WHERE THE CHILDREN PLAY

A poem about these desperate times where people do and say terrible things.

Early, in the dimness of the morning,
He goes to the window.
He opens the curtain wide.
He takes a little look outside.
He sees something, something,
He sees something in the trees.
Something, hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.

He looks, closer,
Doesn’t know what it is,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play

The sun rises over the flats,
Shafts of light bounce between
The branches and the leaves.
Another Eltham day is dawning,
Next door’s cat mewls at the door,
The street is slowly awakening.

He looks again to the shape,
The something, hanging in the trees,
Where the children play.
He sees his next door neighbour,
Hanging, in the trees,
Where the children play.
Hanging in the trees,
Where the children play

In the early Eltham sunlight,
Where the children play.
Another warm autumn sunrise,
Where the children play.
Police car parks, beneath the trees,
Where the children play.
Why did he have to do it there?
I hear the small crowd say
Why couldn’t he find somewhere else?
He did it
Where the children play

Harry Rogers, in the old study, Aberbanc, 2013

SMART ALECK SOUNDBITES

Would be king of the smart aleck soundbite
Tries to hijack a Lioness win ride.
Smack of insincerity on steroids
Propels him further into losers void.
No matter how hard he tries to find IT,
He’s lost in a charisma deficit.
In LOTO office as panic sets in
Dark art lords totally run out of spin
So ill at ease with no wind at his back
All he can do is cuddle Union Jack,
Thus is the truth of his horror story,
Spun from ersatz Tory Jackanory.
As number ten keys slip further away
Workers need leaders to fight for their pay.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 28th July 2022

SOLEMN PROMISES

There were ten of them,
I remember them.
Solemn promises,
Given as pledges,
When you told us all
You can trust in me,
Put your trust in me,
My integrity.
Why did you need to
Tell us about that?
Now it’s growth growth growth,
Pledges are all parked,
We see who you are,
Revealed from the dark.
Like a stunned rabbit,
Sat in that café,
Truth slapped in your face,
You had nowt to say.
Caught out bang to rights,
Still don’t understand,
Talking to The Sun,
Such a waste of time,
We see straight through you,
It’s not what you say,
What you’ve done or do
Every single day
Reveals who is you.
All your jokes fall flat,
Each paltry relaunch,
Polls remain flatlined,
You’ve thrown hope away,
There’s one thing to do,
You must walk away,
For the sake of the
Many, not the few,
Get thee gone today,
Had enough of you,
See you clearly now,
You take your pledges,
Fake solemnity,
Wrap them up in silk,
Forensically,
End of Wigan pier,
Toss them in the sea.
Stop this Blairite guff,
Enough is enough.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 26th July 2022.

DON’T STOP STARTING

As soon as I stop starting
I know that I don’t belong,
Won’t write another poem,
Never write another song.

Put my pencil on the pad,
Shake ink droplets from my pen,
Caress my keyboard, slowly,
Here comes if and but and when.

Seems like all I have to do,
To get the magic going,
Is to write the first words down,
Then my juices start flowing.

But if I prevaricate,
Leave cap screwed on my ink pot,
There’ll be nothing in future
To make folks forget me not.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom,
24th July 2022

FORDE

How ghastly this situation,
With liars in domination,
Their poison splashed across the truth,
Hardwired with manufactured proof.
Honesty trampled in the dust,
Integrity blown, shit or bust,
Ignore overarching danger,
Main thing? Keep control of manger.
Forde report confirms all our fears,
We laboured in vain through those years.
No comfort now in told you so,
No point to call for time to go.
That well? Defiled for evermore,
Tainted, spoiled, by Randian war.
Roaring silence clatters eardrums,
Something more wicked this way comes,
Ignored, it will not fade away,
Beware, new dogma has its day.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 24th July 2022

IF THINGS DON’T CHANGE THEY STAY THE SAME …..

Companions of dishonour.

