Thursday, 14 October 2010

Pinocchio and a Poem

The Conservatives made much noise in their election campaign about how much money they were going to save by cutting out waste (have we ever heard that one before?) Their savings formed a significant part of their plans for deficit reduction. One of the major savings they were going to make was by getting rid of a large number of QUANGOs. Today they are going to announce the fate of many of them. So far so good . . .

However, we now learn that many of them will be subsumed into Whitehall civil service. Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, says that it was never about saving money but about accountability. Good job he’s not Pinocchio, I say. But then, if he were, we’d at least get a laugh out of this sick joke.

In the description of this blog I mention the importance of art and culture; I’m attaching, as part of today’s blog, a recent poem of mine. It may be too overtly political to be good poetry . . . I don’t know.

But here goes.

We Can’t Rhyme, David

You don’t speak to me.
However earnestly
you don your Honest-Dave face
(the one you had so exquisitely
bespoke in Saville Row)
it’s just for show.
No, we don’t inhabit the same space.

Your PR crafted creed
we’re all in this together doesn’t chime
with me, we don’t bleed
in the same way
you and I, we
can’t rhyme.

You tell me, media hype
cocooned (you recognise the political type?)
we live in a broken society;
from where I stand I see
it’s always been like this –
hard as nails, yes,
a son or daughter who careers
off the rails, a friend who fears
work, a neighbour who peers
into another’s business and who
tells tales. But, too,
the occasional helping hand,
a friend who’ll understand,
lines etched merely in sand.

You think you’ve jettisoned grand
but your eyes are your eyes
and the shoes you live in are your shoes;
you cannot help but patronise
us; I cannot excuse
you for the lives you’ll destroy
and for your smile while you do it.

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