Interests

The rabid Eurosceptics are getting Cameron down.
Give them their referendum – then chase them out of town.
He can’t foresee a problem, no unexpected knocks
It’s in the national interest that the Tory Party rocks.

Go easy when campaigning, don’t knock the Brexit men
Cos after this is over they’ll all be mates again
They’d no more share with Labour than invite a dose of pox
Forget the national interest – the Tory Party rocks.

Shock horrors. When it’s over, it’s May – would you believe?
She balances her cabinet between Remain and Leave.
Can Boris do diplomacy, bless his cotton socks?
He’ll wreck the national interest but the Tory Party rocks.

EU negotiations. Embarrassing, or what?
There’s David Davis burbling a steady stream of rot.
A constant flow of nonsense from little Liam Fox
Who knows no national interest, but the Tory Party rocks!

And then, a deal’s in prospect. Some daylight we can see
Until the whole thing’s scuppered by the bloody DUP.
They are the votes Theresa bought, they’re turning back the clocks
It’s all about self-interest when the Tory Party rocks.

Code of Conduct (revised)

Rule 1. Exude an air of confidence.
Rule 2. Officials only cramp your style.
Don’t seek advice. Just use your common sense.
Keep talking, and maintain that winning smile.
Rule 3. If challenged by reporters, bluff –
“It was a holiday.” Or improvise:
“She’s training students, journalistic stuff…”
They’re harmless little falsehoods. No-one dies.
Rule 4. Retreat with style. Low key is good.
“I had twelve meetings…Boris knew…fourteen?”
“If what I said has been misunderstood…
all out of context…what I really mean…”
Rule 5. Don’t say “I’m sorry.” That’s uncouth.
Keep talking. Smile. Forget about the truth.

Sweet FA

for Eni Aluko

The lionesses, England’s pride, earn cheers
for guts and teamwork. Sampson is their boss.
He’s clear and tough, occasionally sneers
if that helps get his messages across.
“The coach of France is wet behind the ears...
Spain do dark arts.” Mark doesn’t give a toss.
All managers play mind-games, that’s no sin.
What he does is, he finds a way to win.

Eni Aluko won the Golden Boot.
Ten years an international, tons of goals,
but at the Euros, Eni doesn’t suit
due to – and this might puzzle simple souls -
“unlioness behaviour”. Disrepute
is vaguely smeared, the story’s full of holes
but when a player’s dropped they sometimes go
for accusations, slander, punching low.

Peel back the layers. There’s eighty thousand quid
they paid her for submitting that report.
Inquiries didn’t censure what Mark did
but his communication, so they thought,
could be improved. The evidence was hid,
key witnesses not spoken to. What sort
of botched investigation skims a claim
but rushes to insist he’s free of blame?

The Chief Exec’s in doubt. He needs to know
from someone he can trust, a loyal mate.
The lawyer, Katharine Newton, runs this show
though Glenn always refers to her as Kate.
“Is she a token female black?” “Oh no”
the FA’s lawyers adamantly state.
“So Newton’s not a man and she’s not white –
that’s why you picked her?” And Glenn says “That’s right.”

Turns out Aluko did not volunteer
this evidence. Ten years she’d been around,
a spokesman, legal training, honest, clear.
They asked her. Confidential – not a sound
about who wrote this. So she has no fear,
and documents the incidents she’s found.
He told a mixed-race player, months before
“I’ll bet you’ve been in trouble with the law.”

But Katharine Newton, who reviewed this case
did not speak to that player. The video
of crucial meetings wasn’t kept in place
for checking. From the squad, Sampson let go
key witnesses. And yes, they’re all mixed-race.
Aluko can’t tell press what they don’t know  –
she’s bound by confidentiality
but now she’s not. The FA say “Feel free.”

He dropped Aluko from the England side
just after she reported; that’s a day
she might regret. Much simpler if she’d lied
but she believes it matters what you say.
Her family, from Nigeria, full of pride
once came to Wembley, keen to see her play.
Mark Sampson’s comment never leaves her head:
“Don’t bring Ebola with you” ‘s what he said.

The pressure builds, and Sampson gets the sack
but not for this. It seems that in the past
he had relationships that showed a lack
of true respect. Glenn skimmed that dossier fast
but now he’s had a chance to read it back
Sampson should not have got the job. At last
the right result, although the reason’s wrong.
Keep covering up, that old familiar song.

