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THE ROAD TO THE WEST PIER

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‘Everyone who knows the meaning of poverty, everyone who has a genuine hatred of tyranny and war, is on the Socialist side, potentially.’

George Orwell, THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER, 1937

“We have closed the door…to anti-Semitism in the Labour Party…We have turned our back on the dark chapter.” Kier Starmer, Labour Party Leader, MIRROR, 27th September 2021

‘Britain deserves better than this incompetence and total lack of leadership.’ Kier Starmer, Labour Party Leader, THE SUN, 2nd October 2021 

 

A photo was released to the media

with a copy of his conference speech.

The Leader of the Opposition, tieless

but dressed in dark suit and white shirt to show

he does not overdo formality,

is standing on a hotel balcony,

with his back to the sea, perusing,

presumably, the speech but looking as if

it is a summons he has received. The salt air

is beginning to rust the wrought iron railings,

and, behind him, unnoticed, presumably,

by all, including his aides, masters

of the unintended metaphor,

fifty yards or so out in the Channel,

the remaining girders of Brighton’s West Pier

destroyed by fire, left like a wreck in wartime.

 

The party of Kier Hardie, Nye Bevan,

Jeremy Corbyn: tilting at imagined

anti-Semites; purging like Stalinists;

dressing up in Tory old clothes; ignoring

the room with the elephants, Afghanistan,

Iraq; revering the egotist,

and his acolytes, that took us to war –

a party in a divided land

at rancorous, self-destructive odds

with everyone of its next door neighbours;

where the mainstream media is complicit

in the nakedness of straw Emperors,

in their mendacity; where misogyny,

xenophobia, racism thrive;

where poverty knocks, knocks!

 

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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7 Responses
  • Catherine Reynolds
    October 28, 2021

    A wonderful poem David addressing the parlous state of the Labour Party and the current government’s mismanagement of the country aided by the ever unctuous media.

  • Kate Harrison
    October 31, 2021

    Sometimes I think “Is it me? Have I got it all wrong about ‘these people’ and what they have brought the Labour party to? Is what I have seen unfold over the last 6 years just my interpretation?”
    I read this, and realise that I am not mistaken.

  • Mary Clark
    October 31, 2021

    I am perplexed by the politics of the UK. You badly need a progressive party. I hope things come together for you soon. I’ve no wisdom to share on that account as our Dems, progressive and moderates alike, are busy shooting themselves in the feet, and everywhere else. What a mess, prompting the Trumpites to sing about it. Perhaps government was always ‘the follies’. While people starve and fight for scraps and bridges and piers burn.

    • David Selzer
      November 1, 2021

      It is a sad reflection on the current state of UK politics that the Labour Party does not appear to someone with your political values to be a ‘progressive party’. It was progressive under Jeremy Corbyn, and came very close to winning the 2017 election outright. If we had proportional representation here rather than first past the post then Labour and the Conservatives (Tories) would have had the same number of MPs, parliament would have been ‘hung’, people would have had to talk to each other, and Brexit might have been avoided.

      At the moment Labour is the Tory party with a ‘human face’. According to Wikipedia:

      As a political term, Tory was an insult (derived from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe, modern Irish tóraí, meaning ‘outlaw’, ‘robber’, from the Irish word tóir, meaning ‘pursuit’ since outlaws were ‘pursued men’)…

  • Tony Clifford
    November 3, 2021

    Moving, angry, timely

  • Mary Clark
    November 7, 2021

    I did view the Labour Party as liberal, or progressive, but over the years things became murkier, and recently, not much more clear. I should pay more attention. Our elections matter, in spite of what cynics say.

    • David Selzer
      November 7, 2021

      The murkiness, in large part, was caused by the chaff put up about Jeremy Corbyn. He was variously condemned by other politicians, including Labour politicians, and by most of the MSM for: not singing the National Anthem, not wearing a tie, not wearing a ‘good suit’, being anti-Semitic, a racist, a Marxist, half a Markist, a coward, a traitor, a Russian spy, a Czech spy! He was also mocked for having an allotment, being a vegetarian and riding a bike!

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