Trust

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Dominic to take a knee
Or any of the three with PPE

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Jacob not to take a nap
Or any of that world beating crap

You can’t trust anything they do or say
I never trusted Tories anyway

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Dominic with an eyetest
You can’t trust Priti in the slightest

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Rishi with the dinero
Or any of that world-beating crap

Ideology or incompetence, you choose
Whichever way your coin toss lands
It’s heads they win and tails you lose

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Michael with anything vital
Or any of that world-beating crap

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Gavin with your schools
You can’t trust this cabinet of fools

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Grant, you just can’t
And none of that world-beating crap

You can’t trust anything they do or say
I never trusted Tories anyway

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Michael with anything vital
Or any of that world-beating crap

Untitled (3rd June 2020)

Outside a crowd is shouting about what it really means to be black.
Inside Rees-Mogg’s campaigning to get his voting traditions back.
(It’s a matter of priorities
And MPs with propensities
For higher risk of the disease
Are not one of his).
And how many of the inside crowd
No longer say the words out loud,
The traders and the bankers
Who were “All Lives Matter” wankers.
Who’s to be shamed
Into actual change?
When the most police stops for COVID-19
To slow spread in the community
Are of people who are BAME
While Dominic Cummings gets off scot-free.
A union jack in a profile picture
Guarantees a negative response.
Who cares if the UK’s sicker?
Or the spread is quicker?
The inequality slicker?
And thicker?
If that’s what the Tommylicker thinks he wants.
They might say
That we’ve come a long way
To make society better,
To ease the virus pressure.
(While ignoring the disease unfortunately
Affects black people disproportionately).
But the people and the science both know
That we’ve still got some way to go.

Jacob’s Making Money

While Boris is taking short walks around the ward
And the economy is frantically hurtling toward
A crisis likes of which we can ill afford
Jacob’s making money with his hedge fund

While doctors and nurses are dying for their labour
No thought for their safety as they try to save their neighbour
A crisis from the likes of which we all need a saviour
Jacob’s making money with his hedge fund

A hedge fund ain’t for the likes of you and me
A hedge fund to the key worker is still a mystery
A hedge fund makes a profit on other people’s misery
And Jacobs making money with his hedge fund

While bus drivers are dying taking key workers to work
And the death toll is rising every day just like clockwork
It’s a crisis from the likes of which no minister should shirk
And Jacobs making money with his hedge fund

A hedge fund ain’t for the likes of you and me
A hedge fund to the key worker is still a mystery
A hedge fund makes a profit on other people’s misery
And Jacobs making money with his hedge fund

If you’re having a bad day
He’s having a good day
If you’re having a bad day
He’s having a good day
If you’re having a bad day
He’s having a good day
‘Cos Jacob’s making money with his hedge fund

The Replacement of Rights with Gifts (And How to Put It in Reverse)

The Trussell Trust opened their first food bank in the UK in Salisbury in 2000, by 2004 there were two. Today, after nearly a decade of austerity, there are thousands [1], and their use, as difficult, demoralising, humiliating as it is for some, has become normal. The role of the state to protect the food security of its people has been abrogated in favour of the kindness of strangers, the rise of food banks applauded in some circles as growth in the power of community organising and on the right as demonstration of the success of a small state, Blair’s third sector, Cameron’s big society. [2]

Worse: in-work poverty. The number of people qualifying for the support of food banks who actually have jobs but are paid so poorly, often by super-rich multi-national corporations, that they’re forced to rely on charity for food, toiletries, sanitary products. You might as well pay for your basket of shopping at the checkout then put it all straight back on the shelves. This is life at the coalface of capitalism, this year’s ragged-trousered philanthropists work in call centres and supermarkets.

not-charitybut-solidarity

We Shall Overcome, now in it’s fifth year, offers a raised fist and a helping hand, and the helping hand, directed by local organisers, artists and promoters has often been held out to food banks, a direct interface with some of those hardest hit by austerity.

As for the raised fist: now’s the time. We stand on the threshold of major change if Labour are successful in next month’s general election. Joe Solo and Grace Petrie are hitting the road supporting CLPs, the Protest Family still slip from venue to picket line to fundraiser. While others pontificate about polls and parliamentary arithmetic, WSO activists are focussing their energy on the real possibility of a better world. Sociologist Janet Poppendieck warned that the institutionalisation of food banks can be difficult to resist and overturn. [3] We have a chance to prove her wrong, to consign Food Bank Britain to the dustbin of history.

WSO What's Cookin' 2019

Whether our next WSO gig, on 14th December, turns out to be a celebration or a show of solidarity in the face of future uncertainty is yet to be seen. What’s clear is the helping hand will still be required, so please, fill the venue, fill the bucket, fill your soul with music and common purpose, it promises to be something of an occasion whatever happens.

Steve

 

1.https://web.archive.org/web/20130112223915/http://www.trusselltrust.org/resources/documents/Our%20work/Lambie-%282011%29-The-Trussell-Trust-Foodbank-Network—Exploring-the-Growth-of-Foodbanks-Across-the-UK.pdf

2. In 2017, Jacob Rees-Mogg told LBC that he found the rise in food bank use as “rather uplifting”

3.https://web.archive.org/web/20130112230035/http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/gpp/foodsecurity/publicevents/householdfoodsecurity/food_security_summary.pdf

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

image

Here are some statistics from our local food bank, Eat or Heat, a non-political organisation keeping people alive in our small but perfectly formed piece of east London. And what they say is this: from Stellaville to Iain Duncan-Smith Land, compared to this time last year, there has been a huge increase in the number of people needing to use their food bank, referred in many cases by government agencies; agencies of a government that exists to ensure their safety and security but fails miserably to do so.

While pantomime Tories preen and keynote screech about investment and opportunity and demand double spaces after full stops, people are dying; the phenomenon of in-work poverty is disregarded.

These statistics don’t tell lies, the new man in No. 10 does.

Yes, we know loads of songs about this, and yes this is why we are so heavily invested in We Shall Overcome, but some days we are just plain angry.