The players’ association sends a stark
indictment, a six-page analysis.
They get this e-mail from the chair, Greg Clarke:
“I’ve no idea why you have sent me this
so help me out, please, guys. I’m in the dark.”
Racism? Cover-up? They’re hard to miss.
Imagine, if Aluko was a bloke.
A different world. The FA is a joke.

The Road to Number Ten

There’s a magic in the metre, in the Kipling rock and roll,
The rhythm that you learnt at school, the soundtrack of your soul;
In the old Moulmein Pagoda, where it’s perfect to declaim –
You can’t help it, you’re an addict – Boris Johnson is your name.
“This is not the time and place”, there’s a disapproving face
From the apparatchik next to you, but then
These are foreign office minions with inferior opinions;
They don’t realise you’re bound for Number Ten.

You wrote this EU column, of frothy comic stuff
But then you made a quote up and The Times had had enough.
As Mayor of London photo-ops you had a busy time.
Though you didn’t cut pollution and you didn’t sort the crime
But you knew you couldn’t fail on the LEAVE campaigning trail
When the old charisma bubbled up again
You were winning and on track when a knife stab in the back
Put the mockers on your rise to Number Ten.

Churchill is still your hero in an old colonial dream
Obama is part-Kenyan, and the picanninies beam
In Tokyo street rugby’s not a game, more like a fight
As a ten-year old gets clattered by your tackle in full flight.
The upbeat tone, the floppy hair are great on screen, superb on air
Olympics, on a zipwire, hanging…when
You give that boyish grin ‘cos you know you still can win
And get back on to the road to Number Ten.

There’s controversy attaching to a limerick that you wrote
In which the Turkish premier had relations with a goat.
“Never came up” you chortled. “We’re good friends, we start anew
And the UK’s backing Turkey as it tries to join EU.”
Europeans watch you swerve, they’re disgusted by your nerve
“Mr. Johnson’s changed positions, yet again.
When you’ve said you’re on your way you don’t get the right to say
Even if you aim to get to Number Ten.”

The articles keep coming, and your chutzpah doesn’t die
Big money for the NHS, that old familiar lie.
So says the back seat driver who seeks to navigate
“There must be no backsliding – we have to seize our fate.”
If negotiations stall you’ll be ready for the call
You are chosen, and you’re on the rise again
So who cares if what you say undermines Theresa May?
You’ve got one more chance to get to Number Ten.

Business as Usual

What makes a happy ending for a President in power?
Some cut down government spending, some made the commies cower;
Some claim they made the weather, some got elections won
Some kept their team together, got legislation done.

You’d think that we were Isis the way they pull us down
They claim that we’re in crisis, the lousiest show in town.
The media fail to get it, they think I’m just a laugh
There’s no way I regret it when there’s feuds between my staff.

I’m on a jungle mission where the weakest don’t survive
The heat of competition is the setting where I thrive
I crave big beasts in action and agreement makes me tired –
There’s no greater satisfaction than the joy of saying “You’re fired!”

The Luck of the Draw

Here’s the lowdown on the showdown
The return to Eden Park
Where the flame of history flickers:
Can the Lions make their mark?
Sure, the All Blacks can be beaten;
England did it, ‘ 73
But it doesn’t happen often
And it never comes for free.

They are physical and streetwise
They are savvy and they’re fast
By the time you see the danger
They have runners racing past.
They are sniffing for the offload
They are ruthless in the maul
Teams who beat them stick together
All for one and one for all.

No, the schedule wasn’t clever
And some early games were lost;
If you build a squad with jetlag
Then there’s bound to be a cost.
Local papers were derisive
Mocked their chances, did them down,
Underestimated Gatland
Canny Kiwi’s not a clown.

There are moments in the battle
When the flickering flame is low
Times when Sinckler, George and Owens
Might have let the series go,
But the pack still swarms around them
With a love-slap on the head
‘Cos it’s not the final whistle
And this team is never dead.

So they didn’t cross the try-line
They made hardly any breaks,
Beauden Barrett missed two sitters
And the All Blacks made mistakes
But it’s still a magic moment
We shall treasure evermore –
Kicked the points and made the tackles,
Faced the All Blacks, got a draw.