Even now he clings on to his monumental delusions. Cannot find the words to apologise for his actions that have demeaned the whole concept of parliamentary democracy. His failure to recognise his shortcomings only surpassed by his stupidity in believing that he was, and is, above the law, and could, and can, get away with anything. This last PMQs by Boris Johnson defied belief as the very people who voted to remove the canker from the despatch box whooped and cheered as he ignored every question as usual, laughed at his third class student debating society jokes and slanders and clapped vociferously in a standing ovation as he shuffled out the side door, hopefully never to return. His final riposte “Hasta La Vista, Baby”, though was strangely apt. Channelling Arnie in The Terminator fits Johnson and his ilk pretty well. His whole approach to politics is about the destruction of the status quo, the termination of any vestiges of integrity or democracy. What’s so incredible is that having been possibly the biggest liar ever to be Prime Minister and having to leave office in total disgrace he is already being rehabilitated by those who outed him and the right wing media. Headlines saying “What Have We Done?” appeared almost immediately. Rishi Sunak is being systematically knifed from all directions and it looks increasingly as if sorcerer’s apprentice Liz Truss will be his successor. The madness of the last few years will continue. Even now Truss will not openly criticise Johnson, she is banking on the Johnson supporters in the Tory Party membership coming over to her in the run off for Party Leader. This means that the mainstream news media programmes will/are already, be filled with analysis of what can only be described as right wing populist propaganda. It is highly unlikely that there will be that much political debate around alternative policies because this situation is not part of a proper democratic discussion because the vast majority of the people have no say whatsoever in the selection and election of the Prime Minister. Listening to Liz Truss defacating all over the British Government economic strategy of the last twenty years and saying that she will take the country in a completely different direction means, in my opinion, that she would have no democratic mandate and therefore ought to put her brave new world to the test of a general election. Of course this is highly unlikely to happen, why would it, after all this has become the norm in British politics. As for any realistic opposition from across the floor of Westminster I am not holding my breath. The Starmeroids have embroiled themselves in a furore of their own making with the release of the long awaited Forde report. So, whilst the deafening silence on this issue continues in the MSM and amongst extreme centrists, internally Labour is in turmoil. They are hardly in a position to offer up a credible alternative to what can only be seen as another Tory disaster waiting to happen. in such a volatile situation there has never been a greater need for a Left alternative to Neo Liberal Labour.

Harry Rogers in my Covid infected misery, 22nd July 2022

BANDITS AT TEN O’CLOCK

TANGO WHISKEY ALPHA TANGO

Scramble! Scramble!
Bandits at ten o’clock
Cue Dambusters theme tune
Legacy photo shoot needed
Glossy coffee table biography
Waiting above bomb hatch doors
To be dropped all over Pimlico.
“Come in Tango Whiskey Alpha Tango,
This is a drill, repeat, a drill,
Do not strafe the Sunak residence,
Do not strafe the Sunak residence,
No spaffing the treasury.
Return to base, return to base,
Alpha Charlie awaits in the mess.”
“Roger Roger, Tango Whiskey Alpha Tango,
Bimbling back to base now,
Keep the Charlie in fridge,
Spaff spiff spoff over and out”

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 19th July 2022

WHEN IS A PARTY NOT A PARTY?

When is a party
Not a party anymore?
When all socialists
Have shuffled off out the door?
When suitcases empty
Beyond long hand of the law?
When nobody knows
What the Labour leader’s for?
When democracy
Lies trashed on conference floor?
When extreme centrists
Dump policies they ignore?
When the NHS
Profits the rich, not the poor?
When Lord Mandleson
And his spads tot up the score?
When the traitors sneer
As cowards flinch evermore?
When the flag turns pink
Red no more in tooth nor claw?
Can someone help me
‘Cos I need to know for sure?
When is a party
Not a party anymore?

Harry Rogers in Nether Edge, 15th July 2022.

