Passport To Privilege

Hey everyone This poem chronicals the year I knew I would never vote Labour again
The year was 1984 when I was 22-23 and a wee bit of a radical leftie. I had voted Labour for the first and as it now transpires only time at the General Election the previous year. This time however it was differrent something had changed in the way I viewed the world. You see this was the year I realised that the United Kingdom was no more than a brand. In a year when miners went on strike to save both their jobs and their industry. The Tory Government watched the workers starve on the breadline and when I realised they were more concerned about giving a talented young white South Africian athlete a British passport I felt this was a country I couldn’t bring myself to be part of. I suppose you could say this was the year that killed any British Identity I may have had stone dead. I’ve given it the title Passport To Privilege I hope you find it an enjoyable and thought provoking read

Passport To Privilege

The year was 1984
the year of Orwell’s story
the miners strike and Zola Budd
a land of faded glory
where honest decent working men
were brutalised and battered
this showed a cruel uncaring land
where nobody really mattered

Nick Kershaw sang of a riddle
with biting subliminal lyrics
the story he told of how power unfolds
made me ashamed to be British
secrets kept behind closed doors
the public ill informed
some bought shares with silver coins
the right to protest scorned

A nation which the outside world
believed to be happy as one
had finally began to crack
the longest divorce had begun
this was the year my politics changed
I mused on what was right
I knew I could never be British again
my cause was Scotland’s fight

See Zola Budd she wasn’t a dud
but an athlete of genuine talent
the Olympics were coming she wouldn’t be there
you see she was South African
A pariah state it couldn’t compete
but thanks to Margaret Thatcher
while miners starved for the right to work
wee Zola got a passport

So why do you want to put Scotland first
ahead of socialism
said a Labour member and family friend
I then explained my vision
I told him I wanted a land fit for all
my values weren’t British
in the country I cherish
the workers have rights
and you can’t buy a passport to privilege

@ Gayle Smith 2015

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