Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Pride. A poem




A young woman dances, round and round she twirls
Hand in hand with one of her favourite girls
The streets are chaotic with excitement and sound
The Gay Pride parade has turned up in town
A young man passes dressed in colourful clothes
His eyes heavily shadowed he's powdered his nose
There's so much to look at a feast for the eyes
Men walking tall on the arms of their guys
They've stared deep within at the forest of doubt
Then bravely they've chosen that they would come out.
And in celebrating love with the person they chose
They simply affirm what everyone knows
That it is right and it's good to be true to your heart
And that living in love is the finest of art.

We live in a world that can be mean and so cruel
Where people wave flags as they vote in a fool
In the States we mourn the loss of Roe versus Wade
The bigots delighted in a freedom unmade
But all causes are lifted when people gather in joy
When a girl loves a girl and a boy loves a boy
For the determined assertion of people's gay rights
Feeds and inspires all equality fights
And all humanity is lifted when people are bold
To show that they're more than what they've been told
Our communities are strong for their diversity
And strongest of all with all of us free

An old man watches a strange to him sight
Of his son with a man, eyes locked in delight
And he ponders how love has set his son free
After the boy chose who he really should be
And he feels a warm glow spreading inside
That he could not possibly feel greater pride
So thank you my darlings for your smiles and your glee
The happiness you feel sets all of us free.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

How to do progressive politics



 Ask for the moon. 

Accept the small grubby wooden step they give you as their compromise solution with warm thanks. 

Step up onto it. 

Ask for the moon again. (But this time you're slightly closer).

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Poetry for Ukraine #2: Zelenskiy

 Zelenskiy Zelenskiy
He gives hope to you and me
As he fights for his country
So that Ukraine will soon be free.
he's handsome and he's brave
And he's always up for more
He'll never be Putin's slave
And he's going to win this war.
He's handsome and he's funny.
He's really the best of men.
And we all know we can count on him
To win and win again.
They clapped and clapped and clapped him
When he spoke to the UN
He inspires, gives hope, he's so damn brave
He's truly the best of men
He spoke to the House of Commons
In London by the Thames
And promised he would fight and fight
again and again and again.
He's clever he's delightful
He's eloquent and he's brave
He's defied six efforts already
To put him in his grave
But in truth he's a man
That Putin can never kill
For if flesh falls his spirit
Will live on in all of us still
To everyone who hopes that Ukraine will soon be free
Why not pour a dram of whisky
Toast the champion of liberty
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Sawney Bean: a pome.

 Ah'm the famous Sawney Bean
The terror of Bennane Head
Ah eat people who're still wriggling,
Ah eat people freshly dead.
My bride is Black Agnes Douglas
She's bonny and she's braw
She kens richt well how to cook men
The wee yins she eats raw.
Oor hame is in a cave
And beware if you draw near
For around this glen all kinds of men
Ha been known to disappear.
Some dinners scream and some dinners squeal.
Some dinners curse and say "it cannae be real,"
But ah'm the famous Sawney Bean
And you're ma next meal

Monday, February 28, 2022

Poem for Ukraine

 To all my friends in Ukraine
From my heart comes this refrain
I bleed to see your pain
And say you will be free again.

Putin sits in Moscow
Hoping for conquest news
But a Greater Russian Empire
Is not what any would choose

To the fighting folk of Ukraine
With your mobiles and your guns
You're not alone, we stand with you
Until the war is done.

To the world seeing it on TV
Donate money shake the tree
For it rests on you and me
To help Ukraine be free

To all the Russian people
Vladimir doesn't speak for you
Firing rockets at babies
Is not something you would do.

