Defending public services

Battles against privatisation and cuts

Get Out Of Here

I’d like to get out but the lift doesn’t work
And my knees are too weak for the stairs

I meant to get out but the telly keeps telling me
People like me should be scared

I was going to get out but the place that I’d go to
Has signs saying 'closed' on the door

I’d still have got out but the lady who went with me
Doesn’t come round any more

Responses

Janine at The NHS vs The Big C, Hackney, 17 October 2019

How do people respond when you tell them you have breast cancer? Janine Booth's poem considers some common reactions.

Performed at The NHS vs The Big C, organised by Hackney Keep Our NHS Public and Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party, 17 October 2019

If you can hold a pen, please fill in this form

A&E

Would you recommend this A&E?
Please rate on a scale from one to three

Would you suggest a funny turn?
An asthma attack or a third-degree burn?

A road crash or a broken bone?
Allergic reaction or a kidney stone?

A five-star resort for your family?
We all shop around in an emergency.

Tick here to raise the patient's voice
Pick the paramedic of your choice

This Place

I come to see you in this place
A train, a bus, a longish walk
A mask of growth veneers your face
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk

A train, a bus, a longish walk
They brought you here to make you well
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk
You've questions, jokes and tales to tell

Speaking out about deaths in care

Speaker

Janine proposing a motion condemning deaths of autistic and learning disabled people in care, at TUC Disabled Workers' Conference in May 2019.

***

On 21 March this year, an inquest ruled that the death of Colette McCulloch was avoidable.

Colette was thirty-five years old when she died. She was autistic, and in a hostile society, she had become mentally unwell.

Ban the Booth!

Ban the Booths campaign logo

Inside a cell three-walled in fears
kept separated from their peers
A throwback to the Dickens years
the pride and joy of Wackford Squeers
Victorian values raw in tooth
So Tories, damn you - ban the booth!

Narrative Verdict

I rise to call my first dead witness
Counsel may contest his fitness
for his part to testify
to tell you how he came to die
He leads a host of souls to tell
their stories from a bitter well
of negligence and ignorance
of culpable indifference
An inquest has been held for each
but now this hearing must impeach
the system which we'll hear has let them

Affordable Home

house make of cash

Apartments and unfurnished
Flats rented or retailed for a small
Fortune, unfortunately unaffordable
Out of the price range, out of
Reach of those who need a place to call 'fixed abode'
Dictionary defines 'affordable'
Adjective: within one's financial means; not
Beyond the budget; not so dear that
Landed gentry and lottery lucksters only need apply for
Extensive, expensive accommodation eloquently extolled as 'affordable': adjective

'Having a cost that is not too high', too
Opulent, over-the-top, off-the-scale, or obviously obscene
Market-mangled meaning strangles
English language

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