Defending public services

Battles against privatisation and cuts

Poplar's rates victory: Ten key points

One hundred years ago, a big movement grew in the east London borough of Poplar, headed by thirty councillors who went to prison rather than levy extortionate rates or cut services to the working-class population that elected them. ‘Poplarism’ won.

Why did Poplar win? Here are ten key points, which contain lessons for today.

Credit Where It's Due

twenty pounds

Some people know what it is worth.

Some people can now buy fresh fruit.
Or keep the heating on for another hour.
Some people can get a decent present
for the kiddo's birthday.
Or a coat when winter comes in.
Some people don't always have to make an excuse
when their mate invites them out.

The Roadmap Ahead

Fear

What if I can't stand the train
without the carriage to myself?
What if I can't stretch and strain
to reach up to the luggage shelf?

What if all the outside seats
are taken and the queue's too long?
And I don't recognise the streets
and can't see left or right or wrong?

The Prime Minister Speaks on the Occasion of One Hundred Thousand U.K. Covid Deaths

Boris is sorry - deeply sorry -
for every life that's been lost

Johnson is worried - deeply worried -
about the political cost

He takes responsibility - full responsibility -
for all of the government's actions

Johnson is possibly - in all probability -
counting financial transactions

Silent Night

clap

It's Thursday evening, eight o'clock, no sound
No passing cars or footsteps on the ground
No pots or pans or cheering to be found
As nobody is clapping this time round

When this began, we clapped them off to war
Then came reports that we could not ignore
Low pay, long hours, no P.P.E. in store
Now no-one claps for carers any more

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