I once wrote a song about Maggie T and the rise of 'Cardboard City'. Since I'd already left the UK I never got around to letting it loose on the public. Then, a few years ago, I decided That I ought to do something about archiving my compositions. In the course of this I looked at "Thatcher Towns" again and decided that it had passed its 'sing-by' date. Then I picked up on what the Cameron-Clegg coaloition was up to and decided that all I needed to do would be to change Thatcher to CleggCameron........So just for the hell of it,here it is in the original:
Thrown out of work, the factory closed down
No future, no hope in some old northern town
But the Jobcentre says there is work to go 'round
'Though it means moving south, moving to London town.
There are jobs there in plenty, in that they don't lie
Butthe cost of living there is so very high.
When a cupboard sized room is beyond your weeks pay
Where do you go at the end of the day?
CH: Favellas, shantytowns, Hoovervilles
They're all just the same, call 'em what you will.
And when they start springing up on Britain's ground
The only name for them? Thatcher Towns!
Someone tips you the wink, the Embankments alright
Where the homeless, the outcasts all meet for the night.
Sally-Ann soup makes the night seem less raw
But you don't get much peace, you're moved on by The Law.
It's the same in the stations, the parks, down the tube
You've scarce shut your eyes when it's "Get up and move!"
With your clothes in a carrier, your box in your hand
You see the new face of a caring England.....
Weeks come, months go, and scarce a nights sleep
Will this down and outs' life in a box ever cease?
You're forever moved on, be it snow hail or rain
Roaming like a vagrant 'til the dawn comes again.
And the future you dreamed of is nothing but dust
In a cold, heartless world your dignity's crushed
In the Third World a shanty has walls and a roof
And that's more than a First World Britain gives you.......
And the Britain you live in is not the Britain you knew
The clock's being turned back just to favour a few.
Tip your cap to the toffs as they go blindly by
Your place is the gutter, don't get out of line!
In the districts that once housed the workers, the poor
'Nouveau Riche' have moved in, set you all 'fore the door
Docklands, the East End, gentrified, cold
For a new style apartheid, the apartheid of gold........
I know, it's a bit polemic but that's the 'Milk Snatcher Effect' for you.