Transcript of my contribution on Not PMQs 13th July 2022

George Loveless – Tolpuddle Martyr

TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS FESTIVAL 2022

In these times of intense austerity it is important to remember those activists from times past who bravely stood against the tyranny of capitalist exploitation aided by the ruling class. On the 15th July The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival returns. State Terrorisation of socialists, and trades unionists such as the Tolpuddle Martyrs continues today with Pritti Patel’s new laws designed to scare people away from participating in collective activism. This Tory government know their policies will lead the working class to use their only weapon, strike action, to challenge them. In the 19th century employers believed they had carte blanche to pay workers what they wanted. When the six agricultural workers, The Tolpuddle Martyrs, formed their friendly society they made it clear that they would not work for less than ten shillings a week, the employers cut wages to seven shillings per week and were proposing to cut to five shillings a week. The activism led to the state using arcane legislation to their deportation to Australia as common criminals. 800,000 people marched in London a year later in one of the biggest demonstrations in history up to that date and the sentences were overturned. The Trade Union and Labour movement owes a massive debt to these workers who stood up to their oppressors, and it is right to celebrate their memory. I find it interesting that today the modern Labour Party offers little solace or support to workers whose pay has been decimated by over a decade of austerity and pay cuts, especially in the service sectors. It is encouraging to see trade unionists making a stand as the economy is careering into recession. We all look across the myriad of social media platforms and see disenchanted socialists who’ve left the Labour Party or been expelled, as they call for an alternative party of the Left. This is proving tricky as there are entrenched historic ideological differences between the existing left groupings. Attempts to pull together a socialist alliance to challenge Labour as an electoral alternative have failed time and again throughout my 75 years of existence. To be frank I get pissed off at the constant nitpicking about which group has the correct line. Starmer and the extreme centre, the Tories, the CIA, and all the capitalist shits across the planet love it when the Left tear lumps out of each other instead of focusing on the Neo Liberal enemies in Parliament. In my view it is sad that the Jeremy Corbyn leadership was attacked so viciously by right wing and extreme centrists within the Labour Party. The administration, the bulk of the PLP and elements of the traditional labour movement conspired to bring about the failure of those of us worked so hard to make the For The Many Not The Few manifesto a reality. That manifesto was clearly popular with large sections of the electorate, as the 2017 election result clearly demonstrates. I worked hard in Ceredigion CLP as chair but, following the 2019 debacle when centrists conspired to bring about the downfall of Jeremy Corbyn, and then, in 2020, withdrew the parliamentary whip from him, I could, in all honesty, no longer remain in a party that behaved so despicably and in June 2020 I resigned from the Labour Party. I joined Left Unity Wales in September 2020 and am still a member. I am now one of 4 comrades from Wales on the National Executive Committee of Left Unity. As I see it this Tory government are still in power in large part because the extreme centre did not support LOTO and the manifesto drawn up by the Labour Party Membership. Now we see a government in crisis with a Starmer led opposition not able to offer even a modicum of support for trade unionists on strike fighting for a fairer deal in the teeth of the cost of living crisis. This is why large gatherings of socialists and trade union activists at events such as the Durham Miners Gala, Levellers Day, and The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival are important for a a variety of reasons. I believe one of the most important of these is the affirmation of the importance of collective action against injustice inflicted upon workers. It is good for activists to know that they are not alone, that there is collective strength. The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival takes place on 15th – 17th July. As the RMT, UNITE, and other unions stand firm with their members in struggle against the awful government such gatherings bring us all together. This weekend many of us involved in the fight for peace, justice and equality will be there organising together for a socialist future. LIVE, HOPE, ACT.

Harry Rogers, 13/07/2022

Join Left Unity here https://leftunity.org/membership-form/

FEEDING EGOS

Wot, No Pritti?

An election is in process
Before the rules are put in place.
On the news they call it progress,
A move away from past disgrace.
Candidates launch manifestos
Willy nilly on Twitter feeds,
The lesser known stand on tiptoes,
This helps to feed their ego needs.
“Look at me mum, I’m in the race,
To be the next Prime Minister,
Take a look at my smiling face.”
It’s all so bloody sinister.
But then it’s nowt to do with us,
Democracy lies beneath bus!

