Profit And Loss

Hey everyone This poem written in 1993 is dedicated to my dad John James Smith who like many of his generation spent almost all his working life in the same job.

In my dad’s case that job was as an engineering inspector for GKN 10 minutes by bus from our home and less than 5 minutes walk from the home in which he was born and raised. My dad started his job in 1949 and working till that Fair Friday 30 years later when as one of the first casualties of what I call the Thatcher clearances he lost not only his job but a part of his identity. You see whilst Thatcher and those who shared her right wing ideologies were concerned only by economics and balance sheets I saw the human cost of unemployment to a man who at 52 was two years younger than I am now and believe me it was devastating.

You know this poem may have been written more than twenty years ago but I fear it is still every bit as relevant today as I was when I wrote it in 1993. The title Profit And Loss sums up the cruel society we live in where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer with every waking hour. I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Profit And Loss

A man was consigned to scrapheap
they said he was too old to work for years they used all his talents and gifts
but then he got treated like dirt
they said that economies had to be made
and that meant they had to cut costs
for the bosses don’t care about workers like him
There blinded by profit and loss

@ Gayle Smith 1993

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One thought on “Profit And Loss

  1. That’s a good point. Companies have to make money to survive so there’s only so long a non-profit making enterprise can keep going…but we have to consider the people affected by decisions like that – it’s not just about money.

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