Browsing Category Political Poetry

A poem about partial clownery

On 7 February 2022, the PM’s new spin doctor confirmed that the PM is “not a complete clown”‘. 

Half a Clown

So what’s with the frown?
said the circus god.
You’re our first ever clown in
Downing Street.
Yet it’s going around
that you’re just half a clown.

Conduct yourself
as 100% loon,
a total buffoon.
Sit on a balloon.
Put on a red nose
and your harlequin clothes.
Go party with cake.

Or people may think
that you’re not a true clown,
that you’re only a fake.



Leave a Comment

A parliamentary poem about vision and division

This poem delves into the curious language spoken by only one person in the world:

The Speaker of the House of Commons.

The Eyes Have It

The question is: 
Do the eyes have it?
As many as are of that opinion say eye. 
Eye. 
Of the contrary opinion, no. 
No. 

Division. Addition. Subtraction. Multiplication.

The eyes have it.   
So do the noes 
and the ears and the mouth. 
The whole face has it. 

Clear the lobbies. 
Bring up the bodies. 



Leave a Comment

A poem about bricklaying

To shore up its vote in the northern “red wall” seats captured from Labour, the government this week issued its levelling up white paper.

This poem is designed to provide some helpful guidance to those tasked with levelling up.

Instructions for Levelling Up

Take a red wall
that’s rather small.
Announce it will soon
be ten foot tall.
Add some bricks.
Paint them blue.
You’ve got no cement
so stick them with goo.

Throw cheers and hugs
and the kitchen sink in.
You’ve got no money,
just turbo-charged thinking.
Make speeches. Write papers.
Try nodding and winking.

Hope nobody sees
that beneath the wall

 

the ground is sinking.



Leave a Comment

A poem about politics ‘n rock ‘n roll

This poem was inspired by the title of the Rock N Roll Politics podcast. 

Politics is Rock N Roll

Politics is Hendrix and Jagger.

Politics is swagger and crash. 

Politics is going to the moon
in a hot air balloon.

Politics is getting punched by trolls
and battered by polls.

Politics is being thrown off the rodeo
and scrambling on again. 

Politics is cocaine. 

Politics is propane. 

Politics is Buster Keaton 
on a runaway train.

Politics is Super Mario,
falling down mountains,
climbing up holes. 

Politics is swinging from high to low,
from yo to yo,
‘til they tell you to go. 

Politics is rock n roll
but it’s the audience who smash the guitar
if they don’t like the show.



Leave a Comment

A poem about an unlikely saviour

This poem is dedicated to anyone desperately hoping for a reprieve, including the PM Boris Johnson who, at the time of writing, is relying on an unlikely form of salvation from “partygate”. 

The Last Resort

When I’m in the dock
of the heavenly court

When the indictment’s been read
and it’s not at all short

When my praying and begging
have all come to nought

When judgment is nigh
and the demons are brought

When the final sentence
is virtually wrought

When the time has come
for the last resort

I’ll beseech the Lord
to hold the thought

and await the outcome
of Sue Gray’s report.



Leave a Comment

A poem about the Queen in Ireland

This poem, written for the BBC World Service, marked the Queen’s visit to Ireland, my country of origin, in 2011.

At that time, the Celtic Tiger was somewhat on the emaciated side.

Whereas the Queen had every reason to be cheerful as Prince William had recently married.

The Anglo-Celtic Rap

And the Taoiseach said – Yo Queen, it’s the Ango-Celtic dawn,
(must remember not to fawn), haven’t seen you for a while,
guess we must have lost your file, tell us ma’am how have you been?
Rather busy – said the Queen, doing cartwheels up the aisle,
one was feeling rather dizzy, now one verges on euphoric,
shall we hug and be historic?
shall we hug and be historic?

And the Taoiseach whispered – sorry that we haven’t been in touch,
we were occupied constructing Ireland version 2.0,
adding get up, adding go, how the slaves became the masters,
how the statues started moving, going faster, going faster,
and we gave the world U2, and we threw in Jedward too,
we’d a vision of the Euro, plus we’ve won the Eurovision
quite a few times more than you, and we made holy communion
with the European Union, but we took more than we gave,
but we clean forgot to save, said the Taoiseach to the Queen,
do you think we were too green?
do you think we were too green?

And the Queen said – no, that’s cool, and we quite regret the Rule
of Britannia and that stuff, all the glorious, victorious,
we played a little rough, did we seem a bit too tough?
were we biting more than barking? were we overly monarchic?
were we not at all contrite? let us now at last be mates,
said Elizabeth the Second, the Great British head of state,
let us not be un-benign, let us go and see a shrine,
we shall almost sip some Guinness, we shall nearly consummate,
does the hand of history beckon?
does the hand of history beckon?

And the Taoiseach said – your highness, may God save your gracious self,
we’ve been taken off in handcuffs by our friend the IMF,
but we can’t put back the lid, can’t undo those things we did,
for the sake of God and Ireland, for the sake of Queen and country
could you spare a couple of quid?
could you spare a couple of quid?


  • Audio broadcast of the poem being read on the The World Today (now Weekend) on the BBC World Service on 21 May 2011:    

Leave a Comment