Democracy · General

Madame Dictator

 

Madame Dictator, have you not heard

Your deal was voted down historically

And yet you resurrect the interred

Proposal repeatedly, delay after delay

Burning our security & democracy away,

 

Your office not conferred

By any political majority,

You do not listen to a word

From any, except, perhaps, the ERG

Who need an ECG

To find out if they have a heart

Because they seem intent

Only on ripping us apart,

 

But you, Madame Dictator,

Like a modern Bonaparte

Say you hear

But you do not!

Stirring up terror

By running down the clock,

 

Perhaps it’s said best by Andy Serkis;

Your attitude to this rambling failure

Akin to Gollum’s with his ‘precious’;

A gold that deserved the fires of Mordor

But instead you throw our futures in

To that furnace, knowing it will make this nation so much poorer

As the homeless line the streets and food bank ques get longer,

And the extremists get stronger

And injustices reign – those you said you’d bring to order

Yet you disengage to build walls of fire at our borders

And, as for climate change …

 

You focus only on Brexit

But do so without debate

Hushing up all the elected

Tying nation states up in red tape

 

More than

Two years!

Two years

And more!

 

In a cabal of your own

Prescribed parameters,

Your negotiations

In closed door deliberations

And perambulations

As you ignite more tensions

With another deadline gone,

I have literally lost count!

Every time you tell the Commons

There will be later debate

Then roll the calendar on;

The dates for meaningful votes

Eternally postponed,

Except that historic one

Where the deal was trodden on,

The same deal you resuscitate,

 

 

All the while that lie ‘secure and stable’

When there’s nothing on the table

And security service cutbacks

Coincide with terror attacks

And there is legislation against

Generations told to go back

To the commonwealth after decades of life and work in the UK,

So, just because they are black

You citizens to go away,

And now, will more Europeans face the same?

 

I visited Yalswood, while you were Home Secretary,

Children and women fearing their fate,

Caucasian guards, all black and ethnic minority

Detainees – I thought, mine is a racist state,

My friend was denied vital medicine

They took my prints before I could go in

The package of essentials I left

Was only passed on after five days,

She had to fight for legal representation,

Hers not an uncommon story,

I’ve known others, one girl just fourteen,

Britishness part of her identity –

Her humanity you refused to see,

 

How dare you, in self-righteous glory

Proclaim you understand democracy

If you can’t see their lives matter!

 

 

Now,

Your promises in tatters;

When you said you’d listen,

See how skilfully you didn’t,

Your cabinet found in contempt

Of our disjointed constitution,

 

This is wrong! The is so very wrong!

This is becoming authoritarian

And very, very, very dark!

 

You have polluted

“Safe and Secure”

“Meaningful”

“Democracy”

“Listening”

“Vote” –

 

All convoluted

By you

Until the words stick in my throat –

 

And you call this your mission;

To re- enforce your indecent proposition

After the worst historical democratic defeat in the entire history of any Westminster government!

All you are reinforcing are the fault lines of division,

 

And, for the record, I’m not impressed by Corbyn

So, please don’t read this as propaganda

For a weakly lead, anti-Semitic opposition,

Though I will state I’m firmly left of centre

This is less about sides and more concerned

With the slide towards totalitarianism,

 

Only idiots will say it is because you’re a woman,

Though they do, pouring on scorn

For all the agelessly wrong reasons,

As they try to make you dance,

Or comment on your complexion,

In this alone I come to your defence

Yet my complaints could fill a lexicon

From your term feeding hate in the Home Office

Displaying a personal distaste towards migration

To this cutting off of deliberation in Parliament,

It’s not gender defining each subverted action

So, I will not hold back because I’m a feminist;

 

I will call you Madame Dictator,

A title not up for discussion

Unless you decide to govern better

And return the dignities you’ve taken.

 

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

 

Culture · General · Personal

Gone

Gone are the days of princesses
and nights in shining armor;
My love, this is England now
In the daze of fares selling fair ethics,
Where knights slaughter sacred cows
Amid rued lives, dignities and businesses
In rude awakenings, fresh grievances
And very little honour towards neighbours,
In a winter that does not seem to pause
A dog sleeping in a doorway chews his paws;
The mighty say we choose this,
A lax hypothesis for half choices based on lies,
Lack breeds homelessness in familiar lanes;
A city’s slow demise in the ice where lives have lain.

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

 

The first two lines of this poem were a prompt from poet Sonya Annita Song which in turn reminded me of the haunting Sinead O’Connor song ‘Black Boys on Mopeds’. The content is inspired by things I have recently seen.

48% · Democracy · General

Dear Ministers

Dear Ministers,
Oh, dear ministers,
Oh dear, ministers,

I have listened, ministers,
To the speeches you gave,
I have seen you, leaders,
How some choose to behave,

I offer up broken couplets
Too messy to make the grade,
Like the Eton Mess you serve us;

Dominic Raab
You’ve had a fair stab
At getting the Brexit you craved,
As quill-master in Cabinet,
Aren’t you part of the mess that’s been made?
But no one’s got a sane plan yet,
How can your vision be saved?
We’ll lose our voice, increase our debt,
Can we not end the whole Brexit crusade?

