Bad Britain: End of an Era

 

 

 

END OF AN ERA:

“BAD BRITAIN” by Inter Ference, commenced 1990 & completed April 8th 2013
 
With especial reference to Margaret Thatcher
died April 8th 2013,
born Margaret Roberts October 13th 1925,
in 22 verses
 
1
And onto Bad Britain in all its mediocrity/
Came a matriarch singleminded in her own integrity/
Forced that Dunkirk spirit back onto the agenda/
Her enterprise not so much greed as
 the mother of ambition/
And always ready to nullify any nonsense
 that might make a mess you know/
 over the proud empire afterglow:
Margaret…and alongside her- the boys…
Greavsie praised her.And Kevin Keegan kissed her.
And ever since the boys did similar to her as unto Caesar
So many say they miss her
And now she’s dead..popular
 
2
She only wanted what was best for us./
She cared just as far as she could see…/
 
Was she a blue rinse dream machine/
liberating those comforted with and inspired by/
petit bourgeois glamour and imagery?/
Or an avenging guardian vigilante
out to bust the welfare protection racket?/
Or was she simply seeking to nurture those whose only solace/
is breaking others’ backs while they make a packet?
Was she the wickedest witch in the whole wild west,
even more reptilian than the other queen with the palace?
Or Ronnie Reagan’s staunch co-star
 from the same wonderland that produced Victoria and Alice?…
We could go on and on and on
She was so many different things to so many!
 
3
She reminded us that it’s no sin not to share your sweets/
 
Because the more you got the more successful you be/
And gradually many folk stopped feeling quite so guilty./
She preached that compassion on the sponging indolent is wasted/
 
Let the unfit be weeded out/ by antisocial insecurity.
 
4
And may i remind the right honourable ladies and gentlemen
She was a beautiful woman
Is it just that nobody ever really made love to her?
And what she lacked in sex appeal
She made up in animal kapital,rampant in a cabinet/
!Check out Margaret in the golden years photos,all in their smart suits/
 smiling with the boys…
 
5
!They seized to the full their advantages
 and the moments changes happen
their ears to the stock exchanges
 and all the other shopping centres
On the case of anything that can be reduced to figures
To detect and deploy
Cashflow rhythms
 which they played virtuoso in their own image.
Don’t you know a spoilt brat ego’s screams and schemes
Lead to lives rosier than red flags,holier than pilgrimages?
 
6
They campaigned for us all to trade in our eyes for gunbarrels
And our vulnerability for double glazed security locks/
To steer the winds of change by selling off our lungs/
To let barbed wire blossom forth from our tongues/
To purchase senses that censor our foolish empathy
And feelings securely index linked to profitability/
They promoted caring that don’t touch,kindness that don’t count
And movement that can look so sigh relievingly free/
They wanted  “Workers of the world, Checkmate!” 
in neon,skyscraper high/
Til the history of oppressed human solidarity
 was just some old spartacus story
 
7
Now on the streets we the self proclaimed people didn’t take it lightly
We came out en masse en massive and rightly!
And Margaret,as she heard the frankly ugly din
Of those spoilers chanting “Out!Out!Out!”
“Oh”,she cried,”Don’t stop,don’t stop!”
For endless sharp shocks are sometimes the only language
Those whose hearts have failed can understand
And aren’t so many of us feeling rather swamped by so many
Self pitying victim professional losers in this land?
 
 
8
And lo! they offered/
offshore admonishments to suit
the guiltiest of consciences/
and everyday unfeeling fiscal psychopaths alike,/
incentives for morally dubious investment
 and sainthoods for hi-tech thieving/
 
!the only thing they couldn’t supply
 
was the joy of everybody’s dignified breathing!/
My guess is that those of us who were not impressed
 did not express our demands effectively/
So instead they got to play-
 ‘hey hey grab that geld/
 then holler dollar dollar hey’/
and ‘bucks on for pay off/
write off any nightmares in others’ lives it cost’…
 
9
Margaret Roberts was raised in a tough tough town
Socialised by those who for guidance
 look to neither sky nor ground
But with polite smiles on defeated faces
They stay calm and carry on
In ever decreasing circle shadows of what
 their precious lives could become
Is it too much to ask some to make allowances for them?
Please try to begin to forgive her.
Really she wasn’t evil,she just didn’t know any better.
if you can reserve judgement on some sad psychosadist
 from the ashtray park estate
Can’t you have some compassion
for her /
and her boys and girls/
and their peculiar ways?
 