The Ballad of Jo Cox

From a grammar school in Yorkshire she wins her Cambridge place;
She doesn’t speak the same as them and no-one knows her face.
While others have done gap years Jo hasn’t been away,
Packed toothpaste in the factory where her dad works every day.
But as a lonely student in that chilly eastern town
She vows to make a difference, she won’t be backing down.

She worked as a researcher, in NGOs, in aid;
Cheap medicine, casualties of war, the laws controlling trade.
In a myriad of settings, the message is the same:
We must protect the vulnerable, it’s justice that we claim.
In Darfur, in Colombia, she’s energy to burn,
A Westerner who listens, who’s not afraid to learn.
The powers that be imagine that this girl is no big deal -
She’s tiny and she’s charming, but she’s also made of steel.

Ten years confronting heartbreak, some changes she can see
But now the biggest challenge; she’ll stand as an MP.
She’ll represent constituents, she’ll fight to right their wrongs
And it has to be in Batley, the place where she belongs.
At first there’s some suspicion. From Cambridge? What’s the fuss?
But then a wave of warm relief – this girl is one of us.
She greets the market traders, the women’s rugby team;
We do belong together, it isn’t just a dream.
Jo Cox is not a robot, she’s a mother and a wife,
A friend who likes to party, with an appetite for life.

She’s been a year in Parliament, she’s got them on the run
Asks questions, gathers allies, above all, gets things done.
Yes, Syria is our business, it’s vital that we care;
The issues that divide us are less than what we share.
Some say she’ll be a minister – demanding, canny, bold
But then the referendum puts everything on hold.

The campaign’s getting nasty, there’s poison in the air
And some of it is lodging in the head of Thomas Mair.
God knows just what he’s thinking as he’s lying there in wait
But she’s the perfect target, the love he has to hate.
In Parliament the tributes suggest she got it right –
Two roses on her usual seat: red Labour, Yorkshire white.
Jo’s voice was cruelly silenced, her chance for change has gone
So it’s up to us to take it, to see her work goes on.

                    

The Bonfire of the Certainties

Not strong, not stable. Leaders who decide
they want a mandate watch it disappear.
The great election guru Crosby knows
how dirty tricks boost polling, bang on cue,
but not this time. The gutter press proclaim
that Corbyn’s both a traitor and a joke
but their cartoon still doesn’t look that clear
to those who see a decent, honest bloke.
The media experts sit in studios,
locked in assumptions, shafting with a sneer
the amateurs who cannot play their game.
The young don’t care. They say. But now they do.
They work, they vote, and through the gloom provide
the flicker of a future-loving flame
as age-old certainties go up in smoke.

Firing on all cylinders

It’s cool to win elections, and having power’s a laugh
But things get complicated when you’re employing staff.
Attorney General Sally Yates said “Don’t appoint Mike Flynn.”
Obama, something similar, but I said “Show him in.”
OK, he’s linked with Russia, but how was I to know?
As soon as I was made aware I said he’d have to go.

And now there is James Comey, who runs the FBI;
When he leaked stuff on Hillary he was my kind of guy.
But then things kind of soured when he made it all too plain
He’s looking into Russia and their links with my campaign.
“Are you investigating me?” I put it to him straight;
He told me that he wasn’t, but I couldn’t afford to wait.

He’s in LA, addressing staff, the auditorium packed.
A message runs across the screen “James Comey has been sacked.”
He laughs, ‘cos he imagines it’s a prank his staff might do
Until an aide comes up to him, informs him that it’s true.
Some said that was insensitive, but the time is never right.
Just tell the guy it’s over, and then switch out the light.

My guys leapt into action – first off, Sean Spicer said
“The Hillary Clinton e-mails – that’s why James Comey’s dead.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders implied a devious crime
“The guy committed atrocities, he lived on borrowed time.”
“Unpopular,” a spokesman said, “he’d lost the FBI.”
His deputy insisted “That is a flat out lie.”
Then Spicer claimed I’d acted on advice that I’d been shown
But all that stuff is garbage. I acted on my own.
I am the guy that calls the shots. It’s time. I’d had enough
He better know that there’s no tapes if he starts leaking stuff.  

