7/7: Change/Continuity

A short list of innocuous names,
Leeds, Luton, Aylesbury, Dewsbury,
Names once famous for textiles, hats cars and ducks,
But now forever linked with something else,
Credit cards, King’s Cross and terrorism;
Young men who once played football in the street,
Have left us all dazed, anxious and confused
About our country’s future prospects,
And with a modern mind-set so programmed
By a culture of simple binary choice,
So many of us just see alternatives:
Enoch Powell and his rivers of blood,
Or a perfect polycultural tolerance.
But we can be stronger and more united,
Whilst also accommodating “difference”,
For streetwise generational changes
Can rewire historic continuities:
Young black Londoners in the wake of the bombs
Were unconsciously articulating
The discourse and resonance of the Blitz,
And if an ageing Telegraph reader
Had heard them speaking on the radio
Instead of seeing them on the TV,
Then s/he might have thought it was 1941
All over again, and WE can take it
(No matter what our ethnic background might be).
And even though there are media rumours
Of a far-right nationalist crusade
And a “football hooligan” backlash,
And even though we may be harbouring
Some disaffected potential terrorists,
This tragedy will unite our nation,
With historic traditions and core values
Transmitted, taught and then accepted by all,
Together with a dynamic acceptance
Of polycultural diverse difference.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2005/07/17/77-changecontinuity/