Tag Archives: politics

59 Billionaires

There’s 59 billionaires in this country
Are they standing up doing their bit?
While Hancock had a go at premiership stars
He let the real rich off with it

59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires

There’s 59 billionaires in this country
Between ‘em got a bob or two
So, in this hour of national crisis
What do you think that they’re up to?

Branson, he’s worth his own 5 billion
Held his hand out for seven more
Phil and Tina Green, retail king and queen
Shut the pension scheme at the store

Richard Desmond, from the gutter press
Is running scare stories in the Daily Express
And Dyson who took his firm over the border
Got himself a nice little government order

59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires

There’s 59 billionaires in this country
59 trough meets snout
59 billion doing quite nicely
And they’re just the ones that I know about

59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires
59 billionaires

Fly ‘Em Home

They were on the beach when the border closed
The trip of a lifetime they supposed
Cut short when the lockdown
Was imposed

Can they get to the airport, get on a plane?
Someone official needs to explain
Someone official needs to help
To get’em home

Fly ‘em home, to a country that won’t test ‘em
Home, to a country that knows best, and
Home to a country, stressed
By captivity

Fly ‘em home to lousy isolation
Home, to a divided nation
Home, to friends, relations
That they can’t see

Masked and gloved the driver came
At the airport they were all dressed the same
Waiting for a flight
To the infected zone

Tuned in to the expert’s soothing words
And the journalist’s questions dodged, deferred
The death toll’s rising
But they’re going home

Fly ‘em home, to a country that won’t test ‘em
Home, to a country that knows best, and
Home to a country, stressed
By captivity

Fly ‘em home to lousy isolation
Home, to a divided nation
Home, to friends, relations
That they can’t see

The Lockdown, Week Two

lockdown 2

Week two of the lockdown brought no more certainty. It became clear that the rules of work had as much to do with protecting the economy as protecting the population. Businesses that involved face-to-face contact with the public, unless deemed essential, were closed, but if your job otherwise couldn’t be done from home, you still had to go to work, and building sites, call centres, warehouses all remained operational.

Chat show host, former radical and Liberal Democrat candidate, Maajid Nawaz, notorious for straw-manning callers that he disagreed with, broadcast, unchallenged, an economic expert who claimed that a six-point drop in GDP would kill more people than would be saved from the virus by closing their workplaces. Transport Minister, Grant Shapps echoed this sentiment in the Huffington Post. The tone was being set.

Elsewhere, trade union membership was rising. Construction workers, angered by the lack of social distancing on sites, the continued use of fingerprint scanners to clock in and out and the dangers of their journey to work on crammed underground trains, organised and started walking off sites. Blacklisted engineer Dave Smith was, as ever, on hand to offer sage advice and to amplify their campaigns with the hashtag #shutthesites.

The real scandal, though, was lack of testing for the virus unless, it appeared, you were rich or influential. Actor Idris Elba reported that he’d experienced no symptoms despite testing positive, while thousands of frontline NHS staff remained untested.

With the Prime Minister and Health Secretary both in isolation, Cabinet Office Minister and less accomplished liar, Michael Gove took centre stage at the daily government press conference. He told the nation that ten thousand tests had been conducted the previous day when the figure was less than eight thousand, and that the failure to conduct more tests was due to short stocks of the necessary reagents, a claim denied by the Chemical Industries Association. In the media, lack of lab time and lack of political will were also blamed. The doomed herd immunity strategy may not have been completely abandoned, as we learned that the Germans were conducting 70,000 tests per day.

And the morning news broadcasts told us that otherwise healthy 13-year old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab was now the youngest victim of the virus.