Next day, I tell the Russians “Beware the ISIS threat,
They’ve got a trick with laptops. Could be the deadliest yet.”
I get top secret info, and have the right, of course
To share stuff which endangers a vulnerable source.
The US press were not allowed, but a Russian camera crew
Releases pictures of our chat. They’re devious. Who knew?
Then Putin said it wasn’t them from whom this secret slipped
But if we need a record he’ll let us have their script.  

No leader’s ever suffered what’s happening to me now
Not Hitler, not Caligula, Pinochet, Chairman Mao.
The press won’t knock me off this course, I’m keeping to my line.
The folks who voted for me think that what I do’s just fine.
I’ve lifted bans on pesticides. Junk food controls are dead.
Ivanka’s sorting climate change ‘cos that stuff hurts my head.
I’ve read the contract’s small print, my term’s not yet expired
One thing’s for sure, I am the guy who gets to say “You’re fired!”
You’ll thank me for it later, I’ve nothing to regret.
If you think this is chaos you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Riding to the Rescue

The White House is in trouble
James Comey’s on his way;
When he shafted Hillary Clinton
We thought “he’s here to stay”.
But he’s been looking into
How Russia fixed the vote.
You question Trump’s election win?
Goodbye, is all he wrote.

The hostile tribes are drumming
Faint hearts are leaving town;
It’s just like Nixon sacking Cox
Is this when Trump goes down?
But no…the sound of hoofbeats
Is thundering down the trail
The Lone Ranger is on his way
And knows he cannot fail.
His supernatural powers
Dwarf those of normal men,
That gravelly voice, the grizzled hair,
-          Kissinger rides again!

A Piece of Work

In London the divorce court is addressed by Randy Work
Who argues he’s exceptional, he’s not your average jerk.
A hundred and forty million quid are the assets of this pair
And Randy argues that by right he gets the lion’s share.
It’s her who smashed the happy home, his partner Mandy Gray
Who with their physiotherapist began to play away.
She broke pre-nup agreements, so he expects the law
To see that he’s the better half, ensure that he gets more.

The judges aren’t convinced at all. Is Randy having a laugh?
They said the usual rules apply, they’ll split it half and half.
This highly intelligent woman went with him to Japan
Gave up a promising career to be beside her man.
He worked for Lone Star, Texas, in private equity;
Japan’s financial crisis was an opportunity.
Exploiting others’ weakness is common, not a crime
But it’s not brilliant either; right place, the perfect time.
So Work is not a genius; he’s a self-important banker
Who thinks he’s something special when he’s just another wanker.

Theresa

The graduates of Bullingdon, the Cameron/Osborne boys
Are oozing with entitlement and make a lot of noise;
The senior woman in cabinet is calm as Mona Lisa
Who knows what’s going on inside the head of Queen Theresa?

Home Office is the graveyard where all politicans lose
But all the media can find to comment on is shoes;
God help the eager immigrant who’s hopeful for a visa
Hostile environment’s the thing that motivates Theresa.

The referendum comes along to split the party wide,
Big beasts patrol the microphones but she stays safe inside;
George Osborne’s sums are not quite straight, they’re like the tower of Pisa,
It’s smart to keep your powder dry like canny Queen Theresa.

Once Leave has won the backs are stabbed, Gove shafts his mates in style;
Can Leadsom be the best they’ve got? Theresa, by a mile.
The leavers – Boris, David, Liam- are desperate to please’er
Only a fool strays out of line in the court of Queen Theresa.

So Brexit must mean Brexit. What’s that? We try to guess.
It’s yes to immigration bans, no cash for NHS.
She doesn’t want to spell it out; she stays aloof, like Caesar
Ex-pats are simply bargaining chips if you are Queen Theresa.

After the split from Europe will we be just a rump?
She’s sprinting to the plane to be the first to chat up Trump.
So yes, she’ll let him take her hand and later, he may squeeze’er;
She smiles, and thinks of England, long-suffering Theresa.

She’d like more houses built for rent, real gains that voters see,
Some government boosts for business, and job security.
But the history books won’t mention those, you can bung ‘em in the freezer
For Brexit’s all that matters in the reign of Queen Theresa.  

The Ballad of Milo Yiannopoulos

A thirty-three year old from Kent who doesn’t like himself
Creates this comic character, a brash, defiant elf.
Are feminists all ugly? Have liberals all gone mad?
If you mock transgender people you shouldn’t feel bad.

