It is reported that the Labour Party’s policy is to reduce the average working week to four days (thirty-two hours) with no loss of pay. Magic. And where are the extra 25% of workers going to come from?

The Labour Party likes to say,
That life will be improved one day,
And all you have to do pro-tem,
Is cast your poll and vote for them.

They will destroy fee-paying schools,
By changing tax and other rules,
And then because they are so wise,
A lot of stuff they’ll nationalise.

But now the one that caps the lot,
Which might be popular – or not –
Is telling you you cannot seek,
To work more than four days a week.

Your salary will not go down,
But in the country or the town,
It’s likely you’ll be unemployed,
Which might just make the wife annoyed.

She’ll not be happy now that you,
Sit round with nothing much to do,
Just drinking beer and gin and tea,
Just like the Royle Family.

This family, as well we know,
Does not too much to work now go,
So working then four days each week
Would be for them a new technique!


concrete mixer

It is reported that Donald Trump has signed his name on a newly constructed section of the famous US–Mexico border wall, boasting that this ‘Rolls-Royce’ wall is built of steel filled with ‘very powerful concrete’.

The wall, the wall, if you recall,
Is planned to be so very tall,
That migrants, climbers, all of those,
And others, too, I would suppose,
Will find that it is pretty hard,
To break through this, Trump’s new façade.

I thought it had dropped from the news,
Along with Donald Trump’s own views,
For I just hadn’t heard him say,
A great deal more until today.

But now it seems the wall is back,
And building it could be on track,
But as to who for it will pay,
The bit I’ve read just doesn’t say.

We learn, though, that it’s very high,
To make it difficult to try,
To scale the wall first up then down,
And it will be a rusty brown.

More to the point, though, it’s been built,
Quite vertical, without a tilt,
With steel façade some six feet wide,
And powerful concrete inside.

What ‘powerful’ means used this way,
It is quite difficult to say,
But Trump has said it so we could,
Assume it means the concrete’s good.

But maybe he was trying to,
Do what most writers like to do,
Which is to have a choice of words –
That has for him been for the birds!

So what if he was not quite right?
His error here was rather slight,
But listen for his next tweet when,
He’ll doubtless mangle words again!


airline meal

It is reported that a company has developed ‘partially edible’ in-flight food trays made from used coffee grounds.

When on a plane one likes to eat,
But sometimes it is not a treat,
(Though at this point I’d like to say,
I mostly find it’s all OK.)

But other folk might disagree,
And even if the food is free,
Would say it’s unforgettable,
And totally inedible.

It’s not the greatest haut cuisine,
That you or I have ever seen,
But now improvements are in store,
With things you haven’t seen before.

For someone clever has devised,
A food tray which is now comprised,
Of coffee grounds from yesterday,
Replacing those we throw away.

The tray – the new one’s – said to be,
Something we can eat and it’s free,
And so this should allay one’s fears,
As soon as this new tray appears.

For if we now try we will find,
That these trays of this special kind,
Can be consumed, at least in part,
A bit like coffee flavoured tart.

And there we are, do please tuck in,
To waste such food would be a sin;
So do please try this coffee tart –
New peak of culinary art!


Wind farm

It is reported that the increasing use of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) in renewable energy electrical systems is resulting in the release of increased quantities of this greenhouse gas, which is 23,000 times more warming than carbon dioxide, to the atmosphere.

You won’t have heard of SF6,
But it is often used to fix,
The switchgear and some other things,
For which green power increased need brings.

For use like this it’s very good,
It insulates things as it should,
But as it works by night and day,
A bit of it can leak away.

It’s then we find to our surprise,
That using it may not be wise,
For it does global warming do,
And rather more than CO2.

So now we know this, what to do?
The places where it’s used aren’t few,
But maybe there are some techniques,
That can be used to stop the leaks.

Or p’rhaps some other can be used,
For many greens are now confused,
With some of them now quite distraught –
This is more complex than they thought.

But overall we all can learn,
That going green brings a concern,
That some things that might make some sense,
Have unintended consequence!


Recycling bins

It is reported that proper analysis shows that replacing single use plastic packaging with paper, metal or glass may be more damaging to the environment.

Now plastic is the bogeyman,
Should be replaced by metal can,
Or maybe paper, maybe glass,
But it has now been found, alas,
Alternatives like these and those,
Which many people just suppose,
Are for the planet what is best,
But if you do a proper test,
You may well find that isn’t true,
And not the path we should pursue.

For though these optIons – one, two, three –
Of course can all recycled be,
The glass and metal as you know,
Must themselves in a furnace go.

They throw them in, they start to melt,
(For cans I think it is called smelt),
And all the energy that’s used,
Means the comparison is skewed,
And it makes what is now taboo –
An awful lot of CO2.

So plastics maybe aren’t so bad,
Despite the awful press they’ve had,
And as you’re reading now in verse,
The other options might be worse.

You can still use containers twice,
Or in some cases even thrice,
But here today and as it stands,
That’s hard to do with glass and cans.



It is reported that self-driving cars have a problem with insects going splat! and obscuring the sensors.

Self-driving cars now under test,
To find out which ones are the best,
Are very complex as you know,
So when to town you want to go,
They’ll get you there in just a flash,
While trying to avoid a crash.

To this end they have sensors which,
Will stop you going in a ditch,
Or hitting people on the street,
Or older cars, soon obsolete.

But now a problem has shown up,
Which very likely will disrupt,
The clever software in the car,
Before it has gone very far.

This will, in fact, be little use,
Because the car cannot deduce,
What it can see or should now do,
The next few yards to get you through.

“So what’s the problem?” You might ask,
“Cars must be equal to their task,
And if they cannot find a way,
They might be subject to delay.”

The problem that’s been found, you might,
Think really does seem rather slight;
It’s been around for decades and,
Applies to every make and brand.

It is that as you drive the car,
Before you have gone very far,
And while still engaged in a chat,
You’ll very likely hear a splat!

And such a noise then signifies,
That right before your very eyes,
An insect, spider, moth or nit,
Most likely has a sensor hit.

That’s it, it knows not what to do,
Which isn’t that much help to you,
As you get out with sponge and cloth,
To find the splat and clean it off!



It is reported that Oxford University has advised dons not to send emails outside working hours as it could constitute harassment.

Emails are such a modern scourge,
Arriving in a daily splurge,
But also any time of day,
Which Oxford thinks is not OK.

So it’s advising dons to stop,
Sending the damn things round the clock,
For if that is still their intent,
They’ll be accused of harassment.

They should just send them nine to five,
And though this rule might just contrive,
To make folk think they’re out of touch,
Perhaps it will not matter much.

For in the city of the spires,
Replete with history one admires,
And some traditions very old,
Then if you’re by the Uni told,
Your mail must wait another day,
Then that is just a short delay,
And when the history books are writ,
No-one will even mention it.