In all the stories from the funeral there’s one that they don’t tell:
it’s how Kwasi’s clearly off his chops or seriously unwell,
but the media stay silent, they decide this isn’t news
instead they focus our attention on the pronouns people choose.
They laud a queue to see a coffin, ignore the ones for A&E,
print photographs of food-banks with Conservative MPs
who are smiling for the camera, and never ask them how it is
that folk can work yet not afford to eat in this wealthiest of countries.
And if we start to grumble about what lies out of our reach
they’re quick to point their lying finger at some poor sod on a beach
who’s just landed in a dinghy, say that they’re the ones to blame.
They set the poor upon the poorer, the same old sorry game
they’ve played down all the centuries, one that offers no solution,
which provides us with a scapegoat when we need some kind of revolution.
And yes, we’re desperate and angry, and we sometimes take the bait
they’re dangling in front of us. The politics of hate
can be attractive when you’re powerless, when hope’s in short supply,
when costs go up and wages don’t. When rent’s sky-high.
When the day-to-day is dismal and the future is a threat
and you could do with some distraction. And so, the trap is set
with flags and pageantry and outrage, they launch their war on woke™
and we’re conscripted in a culture war against our own folk
where we’re at each others’ throats and all of us lose,
fighting on battlegrounds we didn’t choose.
We need to do so much better than this. Bring ourselves back from the brink.
The world we want to live in is closer than we think
if we just look out for each other. Don’t buy the lies they sell.
The stories that we need to hear are the ones that they don’t tell.
© Steve Pottinger. 22 Sep 2022
published on CultureMatters website
published in Yorkshire Bylines