His face is like a choirboy’s, there’s days when he seems nice
But Milo is a bastard with a heart as cold as ice.
Fascism’s out of fashion, they call themselves alt. right
And Milo says what they don’t dare, with an extra dash of spite.

Ghostbusters does a remake; for him it’s two steps back –
The guys are played by women, and one of them is black.
He goes for her on Twitter so violently he’s banned
But that makes him a hero: his followers understand.
He finds his way to Breitbart, he clings on like a leech
Refers to Trump as “Daddy”, and Trump supports free speech.
The way he makes his arguments he didn’t learn at school
But how he shifts those numbers is really rather cool.
TV producers love him, the way their ratings grow,
He gets a massive book advance ‘cos hate is good to go.

Then a video clip emerges above the sea of noise
I know it’s controversial, but...old men and younger boys...
He always was a gambler and now he pays the cost;
The contracts all are cancelled and the promised land is lost.
Racism, Islamophobia, misogyny are fine
But hint at paedophilia and you’ve really crossed the line.
It’s good to know some standards still matter, at the death
But is that the last of Milo? You shouldn’t hold your breath.

The President Speaks to the Nation

So now I’m talking here, direct
to you the people. You expect
to trust the words the media say
but Washington, New York, LA
are packed with journalists who do
a great disservice – that means you,
yes, BBC and CNN
(though Fox has honourable men).
Oh yes. The press are here with me
We’re glad to have them. They’ll be free,
to ask their questions. No surprise
that they’ll still write it up as lies.
I’m happy to collaborate
and if they want a scrap – can’t wait.
But we’ve made progress. Say it loud:
we’ve done good work. I’m very proud.

OK, who’s first? Where to begin?
Oh boy. Of course. It’s General Flynn.
You hint at diplomatic crimes
but I’ve made clear so many times
I never talked to them but twice.
Putin rang up, he was real nice.
Well done, the night I won the vote.
Inauguration:  all she wrote.
Flynn’s not a crook, a real fine man
and he did nothing wrong. The can
must still be carried. He misled
Mike Pence. That’s why I had his head.
But all this is a ploy they choose –
the Democrats can’t bear to lose.

The news says chaos. It’s obscene.
This is a finely-tuned machine,
this operation that I run.
A mere four weeks, and we have done
more stuff than previous regimes.
Obama in his wildest dreams
could never operate this way.
I won. I won. And did I say
I got the highest college share
of any pres since Reagan. There.
What’s that? You think that wasn’t true?
Obama? Clinton? And Bush too?
OK. That story’s maybe cold.
I just passed on what I was told.

Obama left me with a mess.
The Middle East. Korea. Guess
just who’s the guy to sort them out.
You got it. Me, without a doubt

The tone. The hatred. Gets me down
to hear reporters in this town
abuse me. I am not that bad.
My win, the ratings that I’ve had,
my business empire all suggest
of all the candidates, I’m best.
But I’ll tell you how this will play.
Tomorrow’s newspapers will say
“Trump raved.” Too good a chance to miss.
But hey, it’s great. I’m loving this.

Anti-semitic? Racist? Me?
Let’s treat this issue seriously.
I know myself and in my mind
I’m the most tolerant guy you’ll find.
I said I’d keep the Muslims out.
It made the liberals scream and shout
but my migration ban was fine,
the rollout smooth, along the line.
The only place where it fell short
was that we got a lousy court.
A bad decision held us back;
in no time things will be on track.
And by the way, my cabinet
could be the most impressive yet.
Fantastic talents, I’m quite moved.
Can’t wait to get them all approved.

Could you explain your cities plan?
I would be honored. I’m the man
who pulled in way above my share
of votes that were predicted there.
Afro-American, as well
as women and Hispanics. Hell,
I broke the mould. So, will you be
consulting with the CBC?

And who are they? Or must I guess?
Congressional Black Caucus, yes?
You’re black. Maybe you know these guys,
could introduce me, put them wise?
I’m just a journalist. No sweat.
I’ve got your name. I shan’t forget.

I don’t believe it. Here we go.
The big thing that they want to know:
when General Flynn was on the phone
to Russia, did he act alone
or was this authorised by me?
I told you. One-track minds. You see?
The thing they should be chasing down
is all the leaking in this town.
Top level confidential stuff
gets in the press. Not good enough.
What’s that? No, there is no mistake.
The leaks are real. The news is fake.

