Sunday, 14 November 2010

New Poem!

As usual, it works better in performance than written down (some of the rhythms are particularly awkward in this one, heh) but you should get the general idea...

Shop a Scrounger

People of Britain!
If you’re not exactly smitten
By the huge chunks being bitten
From the nation’s welfare, health and education
If you’re not sure what to make
Of the public sector being wrecked or
Stretched until it breaks
In a scrambled right-wing fiscal gamble
With our future as the stake
Don’t worry! There’s a piece of simple action you can take.

While most people in this country are prepared to pay their way
There’s a minority of scroungers
Stashing heaps of cash away
Yes, it’s an interesting fact
That if we gathered all the tax
That’s owed by wealthy tax avoiders
Plus the stuff that they evade
Then we could raise twice as much money*
As the spending cuts would save.

But the Government
Seems strangely intent
On not pursuing this rich vein of wrongdoing
Which is why I’m bringing you in.

It’s your duty to try to keep an eye
– OK, to spy –
If you think your wealthy neighbours are tax-dodging on the sly.
It’s a vital civic task – all we ask is that you’re ready to grass up any dodgy-looking members of the wealthy ruling class.
It’s fine to call our hotline with anything suspicious: a secret collection of antique dishes? A breeding pond of rare oriental fishes? An offshore account in Mauritius?
If every million he earns he
Sends to a friend in Guernsey;
If her spouse runs the business from a house in the Seychelles
That should ring some alarm bells…

Have you spotted the boss of Marks and Sparks
Sneaking out after dark
To meet his accountant on a bench in the park?
Have you figured out the whereabouts
Of Richard Branson’s hidden ransoms,
Murdoch’s dirty stocks
or Lord Ashcroft’s cash loft?

If you spot a dodger, just lodge a complaint – unless of course you’re a sinister Government minister with a few million tucked away yourself on an Atlantic shelf and you’re using the deficit as an excuse to cut loose that pesky welfare state and flog off health, education and the assets of the nation to your corporate mates – in which case, best to lay off the tax divers and skivers coz if they paid their dues then your excuse to gut the state would suddenly…evaporate.

In the words of a friend who was sat on the floor
Of a Vodafone store
Tax demand in her hand
Banners blocking the door:
We just can’t ignore all this stuff anymore.
Let’s cash in our passion, not hold it offshore
Drag them out of their loopholes, lay their assets bare
And calmly demand that they pay their fair share
Till the case for the cuts melts away in the air.

Has your future been nicked by some comfortable craven
Relaxed on his back in a sunny tax haven
On a luxury, tax-free plush sun lounger?
Don’t take this lying down:
Shop a corporate scrounger.

Danny Chivers, November 2010

* The proposed spending cuts are £80bn, phased in over four years. Spread evenly, this means the Government would save £20bn the first year, £40bn the second year, £60bn the third year and £80bn the fourth year. So £200bn over four years. Meanwhile, tax avoidance, evasion and late payments totals an estimated £120bn per year, or £480 over four years - more than twice as much between now and 2014.


Anonymous said...

This is amazing Danny.

alastair chivers said...

we have a mutual friend (obviously I was draw by our sharing of a second name... but I really like your poem! no surname or friend of friend biased!

Danny said...

It's not the commonest of surnames (about 1 in 10400 people in England and Wales are called Chivers, compared to the 1 in 83 who are called Smith), and it's always good to bump into a greetings, fellow she-goat!