Written circa 2005
(after reading the Howard Government’s plan to cut welfare expenditure)
Your words wound with such dexterity,
creating a chasm of depressed enormity.
You mouth the platitudes of economic efficiency
about how you aim to abolish welfare dependency.
It fills our hearts with an intense despondency.
You speak as if I am to blame for my redundancy.
I can’t read. Does that mean I caused my illiteracy?
My mother’s lover left – so I caused my illegitimacy?
Forget the umbilical cord tight around my neck-
I, not the lack of oxygen, caused my deficit.
Forget unsafe work practices – what the heck,
my actions , not those of the boss, led to my disability.
as perpetuator and victim rolled into one
I must accept the full responsibility.
I acknowledge that it is a shame,
it is the right of victims everywhere to accept the blame.
We cant expect government to help us shoulder the burden
so instead of expecting to be treated with dignity
we’ll have to learn to knuckle under, and with due humility,
be grateful for the imposition of your mutual responsibility.
Only the most ungracious would call it – tyranny.
there are some among us who say that it’s not right,
some comrades claim the time has come to fight;
we are not equipped with distorting words that lie
so if we enter into battle then some of us will die.
You might think us stupid, but we’ve done the sum
there are more of us than you when all’s said and done.
We want rapid fire social justice
and we want it on the run
and the best way to get that is
with bullets and a gun!!!!!
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson