This is England

A dose of the Queen or Dame Vera never disappoints
And Johnson on the telly trying to earn Churchill points
With the government and the media to guide us
We can have a day off from fighting the virus

This is England
Where every man’s castle is his home
This is England
And we’ll fight the virus on our own

You must remember when we beat Europe at the war
You must remember the freedoms that we were fighting for
The Italians have the highest European death toll
But we ain’t under EU control

This is England
Where every man’s castle is his home
This is England
And we’ll fight the virus on our own

China gave us warning, but we don’t care
The WHO gave us warning but we don’t care
The Spanish gave us warning but we don’t care
The Italians gave us warning but we don’t care

This is England
Where every man’s castle is his home
This is England
And we’ll fight the virus on our own

Two years ago we celebrated 70 years of the NHS
And where was your bunting, your trestle tables, cucumber sandwiches and the rest?

This is England
Where every man’s castle is his home
This is England
And we’ll fight the virus on our own

A Period of Great Concern

It’s a period of great concern, she said
It’s a period of great concern
London’s getting too hot
So I’ve buggered off
It’s a period of great concern

We should change our normal routine, she said
We should change our normal routine
I should be in Sandringham
Being the Queen
But I’ve changed my normal routine

Communities will come together, she said
Communities will come together
She didn’t say socialism
Or even altruism
But communities will come together

The garden party’s called off, she said
The garden party’s called off
We’re not visiting your town
We’re working for the clampdown
And the garden party’s called off

We stand ready to play our part, she said
We stand ready to play our part
If you need Air Miles Andy
To touch you inappropriately
We stand ready to play our part

It’s a period of great concern, she said
It’s a period of great concern
I’m sure we all agree
That we’re a high-risk category
It’s a period of great concern

Quarantine the Queen

 

Quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
She ain’t no human being
Quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Fire up the royal submarine

‘Cos the dukes and the duchesses
Are cancelling flesh presses
Despite what HM Government says…..

So, quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Preserve the national unity
There’s an exit plan for c’lebs but not one for the plebs
They can build their own immunity

And the spirit of the Blitz is throwing punches in the bog roll aisle in Tesco
And the spirit of the Blitz is pushing old folk out the way of the pasta shelves in CostCo

So, quarantine the Queen From COVID-19
Preserve the national unity
There’s an exit plan for c’lebs, but not one for the plebs
They can build their own immunity

She’s watching the TV, but she can’t explain
The lockdown in Italy, empty streets in Spain
While Matt Hancock lives up to his name
Says behavioural science told him to abstain

So, quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
The fascist regime
Quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Fire up the royal submarine

The prime minister from Have I Got News For You
Says there’s nothing for us to do
Some people, sadly, will go before their time
And the Nudge Unit is his partner in crime

So, quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Preserve the national unity
There’s an exit plan for c’lebs, but not one for the plebs
They can build their own immunity

And the spirit of the Blitz is throwing punches, in the bog roll aisle in Tesco
And the spirit of the Blitz is pushing old folk out the way, of the pasta shelves in CostCo

So, quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Preserve the national unity
Or off with their heads for more NHS beds
To look after the community

Quarantine the Queen from COVID-19
Preserve the national unity
Or off with their heads for more NHS beds
To look after the community…..

Donald’s In Town

trump queen

It was a week for all tastes and pockets,[1]: Trump’s state visit, the second phase of Theresa May’s resignation (announce a date, stay on as caretaker, actually go), Elvis Costello accepting an OBE and blaming his mum; I couldn’t really let it pass without comment. With a nod to one of the characters in The Brexit Trilogy[2], here it is: Donald’s In Town.

It was her birthday
The kids made a card
With folded paper
And fading felt tips
No gifts
No money for gifts
No gifts
No money for gifts

It was demo day
Lots of paint and card
Hoping to go viral
For the Insta crowd
Home made
Witty placard parade
Home made
Witty placard parade

And Theresa sobbed
When she left the job
But it never really made the news
‘Cos Donald’s in town

He was too early
For her birthday
Didn’t bring a card
It’s all about him
This trip
A massive ego trip
This trip (‘s)
A massive ego trip

(It’s got)
Dinner with a duchess
Supper with a princess
Downing Street too
21-gun salute
All missed
21 guns all missed
All missed
21 guns all missed

And Theresa sobbed
When she left the job
But it never really made the news
‘Cos Donald’s in town

On her birthday
Elvis took his place
In the Empire’s order
Tramp the dirt down
In a crown
How do you tramp the dirt down?
In a crown
You can’t tramp the dirt down

(Well)
She smiled at the kids’ card
Laughed at the placard
Mocking the blowhard
Funny as milkshakes
Milkshakes
Running down Tommy’s face
Milkshakes
Running down Tommy’s face
(Save your outrage)