10
On the mean streets of Grantham
Adolescence for her was learning to deal
in coins and notes and bills and save
She budgeted for a life of rainy days
A hooker on the till soon learns true love
in this mercado don’t always pay
And she could have been a beautiful woman
Is it just that nobody ever really made love with her?…
And her boys should be so fine.
But mayhap they were held back
At school by brighter children?
 
11
Like almost any gov would/they did what they could/
to manipulate electoral boundaries and unemployment figures/
to filibuster the north sea oil and gerrymander the interest rates.
Innovatively they also pawned the nation’s assets/
 whilst throwing broken wind to our fates/
And sold the slow release propaganda of parallel private healthcare
 and individual home ownership./
Determined to thwart effective picketing
They took on two centuries of working class organization/
Professing concern about individuals suffering intimidation
By red barons in need of democratization
Wanting 1917 forgotten once fully eclipsed./
Now why exactly would they do all this?
 
 
12
Some say to maximise the affluence and freedom in all our lives,
if not the cream,at least the milk trickles down/
Others that it was all for the social retardedness
 and even psychosexual illnesses
 of overspending parasites
Ably assisted by the delusions and sell outs
 of union misleaders
 and other career termites./
Were Margaret and the boys acting out insecure childish ploys
with their vain shallow intellects and dull selective blindspots/
as they dared to further corrupt
the innate beauty of money?
 
13
Margaret was accurate!
Wealth don’t create itself
And you gotta look after number one!
(Any reason number one shouldn’t be everyone?)
Like she said,let’s be/become
 more productive,enterprising and bolder!
But between us all will we continue to tragically waste
so many individual drives and styles
subsidizing jurassic economics expressed through /
insipid predatorial wiles?
Can the “get up and go”s to get on in this world
 be good for all friendly enthusiasms?
Will the gospels according to the wretched market price
Come to pass like drowning lice?
Is this “give as little as possible
 to get
 as much as you can in return,
it’s just the way the world is”
psychosis
really getting any less chronic?
Is to be here in so-called Great Britain
In fact to be residing in Bad Britain?
Will those British or otherwise understandably outraged
 at much of the legacy of the British Empire’s imperialism
 finally be appeased
 if the UK becomes a province of India or China
 or the new Caliphate
 or The United States of Africa?
Will the desire and drive to expand and colonise
 and find ways to justify
ever disappear from the genes of decent hominids?
 
Could one day these troubled little isles become great?,
many would say for the very first time…
Watch this northeast atlantic space!
 
14
Human nature,well crudely if that never changed/
 we’d still be grunting in the trees,gurgling in the seas/
And who wouldn’t rather soar first class/
 than crawl for survival on their knees?
 
15
After eighteen long years and three encores since spring 1979
In the spring of 1997 Margaret’s gang
 took 13 years of well deserved rest
Knowing that their baby had foster parents most kind/
Between them giving British humanity an initiative test
 it would appear/
we have collectively failed so far…
 
16
 
And though Margaret surely did win the hearts
of most of our young entrepreneurs negating
their finer aspirations/
and miserable messages have been proven by default
 in the absence of enough/
effective counter-cultural sensations /
We remain many,they remain few
Shake your stock and share portfolios
 to earth like dew…
 
17
In a parallel universe
The day the newly democratically elected and popular police
Called round with warrant to the big house owned by Thatcher.
They searched her soul;found not a thing they said./
Now i don’t blame them exaggerating
 but some say she wasn’t a real woman
Or that she was a demonic man off his narrow rails/
But those kinds of slurs,they’re just/
old husbands’ tales.
Facts are she was a remarkable woman:
Lower middle class girl became honours graduate chemist
then barrister and businessman’s wife
 and mother of two and leading parliamentarian,
underlining just how far a few can can go
even as a female in a patriarchy
 should you have an iron will and spirit that’s not for turning
(and one or two advantages
 like a millionaire partner that most women don’t possess…)
Who persevered against who can guesstimate
 how much class and gender prejudice
against shopkeepers’ daughters
 and surely actual misogyny…
Did she or her team ever really get to love themselves?
Why else would they treat other folks
 like tins on the shelves of a grocery?
(Indeed many of us would say,
“Lady,i’d rather your stock taking did not include me!”.)
 