Andrea Leadsom
I can’t fathom your reasons
For taking a lead upon
Leaving,
It’s not buying us freedom
Just Isolation
More homelessness,
And alienation
That will leave most of us
Grieving,

Borris Johnson
Tone down your ambition
When it estranges our nation,
Where you get facts from
I cannot imagine
But few of them have any traction,

Oh Michael Gove
I don’t mean to scold
But there isn’t much else I can say,
As we’re forced down a road
Which will see us implode –
You were warned Brexit would be this way,

Please, Jacob Rees-Mogg,
Could you stop playing God –
Draining dregs of Britain’s Great,
The Brexiters will no longer applaud
When they examine the state of our state,
You campaigned for something we cannot afford
That’s encouraging extremist hate,
Which will undermine the rule of law,
And you don’t quite have the mandate,

Liam Fox
We’re on the rocks,
Could you rise to our defence?
Brexit has hit expected roadblocks,
Your euro-scepticism makes little sense,

Jeremy Corbyn,
Please curb your boredom,
We need a real opposition,
You’ve been sat there for months
Letting them play the trumps
Not challenging many decisions,
Please don’t stay in the dumps
Between scuffles and bumps,
Wake up, and get with the mission,
You look like your waiting for Godo to come,
Seeming apathy enlarges division
And that’s not a thing we can build on,

Theresa May,
You campaigned to remain
But the deal offered
Is no sort of plan;
Neither here nor there,
Can you tell, I’m not a big fan?
But I have to be fair,
Making Brexit happen
would make any despair,
So, could we start agreeing
That this is demeaning
And Brexit can’t get anywhere?

Frank Field
Please yield,
The foodbank ques
Are already too long,
Think what we’ll lose
If no-deal rules
And our bargaining power
Is all gone,
I honour your ardour
But you’re plain wrong,
And, let me make it clear;
Immigrants belong,
When you raise fear
It resonates on, on, on,
We’re better inside
Making change
Than outside when everything’s gone,
Shouting in
With nothing but our rage
To live on,
You’ll only succeed in limiting
How any of us engage –
Best abort the mistaken vision
At this last sand-grain stage,

Kate Hoey,
What are you doing?
You won’t end the single market
This exit will just lead to our ruin –
And guess who’ll be hit the hardest
If borders are closed, no food getting in?
The working class would die the fastest.
If we’ve hope of any solution
We have to take stock and move past this;
We need a codified constitution
But breaking union won’t help this,
And Brexit won’t offer social justice
But more hunger and less protections,

Ester McVey,
This is far from OK;
Brexiteering
Cripples the UK,
Throwback ideas stirring
Our fears,
And nostalgia for Empire days
In faraway years,
But when ballots say Brexit
It was ever going to be
A state of disarray
As a third-party country,
This was a foundation
Not to vote leave,
We break more than one
Precious unity,
But, for diverse reasons,
On one thing we agree;
This deal won’t work for our nation –
It will mean more poverty
And give near zero security
Or peace,
But Brexit could be no other way –
As most legal advisors agree,
Now our nation has to pay
But have no protection or say
In EU policies,

I could go on with my anti-Brexit song
But would any of you really listen?
You’ve been ignoring each other for so long
As we’re forced to endure such division.

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy · Remain

Democracy

 

She keeps saying that word, ‘democracy’,

As if she kens in any way

What it truly means, or maps it meaningfully,

Thoughtfully into daily political routines,

Or sees it as her duty, or honours it duly,

Does she? Do we?

 

In the absence of a solid UK constitution

I took a butchers at the dictionary;

 

Let’s park the ultimate ‘democracy’ definition;

‘A system of government by the whole population,’

Across centuries this has been the high ambition

But in every recorded era and administration

There’ve been cordons limiting representation;

Defining our inner outcasts; inciting disunion,

 

So, let’s look at a more realistic take;

To include All eligible members of a state,

Usually via representatives elected –

That’s all of them; not just the cabinet –

Democracy seeks to be inspected,

It does not isolate, negate or delay debate,

Cross-party amendments must be respected

As is that near- impeachment moment

When parliament found May’s government

To be acting in contempt,

Many united voices on each backbench

Knocking on doors of The Prime Minister’s set

To ask her cabal where our democracy went,

 

But she treats such questions as undemocratic,

Yet it’s her clique that fits inside that lens,

The irony is spiky, bitter, cutting, tragic,

For it is a torn flag May says she defends

And her hands have helped to tear its fabric,

A borderline result in the EU referendum,

Gross exaggeration of marginal statistics;

It was always a blatant overstatement

To say Britain voted for this Brexit –

The difference of a couple of percent,

Most of whom voted ‘leave’ due to deceit,

Buying into lies of the Brexiteer campaign –

The same people she now calls colleagues,

Is it democracy or deception they’d see reign;

Ideally, one requires the other’s defeat,

 

