The Politics of Rhetoric*

The cards are on the table.
All hopes cast to the wind.
The annual government budget speech
Is about to begin.
A spot of pomp and ceremony
To brighten the affair,
An unusually high number
Of politicians sitting there,
Those on the front bench
Deemed to run the ship
Whether or not they’re robustly equipped
To see the lives of others
With clarity and empathy
And even, perhaps,
Show an instinct for charity-
Help where help is needed
Not having to be pleaded,
A sense of genuine caring
For those beyond despairing,
A mind for simple mathematics
Of ordinary folk,
Interspersed occasionally
With unfunny jokes…
And so it is the die is cast,
Strained faces communicating
Interminable money-talk
With no signs of abating.
Locked in a time warp
And sat behind closed doors
Pomp and ceremony to distract
The future for the poor…
What’s undeclared to the unaware
Will mean there’s little to forswear:
The Good Lord giveth
And the government taketh away.
History changes nothing
In the course of a single day.


*The British Budget, 2016.



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