Social-ism

It’s .. trying to construct
a society around production
for need .. not .. for profit –
.. meeting people’s needs ..
I half-quote Tony Benn

Once I was in his audience
whilst back home
my father rebuffed
Wedgie-bloody-Benn with

his gruff-spoken shun
’bout the Leftie-in-a-suit
Benn spoke without limits
at the Co-operative Hall

way back in the slush-grey
twentieth century
of do-not-touch candles
and knitted gloves

in an endless civil war
of fists and banners
across flattened battlefields
far removed from us

Face-to-face politic
was the free-to-use fuel
against factory shut-downs
and mounting job losses

.. (Thatcher) did make war
on a lot of people in Britain,
and I don’t think it helped
our society ..

Now we trade insults
over sofa-space distances –
a hate we would not dare
to excrete out there in public –

no loud enough complaints
about neighbours’
ached-stomachs
with day-end hunger –

not of zero-hour contracts
worth near to nothing –
or the basic provisions
of dignity and stability

Instead we lament
the kiss of a celebrity –
caught on camera –
going viral like herpes

This land is cut open
under smartphone blades –
those knives blunt voices
which once were our aides

Would We Stand at Orgreave?

Would we dig deep shifts
in the coughed guts of this land
then take home the spat news
our livelihoods have gone?

Would we vote – stand –
to the voiced-charges they made –
that our coal industry – our life –
is not there – will not pay?

Would we shout and argue
now the future isn’t ours
and gather at police lines –
faith in this – our last cause?

Would we dare to hold
our sunburnt ground
before the police horses
and rage of police hounds?

On Clement’s second call –
when horses charge again –
would we remain – standing –
as honest pit men?

Would we have the strength
to battle any more –
or did Thatcher crush it all
in her short civil war?

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