It bugs the living bejesus out of me. I know the big transnationals like to call it tax minimisation, as if it’s utterly harmless, as if it’s as near as dammit a good thing, just a tiny unimportant detail no-one in their right minds should worry about, but whenever powerful people try to sanitise language, I can’t help but smell a rat.
Trouble is, as soon as you try to articulate all it is you find wrong about a world where rich executives believe it’s acceptable to put a love of money before a love of people, it’s all too easy to end up writing a manifesto. Or sounding like you’re against everything, rather than for something better. As options go, neither of those make good poetry. With the waste-paper basket overflowing with failed drafts, I gave up on it all as a bad thing, and settled for chuntering about it into my beer, like everyone else.
Then one morning I woke up in a friend’s house in Leeds and the poem had written itself. All I had to do was reach for a pen and paper, grab a coffee, and read the words my sleepy hand scrawled across the page. That evening, at a gig, I road-tested the poem in front of an audience. It worked.
You’ll find ‘No-one likes an angry poet’ on the Poems page of this website (where else?) and – after an afternoon spent in an empty pub in Brum with a video camera – you can even watch it onYouTube, complete with the glitches that show it was done by two blokes with no budget, a couple of hours to spare, and the germ of an idea.
I hope you enjoy it. If you do, share it. Together, we might just change the world.