Poem: I Don’t Do Politics

‘I don’t do politics’ drips from the lips and is somehow a praiseworthy thing
Like abdicating responsibility for your world is the latest trend that’s ‘in’.
You can have a strong opinion, on some celebrity’s hair or shoes
But for pity’s sake do not bore on ‘bout some story on the news.
“Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty we are free at last”:
The ringing in my ears of calls from heroes of the past.
The men and women of yester year who held roses up to guns
So our generation could grow obese and swap politics for fun.
We really weren’t built for this, the generation of me, me, me
We were raised to believe there’s no such thing as society
That individual freedom was the highest attainable goal
While in the background our fathers broke their backs while digging coal.
Not for us this laboured life of working til your dead.
We’d go to University and wear shirts with white collars instead.
‘There’s no such thing as working class in Britain anymore
We’re a great big pile of middle class; there’ll not be any poor!’
The dream they sold us every day of our piss poor education
While Thatcher, Major and later Blair sold off the entire nation
We didn’t need our civil rights and business did it best
As they gave away the keys to the public treasure chest
They sold off all the factories; they sold off all the mills
Instead of milking cows, the poor swipe cartons at the tills
They sold off the utilities; thus privatising heat.
And now pensioners are forced to choose to warm their rooms or eat.
They sold off our national railways, gave Branson and co our trains
Now it costs the sky for standing room only while record profit reigns.
And not a penny back to us who built and paid for it all.
Apparently public money spent on public good is terrible.
And now they’re taxing our bedrooms to afford a tax cut for the rich
While the idea of affordable homes for all lays dying in a ditch.
They’re forcing the unemployed to work as shelf fillers full time for free
Or lose the payments guaranteed to us all under social security.
The sick and the disabled are having their life lines cut to shreds
As the department of work and pensions becomes the department of rolling heads.
 They’re selling off the hospitals; they’re selling off the schools
They’re busy giving tax breaks to the banks that broke the rules.
While all of this is happening some of us are coming round
From a fast food anaesthetic which has kept our dosed minds bound.
But still a great majority refuse to rouse from sleep
When every single one of us is needed on the street
We fight them in the Twitterverse, the Blogosphere and Reddit
We repost every bad word said with a funny pic of the fool who said it
We fight them on their servers; we hack into their sites.
We spread their secrets round the world in gifs and megabytes.
But if nobody is listening, or joining the front line
If the cavalry will never come and the war is lost within our time
If no one dares do politics, or step up to have their say
We let the vanquishers vanquish every hard won right away.
Our children will have it worse than our great grandparents had it
They’ll work harder for longer for less on a dirty, dying planet.
They’ll ask us where we were, when their futures were sold at auction
To a capitalist class who put their own greed over caution.
 They’ll ask us why we can’t afford to fix their broken bones
‘What happened to the NHS?’ Their wretched mouths will moan
They’ll suffer from diseases that were eradicated decades ago
Rickets, scurvy, tuberculosis rise as we sink to a whole new low.
So when you say ‘I don’t do politics’, what do you really mean?
You’d rather stay fickle and facile rather than grow as human being?
The thing is, the planet needs you, your unborn successors too
We simply cannot win this thing without the help of you.
The time has come for our generation to put down its childish things
The fight of our lives us upon and the bell for round one, it rings.
The time is now for us to stamp our will upon the earth
To stand in solidarity with all those who’ve been hurt.
We need to take our rightful place among the soldiers of our time
To say ‘Up with this we will not put’ and form an unbreakable line
From pole to pole across the earth, all of us saying together:
“We will not let you destroy the world. Equality and justice forever!”

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