Friday, 16 July 2010

Blimey, was he talking about Neil Kinnock?

I chanced upon this impressive poem by Adrian Henri at the start of the Labour Party's 1992 election manifesto "It's time to get Britain working again".

The poem is called "Winter Ending". It's apt to read this poem now because, good as the poem is, I don't want to go through that cycle of winter and spring again. Shall we strain every sinew to make sure we don't have the cardboard cities, leaking classrooms, peeling waiting-rooms and polluted streams (?) this time around?

Barnet trades council is hosting a meeting on Thursday 29 July at 7.30pm in Committee Room 1, Hendon Town Hall, the Burroughs, London NW4. We aim to set up a Barnet Public Services Alliance to head off cuts to public services, and privatisation. Any organisation that would like to send a representative and interested individuals are invited to attend. For more details email

And if anyone doubts there are other sources of wealth sloshing about that we could tap to pay for public services, check out today's news on Goldman Sachs.

Winter Ending

'A cold coming we had of it'
huddled together in cardboard cities,
crouched over shared books in leaking classrooms,
crammed into peeling waiting-rooms,
ice stamped into crazy-paving
round polluted streams.
Winter ending:
paintings, poems bud hesitantly,
tentative chords behind boarded facades;
factories open like daffodils,
trains flex frozen rheumatic joints,
computer-screens blink on
in the sudden daylight.
As the last cardboard boxes
are swept away beneath busy bridges,
the cold blue landscape of winter
suddenly alive with bright red roses.

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