'T'was the Night Before Christmas' | a version for 2017
T’was the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the House (of Commons),
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The politicians were home, full of comfort and joy,
The gifts all well wrapped, from gadget to toy.
Their offspring snuggled up and warm in their beds,
With visions of excess upmost in their heads.
Elsewhere there are children less able to dream,
Of presents or turkey and pudding with cream.
Austerity bites for many this year,
Feelings of festivity banished by fear.
Less space or desire to write letters to Claus,
Keeping warm and fed gives these people pause.
Whilst the cosily comfy bemoan the absence of snow,
The homeless and hearth-less hope for winter sun glow.
On the streets next to veterans sleep workers and others,
No security, little safety, no fairy god-mothers.
In hostels, on tube-trains, on sofas, in cars,
Rest some hidden from stats but not from life’s scars.
The lucky watch ‘Finals’ featuring dancing and cooking,
The opulence shameful if only we’re looking.
Whilst children go hungry and foodbanks are cleared,
Salsas of all types are practiced, then cheered.
A national disgrace I’m sure you’ll agree,
Even though some see it rather as opp-or-tun-ity.
But charitable needs rising at such a fast rate.
Is surely symbolic of a callous, broken State?
Still, the bongs of Big Ben ringing out for the holiday,
Show our strength to the world lest admiration should slip away.
Add to this a blue passport, another icon of democracy,
Sorry. NO. I’m NOT sorry. It’s pure idiocracy.
Thank your god, or your neighbour, for those that do care,
Whose work – paid or unpaid – may save some from despair.
Volunteers who give time, others whatever they can,
Public servants on duty whether woman or man.
When we are lonely, or poorly, or helpless, or scared,
These people ensure that our burden is shared.
And at Christmas when good humour is expected of all,
There are many who need support or else they might fall.
In this, as with other things, the media can aid,
But often the alternative’s the result I’m afraid.
The constant good cheer plus the smulchy productions,
Result in list upon list of inappropriate instructions.
Add to this royal weddings, Brexit boastings and more,
And the ‘news’ becomes very little more than a bore.
The alternative outlets help to challenge the worst,
With suggestions the mainstream’s bubble has burst.
There’s still more to do and there’s trolls all about,
Both sides of the pond users misuse and flout.
Thus, to add to material struggles galore,
There’s hate, there’s abuse, there’s violence and more (... and not only online).
So tonight whilst we dream of Santa’s attention,
Spare a thought for the topics that need more than a mention.
A plethora of concerns, most not touched upon here,
We all must get active; make twenty-eighteen the year.
A calling to arms then, to fight the good fight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.