The Town That Was Murdered

They shut the pits down long before
they closed the shipyard doors.
The steel that we were promised never came.

Then they said they’d dock our dole,
because we weren’t at home,
available for work that wasn’t there.

For twenty-seven days we marched,
just trying to be heard,
but government can only hear the rich.

Three hundred miles and all for nowt.
We might have bloody known.
That bastard Baldwin couldn’t give a shite.

So back we go, with nothing changed,
back to the town they murdered,
and I wonder when the North will rise again.


The Town That Was Murdered is the title of a book written by Ellen Wilkinson, MP for Jarrow from 1935 to 1947, about the plight of the town and the destructive effect of capitalism on working-class communities.

This poem was originally included in the anthology 'Noble Dissent', published by Beautiful Dragons in 2017.

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Tue 19th Mar 2019 19:32

You probably know the Jarrow Song by Alan Price Joe. This reminded of it. What an incredible episode when communities had a real backbone and represented a voice , How things have changed.


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Hazel ettridge

Mon 18th Mar 2019 14:49

What's changed? The civil service runs the country. MPs just get in the way. They were finally given some work to do a couple of years ago and just look what they made of it. Your next poem might be The Country that was Murdered. Great read.

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Tommy Carroll

Mon 18th Mar 2019 13:56

"available for work that wasn’t there."

...and MP's have second jobs such a solicitors and how do they find the time to dedicate their energies to their coctituents? I wonder.
Cheers Joe.

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