My Brexit Poem

Preamble: I know some folk are not going to like this, but it's my right to be angry and I don't care who knows it.

Live version on Youtube:


On the 30th of March 2019

I shall wake up significantly older

And no longer European.


What a great birthday present history has prepared for me -

After 4 decades on this planet, “we’re revoking your Europeanity!”

And I don’t know what bugs me more:

My weakness in the face of accelerating years

Or having something stolen from me by the Brexiteers.


A manufactured mandate from a fumbled referendum

A decision us misled masses were unqualified to make

They say “the people have spoken”

But with so much freedom of mis-information based on lies and hate

 It feels like democracy is broken.


I’m trying hard to respect those who believed the pro-leave press

And fell for lies on buses about the NHS

I try hard to keep my anger for those truly to blame

They sold us down the river with their own petty games

 of ambition and pride

They gambled our nation, and lost

Took us all for a ride

and we’ll be paying the cost for generations to come.


So I’m told I should be proud to be British.

Well, I can be grateful, but not proud of an accident of birth

As it can’t in any way be a measure of what I’m worth.

And when it comes to our nation, I have gratitude more than pride

For those who serve their country, for those who’ve fought and died

So that we might still live our British ways of life.

I will grieve for them and I will pray their sacrifice wasn’t in vain

Was that not what our Europe was for, to stop such horrors happening again?

And there’s no reason to limit this to European frontiers

For the lines drawn on a map are really neither there nor here

We’re all citizens of the World, card-carrying members of the human race

Worth no more or less than any other, at any time or place.


But hey.

I'm afraid there’s always been and will always be injustice, war and strife

I’ll get mad enough to fight it, but not to let it ruin my life.

I get it that I’m lucky enough to shape my destiny

And old enough to know that my happiness is up to me.

There’s nothing I can do against time’s fated advance:

But for staying European – I think I'll move to France.

BrexitSlamslam poetry

◄ Keep moving

Lie with poetry ►


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Phil Kay

Sat 6th Apr 2019 13:37

This is a great piece that catches the mood and frustrations of many of us. I've been an ex pat by choice for most of my life and I can only imagine how something as fundamental as membership as Europe and its loss can be effecting you.
Especially as it was based upon lies and a not to subtle ignition of racial hatred and xenophobia.
Thank you for wording so effectively the frustrations and beliefs that anger many this excellent piece. Enhanced by the you tube clip you included. With you all the way.
And... especially as the crap continues to pile up. Good luck to you.

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Mae Foreman

Fri 29th Mar 2019 13:20

Well said and true! My sympathies Becky... I know this probably makes no difference but you and I bothe know that being European is not in your blood (by an accident of birth) nor on your passport. As long as there are people like you speaking their minds loud and clear with precision, vision and civility there is still hope.

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John Marks

Fri 29th Mar 2019 12:32

Happy Birthday!

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Becky Who

Sat 19th Jan 2019 16:40

Hi poemographic,

I agree with the first part of what you say. I don't know if fully accountable politicians, or a system that holds them fully to account, exists or is even possible. They say what they need to say to get into power and then are rarely held to account to their promises. A lot of the power is not even held by the politicians, but by the hidden unelected money pushers. I'll have to find that Arthur C. Clarke quote.

However, a good orator that could unite us all would be exactly the type of politician I would fear the most. Someone who could "unite" i.e. manipulate us all by the power of what they say, by saying what we want to hear in a way we find attractive.... That's not necessarily neither a skilled nor a moral politician, but it is a technique shared by a lot of dictators and fascists... In this day and age it is up to us all to think critically and intelligently about all messages we receive in all forms. (In this vein, a truly democratic education should give us all the means to perform this kind of reflection. But I think it's a Charlie Brown cartoon that says "no one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them).

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Paul Sayer

Sat 19th Jan 2019 16:15

point well made MC

If only we had someone in a position of power who is brave enough to say what they mean, and mean what they say.

AND Then to follow it though to the bitter-sweet end.

Somebody who had the oratory power to unite us all.

That would be a person I 'Would' vote for.

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 19th Jan 2019 16:05

Seen and noted, Becky. I was, however, indicating how betrayal is
possible when an oath of such magnitude in its historical context can
be suborned to political dishonesty. If you're going to act like that
in public office then any other deed of deceit and dissembling is
possible to have one's will over the electorate. As it has been said
elsewhere: a man (woman) is only good for one oath at a time.

