Crabb (Poem #20)

If, in a month from now
when by some miracle you have lost your parliamentary seat,
and the signs the size of my student debt have been thrown in the gutter
I would like you to go the job centre,
sit with your advisor,
and let them ask you what you have done to get yourself into this silly situation.

Whilst you’re waiting,
please talk to the man with the chronic health condition sitting next to you.
Listen to him telling you about how he’s had his benefits cut because the system has changed,
and the way he feels enraged by how he’s been treated.
Let him tell you about the week he spent eating toast with no butter
because he was too embarrassed to go to the food bank
and the time his heart sank so low
He almost did something about it.

For this is life without the padding of endless expenses that you do not need-
and although you may plead worthiness
we know your claws have scraped in the best bits for yourself-
storing them up on the highest shelf.

Look down at them now,
and see what you’ve created.
not a situation to be celebrated
but a country brought down to its knees-
Scraped and scratched by Crabbs like you.

Perhaps,
by some miracle,
our coastal constituency will vote another way-
use waves of change to wash the Crabbs away
for I for one do not want you to stay
sitting pretty in my constituency seat-
for you do not represent me.

***

I wrote this poem as a response to the General Election that’s due to take place in the UK on the 8th June. Much has been made and said about the national party political leaders, so I wanted to take a slightly different stance and talk about my local situation instead. The current MP in my area is a Conservative called Stephen Crabb (hence all the crab-related puns!). Since becoming an MP in 2005 he has been involved in numerous scandals, including the expenses scandal, and has successfully voted to cut benefits for the sick and disabled. In 2016, for some mad reason, he was briefly appointed as Work and Pensions secretary. Despite his clear misgivings and failings, he’s still been voted in as our MP at every election that I’ve been able to vote in.

I really think it’s time to change that. I’m tired of the Tories, and the way they treat the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. So I’m voting for a change this June, and will continue to stand up against prejudice and inequality.

If you’re with me-make sure you vote! Your voice is valuable and precious and important. Please use it and make a difference.

Much love,

H xx

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