellow card there?

But no – the referee waves play on.

Demonstrators gather in defence

Link up with strikes and protests

Face a hail of rubber bullets, clouds of gas,

Inequality to bring tears to the eyes.

And those who can afford a ticket

Enjoy the carnival.

£13bn for stadia but nada for the people.

Movers and shakers are in the royal box.

But where are the slums, the homeless?

Nowhere to be seen in sanitised coverage.

From satellite to satellite, the signal is passed,

And the police take up an attacking formation –

Clash with the millions occupying the squares.

As money-men do backroom deals,

Wads of cash change hands

And stones pelt the commentary box,

A boy holds up a banner in protest

To win indigenous land,

But we didn’t see that.

We are not in control of the footage.

Just feast on the football,

The samba, the passion, the silky skills.

Forget about grinding poverty.

Football and beer numb the pain of life.

And a scything run by Death

Into the penalty area, the grass fed with the blood

Of workers who built this magnificent spectacle,

And as the ball passes to Qatar

In a move worthy of Sepp Blatter,

There is a world still to play for.

The revolution is far from over,

We still have a chance to equalise.


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

The Famous Sperm Whale (after William McGonagall)

December 31, 2013

‘Twas in the month of March, in the year 2013,
That a sperm whale was beached, due to plastic debris.
It had voraciously feasted, when it was at sea,
Not on plankton but on sheeting, meant to grow tomatoes for our tea.

Oh! it was a most fearful and beautiful sight,
But we must all be aware of the whale’s sad plight.
To see it lashing the water with its tail
Should make us all weep and wail.

They bravely cut up the whale without delay
And found 59 items of plastic in its stomach, all in disarray.
The stench was revolting, some would say
But most revolting of all was the stench of money.

So Aldi, Carrefour and Tesco,
Exotic fruits can’t be grown al fresco.
Consumers want their fruit out of season
So greenhouses use lots of plastic sheetin’.

And supermarkets know they can make plenty of profit
By ignoring health and safety, not caring about the vomit-
Inducing tale of the famous sperm whale,
Never more to lash its ugly and mighty tail.

Then the people did descend on the supermarket bosses
To make sure they did the right thing, never mind any losses!
The people were angry and put up a good fight.
Will the supermarkets ever listen, or care about our seas’ plight?

Then the people together in crowds did protest
Resolved to change this messed-up system, with civil unrest.
To protect our planet, as it’s the only one we’ve got,
To fight for a decent future for all, is that such a naive thought?

On the beach of beautiful Andalucia, the dead whale sadly lay
And so I will conclude this awful and terrible lay.
There’s a petition to be signed, which here can be reached
To protect our seas, no more whales to be beached.

————————————————————————————
You can read some more of my poetry in ‘Little Red Poetry’. 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

10,600 and counting . . . the hardest hit.

December 10, 2013

In the UK, the Freedom of Information Act allows people to ask questions of public bodies. One such question put to the government by anti-disability discrimination campaigners, asked between January and November 2011, how many people have died after being assessed by ATOS as being ‘fit for work’ in a six week period since their assessment?

In 2010, there were just 310 deaths of people on health-related benefits. The answer supplied by the DWP to the FOI request was 10,600 deaths. This graphically illustrates the stress and financial impact that disabled people are suffering from as a result of government outsourcing and a target-driven culture that does not meet people’s needs, but only seeks to cut costs, in this case even at the cost of human life.

Northamptonshire Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) highlighted this fact on a banner on a protest this week at Leicester Clocktower. Leicester Socialist Party members joined the protest, along with campaigners from Leicester Occupy movement, and faith groups. We heard of some of the tragic details of those who had died, including a disabled couple who had committed suicide, as they were destitute. They were found together in their home with no electricity, food or heating. See more here – http://andreaurbanfox.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/victims-of-dwp-and-atos/

We call for an end to ATOS assessments. We call for democratic decision making and the involvement of disabled people themselves. We call for decent benefits to allow disabled people to lead as independent a life as possible. All outsourced services should be brought back under the remit of a democratically-controlled, publicly- funded NHS. The ideal of universal healthcare is rapidly being demolished under the present Government’s Health and Social Care Act, while New Labour introduced the ‘reforms’ – Foundation Trusts, PFI and outsourcing, which made these attacks on our healthcare system possible in the first place.

We are campaigning for Leicester Council to refuse to implement the discriminatory and unfair bedroom tax, which affects disabled people disproportionately – around two thirds of the tenants affected by this tax are disabled – they often need a spare room due for a carer or for equipment due to their disability.

“You can judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens”.

“From each according to their means, to each according to their needs”.

——————————————————————————————————–
You can read some of my poetry in my book ‘Little Red Poetry’. All proceeds go to build a new party for ordinary people, against cuts and privatisation. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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 – http://www.ents24.com/leicester-events/the-donkey/kgb/3486723. 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.

