BORROWED TIME

Denis_Healey

It is reported that, as the Labour Party annual conference opens in Liverpool, Jeremy Corbyn has warned that the rich are on borrowed time.

Do you recall some years ago,
A Labour chancellor we know,
Said for the rich things would get bleak,
As they’d be squeezed till the pips squeak?

’Twas Denis Healey promised that,
To those who around him were sat;
It was not a wise thing to say,
And we went bankrupt anyway.

And now when we are decades hence,
The Labour Party’s still no sense,
And Mr Corbyn, true to form,
Speaks what, for Labour, is the norm.

The pipsqueak wording, though, has gone,
(Too descriptive of he for one?)
And he has chosen other words,
In thought, though, he is undeterred.

So as I now explain in rhyme,
Rich folk will be on borrowed time,
In years to come and if and when,
He finds himself in Number Ten.

This is far worse, you will agree,
Than squeezing citrus fruit for tea;
For ‘borrowed time’ seems to imply,
That, though he does not explain why,
Those folk with Rolexes out there,
Will be so poor they’ll have to share!

Image – Rob Mieremet / Creative commons

TRUMP TRUMPED?

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It is reported that an anonymous article in the New York Times claims that White House staff are working hard to protect the United States from the most ill-advised decisions and excesses of Donald Trump.

We all know Donald Trump is mad,
And many of his tweets are bad,
So, consequently, we can guess,
His government is in a mess.

We learn that he is ill-informed,
(For presidents that’s not the norm),
And one more thing to say of him:
He’s often acting on a whim.

Some policies are bad, for sure,
And these are getting more, not fewer,
So in these cases staff might choose,
Some documents to try to lose.

With papers gone, he might forget,
The thing on which he had been set,
And as there dawns another day,
Some other thought comes into play.

If Trump finds out he gets incensed,
Immediately takes offence,
And anyone in such things mired,
Is likely to be quickly fired.

But life goes on, though it’s bizarre,
He’s erratic and insofar
As anyone can work it out,
They’re sure he’s mad – there is no doubt.

I have here just the surface scratched,
For other plots are being hatched,
And since this President is dumb,
There’s likely much more still to come.

DEVONWALL

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It is reported that the Boundary Commission has proposed that there should be a new parliamentary constituency straddling the border between Devon and Cornwall; inevitably this has not gone down well.

When he was there in government.
Dave Cameron said his intent,
Was to reduce now if you please,
The total number of MPs.

They should go down by fifty and,
Six hundred then can rule the land,
And while they’re at it they’ll adjust,
Constituency size – a must.

So boundary people set to work,
They toiled for years and did not shirk,
And now proposals can be seen,
With footnotes as to what they mean.

There are anomalies, for sure,
From trying to make MPs fewer,
And maybe the worst one there is,
That’s driving folk into a tizz,
Is down in Cornwall, Devon too,
With one seat that’s completely new.

The problem is it isn’t all,
In either Devon or Cornwall,
So people will not know, you see,
Which way round they should make their tea.

By now you likely will have guessed,
That when I talk about what’s best,
It is to cream teas I refer,
And which way up one might prefer.

In Devon put the cream on first,
While Cornish folk say that’s the worst,
For long ago the die was cast,
That cream must always go on last.

So if two counties mix as one,
To satisfy both can’t be done,
And so it is, I am afraid,
No longer can your tea be made.

First job, then, for the new MP,
Will be to see if he or she,
Can walk this minefield or tightrope,
But really, there is not much hope.

RUSSIAN ROUND SALISBURY

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It is reported that the two alleged Russian Salisbury Novichok assassins have appeared on Russian state TV claiming that they were just in Britain as tourists.

“It’s really all down to our friends,
Advising us on travel trends,
And what in Europe we should see,
And what it costs or if it’s free.

Now Salisbury comes top of the list,
Its high spire lost up in the mist,
And it’s not far from Sarum, Old –
At least that’s what we have been told.

So off we went with Aeroflot,
To visit this great beauty spot,
But just a few hours we had planned,
Which, sadly, on day one was canned.

The problem was it was too warm,
So snowfall which was not the norm,
Had turned to slush, our shoes got damp,
And so we both had to decamp.

So back to London for the night;
Next day the weather was all right,
So back we went the ninety miles,
To admire Salisbury’s gothic styles.

We’d swotted up before we went,
Because, you know, our main intent,
Was to confirm what we did read,
And do it all at breakneck speed.

The information that we read,
Was sure to stand us in good stead,
For it’s now plain that we knew more,
Than people who’d been there before.

