red riding hood ltd

Once upon a time
there was a grandmother
whose primary carer
was a young girl
who also worked for the
red riding hood care agency ltd.

One day
the girl set off to see her grandma
happy as usual
skipping through the forest
with a basket
of microwave meals
a carton of long-life milk
a copy of TV Quick
and a new blister pack of meds

Suddenly a hideous wolf
disguised as a campaigning tory MP
stepped out in front of her
and asked where she was going
and who she planned on voting for
the girl politely told him
the wolf said interesting
then turned
and raced on ahead
to get to the cottage before her

When the wolf got to the cottage
he evicted the grandmother
for non-payment of energy bills
then dressed up in her clothes
and jumped in her bed
just as the girl
came in through the door

‘Whoa! Grandma!’ she said
‘What big eyes you have!’
‘All the better
for seeing how much more
we can screw you over for’ said the wolf
‘And what big teeth you have, Grandma!’
‘All the better
for gobbling up your employer’s margins!’ said the wolf.
‘And what a cold heart you have, Grandma!’
‘All the better
for talking austerity
and economic prudence
whilst at the same time
awarding lucrative contracts to all the other
wolves in the pack!’

At that moment the Grandmother
stormed back in
snatched up an axe
and dispatched the wolf
with one blow.
‘Whoa! Grandma!’ said the girl
‘You’re pretty handy with that axe!’
‘Yeah? Well – you don’t get to ninety
without learning how to swing,’
puffed the Grandmother
then wiped her brow
and said ‘but now I hear myself saying that
I guess it could do with editing’

The two of them laughed,
the girl put the axe
back in the umbrella stand,
helped her grandmother
rinse off all the blood
at the kitchen sink,
fetched her blister pack,
pressed out her psych meds,
made her a cup of tea
and a sachet
of 2 minute porridge
then left her watching
Murder, She Wrote

prologue to The Book of You’re Lucky to Have a Job

  1. In the land of UK lived a man who was lucky to have a job. His name was Bob. He was a salt-of-the-earth, straight-up, say-it-how-it-is kinda geezer. Feared The Lord Tory and avoided Socialism in all its demonic forms. Supported West Ham, for his sins.
  2. Bob had a big family. Not Catholic, just careless.
  3. He was a butcher. Owned a nice house. Was doing alright, as it goes.
  4. His kids had all left home, but they lived local and still came round for a Sunday roast and what have you. Which was nice.
  5. One day, some City Angels and a dodgy geezer called Stan came before The Lord Tory. And The Lord Tory said Alright? And Stan and the angels said Not bad, as it goes. You? And The Lord Tory said ‘Can’t complain. And if I did, who’d listen? And Stan said Tell me about it, mate. And The Lord Tory said See that guy down there? That’s Bob. He’s well solid, Bob is. Puts in the hours, no matter what. You won’t find a worker like him.
  6. I bet you anything you like we can turn his sorry ass around, said Stan. You’re on! said The Lord Tory. Your loss, my friend. You can do whatever you like short of Covid.
  7. So Stan crashed the markets. Made energy so expensive Bob’s kids all froze. Bankrupted Bob’s business. Cut his benefits. Increased the cost of living so he couldn’t eat properly. Undermined the Health Service so Bob had to wait hours for an ambulance when he was having a stress-related heart attack. Sold off anything that wasn’t nailed down. Turned the public purse into a cashpoint for foreign interests. Corrupted the government. Passed repressive legislation to keep it that way. Supported brutal regimes internationally, then bragged about being world leaders in everything with absolutely nothing to back it up, to the extent that the country Bob loved became an international laughing stock, or an illustration of what not to do. Drove Bob insane reading about it all on social media.
  8. Till Bob sank to his knees in the street as the bailiffs repossessed his house, wailing and crying, tearing at his beard and his clothes, saying: ‘The Lord Tory gave, and The Lord Tory has taken away! May the name of The Lord Tory be praised!’
  9. At which point The Lord Tory smacked his hands together and sayeth: See what I mean, boys? Lovely jubbly! C’mon you horny red devils – cough up…

say growth again I double dare you

it’s growth, growth and growth
in truss we trust and plight our trowth
if you’re feeling despairing
that’s you and me bowth
but it’s growth, growth and growth

so it’s growth, growth and … wait a sec … GROWTH!
let’s see who can say it and smile the mowtht
if you’re looking for exits
post Brexit they’re towtht
but still… growth, growth and growth

yes it’s growth, growth and … GENERAL ELECTION!
just kidding… it’s GROWTH!
economists are laughing but whad’they knowth?
labour’s just militants,
wokes and slowths
we want growth, growth and growth

(serious face / long pause)

we need to reform the supply side / because it’s not how you SLICE the pie / it’s how you GROW it / and before you know it / TRUST! / we’ll all be standing on the golden CRUST / of a steaming, STEAK & KIDNEY pie sized kingdom / with the kidneys you sold for a little extra income / We need deregulation, not Moral Jiggery Pokery! / To hell with climate change and all that wokery!

(big smile / long silence / then she starts beating the podium again)

so sing with me …. growth, growth, growth and GROWTH
when peasants are rioting it’s disquieting I suppowth
but the police
are sweet
and Liz Truss them the mowtht
as we march to the growth, growth, GROWTH!

(big smile / long silence / interrupted by an earthquake)


captain’s log

twelve years of tories and the country in shit
still there are people voting for it
which goes to prove if anything does
when push comes to shove
from the riot police
kettling the streets
keeping the peace
with a baton, a tazer and a pepper spray apiece
you can lead a horse to water
but if it won’t drink shoot it
just nature’s way
of saying reboot it

whaddya mean, that hurts?
it’s elementary captain kirk
you signed the contract, took the work
boldly going, etcetera, (jerk)
zero hours contract, phasers on stun
blasting just about everyone
whacked out on fancy mojitos
photon torpedoes
floating in a hot tub in star fleet speedos
you think the klingons care?
they know your crew’s through and your ship needs repair
you’ll need more than shields
with the star fields
so comprehensively bought and warped
at the end of the day you’re basically just transport

please kneel

Land of hope and glory
Mother of the free
(unless it interferes with
foreign currency)

Wider still and wider
Shall thy bounds be set
(especially if you’re flying
in a private jet)

Land of hope and glory
Mother of the free
Human rights are sacred
(so pay anonymously)

Wider still and wider
Shall thy funds be got
(unless you’re lower order
in which case that’s your lot)

Land of hope and glory
Mother of the free
(It’s easy to extort thee
when you’re on your knees)