Poetry: Britain on Trial by Selina Nwulu

Last week we had local elections; UKIP, a political party further right than the conservatives, grew with support; I felt sick.To quote a Tweeter; “if UKIP is your solution, you clearly don’t understand the problem.”

I discovered Selina while I was preparing for my volunteer work with Brighton Festival; the following poem was written back in 2011, but feels as significant now.

If you click on the title of the poem you can be taken to her website, where she turned the poem into a campaign.

Britain on Trial by Selina Nwulu

Dear Great Britain
great land of democracy
God has saved your gracious queen
but let us take a fleeting glance
at all who remain unseen:

Those who lie on the edge of the flag
victorious red, white and blue
Britain, land of hope and glory
you belong to the very few

‘Fairness’ is today’s buzz word
so I will treat kind for kind
your time on trial will be brief, discrete
a few home truths- to ease my mind:

Britain, you widen the gap
between rich and poor
while tax-free aristocrats
cheat the system for more, and more

Yet it’s the welfare state
‘in need of desperate attention’
funny how you’re too busy
to give the tax evaders a mention

Older women disappear
from our TV screens
replaced by buxom girls with pearly whites
cleavage busting from the seams

Britain, you reduce the rest of us
to the fringes, to our whinges
shrinking our brains to fit
Daily Mail showbiz binges

Britain, you ignore the majority
you inflate our education
you’d rather focus on Will and Kate
To unify the nation

Yes Kate, the fair ‘commoner’
is now public property
her smile now frozen
with PR instructed deity

Her marriage with the media
will last till death do her part
she’s being wheeled out, exhibited
‘She’s got Diana’s heart’

Dear Britain, your MPs make cuts
on expense bought pedestals
they communicate in “rars” and “roars”
but treat us all like fools

Yellow politicians do nothing
but make up the numbers
blue winds blow hard
sending socialism to its slumber

Dear Britain, times get tougher
Yet you bring scapegoats to the slaughter
‘It’s me, it’s you,
the foreigner and his daughter’

The refugee searches for asylum,
a safe place without screams
the single mother on benefit
scrapes by, by any means

So old Blighty, forgive me
but adjourning this trial would be absurd
this ‘age of austerity’ has gone to your head
your moral standing has become blurred

Dear Blighty, your system is full of loopholes
we’re drowning in your debt
Britain, land of hope and glory
we’ve not seen true justice from you yet.

4 thoughts on “Poetry: Britain on Trial by Selina Nwulu

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