The New Realism

To lop one hour off the working week
Means fresh agreements, further compromises,
More natural wastage managements must seek,
And new quotas, the government advises.

A four per cent increase in pay would slow
The growth rate and fuel the fires of inflation,
So investors and others in the know
Insist this year’s claims be in moderation.

A helping less of sherry trifle here
When dining a la carte is sorely felt;
Another fivepence on the price of beer
And the working man must adjust his belt.

Three weeks, not four of sun in the Bahamas,
A cheaper hotel when you go away,
A thread of cotton for your silk pajamas;
Feet up at home for those on pauper’s pay.

Less rates to pay for those with country houses,
More cash to spend on clothes, wine, fine perfumes;
A poll tax on the workers and their spouses,
And hand-me-downs for those in rented rooms.

New directorships for Harrow and Eton,
The old boy network’s simply overjoyed;
The black economy will soon be beaten
By workfare for the long term unemployed.

This is the world the new realism offers,
Within the City’s it’s well understood
That when the Chancellor empties his coffers
Most of our folk never had it so good.

[The above was first published in Wrong Side Of The River.]

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