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People’s Friend 

As Jeremy Corbyn addresses the masses at Glastonbury I give my thoughts on a middle class man addressing a middle class crowd and pretending to be a friend of the people. I don’t know why but this working class hero stuff is something I just don’t buy. You see if you are a unionist of any kind you are essentially a conservative maybe not in the economic sense but you certainly are in the social and cultural senses of the word. I’ve given the poem the title People’s Friend I hope you enjoy the read. 

People’s Friend

A middle class man 

quotes a middle class poet 

to the middle class gathering 

at a festival in middle England 

with ticket prices which only the rich can afford

meanwhile champagne socialists 

ignore Scotland 

till they need our votes to gain power 

at a Westminster election 

if we dare to challenge them

they call us insurgents 

leading an insurrection

as the self righteous  luvvie brigade 

play pretend politics 

with a crowd to apathetic to care 

about humanity 

and grandpa Jeremy desperately tries to re-live his youth 

as proof he can hang with the cool kids

except the kids he’s hanging out with 

aren’t quite as cool as they would have you believe 

and this imposter did a cut and paste job 

on large parts of the SNP domestic policy 

and had the brass neck to claim it 

as radical

as his vision for the many not the few 

even a so-called red couldn’t ditch the slogan 

which had tints of a Tory Blue Tony 

and just like that phoney his mask is beginning to slip 

You see voters like me won’t take lip.

from a Brexiteer who will always put himself first 

as he cynically attempts to manipulate the less aware

he has garden paths to lead them up 

and garden parties to attend 

this man whose style at Prime Minister’s Questions 

was enough to give me  indigestion 

raising points which we were meant to believe

 were sent by ordinary people 

rather than focus groups of party members 

the honourable member for  Islington 

is and has always been a servant of the Westminster agenda 

and had only  one mission for Britain 

namely to win the colony back for the crown 

unlike some I never bought his story 

the people’s friend , I see him as  just another red Tory 

though maybe not in the economic sense 

I’ll cut him a bit of slack 

but anyone who believes in the union flag 

is and always will be 

a conservative at heart 

it doesn’t matter how nice they are 

or how trendy or cool they pretend to be 

if they don’t want be to free from the last chains of empire 

they subconsciously out themselves as hypocrits and liars 

every time the word socialism passes their lips 

the little Brits lack the awareness to realise

you can’t have socialism in a kingdom 

united or otherwise 

it depends on the class system to survive 

as a middle class man 

who quotes a middle class poet 

to a middle class crowd 

knows only too well

as he pretends to be the people’s friend 

and remains no friend of Scotland. 
© Gayle Smith 2017 

When It Comes To Independence Some People Are Really Obsessed.  

After seven weeks of campaigning it’s finally here election day 2017. Depending on who you are talking to this election has been about Brexit , A Fairer Britain , and Nicola Sturgeon’s Obsession With independence. It’s also been about the Environment, a Second European Union Referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence. 

Other topics for discussion have included the Dementia Tax Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘dealings’ I prefer to call them peace negotiations,  with the IRA, and Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence. Have you detected a theme yet ? I think I have and it’s this according to the unionist parties and their friends in the press Nicola Sturgeon has an obsession with independence. 

Reality however paints a slightly different picture. Far from Nicola Sturgeon having an obsession with independence it is in fact the unionists who are obsessed by the right of the Scotland to at any time determine our future god knows they’ve mentioned it often enough In every campaign leaflet in every party political broadcast and in every televised news bulletin the burning question at least according to the interviewer wasn’t Theresa May’s refusal to take part in debates or Jeremy Corbyn’s suitability for the job of Prime Minister , it was yes you’ve guessed it Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence

 This to me is nothing of short of propaganda of the type that Josef Goebbels would have proud to call his own. It was the same all through the recent council election campaign when unionists of all political hues pleaded for votes on the grounds it send a message to Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland didn’t want what they referred to as another divisive independence referendum even local councils have absolutely no power to stop such a referendum from ever taking place should the Scottish parliament decide to hold one. Still one mustn’t let the truth get in the way of the unionists plan to bring Scotland to heel. 

