Refugees and Migrants

The Best-Laid Plans

Drifts here together with his buddy
they pitch up with prayers and plans
A stake for a patch where they can scratch out
a living with their own hands
The preacher says labour makes you holy
your gold must be earned not panned
But nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land

Haters Gonna Hate

Haters gonna hate
Dictators gonna dictate
Tyrants gonna tyrannise 
Rebels will rebel and rise
Rival rulers gonna ride
Rebellion's discontented tide

Bombers gonna bomb
Pogromists will pogrom
Fighters gonna fight
Families gonna take flight
Borders gonna rise
Papers gonna scandalise

Crossing

Written after going through the Thousand Island border crossing from Canada to the USA.

Queue, crawl, window down, good day
Who? How many? Where from? Which way?
How long? What for?
Been here before?

Park, get out. Through those gates
Forms, names, numbers, dates
Terrorist? Spy? Crimes to confess?
(Does anyone ever answer Yes?!)

Heroes and Hordes

If Nicholas Winton were saving the children today
His Transport of Kindness would camp out in fear at Calais
Compassion is easier cast back through history's mist
Abhorrence for migrants but Oscars for Schindler's List

No humans may cross here, this tunnel is only for freight
Hurrah for the Blackshirts and see off the swarms at the gate
They've kind words for history, now for the iron-clad fist
Coldness for Calais and Oscars for Schindler's List

The lords of the fortress will draw bloody lines in the sand
Armed guard at the border instead of the helping hand
They'll trample the memory of saviours whose statues they've kissed 
With borders of barbed wire and Oscars for Schindler's List

A Heroine of our Movement

Ian Townson reviews 'Minnie Lansbury: suffragette, socialist, rebel councillor' in Solidarity 491, 16 January 2019

 

Minnie Lansbury was one of the rebel Labour councillors of Poplar (East London) who in 1921 forced the Tory¬Liberal coalition government to start central government payments to equalise resources between councils in poor and in well¬off areas.

Janine Booth’s biography of Lansbury is rich in detail about her life; working¬class conditions at the time; and much more. It is a solid achievement given the scarcity of material available on Lansbury to work on.

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