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom , 12th July 2022

THE UGLY BEAUTY CONTEST.

Graham Brady 1922 Committee Chair.

On that bright day long exit is over
There’ll be whooping and dancing in clover
Hooray we will cry, the BJ has gone,
So now the Tory circus carries on,
We will hear a lot more of same old song,
Stable sweeping always takes too long.
Shiny new Prime Minister emerges
Into winners enclosure, poll surges.
Headlines trumpet change as things stay the same,
News media gets in line, same old game,
Countless column inches focus upon
Faux ugly beauty contest someone’s won.
Abuse of democracy just begun.
We fall for Tory three card trick again,
Leadership imposed, indefinite reign.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 11th July 2022.

TIME TO GO

Empties cleared away, photo albums packed,
Suits and ties mothballed, cardboard boxes stacked.
Sat alone in geometric nightmare,
Phone now silent, no product on his hair,
Blonde bombshell awaits toot from moving van.
Silence so strange now for yesterday’s man.
No need to conjure up instant bluster,
Nor aphorisms ready to muster.
Diary emptied, no meetings today,
Dressing up clothes all safely packed away.
Ah but memories around him do swirl,
The parties, the jokes, too racy to tell,
Daydream turns into winter without snow,
Voice on stairs calls “Boris? It’s time to go.”…….

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 9th July 2022.

‘AVE ANUVVER BEER KEIR

‘Ave anuvver beer Keir, ‘ave anuvver beer,
Old bill in Durham say yer in the clear.
Young Wesley Streeting keep yer powder dry,
Peter’s shelved yer application, don’t cry.
You an’ Ange ‘ave nicked the main chance today,
But are yer ready to come out to play?
Polls are a disaster, despite no fine.
Vox pops appalling all along the line.
Policies all ditched, start again from scratch,
Change yer tactics in middle of the match.
Go dahn Wimbledon wiv the ‘oi poloi,
Ignore picket lines, ya stupid boy,
Watch out, ‘cos when ya scrap yer Brexit plot
Lib Dems will likely filch the effing lot.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 8th July 2022.

DEATH BY A DIRTY DOZEN CUTS

How we cheered as Tory plotters
Plunged knives into Eton rotter.
Even before he stopped twitching
Some could not wait to start bitching.
Into the ring more hats are thrown,
“Oh no, not him”, I hear you groan,
This spectacle, “democracy”,
Is nothing but a fallacy.
There is one thing that we should note,
Prime minister without our vote.
But then we’ve seen it all before,
There’s no constitutional law.
Nineteen Twenty Two committee?
It all stinks of something shitty.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 8th July 2022.

WHITEWASH BY TEA

Dylyn the dog will run free at Chequers
Until summers end, so Johnson believes.
Even now he clings on to the trappings,
Unable to relinquish the dummy
Of Prime Ministerial privelege.
In his fevered mind he still has power,
Places total blame on all and sundry,
Sees no reason for any contrition,
Likens own supporters to animals,
With herd mentality the driving force
That pushed him out the door of number ten,
Fails to accept responsibility.
Now all the talk is of his legacy,
Shredders are buzzing, whitewash before tea

Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, 7th July 2022.

IMMORALITY GALORE

Spend our money on your war
Forget about the poor
Pass another nasty law
We all see what you’re for
Now you’re halfway out the door
And lies flow more and more
Everybody knows the score
You’ve become such a bore
Your ideas a running sore
Leave now we all implore
The pound falls through the floor
Feels like nineteen eighty four
Nothing left to restore
Snake no longer guarantor
You, rotten to the core
Should swim now to distant shore
Slip away power whore
Never owt like this before
You who saw work as chore
Immorality galore
Still not gone? Fetch a saw
We’ll cut you loose whilst you snore,
Get thee gone, smirk no more
No-one loves you anymore.

Harry Rogers in the yellow room, July 6th 2022.