This constant drip feeding to the most gullible and misinformed section of the public is bound to have had an impact on how they were persuaded to vote. Fortunately I am too well educated to fall for this toxic nonsense but many other people particularly in the older demographic are not so lucky and will tend to take these comments as if they were handed to them on tablets of stone. You see some people really are obsessed with independence and guess what there not in the SNP 

Till next time. 

Gayle X

Comfort Zone 

On day 21 of NaPoWriMo My poem  takes a look at the topic of Privacy. I do so with the issue of locality very much on my mind and that’s why I set it in the most personal places of all, well you can’t get more personal than your street and your home. It is for this  reason I’ve run with the title suggested by my Facebook friend Karen Campbell and titled it Comfort Zone I hope you enjoy the read. 
Comfort Zone 
It’s nice here 

I have nice friends

a nice home 

and a very nice life 

and believe me that is exactly how 

I want it to stay

nothing will take me from my comfort zone 

you see I give money 

to those less fortunate than myself 

I look after my health 

take care of myself 

I know it sounds so middle class

but I’m not I’m just cautious

I’ve always been honest 

maybe it’s because I’m single 

I may mix and mingle 

as much as anyone 

and believe me this girl 

has known how to have fun 

since before Cyndi Lauper hit the charts 

with the song that became an anthem 

but as a Cosmo girl I learned early 

to value my independence 

so when I shut the door behind me 

at the end of the night 

I like to keep myself right 

lock the door on the world 

and retreat to the space I call mine 

my home  is my comfort zone 

the place I can truly be me 

and have the privacy to freely 

express myself 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Scroungers (A Tabloid  Tory Has An Ephiney)

On day 19 of NaPoWriMo My poem takes a satirical look at  press and media stereotypes. These stereotypes  are all too often used by the establishment to label and demonise those groups society consideres different like Immigrants and Disabled People and have a really negative impact if we don’t counter act them .I have given my poem the title Scroungers, I hope you enjoy the read. 

Scroungers 

I hate scroungers 

I really do 

coming over here to live off 

our resources 

taking things from the likes of me and you 

they get all the best housing 

it’s true I read it in the Daily Mail 

and that’s a paper I trust

I’m glad we’re leaving Europe 

and putting Britain first 

it will stop all those Poles

taking our jobs

we need to make Britain great 

believe in the United Kingdom 

well Britain’s got talent 

and the X-factor is the envy of the world 

it really it is 

I think Simon Cowell should be Prime Minister 

he’d soon put a stop to all these immigrants 

flooding our country 

with all those languages and traditions

can they not understand this is Britain 

we don’t want this kind of nonsense 

and as for Scotland I don’t want independence 

I don’t support separation 

I get all the political education I need 

from the Daily Express 

that’s why I hate Nicola Sturgeon 

I mean anyone who wears  a red dress that often 

has to be a communist

and I hate communists I really do 

I’m all for the union 

three cheers for the red white and blue 

I know I’m poor and all the royals and lords are stinking rich 

so what life’s a bitch 

but these people need the extra money 

what do you mean I’m a Tory 

I’ve voted Labour all of my days 

but I think Theresa May is better to lead the  country 

she knows how to put people in their place 

she’s told them in Europe 

we’re leaving and that’s the way it is 

we’re going through the trap door 

and we’re going to get rid of all the European laws 

We’ll ban the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus 

but poverty will be still be allowed 

and disabled people will have their benefits cut 

for being scroungers 

there  a drain on our resources 

and a burden on the state 

what have they ever done to make Britain great ?

nothing, 

it’s not shocking 
who the hell is Stephen Hawking ?

was he in the paralympic team 

god save our gracious Queen 

what do you mean she costs too much ?

that’s not true or I would have read in the Sun 

 or saw it on the BBC News 

I know everything I need to know 

and that’s not a lot 

I’m British not a Scot 

and I might vote Tory

I believe in a land of hope and glory

even if it kills me and it might 

I know I’m right to hate scroungers 

what’s that it’s a pity I don’t know who the real scroungers are 

seriously, the bankers are worse than the immigrants ? 