Right now it would be for the best,
If you gave us a little test,
To prove we’re tourists from afar,
And not who some folk say we are.

So, spire in metres? One, two three,
(Four hundred and four feet, you see),
Then there’s the oldest working clock –
Today still going tick and tock.

Then one thing most folk do not know,
No matter to the church they go,
Is the cathedral’s Sunday name,
That’s seldom used which is a shame.

Its name is ‘The Cathedral Church,
Of Blessed Virgin (unbesmirched)
Mary’ who, as you ought to know,
Lived some two thousand years ago.

So there you are, we’ve passed the test,
Of tourists we are just the best,
And we now hope that all of you,
Will watch our polished interview.

It will be on RT Today,
Is everything we want to say,
And we are sure our Uncle Vlad.,
Will think it’s really not too bad!”

RUSSIAN LIFE EXPECTANCY

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It is reported that protestors have been arrested at demonstrations in Russia against President Putin’s plans to increase the retirement ages for men and women by five years. Mr Putin says that the change is necessary owing to increased life expectancy in the country. It is not clear whether those arrested will be permitted to retire early.

The Russian state is almost skint,
So when workers have done their stint,
And then perhaps want to retire,
They’ll find their age must now be higher.

For Russia plans to raise the age,
At which employees leave the stage,
And although Putin thinks it’s best,
Some Russians have tried to protest.

As usual when this occurs,
It’s very clear the state prefers,
That some of those who do protest,
Should be subjected to arrest.

Of those that are – one can’t be sure –
Those released might be slightly fewer,
And for some others I’m afraid,
That their release might be delayed.

Ignoring this, it’s then explained,
That state accountants who are trained,
Have calculated, like they do,
That roubles will be far too few,
To pay for pensions every week,
So for old folk the future’s bleak.

“The reason is,” the Kremlin say,
“That in the Russia of today,
Expectancy of life is more,
Than it has ever been before.

This may come as a small surprise,
For if someone succeeds – or tries –
To question what we say today,
He might, quite soon, be not OK.

Of course, this is no kind of threat –
At least we wouldn’t say that yet –
But we would like to clear the air,
So just to make things fair and square,
Those who protest or might enquire,
Will be allowed soon to retire.”

AND IT’S GOODNIGHT FROM HIM

Boris Johnson

It is reported that Boris Johnson announced his divorce and then went to watch the cricket at the Oval where he promptly fell asleep.

Boris is always in the news,
Expounding one or other views,
And when one is not so benign,
Some might feel that he should resign.

Well, that’s at work, what of at home,
Where he lives but not on his own?
Well, there perhaps he disagreed,
With his wife who seemed cross indeed.

I say here ‘seemed’ ’cos we don’t know,
But Boris clearly had to go,
To where he’d find a place to sleep,
That’s clean and dry and fairly cheap.

Well, after one night, maybe two,
It seems to me and maybe you,
That maybe where he had to stay,
Was maybe just a pile of hay,
Because, no matter where he’d been,
He was then at the Oval seen.

Now that’s one of those places which,
Has got a famous cricket pitch,
And most folk go in there to see,
The game before they stop for tea.

Of course there are there cameras which,
Are mostly trained upon the pitch,
But sometimes they will pan around,
To see who else is in the ground.

And when they did, what did they see?
There Boris sat, of wife now free,
Arranged in a dishevelled heap,
And pretty much … well … fast asleep.

At least, then, he’s somewhere to kip,
Though not with any tea to sip,
But it’s unlikely, I would say,
That he could sleep there every day!

Image – President of Estonia photostream

GONG GONE

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It is reported that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is objecting to people who are engaged in tax avoidance schemes receiving knighthoods and other honours.

A lot of famous people would,
Think that it might be pretty good,
To get a handle to their name:
A knighthood, peer or maybe dame.

So they dress up, they smile a lot,
Speak of experience they’ve got,
In charity or other work,
With photos showing they don’t shirk.

Then they sit back, avoid a fling,
Wait for the telephone to ring,
And when it doesn’t they don’t know,
If they have been blacklisted so.

For people like this can be rich,
And that can generate a hitch,
As rich folk like to tax avoid,
Which makes HMRC annoyed.

So they, part of the Government,
Determine that it’s their intent,
That anyone avoiding tax,
Should not receive email or fax,
Advising them they will receive,
Awards that they can take or leave.

So anyone who wants a gong,
Should know then that before too long,
Their tax position will be checked,
And this could see their chances wrecked.

So they should pay the tax that’s due,
Then in the future they’ll not rue
The day they didn’t taxes pay,
And their gong was taken away.