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Paul Sayer

Sat 19th Jan 2019 08:21

This topic 'Brexit' is all about divide and fuck everybody...
Not about unity... Not ever about unity.

'The power brokers / mongers' have no allegiance to any gods or sovereigns.

… and as for us, all of us, I believe we are just a tiny cog in their ever grinding wheel.

But what the fuck do I know.

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Becky Who

Sat 19th Jan 2019 07:49

Hi M.C., that's fair enough, I can respect that. Although I would consider it an equally "personal" response to the situation.


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 19th Jan 2019 00:46

Hi again BW - as I mentioned elsewhere: in my working life I took an
oath of allegiance to our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth, her heirs
and successors, and - unlike certain UK politicians, past and present,
I do not consider it to be transferable to the EU, its heirs and successors. As for "common sense" that depends on your state of mind and sense of history.
Regards, MC

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Becky Who

Fri 18th Jan 2019 23:44

I'm sorry, M.C. Newberry, my comments - intended to explain the strength of my stance in the poem, and maximize the joke about my 40th birthday - and indeed the content of the poem itself could be misconstrued as me seeing this from only a personal point of view. I am of course also able to see that leaving the European Union is/will be an extremely negative thing for all concerned, and most particularly Britain - and I imagine as usual the poorest will suffer. I wish for all our sakes there was the possibility I could be wrong, I really do.

Have a look at the introduction to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - an example of a European project with very laudable aims and intentions concerning mutual understanding and respect: not all European projects are about self-serving politicians and power grabs.

I find it a little ironic that you say "the hidden process of deceit and want of truth that was employed by our own elected politicians" - I thought at first you were talking about the Brexit referendum. I guess you mean the first time around.... but then, we are talking about politicians after all. Let's face it, most people that rise to the top in that kind of job are not actually fit for purpose as the fact that they got there at all, in such a system, means they only have their own self-serving interests at heart. The only true democracy can be the one suggested by Arther C. Clarke in "Songs of a Distant Earth". I don't think self-serving politicians are any MORE of a problem in Europe than they have certainly been endemic and chaos-causing in Britain in recent years (and possibly forever).

Anyway, whatever you think of the reasons and methods we ended up in Europe, it was rather obvious that trying to extract ourselves from an organisation set up with such financial and legal intricacies - necessarily, if it was to have mutual benefits, projects, collaborations etc - was going to be an expensive and unnecessary nightmare.

For sure I'm not pretending France is in a better place at the moment. They seem to have bred their own specific species of rich-serving tax-break politicians.

You may have the better of me in terms of eloquence in expressing these things, but you will never persuade me that Brexit is a good thing, on any level. And as far as I'm concerned that's not personal self-interest or pig-headed idealistic naivety, its pure common sense.

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 18th Jan 2019 16:37

Your opening comment about the process making "life significantly
difficult on a personal and professional level" reminds me of my
sister who, with her late husband, decided to leave England and
live in France. Her response to the situation has also been based
in how it affects her "personally". Fair enough.
However, this ignores the hidden process of deceit and want of
truth that was employed by our own elected politicians acting ultra vires and taking us into a pre-planned political power-grab that
clearly had/has no time or interest in the peoples of the nations
drawn into its stealthily spun web in which the likes of the present
French foreign minister (in a country rapidly seeing its own
leader as "president for the rich") can talk about "sovereign (sic)
Europe" without a hint of irony. Clearly, sovereignty has a
different meaning for such arrogant and self-perpetuating political posturing that has no real interest in "the peoples" of the individual
countries it purports to represent (reality translation: RULE).

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Paul Sayer

Thu 17th Jan 2019 22:36

"Life begins at 40"

wait and see


Big Sal

Thu 17th Jan 2019 21:19

The only ones that would not enjoy it are the ones too far in denial to care, Becky.

Well done on your slam. I think your multimedia approach is effective in itself and can do you wonders.

Keep up the great work, and I loved the piece by the way.?

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Brian Maryon

Thu 17th Jan 2019 00:37

Good piece Becky. I am a leaver, I've made no secret of that, a decision made from a little englander perspective. I do however appreciate how it might affect others. I'm starting to suspect however that it might never happen, or if it does it will be so soft we will hardly notice.

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Becky Who

Thu 17th Jan 2019 00:26

Before anyone starts; I'll just say that Brexit is making my life significantly difficult on a personal and professional level. And I'm taking it very personally that they scheduled it for the midnight of my birthday.

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