Sue Says

Just over a week ago, we got the Sue Gray report into Partygate. Already tipped off by Boris Johnson that it was going to be limited, we weren’t quite sure what to expect, so, damning though it was, it was no surprise that it didn’t name names and that became the theme of this poem.

Later that day, I got a message from Willie Dowling, who asked if I was going to turn it into a song and if not would I mind if he did. Would I mind? I’m a fan! I was delighted and, later that night, there was a demo in my inbox with a couple of additional middle eights that Willie needed some words for. A phone conversation and a few emails and Twitter messages later, we had something ready to share.

“Sue Says” (Dowling/White) is currently only available on SMR Radio on Mixcloud. (Scroll to about 58 minutes in).


Spaffer Flies to Ukraine

Spaffer Bodycount’s in the Ukraine
While back home Sue’s not named a name
Nor has Cressida, whose investigative prognosis
Is to name no names in a fixed penalty notice

We now see Save Big Dog in action
A report without need for redaction
Cites numerous cases of bad behaviour
Leadership and judgement failure
Bullying and drinking culture
All the fault of the management structure
Thus, the investigation, admittedly provisional
Finds fault with no named individual

The ensuing debate in Parliament
Saw the speaker end the argument
By throwing the SNP’s Blackford out
With a smirk on Bodycount’s face throughout
The Scotsman’s crime? To tell the truth
Obvious to even the most hapless sleuth
That the PM without doubts
Had once more mislead the house

The rules of Parliament, it transpires
Protect the members from being called liars
With more weight lent to disrespect
Than statements patently correct
While protecting the scoundrel prepared to channel
The ghost of paedophile Jimmy Savile
(Let’s not forget that distain
For investigation of the same
Is what gave Spaffer his name)

But back to the report itself
Before it’s found a convenient shelf
Compiled by the woman responsible
For MP Damien Green’s downfall
When he touched Kate Maltby inappropriately
And used work time to watch pornography
She also did a review, less blue
Of what was said at Plebgate too
But on Partygate she’s circumspect
As we’ve already come to expect
Handing over, on its release,
Responsibility to the police
Who’ve already hinted their intention
Is for names to not be mentioned

So as Save Big Dog hit its peak
It was time for Starmer to speak
With calls for integrity and honesty
Action with moral authority
Not the cruel smirks of superiority
Protected by an eighty-seat majority
But his calls for Bodycount to resign
Would require a leader with a spine
Not a naughty kid prepared to try
To hide behind a preposterous lie
So obvious and fake
As ambushed by a birthday cake

But if the 1922 Committee
By clever speech or desperate pity
Allow Bodycount to stay in role
Then they’d to well to avoid a poll
All of which now say
The public think he’s had his day
His loyalists, increasingly few
Have got some catching up to do
Like Truss, newly deep of voice
And Dorries who, if given the choice
Would rather another G&T
Than an interview on the TV

News just in, by the way
That the Met Police now say
That if Bodycount is handed a fine
Then he will be named at the time
So, if Dame Dick’s prepared to deny him
How much time will this trip buy him?

‘Cause Spaffer Bodycount’s in the Ukraine
A stateman-like wave on the steps of the plane
Can’t explain to a nation in pain
From do-as-I-sayers, not do-as-I-doers
With families in castles and morals in sewers
With lockdowns for you and parties for them
And lies again and again and again
That it’s one rule for them and another for you
Just how long do you think that he thinks that will do?


Sue says when the pandemic’s high
Sue says when you restrict others’ lives
Sue says parties are difficult to justify
But Sue Gray don’t name names

Sue says it’s a serious failure
Sue says it’s thoughtless behaviour
Sue says how do you think it will appear
But Sue Gray don’t name names

Sue says consumption of excess alcohol
Sue says shouldn’t happen at work at all
Sue says it’s not very professional
But Sue Gray don’t name names

Sue says the police are investigating
Sue says no more info is circulating
Sue says we shouldn’t be speculating
And Sue Gray don’t name names

Whose Rules?

Wash your hands, sing Happy Birthday
To mitigate airborne disease
While Bodycount and Downing Street
Have work events with wine and cheese

Mourn your dead by video conference
Press your palm on care home glass
While basement DJs spin the hits
For the drunken ruling class

Know your place, a three-word slogan
Take back control, get Brexit done
Silent spads and tight-lipped coppers
Will keep things quiet for now, for some

A wine time Friday, leaving party
Garden gathering, birthday cake
Who’s the fool when saving lives
Depends upon the rules they make