Politics and Protest

Another Country

The NHS is not another country
Going to clinic's not a trip abroad
Its purpose is for treating not for hunting
No frontiers from reception to the ward
I have to cross the town not cross the oceans
A hospital's no tourist trap now, is it?
Rather than the needles, stitches, lotions
So many other sites I'd rather visit
Not smuggling drugs nor medicines nor pills in
The staff are healers, they're not border guards
I've nothing to declare except my illness
I don't send postcards, I get Get Well cards
- They treat my sickness not my shade of skin
- Why should I need a passport to get in?

On The Show Today

"If a man ever raised his hand to me
I'd be gone."

Roars and applause from the studio audience
Put the shame-faced guest in her place

And the waves of clapping 
Wash the blame
From him to her

Hallelujah President Trump

Once more with apologies to Leonard Cohen ...

It never was a secret plan
The rise to power of Macho Man
He never used a subtle schmooze to woo you
Behold the hero of the hour
The billionaire who fought the power
The phoney rebel called out Hallelujah

Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah

Royals In Need

The Palace ceiling's showing cracks
The servants' quarters may collapse
They can't afford the Bedroom Tax
Please help our Royals In Need

On screen a choked-up millionaire
Is holding tight to Pudsey Bear
Defy their pleadings if you dare
Dig deep for Royals In Need

George Lansbury, Minnie Lansbury and Their Relevance to Modern Feminism

Text of the George Lansbury Memorial Lecture, given on 16 November 2016 at Queen Mary University, London.

 

I’m working on the assumption that most of you know a fair bit about George Lansbury but rather less about his daughter-in-law Minnie. So I’m going to tell you who Minnie Lansbury was, and as we walk through her life, and its intersection with George’s, we will find relevance and lessons for modern-day feminism.

Thick Racists

They’re backward, stupid, racist, sexist
They voted Trump, they voted Brexit
They must be mental, mad or sick
They’re racist and they’re thick

Good people didn’t vote this way
Bad people don’t do what we say
They don’t accept the politic
They’re racist and they’re thick

Kids in Crates

They keep children in containers
Crate them and detain them
Gate them and restrain them

No watering or feeding
The potted, planted seedlings
In readiness for weeding

They'll live but they won't grow
Goaded, loaded, shipped to go
With winter whipping in the snow

It's probably for the best
To centres to be processed
The furthest and the closest

Gove Alone

Michael Gove's most wicked crime
As far as most of us can tell
Was not to leave his kid behind
But leaving ours behind as well

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