 

A Lousy Deal

In the campaign, the candidate attacks
the swamp at Washington, the way jobs fall
in global treaties, slipping through the cracks
as local guys miss out. But he’ll still call
the asset strippers, stars from Goldman Sachs
to run the country. More jobs? Not at all.
He picks his cabinet, and here’s the rub:
they’re all recruited from the rich men’s club.

To head Environment, a guy who’s fought
it many times; the greens get sleepless nights.
He wants pro-lifers on the highest court
to make it hard to grant abortion rights.
Rip up the few provisions which support
the poorest; losers learn that failure bites.
Celebrity Apprentice plays it rough
and if you haven’t got the diamonds – tough.

Press conference? Not for him. That model’s bust.
Who needs the ritual of Q and A?
If Facebook is the only source they trust
no-one will check the truth of what he’ll say.
The kids have got the algorithms sussed -
he trusts his gut, and tweets it on its way.
A family man; the kids will play their part
doing their daddy’s deals. It warms the heart.

Official briefings don’t inform his plan;
he’s smart enough to do it on his own.
He doesn’t rate the deal with Iran
and hassles China ‘cos they pinched his drone.
Putin, he reckons, is a decent man
but still he wants the nuclear silo grown
to challenge...who? Right there the vision fades.
But he’s got balls. Yessir, got them in spades.

The hi-tech companies will make a database
to let him track the Muslims, in and out.
Blacks and Latinos need to know their place
is off the voters’ register. Some doubt
about the wall, but not about the race:
the winner is the Great White sexist lout.
I’m scared. I’m tearing out my hair in clumps.
I tried to warn them when I bid No Trumps. 

The Ladder

There are those struggling to make ends meet who are paying for the benefits of others.” Theresa May, PMQs 2.11.16

We can’t look after everyone, some targetting is due.
It once was “working families” but we need something new.
“Just about managing” they are, we call them JAM for short;
Money for JAM is hard to find, there’s not much cash in place
But here’s a way of looking at the prospect that they face.

Our spending is a ladder that stretches to the sky;
Some items of expenditure may seem a trifle high.
It wasn’t all that long ago we bailed out the banks
We said “Eight hundred billion?”;  they barely murmured “Thanks.”
And then there were those pricy wars, Afghanistan, Iraq...
Another thirty billion that won’t be coming back.
We have this deal with Nissan. How much we cannot say
But just enough to see you through that dreaded rainy day.
A hundred and fifty billion in benefits is banked
But half of that’s on pensions, and they are sacrosanct.
The guys that you should focus on are those that have no work;
Five billion quid a year they cost, you ought to go berserk.
They’ve ripped it from your wallets, they’re cheating at the game
You won’t get richer but at least you’ve got someone to blame.

You’re tottering on the ladder, not sure you can hold on
But don’t forget this message when everything has gone:
“Do not look up” ’s the answer. There’s people in this town
Whose wealth is way beyond your reach. You keep on looking down.
We are the only party that truly understands:
Just look at those below you, and trample on their hands. 

The Man of the Moment

The world’s gone into meltdown
The signs are all too clear
The only people smiling –
Putin, and North Korea.
There’ll be a wall with Mexico
We’ll purge the NHS
And climate change? Forget it.
You want a future? Bless.
It feels like Armageddon
Our prospects are the pits
You might conclude the rational world
Is breaking up in bits.
But there’s one common factor,
One mastermind in charge.
It isn’t May, it isn’t Trump
It’s bloody Nigel Farage.

P R Man

P R Man

It doesn't matter much. Not here or there
a euro referendum. He's not keen.
Eton and Oxford, cool and debonair,
the leader needs to dominate the scene.

He hugs the hoodies, and he says he’s green
feeding the polls to boost the Tory share.
So long as newsbites have that instant sheen
it doesn’t matter much, not here or there.

He follows in the steps of Tony Blair –
promise the earth, keep moving, smart and clean.
The sceptics, banging on, are in his hair.
A Euro referendum? He’s not keen

but they’ve a smooth electoral machine
which drip-feeds doubt to generate a scare.
He stays detached, while others vent their spleen;
Eton and Oxford, cool and debonair.

