Poem: The Trouble with Politics


The problem isn’t politicians, it’s us.
We don’t want to think about things:
We expect to be handed answers on a plate.
We want our whims to be catered for
Without cost. We resent taxes
Yet expect schools and hospitals
To spring up where we need them.

We moan at the state of the world,
Dismiss politicians as useless;
And expect things to get better
Without anyone rolling up their shirt sleeves
Or putting their shoulders to the wheel.

We look to politicians to give us a lead,
Yet we crush the poetry out their souls
And still expect them to sing in our key.
When something frivolous crosses our minds
We expect them to implement it without delay –
The big things we ignore, they’re too hard.
Migration? We’re against it.
Where should the desperate go?
– Answer came there none.
Is child poverty bad? Yes obviously ...
Unless tackling it involves higher taxes.
Is ‘small government’ good? Of course ...
Unless you want new motorways.
The arts? Can’t afford them. Yet casually
We wave through billions on nuclear arms –
which would destroy us if we used them.
Europe? Don’t even go there.

There is no solution to anything
Unless it involves We The People -
Not We The Businesses, not We 
The Tax-avoiding Trans-national,
Not We The Wealthy-who-don’t-use-public-services.
We The People demand that YOU
engage with US. Don’t expect us
To do anything.  It’s not our job.

It doesn’t make a great poetry does it –
Life so raw and lumpy?
        Where nowadays are noble thoughts,
    words that rhyme with climate change?
                       Or sentences that rearrange
              A world disordered, out of sorts?
 They’ve all been used and done no good.
              The simple truths we understood
     Now owned by cynics, whose one aim   
                        Is to make us all the same:
                  Mindless consumers, unaware
        That what we’ve lost is how to share
   The traits which confer on us humanity:
              Compassion, joy and equanimity. 

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