So friends in all countries find your will
To help Ukraine win this war
Do what you can, however you can
To beat tyranny forever more.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Poem: Disabled Generation

Disabled generation

This is a roar from the disabled generation
Hear our frustration, our humiliation
Alienation, abnegation based on hate
They sanction us like we're some rogue state
They frustrate denigrate leave us to vegetate
Because we can't get the chances we need to have a life
We could but they dont let us
They vet us they reject us
Spy cams at Sainsburys stalking us
"You're not disabled" they say when we're seen walking fast
They'd expose us if they could like societies in the past.
Making us doubt calling us out
So listen to me shout
Every human being deserves a shot
This is something these Tories have forgot
Rights won for us in battle by the blood and pain and loss
Of our grandparents, our families, showing Germany who's boss
We carved out a society that cares for those without a leg
So we dont need to suffer and we dont need to beg
Watch it being stolen, we get Brexit in its place
But Brexit won't pay rent it's a fucking disgrace
Shoutout to my brother David Clapson
Did you understand when you were fighting in the sand
That your mother land would misunderstand you, abandon you, strand you,
Shoutout to my sister Jodey Whiting
When your ESA got denied
Did they deliberately decide
Were their eyes open wide
As they drove you to suicide
9 kids orphaned by genocide
Shoutout to my brother Errol Graham
With your shelf of glittering football trophies
"Fit for work" they said - oh please
They brought you to your knees
Without food man atrophies
So many stories like these
Courtesy of the Tories
So remember when you fight to make the world more free
Fight also for them and for me
Fight for liberty
We rise together don't you see
Because at the heart there's a holy trinity
Fight on race, fight on sex and fight on disability.

Friday, July 2, 2021

So is it "herd immunity" for kids?

We're close to all adults vaccinated for covid now in the UK. Magnificent achievement, well done. Here in Scotland our First Minister today announced  "walk-in coronavirus vaccination centres will be open in every part of mainland Scotland from Monday.

All mainland health boards will offer drop-in clinics as the rollout nears the target of all Scottish adults receiving at least one dose.

Everyone aged 18 and over will be able to attend one of the walk-in centres for their first jag or – if eight weeks have passed – their second dose without needing an appointment. "

What, though, are we doing about the under 18s?

Are we just going to say job done and leave them?



This can't be the right policy. For a start there are disabled and sick kids that are clinically vulnerable to covid. For them it isn't a choice between a miniscule chance of a vaccine-related blood clot or a miniscule chance of a covid-related death. They are in real danger and have been for a year and a half. It's unconscionable that children at heightened risk of serious illness or death from covid should be denied vaccination.

Vaccines are offered to children aged 12-15 with severe neuro-disabilities but that is a tiny part of the vulnerable disabled children at heightened risk. When the pandemic hit, 53,000 under-18s in England with disabilities that made them vulnerable to coronavirus began to shield away at home.

More generally should it not be up to the parents? I can see a case for, where a parent is against vaccination and the benefit is minimal, respecting the parents' wishes. Those parents are a tiny minority.


 And here are some of the other arguments for vaccinating kids:

- the kids and the parents want to be vaccinated. 9 in 10 of parents in England approve of covid jabs for children.

- we are still telling kids to isolate if there's an outbreak. This is perhaps because we're pretending we're not just abandoning kids to covid while in effect pursuing a herd immunity policy that means exactly that.

- the risk to teachers and other school staff.

- the risk that a high rate of infected kids sees new variants that (from the virus's point of view) work better. Perhaps even becoming more dangerous for children.

- it slows down society returning to normal. Just jab them. It could take months for enough kids to have caught covid to the point where it can be reliably claimed that herd immunity is established.

- Unvaccinated people may face discrimination. Even vaccinated parents could be excluded from activities for vaccinated people only if their children aren't vaccinated.

- Some kids will die. In addition to the prospect of wholesale carnage among disabled kids, a prospect that doesn't even appear to be on the government's radar, every kid that dies, however statistically anomalous is a tragedy, a heartbreak for their family and the waste of a young life.

- Israel, USA, Canada and Europe are vaccinating their kids.

Pride. A poem

    Pride A young woman dances, round and round she twirls Hand in hand with one of her favourite girls The streets are chaotic with excitem...