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We’re all for fighting climate change,

Until the choice gets tough;

Don't try to meddle with our cars,

Our holidays, our stuff.


What beats the smell of petrol fumes,

The whiff of kerosene,

The closet full of unworn clothes,

The cinema-sized screen?


We'll stand behind the barricades

To fight off this green crap,

And watch the lifestyle we deserve

Fall straight into our lap.


What of the floods and record heat?

It's all too far away.

This kingdom of our selfishness

Is here, my friend, to stay.

climate change

◄ Trouble

Minefield ►


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Stephen Gospage

Mon 24th Jul 2023 16:10

Thanks very much, John. Much appreciated. As with other issues I write about, I find it sad that I have to do it.

And thanks for your comments, MC. Always interesting to read your views.

Thanks to Nigel and Uilleam for liking this.

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John Botterill

Sun 23rd Jul 2023 16:48

As usual, Stephen, you have hit the nail on the head. Sacrifice is for other people and other times. Which is why we're in the mess we're in. Great poem 😎

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 23rd Jul 2023 15:33

Politicians tend to go with the flow - to adapt to meet what they
think are the ways to obtain votes. Too much one way or
another can also lead to the sort of self-destructive hubris that
has affected the Tories in recent times. They have become
largely detached from the concerns of the electorate who are
concerned about the environment but not to the extent that
sees a rush towards unsustainable targets in too short a time.
The Earth has seen weather change before - check the entry
January 1661 by Samuel Pepys in his meticulously kept diary...
recording an extraordinary unseasonal winter when the ways
were all dusty, rose bushes were in bloom and flies flew up and down. Let us also bear in mind that the advent of 24/7 global media brings news that in other days would have been
either kept to a local/national level or even left unreported.
Work towards a better cleaner planet - and take that message
to where it really belongs: places like China and other similar
producers of harmful emission on an awesome scale.

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 23rd Jul 2023 07:37

Thanks for all the comments, Graham, Greg, Telboy, KJ and John C, which I found interesting and informative as usual. (Thanks to Tom, Manish and Reggie's Ghost for the likes).

Reading this poem again, I find it rather cynical, even brutal. To be honest, it's not really me. However, global heating and the climate crisis aren't really me either, and I think that something has to be said on this issue, which is the most pressing of our time.

One thing: I would reject the allegation of Tory bashing. I seem to remember that Boris Johnson was keen on low emission zones in London and made some ambitious pledges at the Glasgow COP. Given the obvious and present consequences of not reducing emissions, it shouldn't be a party issue for serious politicians, whatever their idealogicl stripe. What is happening (and it is a Europe-wide phenomenon) it that green policies are being pulled into a wider anti-woke agenda by all sorts of opportunists and populist cranks.

In a more innocent life, I once wrote another poem about Uxbridge:

An Uxbridge childhood

At the beautiful house of things
The children play on garden swings
Enjoying sun and lemonade
While paintings, vases, diamond rings
Contrive to spend life in the shade.

The passers-by will crane their necks
To see this slice of Middlesex
The pristine lawn, the fresh-clipped trees
The flowers blooming as they please

And long-lost friends arrive and say
How wonderful it looks today
The stained-glass windows catch the sun
The toy collection oozes fun.

The winter chill is closing in
The feeding bird no longer sings
The Northern breezes numb the skin
They’ve frozen up the garden swings
At the beautiful house of things.

Much nicer, isn't it?

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John Coopey

Sat 22nd Jul 2023 14:29

Awkward for Labour. But I learned when I was a business adviser that there is never, ever, any mileage in blaming your customers. (Although I'm prepared to make an exception for Brexit!)

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kJ Walker

Sat 22nd Jul 2023 09:11

Principles are great (when you can afford them). As this election result has shown, people don't vote with their conscience they vote with their wallets.
We are a nation of NIMBYs, so some things will never change.

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Reggie's Ghost

Fri 21st Jul 2023 23:53

As poignant as this poem is it has nothing to do with Uxbridge or the Tories (or even Brexit as I suspect that will be the next parallel to be drawn.)

Most people in the UK are principled when it suits them and not when it doesn't.

Stephen you write some great stuff including this piece, but please leave the Tory bashing to the usual suspects.

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Greg Freeman

Fri 21st Jul 2023 21:58

That's certainly what the Tories are banking on, Steve. Why they are becoming distinctly un-green. It's what their focus groups tell them ...

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Graham Sherwood

Fri 21st Jul 2023 17:06

I used to work in Uxbridge but it never seemed that 'nice' to me. What you have written is pretty accurate for a lot of different places in the UK Stephen and the 'me first' attitude transcends political stripe in my experience.
These three recent by-elections show us one thing. When it's safe to do so, we tend to say 'ya boo sucks' to one party or another and then think a bit harder when the real decisions get made.
That young lad Keir someone or other who won up north is great publicity for Sir Starmer though, fair play. Son of Keir headlines coming up no doubt!!

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