My Poems

Having written and performed as The Big J in the 1980s, Janine started again in 2014, after a brief interlude of around a quarter of a century.

Froms sonnets to villanelles, limericks to ballads, the occasional rap and plenty of straightforward rants, serious and humorous and sometimes both, here is Janine's verse.

'British Work for British Hands'

Seeing this Conservative candiddate's advert in a 1910 issue of the East London Advertiser, it struck me that the 'British jobs for British workers' slogan of a couple of years ago was neither new nor left-wing.

‘British work for British hands’
Not for scum from foreign lands
Tory slogan, nineteen ten,
How much has really changed since then?

Gideon's Budget 2012

Two limericks for Gideon George Osborne's 2012 Budget:

1.

We can be sure that in Gideon's budget
However the media judge it
There'll be gifts for the rich
For the rest, not a stitch
And Labour's poor leaders will fudge it

2.

An Ode to Tube Cleaning

A right filthy job is Tube cleaning
We slave while the bosses are preening
We work night and day
No pension or sick pay
And the wages are truly demeaning

But cleaners won’t let them attack us
Harass us, track us and sack us
On protest and picket
We’ll tell them where to stick it
And expect all our workmates to back us 

We Three Kings

A variation on a festive favourite - to the tune of We Three Kings Of Orient Are:

We three kings of austerity be
IDS, Gideon and David C
Finding ways
To make you pay
For capitalism's misanthropy

Oh-oh
Cuts by daytime, cuts by night
Cuts that hurt and cuts that bite
It's so thrilling
To save each shilling
It truly is a lovely sight

Michael Gove Is Coming to Town

More of a Christmas carol than a poem, dedicated to our later, unlamented Education Secretary, and set to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town:

You'd better not hope, dream or aspire
Stay in your place, you won't get any higher
Michael Gove is coming to town

You'd better brush up on traditional skills
Caning and Latin and military drills
Michael Gove is coming to town

While Bishops Washed Their Frocks

Shortly before Christmas 2012, the Church of Engalnd voted not to allow women to become bishops. The decision to allow women bishops - with some qualification - was taken around two years later.
To the tune of While Shepherd's Watched Their Flocks ...

While bishops washed their frocks by night
All seated on the ground
An edict from the Synod came down
"It's still just men allowed"

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