2 Jul 2011

The Importance of being a Dole Scrounger

Ernie’s got an attitude – he’s long term unemployed,
they’re going to cut the benefits they say he has enjoyed
for too long - and has scrounged from those who pay their taxes,
so Ernie’s income’s going to fall to governmental axes.

But Ernie’s got an attitude, and no qualifications -
school was dull and disengaging and he didn’t have the patience
to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘t’ s and sit all day and listen
while football pitch was wide and green, and fish in rivers glisten,
and nuts and berries grew on trees, and roads led far away,
to fantasies of azure seas far brighter than our British grey.

So Ernie learned his attitude - and that’s a disadvantage,
his intellect is razor sharp his wits pit with advantage,
but he sees through suspect spectacle, and hegemonic farce,
saw all through school, divide and rule constructing class in every class,
he sees the masters and the slaves, perceives the state machine
that mashes minds to sausage meat and souls to might-have-been -

so Ernie values attitude - he does not want to fit
into a cog just like a cog – will not be part of it,
but nuts and berries, fish and seas, cannot sustain or be obtained,
he has to find a way to play the system at its game,
for Ernie’s education taught him how not to belong
(and blind to their own blind spots, systems never learn where they go wrong).

So Ernie says his health is poor, his back is dodgy, racked with pain
he’s got depression and represses tendencies to go insane
he cannot sleep, eats poorly, has schizoid-disordered quirks,
ironically – this will be true – if they send Ernie out to work;
and they’re going to legislate a way to take away his choice,
but Ernie’s got an attitude, and insight, and he’s got a voice.

So now you’ll hear him on the lines when flying pickets join the shout,
you’ll hear him at a demo when they’re trying to get the Tories out,
you’ll see him, just one in the crowds when many march for peace,
you’ll find him starting new campaigns – his wonders never cease -
he is an artist, and a poet, a philosopher, he writes a blog
he’s a busker and a hustler trying to find the clear point in the fog,
you’ll see him on the forums knocking down the racist, sexist trolls -
it’s time this nation valued all the work done by some on the dole:

for every culture needs its speakers, shamans and creators,
the avant garde and visionaries, movers and our shakers,
freelance pickets and resisters and our raging rebel-rousers,
we need our ragged rebels and their philanthropic trousers
in a world more stick than carrot, and a gap between the rich and poor
that’s gaping like precipice and gripping with its ugly claw -
we need our Situationists, our scoundrels and our knaves:
this is a fact of life as long as masters need their slaves.

So stand up for those with attitude, respect those wise and crazy schemes.
This system is a nightmare: please, do not step on our dreams.