He won’t attack his colleagues, plays it fair
(he’d no idea the tabloids were this mean)
until the lying rankles; he goes spare.
The leader needs to dominate the scene

but then he loses. There’s no in-between.
He might show anger, guilt, regret, despair...
"That didn’t go to plan." A shame-faced teen
who knows the coolest thing is not to care.
It doesn’t matter much.

Twinkletoes

When Jeremy Hunt was at Culture, his future was somewhat in doubt,
He’d got far too close to the Murdochs, there were many who wanted him out;
His mate Michael Gove toured the studios, defending his buddy with ardour
“This guy is no chancer, but he’s a great dancer – he does an amazing lambada.”

The Lansley reorganisation has left medics all tearing their hair,
Hunt needs to create a diversion, a commission for quality care.
He’s testing the health of the system, he’s confident, agile and quick
With a twirl and a laugh, cuts the carrot in half and doubles the size of the stick.

The UK election is coming, and Hunt is out bending each ear
A seven day service for patients, ten thousand lives saved every year.
The evidence isn’t conclusive, the experts aren’t sure he is right
But once on the floor he can’t hear any more, keep dancing, and follow the light.

He goes on TV with this contract, the one that he plans to impose,
In the Commons he’s acting decisive; is it legal? well, nobody knows.
He says that his door’s always open, but the doctors don’t ever get near
If you never stay still you can do what you will and your room for manoeuvre is clear.

 There’s a deal to be had if he wants it, but Hunt doesn’t like compromise
He skips away, clear of commitment, he swerves and he sashays, he lies.
While Cameron and Osborne are cheering, a union deal is a sin;
They are confident men, it’s the pit strike again: “Have a fight, and make sure that you win.”

Young doctors are trying Australia; they say that it’s sunny out there.
They get better pay, shorter hours, and there’s excellent standards of care.
The training is good and the prospects are bright, the future is shining and new
But the thing they like best far outweighs all the rest: “They value the work that we do.”

Maybe now there’s an end to the madness. It’s Brexit. All change, enter May.
Health officials are told in a whisper that Jeremy Hunt’s on his way

But the sighs of relief are all stifled when it turns out the old boss is back
So how did he learn that extravagant turn that saved him from getting the sack?

It is time for his pièce de resistance, the impossible move – can you guess?
All foreigners purged from the service, a totally Brit NHS.
He smiles and he nods, he can do this. It’s beyond most political men
But the confident dancer will soon find the answer as Twinkletoes triumphs again.  

 

 

Special Pleading

Life’s hard for Dominic Chappell, and something’s got to give;
They’re going to repossess the home in which his parents live.
From his recent acquisitiion of a well-known company
A cool one million and a half is borrowed, interest free.
The company was BHS, he bought it for a quid.
Did Dominic make a profit? You bet your life he did.
He took out seventeen million pounds before it all caved in;
Eleven thousand lost their jobs; for him it was a win.  
(Though Dominic’s just a learner compared with Philip Green
Who took five hundred million – but he was really keen).
Administration meetings attempt to track their wiles
And Dominic attends them with his boxes full of files.

So is he really helping out? You’d think that’s only right
But he’s juggling his assets so they vanish out of sight.
The firm that bought up BHS has been put out to grass:
Now you see it, now you don’t – it’s magic; or a farce.
The housing loan was something that he didn’t tell MPs
But now security for that is, strangely, Portuguese;
The finance of his parents’ home’s a matter for his Pa –
“I don’t discuss it with him, so that is where we are.”
The cash he got from BHS is difficult to track
But one thing you can count on: he won’t be paying it back.  

Until, one day, a tragedy: there’s trouble with the law.
He’s driving through a forty zone and he’s doing sixty-four.
The speed cops pull him over. Which story will he tell?
“I used to drive a racing car”, says Dominic Chappell.

In court he’s acting contrite. He asks to be excused.
He took a train to London once and found himself abused.
He’s two miles from a bus-stop, and twenty from the train
And carrying all those boxes would be a fearful strain.
He can’t afford a chauffeur, this impecunious wretch,
And paying for a taxi would be, he says, a stretch.
His wife, alas, can’t drive him. She’s busy, as a rule,
And drives a hundred miles a day to take their girl to school.
His lawyer earns his money. He makes a special plea –
These instances of hardship should let his man go free.
There’s ten points on his licence before he goes to court.
Special treatment? Hardly. He needs a moment’s thought.