And Theresa sobbed
When she left the job
But it never really made the news
‘Cos Donald’s in town

Steve

[1] Hat-tip: Joe Durston
[2] Doesn’t mean I won’t write more about them

Fake News From Nowhere

Fake News From Nowhere

Well we ought to know how this works by now. There’s a period between Protest Family albums where I’m working on new songs, some of which I like, but either the band don’t, or there’s no time to learn it, or it’s just not Protest Family material, and I get itchy feet,  record it and put it out myself. But we’re slowing down. The next Protest Family album is still only on the distant horizon, and there will definitely be a more than two-year gap between it (working title: Snowflakes) and Protest For Dummies, and the in-between album’s not an album, it’s an E.P. But anyway, here it is:

The death of facts

Sparked off for me by Michael Gove’s comment that the people of this country have had enough of experts.

Fake news has been around a long time. The authorities claimed in the aftermath of the Peterloo massacre in 1819 that the troops and yeomanry had been attacked by the protesters. Protesters including women and children, all in their Sunday best who had marched formally and respectfully to hear speeches about the struggle for their right to vote. Fake news. A century later The Sun and Margaret Thatcher used the same smear tactic to blame the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, leading to the 27-year long fight for justice for the 96.

What makes today different is the internet, the speed with which fake news can be disseminated, and the dilution of trustworthy news sources with sites peddling unintentional and deliberate mis-truths (or alternative facts if you work for Donald Trump). The opinionated bloke in the pub, who’s wrong but influential, has become a whole online business.

_94869025_gove
Gove: “The people of this country have had enough of experts”

 

So that, and the need to kick back against the system that gave you austerity without understanding how the system works, but knowing that it sounds like it knows better than you, gives you the environment in which you believe the facts you want to, irrespective of the evidence. No one honestly believes that the Tories will invest £350 million a week in the NHS when we leave the EU, but it didn’t hurt to keep saying it. I desperately want to believe that David Cameron put his penis in a dead pig’s head, but I know that the story was made up, and, despite emerging evidence to the contrary, people that wanted to believe that Jeremy Corbyn walked past dozens of empty seats in order to be filmed sitting on the floor of the London to Newcastle train, still do.

My facts are indeed better than your facts.

Don’t look down

The challenge was to stop sloganeering for a few minutes. We all want change, but it can be scary, right?

So don’t look down.

If the queen had a hammer

I just don’t get the Royal Family, I really don’t. They even bow and curtsy to each other. It’s just weird and stupid and wrong and what makes them so much better than us that we keep them in the lap of absolute luxury?

The question of whether the queen casts a vote or not (she doesn’t) would be idle musing

britain_queen_in_cabinet_lon117-2012dec18_121517_161-ay_100044444
“It’s my country, so fuck you”

if it wasn’t for those pictures of her attending a cabinet meeting during David Cameron’s government, and the exposé of Prince Charles’ interference in parliamentary matters protecting interests close to him.

 

Does she have a pound? Well, she famously never carries any money, but her picture is on every last piece of it.

The patriotic working class? Yeah, I know. I didn’t make it up; it’s flag, faith and family stuff like “former Labour heartlands” and “traditional working class values” and the old favourite “metropolitan liberal elite”.

Heroes of the Peasants’ Revolt, Wat Tyler and John Ball get a mention, and rightly so. Let’s not forget Tyler’s big failing that lead to his ultimate downfall. He trusted the Royals.

Children in the crosshairs

Yes, I realise that it’s perverse that you can hear the follow-up to From the euro to the pound before you can hear the first song, but that’s how band stuff works. The Protest Family have adopted From the euro to the pound, so you can hear it live, but we won’t take it into the studio for a while yet, unless there’s pressure to release a single (remember them?). The life of a solo artist is much simpler and more immediate.

Both songs are attempts to see life and events through someone else’s eyes, in this case a couple, no longer together but bound together by their children. We know quite a bit about them from their two songs, but the key thing is that they don’t do politics (even when politics is quite clearly doing them), which means that they’re definitely not me.

I sort of understand Americans’ second amendment rights to bear arms against their government (I just wish they’d get on with it) but, like most non-Americans I really don’t get their gun culture, their obsession with guns or the enormous power of the gun lobby. I’d like to point out all the evidence that less guns equals less deaths by shooting, but we’d just recycle the fake news argument, and we’ve had that already.

Warning: It’s a sad song.

DYh67d8W4AAZ1-r

A song for Saint Patrick’s Day

You know it’s not just Cambridge Analytica poring over all the stuff that you put on social media, it’s songwriters too, and when I saw that “somebody on the internet” had posted “Why don’t Irish people celebrate St. George’s Day?”, the blue touchpaper was lit. Your choice, a 1500-word essay on oppression, imperialism and privilege, or a three-minute sing-along folk song?

OK, not your choice, mine.

Saints