Poetry Corner

From Peterloo to Tolpuddle

Image by Suzy Varty
From Peterloo to Tolpuddle, Jarrow to Orgreave,
there’ll be no further uprisings today sir,
we read the press, know what to believe.

The daily tales spin an almighty weave
about who’s to blame, wouldn’t you say sir
from Peterloo to Tolpuddle, Jarrow to Orgreave.

We’ve learned when to smile, when to grieve
and follow our orders like a precision tracer –
we read the press, know what to believe.

We kick out at the weak, the exposed and naive,
all those years of hate pointed the way sir,
from Peterloo to Tolpuddle, Jarrow to Orgreave.

So when our chance came, we ticked ‘Leave’,
seeing there was no alternative baser,
we read the press, know what to believe.

Ground ourselves into a corner with no reprieve,
we love our country so chose to disgrace her.
From Peterloo to Tolpuddle, Jarrow to Orgreave,
we read the press, know what to believe.

Harry Gallagher

First published in The New European

Please follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter or support us by donating.