Dominic Ran Away

 

Away run away, an adviser fleet of feet
Bag over his shoulder, fleeing Downing Street
Away run away, keep the infected at bay
Cos Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

Boris said he’s got it and Hancock’s coughing too
What’s a brave political adviser to do?
There’s government to govern and important things to say
But Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

Away run away, an adviser fleet of feet
Bag over his shoulder, fleeing Downing Street
Away run away, keep the infected at bay
Cos Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

He’s the man behind the plan of herd immunity
He said there’s nowt to fear for the majority
But now his boss has got it he’s looking rather grey
And Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

Away run away, an adviser fleet of feet
Bag over his shoulder, fleeing Downing Street
Away run away, keep the infected at bay
Cos Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

They say that a crisis is a making of a man
So where the hell was Cummings when the shit hit the fan
His boss was shaking hands with patients yesterday
Now Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

Away run away, an adviser fleet of feet
Bag over his shoulder, fleeing Downing Street
Away run away, keep the infected at bay
Cos Dominic Cummings has upped and run away

The Day the Penny Dropped

Doctors and nurses were queens and kings
The bins emptied by heroes
Post was delivered on angels’ wings
The day the penny dropped

Carers were worth their weight in gold
Teachers the new royalty
No school meal was undersold
The day the penny dropped

Kindness and respect were earned
On supermarket checkouts
And fake celebrity was spurned
The day the penny dropped

Three cheers for those who clean and build
And serve and feed and care
And no-one said the word “unskilled”
The day the penny dropped

The Lockdown

lockdown

The lockdown, when it came, was piecemeal at best. Schools and colleges, pubs, restaurants, gyms and theatres, basically anywhere where large groups of people could gather, were forced to close. Hairdressers, nail bars and retailers of non-essential goods, however, remained open.

We were all supposed to stay at home except key workers, but pretty soon we were all key workers, as people laid off by the pubs and clubs found jobs with supermarkets or as delivery drivers and retired nurses and firefighters returned to work. The schools, ostensibly shut, had to stay open for the children of key workers, making teachers key workers too. The long list of key worker occupations published by the government was, as ever, open to interpretation.

The transit system continued to run to ensure that this new key worker class could get to work. The reduced timetable meant that services were as packed as they were before the virus, and social distancing was impossible. It seemed that self-isolation was only an option for the privileged few.

Disgruntled gym members took to the countryside for their exercise, flooding car parks with people carriers and SUVs and the forests with fresh from the packet Berghaus and Karrimor. It wasn’t long before the great outdoors became a no-go area.

Musicians and poets, on the other hand, took to broadcasting live on the internet, the new format gaining immediate popularity, particularly with those in self-isolation.

Tim Martin and Richard Branson stayed capitalists true to form. The latter, who once successfully sued the NHS, demanded £7.5billion of government money to keep his planes in the air; the former denied science to insist that his pub chain, built on ruthless undercutting and zero-hours contracts, remain open for as long as parliament did.

Meanwhile, the government quietly dropped many of their capitalist principles, forced into a series of state interventions of which a socialist would be proud, including the promise to underwrite 80% of the wages of workers in businesses forced to close by the pandemic. The devil was in the detail, however, as this money was earmarked for employers to pay wages with and it was entirely within their gift to decide that redundancies were a better economic option, which several, including Picturehouse cinemas and Britannia Hotels, did.

Soon, everyone at least knew someone who had known someone who had died from the virus. The numbers of infected and dead rose exponentially as we waited patiently for the daily government press conference. As we waited patiently for news.

Nudge

 

Three cheers for the PM off the quiz show.
Covering our wages while on furlough.
But why didn’t he do it three weeks ago?
Instead mostly we just get nudge.
Nudge.

Three cheers for the PM off the quiz show
Who didn’t listen to the WHO.
We’re standing on the precipice, don’t you know?
And mostly we just get nudge.
Nudge.

Three cheers for the PM off the quiz show,
For shutting Bannatynes, the Rose, and Cargo.
But I read it first in the Metro
‘Cos mostly we just get nudge.
Nudge.

Nudge:
Makes you think that your neighbours are your judge.
Nudge:
Designed to make your opinion slightly budge.
Nudge:
Is Cumming’s tool but it’s used too much.
Nudge:
When you need leadership but just get fudge.

Three cheers for the PM of the shit show.
The cracks are appearing in the braggadocio.
The tube is as dangerous as the siege of Jericho.
Let the passengers off, or just nudge.
Nudge.