Instead, a failed attempt at self-coronation –

The expectation entirely unrealistic,

This weakened any credibility for her position

As she undermined terms of a peace agreement

To abandon neutrality for a near-coalition

With one side of Northern Ireland’s dialectic,

Setting the nation up for renewed collisions,

All this to get enough seats for a slim majority;

To fain enough support for her to govern,

Northern Ireland’s needs still not a priority,

 

Calls for votes of no confidence since then,

The first, directed at her, by her own party,

Went to a ballot she won narrowly,

Oh yes, a half-hearted mutter from Corbyn

Was fairly shamelessly deflected –

He, seemingly most interested

In whether Labour could win,

Only requested parliament contested

May’s place at the helm,

 

Later came calls from the other opposition;

The ignored, united smaller parties

Disillusioned by her flailing, high-handed regime,

Yet still, May continues her didactic addresses

As if all were there to rubber stamp her scheme,

This is not why any of them were elected;

To say she shields democracy would be obscene,

 

‘Democratic’ has become a word infected,

Made submissive for assumed power to lean on,

The word shouted as an order or directive

By those who wish to guard their own dominion;

Their grasp of the term is defective,

 

What about ‘social equality’ as a working definition?

Um, I can safely say they’re failing that one –

Policies stirring frustration, fear, suspicion,

While abandoning pledges to abused women,

More people than before feeling alienation

As we see homelessness break all proportions

Amid cuts to vital services, wages, and occupations,

Crime soars as they cut back on police divisions,

As the cost of living rises to beat inflamed inflation,

 

The Sausage Song was Christmas no. one,

Raising funds to help feed hungry millions,

Those facing starvation include children,

So, topping the charts is positive direct action

Not by our government, but by the population.

 

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

Democracy · Festive Protest Songs · General

My Least Favourite Things

(Here’s one I wrote a few years ago, to the tune of The Sound of Music – My Favourite Things)

 

Homelessness rising and people frost-bitten,

Unnourished bellies, cold hands without mittens

Transnational big businesses pulling our strings,

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Terrorists funded by Oil and Arms Dealers,

Refugees blamed by Daesh and all our leaders,

Bombers that fly with mass death on their wings

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Violence increasing as prejudice slashes,

Divide to rule rhetoric gluing eyelashes

Icy white winters mixed up with our springs

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Chorus:

When the cuts bite, when the lies sting,

When we’re feeling sad

We unite against our least favourite things

And then we won’t feel so bad,

 

Misinformation as our climate is cracking,

Secretive deals to enforce lethal fracking,

Opportunities passing as poverty clings,

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Racism, ableism, gender exclusion,

Media Moguls spreading confusion,

Insipid homogeny dominating

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Public services given to corporatisation

Making us wonder who governs our nations,

Vulnerable patients charged for their slings

These are a few of my least favourite things,

 

Chorus:

 

When the cuts bite, when the lies sting,

When we’re feeling sad

We unite against our least favourite things

And then we won’t feel so bad.

 

 

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

Democracy · Festive Protest Songs · General

What the Dickens? – A Christmas Carol Revisited

 

What the Dickens is this?

As parliament breaks up for Christmas

We are visited by the ghosts of promises;

As Brexit consumes the policies

Once pledged to deal with ‘burning injustices’,

 

The ghost of past oaths and assurances

To tackle rouge bailiffs and rip-off leases

Are abandoned as inequality advances;

See the ghosts to be crouched on cold streets,

Lives, not just statistics in rising homelessness,

 

The ghost of past undertakings and vows

To confront domestic violence, here and now

With electronic tags for known offenders

And forced rehab for abusive substance users,

How many victims are no longer with us

Since broken pacts to protect survivors?

 

Ghosts of lawful guarantees to defend us

In the word they gave they’d shield workers

From still legal wage-theft by some businesses,

People treated like those caged wild creatures

Still allowed to be trapped in certain circuses,

 

As the cabinet prepares to sleep this December 24th,

May they hear the howling wind knocking at their doors

And see the ghost of now, shades of what came before

And the spectre of the future if they don’t change course.

 

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

Democracy · Festive Protest Songs · General · Remain

Better Watch Out

This one is written in the horror of knowing a homeless person was set on fire in their sleeping bag in our city. It is part of a wave of rising abuse. I wrote the song to the tune of ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’ – I’ve always found the original words a bit sinister. I’m aware the verse would scan better if I’d written ‘The Alt Right’ instead of Far-Righters but I don’t see them as ‘alternative’.  This poem comes with strong trigger warnings.

 

You better watch out, you better not cry
Don’t sit this one out, I’m telling you why, cause
Far-righters are coming to town
They bankrolled Brexit, spreading its worst lies
They’ve got no reason or alibis, cause
Far-righters are coming to town

They burn homeless men while sleeping
Then record it all on tape
They’re terrorising neighbourhoods
With their mates the KKK!

 

[Chorus]
You better watch out, you better not cry
Don’t sit this one out, I’m telling you why, cause
Far-righters are coming to town.


We’re gonna resist with all of our might
Cause we still believe in the worth of each life,

But far-righters are coming to town.

 

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch