Manifesto

Our European malady
stems from
our empire mentality:
our Brexit strategy
an abject fallacy,
a suicidal tragedy
for our hollow majesty.
Historic faults never mended,
resentment grown
then referended;
now all our benefits are ended:
no place to go
but go it alone,
sins for which we won’t atone
leave pride exposed and cover blown.
You know what’s coming next: the fall –
we might as well have built a wall,
thrown out bathtub, baby and all,
sunk Britannia beneath the waves,
retired to live in mountain caves
(‘cos we’re never, never slaves…)

Meanwhile, here in reality,
more enforced austerity
and keeping calm
and cups of tea
(for those who can afford to drink it,
and if you can, don’t over-think it)
Workers, shirkers,
migrant lurkers:
newsprint strategies to jerk us
into following this circus.
Brexit strategy disaffection,
has lent no time for true reflection:
instead, let’s stage a damned election –
one with a guaranteed conclusion.
So let me clear up all confusion:
this move is one of resolution
to suffocate the evolution
of politics by devolution.
The second city’s May election
obscured by May’s June misdirection.

The media tracks the national story
as if a mandatory process
not just another Tory hot-mess
from which we’d rather start to de-stress;
disentangle and focus purely
on tackling social ills maturely;
changing systems: slowly, surely
creating here a better region
not governed by that Whitehall legion
of soldiers, centurions and Caesars
and Eton educated geezers
issuing their scraps from tweezers
to a disenfranchised North.
No! Instead we’ll take our chance,
burst forth,
away from Westminster
henceforth.
We who live here will take heart
from living in – but set apart –
from governmental status quo
receiving blow after blow after blow
all aimed at the poor,
the weak, the migrant
and spending all our tax on Trident…

Instead a loud, resounding “No!”
We won’t accept the same old show,
we don’t believe that things can’t change:
we find that mindset quite deranged,
as if it’s all been pre-arranged,
human lives freely exchanged
for cash, for economic strength,
of going any fucking length
to keep the big investors charmed
no matter who or what gets harmed:
while banks grow rich
and drugs are pharmed
and no one really seems alarmed
by the massive toxic fallout
of the latest cold and callous bout
of welfare changes, sanctions, cuts,
all doled out – no ifs or buts –
when, if we had a little guts
we simply wouldn’t let it happen
and instead of going cap-in-hand
we’d start a new and different brand
of politics across the land.

So, citizens of this great city
recall our well-known history:
when the poor were subjugated
folk did what consciences dictated.
Recall our heritage of fairness,
of protesting, raising awareness,
not just howling in frustration
but working, changing legislation,
using the agency we have in this nation
to be a womb for the gestation
of new ideas, collaboration,
to be a beacon to this island,
of what can be done when we take a stand,
work together, create ideas,
refuse to be ruled by our fears,
resolve to take on new frontiers.
So at this time of great affliction,
poverty and spice addiction,
soaring rents and mass eviction,
let’s choose a mayor who has conviction,
who can bring some liberation
to all in this great conurbation,
whose manifesto invitation
promises an antidote
to crass corruption and has scope
to build a city full of hope;
but most of all: get out and VOTE!

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