Central Heating Has A Lot To Answer For

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Highly paid footballers complain of burn out
While fire fighters struggle to make their ends meet;
Neil Lennon cannot in all safety play for Northern Ireland,
While Glasgow Rangers choose to play away in orange;
I buy a Cross of St George (made in China) for £5,
“Thank God I’ve served you mate, I’ve only taken a pound all day”.
The Guardian carries a feature “50 ways to save the planet”,
One of which is to use a 36 rather than a 24 picture film;
4 young British Asian men are ejected from their flight to Luton,
Because other passengers claim Asians could be terrorists;
The FA tell Tipton Boilers FC not to wear a BNP logo on their shirts,
While David Blunkett says that everyone should speak English at home;
Someone complains that asylum seekers will put the rents up,
And no-one says the solution is us to build more homes;
Royalty complain that hunt people suffer from the most discrimination,
And 25% of Scots admit to being racist; as does the rest of Britain.
The Wembley revamp gets the go ahead
And the lawyers’ fees would pay for a new ground anyway;
The Football Association send football kit aid to Somalia
On the same day that a Somali refugee is murdered in Swindon;
Thiere Henry wants to walk off the pitch when racially abused,
Such a striker might be emulated in all walks of life;
The 1st frost leaves the footprints through the fields clear and true,
But the way to electoral victory is not paved with good intentions –
See how governments move to the right on asylum seekers,
But true Pilgrims progress through principle not expediency,
Be they Plymouth Argyle, a nation, or any Christian,
Such as a Catholic Prime Minister, whose government declares that
Escaping from slavery in the Sudan is not a valid reason for asylum.
The BNP come 3rd in a mayoral race with 18% of the vote,
See how deferring to racism is a self-defeating strategy,
There is a need to confront such prejudice with education,
“Life Long Learning” needs to be more than idle cant,
And one way forward might be to pay public servants a higher wage,
Instead of jackal-like stealing professionals from the developing world –
Or demanding an oath of loyalty from the new CRE chair,
In this land where over 250 languages are spoken,
And where black footballers are still fined and suspended,
For reacting to racist abuse on a pitch,
When the provoker stays scot free;
Ah! The deep unreconstructed joys of the local Sunday League.
Talking of which, I don’t know what my Chindit dad would have thought
Of a British Government trying to stop his Gurkha comrades from receiving compensation
For Japanese mistreatment in World War 2
On the grounds that they’re not really British,
But I know he would have been pleased that foggy November brought back memories
Of walking home late at night, leather soled shoes clattering on the damp pavements
Underneath the railway bridge
As I tried to read the football reports in the newspaper wrapped around my bag of chips,
Those are the sort of day-dreams you get on the early bus in November,
When a sorry sunrise struggles to dispel the mists outside,
“When vapours rolling down a valley made a lonely scene more lonesome”;
And these are the sort of sliding-doors conversations you get up the pub
On a damp dank mediocre November Friday,
The result of the sort of thinking that goes “Shall I join in this conversation or just stay quiet?”
And you’re not sure if you should say what you want to say
Because you’re worried that it might be construed as rude,
But you know how it is when the clocks first change
And you’re unaccustomed to seeing the insides of peoples’ front rooms,
All lit up like a dog’s dinner at dusk,
And neighbours have not yet acquired the winter habit of drawing the curtains,
And so for a heady spell of a week or so,
You can see all the skeletons in the cupboards of suburbia.
Well, so, I’d seen Mike cross his front room holding what looked like
A suspiciously cheap and tinny coal scuttle,
Not at all the sort of coal scuttle you would expect Mike and Janet to have,
And so having agonised for some seconds,
I decided to pitch in with my assessment of the coal scuttle,
Not sure if Mike might feel offended and so on,
But what stories came out!
We are talking family gods of the hearthside here:
The scuttle had originally belonged to Mike’s landlady in Cambridge,
And when she died the coal scuttle passed to Mike,
Who passed on, over a couple of extra pints of London Pride,
The tales of his landlady’s fascinating past –
She was Belgian and she, and her husband,
Sheltered a crashed Spitfire pilot in World War 2,
Until the husband was put in a concentration camp,
Where he shortly thereafter died;
She re-married, the pastor of her camp, as it happens,
And she ended up speaking for Albert Speer
At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial,
Not through any turncoat Fascism,
But rather because of her humanitarianism –
Which just goes to show what you find out sometimes,
If you don’t keep your counsel;
And just goes to show how even handed some people can be,
An attribute developed by carrying coal in a scuttle.
Central heating has a lot to answer for.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/central-heating-has-a-lot-to-answer-for/