Matt Abbott in platform protest, Steve Pottinger issues party broadcast
A leading performance poet took immediate action after spotting a group of government ministers at his local railway station. Matt Abbott filmed himself proclaiming his pro-Labour poem ’#JC4PM’ as ministers including Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt left Costa coffee at Wakefield Westgate station.
Matt said: “So I'm sat in Costa at Wakefield Westgate, minding my own business, when I see Jeremy Hunt walk in. He's with a group of other Tory MPs and staff members, and my stomach goes.
“The train is in just under 10 minutes, so I have time, but I don't know what to do. Confront? Ignore? I walk out to the concourse and decide that the best way about it, considering who I am and what I do, is to perform my poem within earshot and capture them squirming on video.
“I asked a fellow passenger to film but they refused to get involved in politics. So I stuck it on selfie mode and gave it a shot. OK, it won't change anything. But to not do anything would've been a wasted opportunity. And I'd rather oppose with art than aggression. So I did.”
In the footage both Jeremy Hunt and Andrea Leadsom can be seen scuttling past in the background as Matt declaims his poem. For political anoraks, the sightings of both health secretary Hunt and environment secretary Leadsom can be counted as rare spots. Hunt is said to have been kept out of the current election campaign as much as possible by Conservative spin doctors, while Leadsom was subject of a recent BBC Newsnight hunt which tried to track her down in the west country, without success.
In case the poiticians in a hurry missed Matt’s poem in full, here it is:
by Matt Abbott
Don't let 'em tell you the NHS is destined to be privatised,
dump you in a global recession and force you to acclimatise;
moralistic platitudes when Parliament's alive with lies.
t'old Murdoch'll be laughing
on the day democracy dies.
From benefit cuts and the Bedroom Tax
we return to "no Irish, dogs or blacks":
'Immigration Street' - "yeah, let's kick 'em out, and boot 'em 'ard!"
What about 'Tax Evasion Terrace', 'Banker's Bonus Boulevard'?
I'm sick to death of bankers for bossers;
millionaires inflicting losses
on working folk who are skint and demoralised,
year after year of being politically colonised...
Don't let the Tories inflict any more.
They might've won the battle,
but we'll win the war.
Over the next three weeks the art of protest must be mastered:
if we all spit together,
we can drown the set of bastards!
Meanwhile another leading performance poet, Steve Pottinger, has made his own party political broadcast.
Steve said: “It was inspired (is that the right word in this case?) by politicians who use the tired old trope of wrapping themselves in the flag while promising a land of unbelievable wonders, all available at the X of a pen in a voting booth.
“Just look like you mean it, and spout the nonsense with conviction. Repeat the key phrases your advisor taught you, repeat them over and over. Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable. It's set up to lampoon.”
Steve’s broadcast, on behalf of “The Moon on a Stick party”, includes these lines: “There’ll be moon on sticks for all … moons to make Britain great, sticks to warm your cockles … moons to be the envy of the world … moons to end 50 years of hurt … We promise you moons. And if all else fails, there is always the stick.”