Mandatory Compliance
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 05:17

Mandatory Compliance

Published in Poetry

Mandatory Compliance

by Steven Taylor

Everyone on television

Even weathermen and women
Football commentators
Comedians, and more serious folk

Naturalists and gardeners

The panels on the dancing shows
The people in the adverts
The winners of the Lottery

All the politicians, presenters

Wears a Poppy in Remembrance
Observes the minute silence. Shush

Gaza is too noisy, disrespectful

Night Thoughts
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 05:17

Night Thoughts

Published in Poetry

Night Thoughts of a Home Secretary

by Christopher Norris

They ask me constantly, as if I care!
They say: ‘why persecute those refugees?
God knows they’ve had hard times enough to bear!
Why turn a stone-deaf ear to all their pleas?’
I tell them: ‘we’ve got refugees to spare
And anyway, they reckon it’s a breeze,
Those fake asylum-seekers, touting their
Heart-wrenching life-events, their histories
Of war, expulsion, fire-storms from the air,
Death-dealing armies, boat-capsizing seas,
And all the stuff they think will set them fair
For UK residence, hand them the keys
To what they deem their god-appointed share
Of Britishness – no go, you deportees!’.

And then they say: ‘how can you sleep at night,
How square it with your conscience, how ignore
The sheer hypocrisy that thinks it right
To send them back, those fugitives from war
And every kind of suffering, on a flight
To some place where they’ll have to face yet more
Such griefs and terrors – and all this despite
The UK having shown an open door
To them, your parents, when the modern blight
Of ‘ethnic cleansing’ or the crescent roar
Of civil strife consigned them to the plight
You’d now inflict on those who reach our shore
And find a monster crouched to extradite
Them back to the same hell they’d known before?’

O snowflakes, your reproaches fall on ears
Long closed to such humanitarian cries!
That’s why I warn they’re swarming our frontiers,
Those economic migrants in the guise
Of refugees; and why, when they’re deemed peers
Of mine, I then repudiate all ties
With them, all sense of common hopes and fears,
And hate them more for thinking they could rise
As high as me with my great twin careers
In Law and Politics, then – greatest prize
Of all – the office of Home Secretary where years
Of graft paid off and let me mobilize
The press to show those washers-up that here’s
No place for them, no chance to advertise
Their paltry gifts and access all the spheres
Of influence a lawless lawyer buys.

New Broom
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 05:17

New Broom

Published in Poetry

New Broom

by Paul Francis

Who could they get to sort the Windrush mess?
Ex-cop inspector Wendy Williams
opened the can of worms, filed a report.
Two hundred and seventy pages full
of thirty measures to be carried out.
It would take time and work to put this right.

How could this outfit ditch hostility?
The vans went round, swept up the trash.
White staff turned down black migrants
lost their paperwork
condemned their lack of paperwork
ignored the fear and trauma that creates.

She builds in safeguards, other people’s views,
correctives to this insular contempt.
They’ll need to know colonial history.
They’ll run events to reconcile, connect
officials with the migrants, bridge the void.
Commissioner for migrants, to express
the impact of decisions on their lives.
An independent chief, who’s free to check
Home Office immigration policy.

Priti Patel, no pushover,
accepted this, agreed to implement
all thirty recommendations, get it done.
Progress was slow. Twenty-three people died
before their compensation could be paid.
She still insisted lessons would be learned.

But that was then. Suella Braverman
is now, the wicked witch who turns back boats.
No way will she be hogtied by the past;
her judgement is the only guide she needs.
“The Williams findings can’t be set in stone”
an aide confides, and sure enough
she’s ditching all the safeguards, one by one.
Don’t want to learn, to listen, put this right;
just clear the decks, and send them on their way.

Migration policy has been outsourced
but Sunak, Starmer and the media guess
that we won’t want to know.
D’you think they’re right?