The United Kingdom is run by and for the privileged 

and they don’t give a damn about me 

well …

maybe being British isn’t so great after all 
© Gayle Smith 2017 

Jewel Of The Clyde 

On day 11 of NaPoWriMo my topic of choice is culture as I look back to 1990 when Glasgow was European City Of Culture and look at the legacy this has left us. I’ve given it the title Jewel Of The Clyde. I hope you enjoy the read.  

Jewel Of The Clyde 
I remember it well 

  1990 

when Glasgow was cultural capital of Europe 

and we were told by our so called betters 

we were the Jewel of the Clyde 

this marketing slogan for the middle classes 

never sat well with ordinary lassies like me 

well not at the time 

though we eventually got used to it 

maybe even liked it 

we never got excited at the prospect the big ticket events 

not when the prices were at least a month’s rent 

we weren’t in to Pavarotti or Sinatra 

but a bit of Love and Money went down fine 

there were lines to be drawn 

between the Scotia Bar and the Tron 

my dad said 

though  I must admit I felt at home 

in both 

well one had ambience the other had heart 

less than a mile apart they symbolised the contrast 

between new and old Glasgow

the geography of conflict 

between socialism and gentrification 

where culture wars real and imagined 

began to be fought 

1990 showed the haves and have nots 

were warring tribes on the hunt  for new recruits 

aspiration and tradition the badges of honour 

claimed by opposing sides 

you could have one but not the other 

in the world according to my mother 

I wanted both and believed I could have them 

I was never wedded to the idea of class as identity 

my view that it was a bigger social construct than nation 

sat well with my radical dad 

but not my socially conservative mum 

who heard distant drums

 as a symbol of her white Protestant Britishness 

the togetherness unionists still bang on about 

even though its days are numbered 

2014 saw generational cultures colide 

but the Jewel of the Clyde voted yes 

to independence

and did it for MacLean and Jimmy Reid 

greed  has never been our way 

the big ticket events have their place 

but if 1990 showed us anything 

it was that our communities 

are what make us strong 

there were lots Glasgowing On 

to give us a sense of belonging 

and a sentimental longing for yesterday 

but times moved on 

and we found our voice

telling stories with authenticity and dignity 

 in plays in community halls 

and poetry nights in bars 

the ordinary people were the stars 

of the Glasgow show 

the roots we planted have grown 

we have flourished beyond recognition 

aspiration and tradition have married 

and the Jewel of the Clyde 

 is the voice they gave to their children. 

 © Gayle Smith 2017 

On This Day 

On day 7 of NaPoWriMo I celebrate a birthday. Not my birthday you understand but the birthday of the Scottish National Party (SNP) of whom I am proud to be a member as it was on the 7th of April 1934 that the party was born, so I thought it only right to commemorate my party’s birthday by writing this poem for my SNP family and wishing our party many more years of success I’ve titled the poem On This Day , I hope you enjoy the read 
On This Day,

On this day we remember 

the cause we represent 

we must never be content 

with second best in any aspect of our lives 

we survived the hard times 

they moulded us in to fighters 

for a vision of a future free from fear

in which the obscenity of nuclear weapons 

are banished forever from the Clyde 

we will have a country

 in which we can have pride 

where people matter far more than image 

Britishness, will be consigned to history 

but until the day comes 

we must walk with dignity 

remembering both past and present 

 heroes and heroines of our movement 

yes there will always be room improvement 

but on this day remember 

Donald Stewart the man who was our first MP 

to gain a seat at a Westminster General Election 

Margo MacDonald, and Alison Hunter 

whose talents secured famous victories 

in Labour’s industrial heartlands 

community champions like Bashir Ahmed and Jim Mitchell 

Yes I know we wax lyrical on 

the political skills of Nicola 

and have been entertained and educated

by listening to the oratory  and intellect of Alex Salmond.

