Vasily and Stanislav, Though really their names don’t matter to us, And how many others we’ll never hear of – Remember their actions, but don’t make a fuss. No statues raised, and that’s how it should be, They aren’t special, they’re just good men Who held their nerve and held their breath Until it was safe to breathe agen. They did their jobs, and did them well, And gently reinserted the pin. They passed the test and lived to tell, And took their reprimands on the chin.
Little wasp, little wasp, Laying eggs upon the tree – Sting the one who would be king, And sting him once again for me. Little worm, little worm, Wriggling in your swollen gall – Bite the one who’s cowering, And bite him twice for one and all.
But oh !, you’ve gone and birthed a hornet, Let loose on us worker bees – And king or queen, or brutal drone, They sting the same – just ask the trees ! To rid us of a coronet Will always leaves behind a gall. The buttocks mould to fit the throne – The canker ripens, warts and all.
She sits on her first floor balcony, Overlooking Casterbridge Square, She sits and sips her cup of tea In the light West Country air – Here in her true-blue toytown Like a tolerated pet, Her flat dressed-up and she dressed-down, As she joins the Georgian set. Dorchester is hard on Hardy – Thomas, yes, but never Keir, And the local Labour party Is about to disappear. But the class-struggle can still advance With the taste of the elites – Should not all workers get the chance To live in pleasant streets ? And yes, she’s aware of their breeze-block hearts, And their ceilings lacking height, And don’t get her started on glazing bars ! But all-in-all, it does alright. Developers on best behaviour, Showing that they can play nice – But oh, the cost for a little flavour ! Beauty has its bogus price.
Of course, whenever HRH comes by, She must lay low As locals swoon and neighbours sigh At the whole boot-licking show – And even when it’s safe to leave And stroll about the place, The very streets still live and breathe With his family’s air and grace. She sees it in the names of roads, The names of buildings, names of shops, She hears it in the toady toads Whose croaking never stops But the sad fact is, its thanks to him That there ever was this town – It may be prim, but never grim, As sparkly as a crown. So yes, she knows, for all her gripes, It’s thanks to him, her joy – For were it left to lefty types Then tower blocks ahoy ! She sits on her balcony under the sun Over the flagstone square – And curses the Tories, but knows they’ve won – For she’d rather be here than there.
Daisies and thistles are blooms fit for socialists, Sharing a flowerhead as a co-op’rative – Pooling their pollen with petals in common, A composite commune where sharecroppers live. From grounsel to ragwort, these working-class blossoms Are seed-making factories, union towns – They all get to share in the dew and the nectar, And all get to put on the sunflower’s crown.
Populists will promise change, And the public rally support. These chancers sound like normal blokes, Not like the usual sort. They’re mostly charlatans and thugs, With a grin and a big cigar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
Perhaps it lies with the folk who flock To lap them up with cream. An unwashed swarm of Union Jacks, All daring now to dream – You love to sneer at their white vans From your chauffeured Jaguar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
The status quo has done you well, But done them poverty, Yet when they ask for change, you shrug And say “don’t bother me”. They may be serfs no longer But they’re still beneath the tzar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
With industry demantled, With the money all moved South, And those who have a full-time job Still living hand-to-mouth, Just to be called scroungers – Well, that’s sure to leave a scar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
Your ev’ry promise broken, And their ev’ry glimmer snuffed, They’ve tried to vote for Christmas But the system has them stuffed – Gerrymandered, rotten-boroughed, Struck off the registrar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
And just for once they had a voice, And gave their answer loud, And so you tried your damnedest-best To nullify the crowd. But hey, they all agree with you In your trendy Shoreditch bar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
They’ll end up disappointed With the autocratic rule, Unlike their current freedom As a wage-slave or a mule. I guess the shining city Must seem ev’ry bit as far. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
But if they kick you out, no sweat, You’ll join a dozen boards – And still receive your payoff To the unelected Lords. And they claim there’s no democracy ? Who do they think they are ? And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
White men ran the slave trade, true, And I’m a man and also white – But don’t charge me for grievance due, I played no part in the blight. While others wreaked this tragedy, It’s not me, mate, and not my folks – I come from village farmhands, see, From ordinary blokes. While others banked the whole affair, Or clapped the chain or cracked the whip, We never owned a single share, Nor crewed a single ship. So don’t try laying on the guilt For crimes my bloodline never did – The damnable at which you tilt Were not my fam’ly, kid. I bear no blemish on my name, I bear no once-and-future sin – Don’t think that you can judge my blame By the colour of my skin. It’s not me mate, and not my genes, My hands are clean, my soul is light – So spare your wrath for dukes and queens, Not me, mate – get it right ! My ancestors were starved and bruised, And sometimes even outright killed – They all were wage-slaves, much abused By the lords whose lands they tilled. And so were yours – I get it, I do, But they’re not you and they’re not me. But even if my blood were blue, My conscience still bloom free – For the faults of our great-great-grands back when Have died with them, and have passed away – Look, nobody alive back then Is still alive today. For none of us in here’s a slaver, No-one’s whitewashing the trade – So please, just do us all a favour, And find a new crusade.