The Ballad of Shaker Aamer

For Shaker there’s a duty to help your fellow man;
He goes to help the orphaned kids out in Afghanistan;
He’s in a school in Kabul, the planes are flying low
A thousand daisy-cutter bombs suggest it’s time to go.

He’s heading for the border, there’s a warlord with a gun
The Yanks will pay big money for a Muslim on the run.
He’s starved, in stress positions, nine nights he’s kept awake
And Shaker’s only human; in time he’s bound to break.

Of course he knew Bin Laden. And Richard Reid? Oh yes.
Then there’s the 9/11 guy - he’s happy to confess.
The man from MI5 explains: Fancy Guantanamo?
Or would you rather spy for us? But Shaker tells him no.

Guantanamo’s a nightmare, loud noises, flashing lights;
You get no sleep if you’re a Brit who thinks he’s still got rights.
It takes the spooks six years to see that Shaker’s in the clear
But does that mean he’s going home or will he disappear?

His family in Battersea still want the life they had
But Faris, aged eleven, has never seen his dad.
The inquiry into torture could use his evidence,
He’d make a brilliant witness – it’s only common sense.

Good reasons to release him, a lot that we might learn -
Who is it that’s decided that Shaker can’t return?
Down in a concrete bunker there’s people we don’t know
Who say which body’s on the plane and where it needs to go.

They’re doing hush-hush business and they’ve got what it takes,
But nobody must ever know they sometimes make mistakes.
A British man was tortured with our agents by his side
And that’s the dirty secret they’ll do anything to hide.

Now Shaker’s on a hunger strike, he could die any day
So do we say he’s one of ours - or do we look away?