further back in time we had   Jim Sillars, Winnie Ewing,  and Jimmy Reid ,

Now it’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik and  Mhairi Black 

who are the fresh voices the party need 

to deal with the challenges of our times 

the UK has reached the end of the line 

let us not mourn 

It is time for a better Scotland to be born 

let’s wave goodbye to the union jack 

by showing our people there is a better way to be 

Independent and free from the chains of colonial rule 

and the poverty it has brought to our nation 

my inspiration 

comes from members in every branch 

the foot soldiers  who climbed  stairs and filled envelopes 

before chapping doors and putting leaflets through letter boxes 

in the name of the cause 

we are proud to uphold 

no amount of silver and gold 

can buy our principled position 

of saying no to a country run by elites

we must explain to the voters 

why we will never be content 

to accept second best 

our history won’t let us 

as we remember them 

who fought the fight before us 

only to be faced with a chorus of apathy 

and the oft repeated line 

my father voted Labour 

and if was good for him 

then it’s good enough for me 

we as SNP supporters were dismissed without a hearing 

if it never deterred our predecessors 

it won’t stop us now 

in every city , town , and village 

we will campaign with honesty 

for the future we know is ours 

we have never wanted power

for the sake of having it 

we want to transform our country 

and the lives of those who live in it 

it is for this reason alone  we exist 

we must not ignore the fact 

we follow in the footsteps of giants 

and on this day and every day 

we will remember them 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Scotland Of The Heart

On day 6 of NaPoWriMo I remember that today is not only Tartan Day but also the anniversary of the Declaration Of Arbroath in which Scotland asserted our sovereign right to independence. Bearing this in mind, I decided that it may be a good day to assert my own personal politics and share my vision of the Scotland I want to see I’ve given it the title Scotland Of The Heart I hope you enjoy the read. 

Scotland Of The Heart 

It was on this day

 our nation  declared our right

 to full independence 

so being a socialist , and feminist 

I suggest it is a suitable day 

to say what I have to say 

 declare my personal political views 

I want a Scotland of all colours and hues 

where rights are protected not taken away 

and being lesbian , gay bisexual or transgender

does not mean you surrender to bullies 

who want you to cower in fear 

Let me make it clear 

Intolerance is not an option 

 being English, Irish , Indian or Lithuanian 

or indeed a child of any nation 

does not mean you should be excluded

or made to feel unwelcome 

in this country  I call mine

my Scotland of the heart 

so where do I start to build this land 

you must understand I can’t promise miracles 

or turn water to wine

I won’t claim that everything 

will always be fine 

but what I will say is this 

I want a Scotland which will be comfortable discovering itself 

a land which will tackle health based inequalities 

fight poverty and be a good international citizen 

I declare a personal interest in advancing the chances 

for women and girls both at home and elsewhere in the world 

I want an education system which works for all 

not just the better off 

middle Scotland is not my Scotland 

my Scotland is a Scotland of the schemes 

I had dreams back in the day 

I was always a gab with something to say 

and that’s not changed 

I don’t want our youth to be 

estranged from the country 

they grew up in because politicians 

lacked the vision to take big decisions 

on environmental matters

Scotland is not just for the chattering classes

the schemes need to be  free from pollution

for our children to breath cleaner air 

I despair when some think that short term solutions can be given 

as  answers to long term problems 

I want a Scotland which will hold our heads high 

where people have a sense of belonging

not because of where we’ve been 

but where we’re going to go 

and what we will achieve 

when we get to our destination 

I seek my inspiration from ordinary citizens

I want a country where ambition is normal 

and not the preserve of others 

I want a Scotland which will be comfortable discovering itself 

happy with what it finds

and determined to not to rest 

but be the best we can be 

I want a Scotland free from disappointments of yesterday

which doesn’t wallow in the past 

Or drown its sorrows 

I want a country where we plan for tomorrow 

by the actions we are already taking

I want a bolder brighter nation  

where nobody will be shaken by propaganda 

from outside sources 

who make the gullible panic 

when they talk of divorces 

and  implied costs 

I want a country which will not be bossed 

I want a Scotland which doesn’t know its place  

 declares that  it’s time to be  brave 

and despite all the obstacles we face

creates a country we can be proud to call home. 

©Gayle Smith 2017