18
Where was her father?What was her mother?
In a parallel universe
during those dark nights alone in The Tower/
as she awaited trial by the new people’s courts,
she seemed barely aware how lucky she was/
not to have been torn limb from limb
 by repossession mobs.
But we rescued her from a martyr’s lynching/
that Great British justice might prevail/
Treated like anyone else on remand,
she’d been given a cosy cell/
and promised privacy one night a week/
with the overnight visitor of her choice/
if she behaved in jail…
 
19
One by one they entered the dock over the following weeks
Tebbit,Lawson,Cecil Parkinson;boys Baker,Portillo and Lilley,
 and old Keith Joseph and the poor Major boy,
Michael Howard,Geoffrey Howe the savaging sheep……
The one thing they all had in common was/
they didn’t really seem to understand the charge sheets/
although they’d been issued copies straight off the printer-/
they maintained they had merely been enacting the legislature
for which they had been democratically elected to do/
and thus were entirely beyond censure…
Moreover they had brought peace in Ireland closer,
helped end the Cold War
and in liaison with our troops
had defended the soverignity of a British community
on islands where not a single citizen wanted to be Argentinian
 
20
So what of:
 
the peaceful yet bloodied protestors/
the befriended butchers of elected leaders and their followers/
the car-less men over 30 she deemed to be failures/
the withering ghost towns where once were
 if not thriving at least surviving communities/
the oppositional institutions abolished out of pragmatic malice/
the casualties of market-led safety regulations/
the disasters caused by lax controls on pollution/
the broken marriages,families and friendships/
the houses invaded by bailiffs/
the homes stolen by interest rates/
the tenants priced out of tenancy/
the careers that could never get started/
the lovers separated by the necessity/
 of even longer hours
or working far apart across the country/
the accentuated isolation and deprivation of the elderly/
rising levels of anxiety,drug abuse and obesity/
the cumulative effect of so many public service cost cuts/
the suicides,attempted and actual/
the lives ruined
 probably even more than they would have been/
under the likes of Foot,Kinnock or Callaghan/
all the things that would not have happened/
if Margaret and her boys had left us alone?…
 
 
Memories like scars remain/
Not swiftly nor lightly nor likely to be forgotten…
 
 
and,as some no doubt would add,
whether bolshevik or thatcherite/
powertipsy gamblers with other people’s lives/
should be carefully monitored at all times…
 
21
and there are those who suggest how things could have turned out /
even worse in Bad Britain/
had it not been
 for that  tough-to-be-kind  thatcherite medicine,/
adding :”and though we can’t prove it, you whining ignoramuses,
you don’t know you’re born!”/
 
eliciting roars of retort !:
 “thatcherism was poison not medicine!”/
or
 “calling all investors,
the price is wrong it costs too much!”/
and
 “humanity’s stock can break the banks!”/
or even-
“come on out of those penthouses,
mansions and tanks/
it could be heaven down here!”
22
Jesus commanded us to love one another
even our enemies
Whereas Thatcher declared there was no such thing as society
Just disparate families competing for resources…
For a christian i can’t imagine a more challenging test
Because if you go with the Nazarene
 rather than the South Lincs meme
How can you love your neighbour as yourself/
if Margaret or one of the boys is your neighbour/
and they treated you and/or your fellow citizens like shit?
Whether christian like Britain or not/
I reckon it behoves us to ponder this.
 
Inter Ference (c)2013
Pics: (c) Roger Wright
 

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One Response to Bad Britain: End of an Era

  1. Roger Wright says:

    I am seriously blown sideways by this epic tale, this mournful dirge to a dead woman’s gift to the nation. The air of greed, selfishness and lonely self-importance ( that which anyone can have! If they work hard! ). It has life, a rhythm of decadent control, a sob toward the ending of those rights the worker built upon for decades.

    And so, with such regard for this poetic history, I am proud to have my pictures used with it, though they may be dwarfed by the saga, the majesty of the poet. Thank you.

    Some poetry stands out as ripe for performance. This is one of them. I wish I had written it, that I might perform it!

    Roger.

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