On the day the statue of Thatcher was unveiled

September 16, 2013

The news spread fast – by squawk, coo and twitter.
From far-flung forests, fields, farms we flew
Synchronised starlings swept across the sky.
Geese arrowed in a gigantic V sign,
Militant seagulls cried out in anger.
Pigeons propelled by powerful pinions,
Herring gulls, guillemots, gannets, goshawks,
Gathered in Grantham to give up their guano.
On the day the statue of Thatcher was unveiled.

We circled high until the ribbon was cut.
Joyously drenched the assembled dignitaries,
Perched on her handbag, shoulders and hairdo,
Covered her from head to foot in our ordure.
The acid will eat into the bronze
Dissolve decades of double-dealing and deceit,
Will break down her memory,
Just as she broke our communities.

___________________________________________________________________________

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. Tickets available here for £3 – http://www.ents24.com/leicester-events/the-donkey/kgb/3486723. 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.

Medley

September 3, 2013

We’re fracking, we’re fracking – I’m gonna frack it with you.
Going underground, going underground,
I’m goin’ deeper underground.
Underground, overground, wombling free,
Like an atom bomb, about to oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, explode.

Two minutes to midnight – the hands that threaten doom.
One, two, three o’ clock, four o’clock, rock!
You – shook me all night long!
Sharia don’t like it – rockin’ the Casbah, rock the Casbah.
What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

And I’m a heatseeker, gonna burn up your town.
I’ve got a fever of 103,
Ooooh, I’m on fire.
Frack, baby, frack, show me you’re real.
Dirty deeds, and they’re done dirt cheap.

Get up, stand up! Stand up for your rights.
Excuse me Mr Officer, murderer,
Don’t stop me now! I’m having such a good time.
Come and do the jailhouse rock with me. Let’s rock!
I stand in front of you, I’ll take the force of the blow.
Protection.

___________________________________________________________________________

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

No to the bedroom tax

June 30, 2013

Notes from Tommy Sheridan’s speech at the National Shop Stewards Network Conference, Saturday 29th June 2013.

Tommy had been to 73 meetings all over Scotland, where 80 local anti-bedroom tax capaigns have been set up. Affiliations from union branches and trades councils had been built – it was necessary to put demands on the official movement. The Scottish Trades Council is hosting a conference against the bedroom tax. The anti-bedroom tax movement is growing.

Tommy said he was not personally affected, but he was personally offended by the bedroom tax. “You stand with me, I’ll stand with you” – is the motto of the movement.

He gave the example of a couple in Inverness – one was suffering from multiple sclerosis, and had to be confined to a wheelchair as a result. Her husband gave up his job to be a full-time carer, saving the state £10,000s a year. She has a special bed, which she needs for pain relief, so they have to sleep in separate rooms. They are now being asked to pay £60 a month from their benefits in bedroom tax. 2,000 families affected in Inverness – the number of council homes available is 164.

Likewise, an amputee has an elderly mother who is 78 and suffers from Alzheimers, so had to move to a care home. They are now deemed to be under-occupying, and are being asked for £60 a month. 5,300 families affected in South Lanarkshir. Number of homes available – 40.

Housing benefit is means tested, therefore it is the poor who are suffering the most from this tax. 660,000 people affected across the UK; 2/3 of these families have a disabled person in the household.

The penalty for non-payment is not prison, but is eviction. We need civil disobedience, we need to form human walls to stop people being evicted. It is scandalous that 500,000 people in the UK, the 7th richest country in the world, rely on food banks, while the income of the top 1,000 people is £400 billion – a rise of £35bn. This is obscene. In the words of the great Irish socialist Jim Larkin, “The powerful appear powerful because we are on our knees. Let us rise up.”

I would just add that we also need to campaign for massive investment in affordable council housing to meet our needs. This would also provide jobs for the thousands of building workers who have been made unemployed by the property crash. Otherwise, more and more families will find themselves on the streets in breadline Britain. It is no use just blaming the Tories and waiting for a Labour government. Labour have made it clear that they will not reverse the cuts made by the ConDem coalition. We need to build an alternative party, to stand up for ordinary people and not the rich. I support TUSC in its attempt to do just that.

___________________________________________________________________________

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

Protesting at the demolition of the Bowstring Bridge 5/10/09

October 5, 2009
We are the paymasters. Wake up.

We are the paymasters. Wake up.

Protesting against the demolition of the Bowstring Bridge and Pump and Tap pub to make way for a swimming pool attached to De Montfort University.

The council are selling the land for a measly £1 to DMU. They claim it is necessary to make way for a swimming pool, although why they can’t keep the bridge, the pub and build a pool somewhere else is beyond me.

The hypocrisy of the situation is that the council closed St Margarets Baths and done nothing to replace it for over 10 years. The bridge is a landmark as you go into Leicester, and is part of the Great Central Way. Why should the council knock down what little is left of the city’s heritage?

The answer is in the picture below. We need to campaign for a genuine, democratic alternative to the sleaze and corruption that infests politics at the moment.

No to city council cover ups & backhanders

No to city council cover ups & backhanders

At least in Leicester West, come the next election, the Socialist Party may well be standing to offer an alternative to the three main parties of sleaze, spin and corruption.