This month’s guest post comes in the form of a poem written by a brilliant 19 year old, who comes to my writing group. Toby Martin is studying Screenwriting at Bournemouth University, but he also writes short stories and poems and is working on his first novel. Toby read this poem out one evening at writing group, post Brexit. As we are generally of similar opinions, we were all laughing and nodding as he read it out. We look forward to Toby’s poems and short stories at group, as they are always full of dark humour and never fail to make us laugh. Thanks for this Toby!
Is it really true that sanity has died?
That people didn’t know Farage had lied?
And now Brexit’s happening, but not so swiftly.
The government is unwilling to trigger Article 50.
And why should they? It’ll be suicide economic,
And May’s too busy preparing for apocalypse atomic.
I know I should be grateful we’ve finally got a cabinet sorted,
And that Michael Gove’s gone – perhaps hopefully to be deported.
But at the slightest criticism, May will rebuke us,
Just like she did to Caroline Lucas,
When the latter suggested just the slightest doubt,
That nuclear proliferation could ever work out.
To me, the problem lies with misinformation,
Twisting the truth coupled with outright fabrications.
The Daily Mail is the most popular paper,
Which is depressing considering the many capers
The rag has performed over its many years of circulation,
Baiting minorities, and deceiving the nation.
It’ll get away with lies, slander and exaggeration,
Claiming things to be fact without proper citation.
Consider when they attacked Ralph Miliband, father of Ed,
He hated Britain! The tabloid read,
Despite his dedication for the country’s armed forces,
While the paper’s creator, Lord Northcliffe endorses
Hitler’s Germany, fascists and Italian blackshirts,
At least until we went to war, and then he averts,
Any association he had – he puts it to bed,
Then goes on to attack other groups instead.
Even worse than the Mail (excuse me will I gag)
Is The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s favourite rag,
That used to be the most popular, and probably still would be,
If they hadn’t done away with the topless women on page 3.
Because that’s what we need in a modern liberal nation,
Public pornography and blatant objectification,
(No doubt subjected to excessive masturbation,
And if they get caught, they’ll blame immigration.)
Despite having half the world’s media under his control,
Murdoch will still claim his views are unheard, on the whole.
And whilst UKIP are laughing about their victory,
An exit from the EU will be rather contradictory,
As nothing they care about will likely change,
They’ll still be foreigners in their visual range,
And in anger at being deceived by their leaders,
They’ll go the same route as tabloid readers
And blame any minority group that they see fit,
And it’ll be blameless victims that get the worst of it.
Not all Brexiters are racist – just short on facts,
But now it’s being used an excuse to commit senseless acts
Of mindless xenophobic violence and hate,
While government opposition are declared enemies of the state.
Over in America, things might get steadily worse too,
After Donald Trump’s support unexpectedly grew,
A madman is now in a position to take control,
(Although even he might get fed up of Boris Johnson being a troll.)
And his supporters are too making a spectacle as they see fit,
Like Milo Yiannopoulos, the internet’s favourite hypocrite.
Finally banned from Twitter after racist abuse,
On top of his record of misogyny and homophobia that he would excuse.
And his first claim following his suspension,
Was that he was being oppressed by hate-crime prevention,
Forgetting conveniently enough that he claimed before,
That Twitter didn’t have the stomach to tell him what for.
Why then, do these liars get away with their lies?
Well, in many respects, it’s a curse in disguise.
Personal opinions are important, there’s no doubt about that,
But the danger comes with conflating opinions with fact.
Suddenly there are multiple truths, not just one,
And you get to choose which, to you, is the most fun!
So you can believe in a hollow Earth, or an expanding Earth or an Earth made of sponge cake,
You can believe in Phantom Time or that the Apollo landings were fake.
But some conspiracies are much more harmful with a lot more danger,
That play upon our instinctive fear of the stranger.
I’m talking about those who claim that vaccination,
Is an attempt at government world domination.
That jabs will make your child autistic,
Despite going against the accepted statistics.
But internet culture has a habit of demonizing reason,
Thinking that they’re out to get them for committing high treason.
As a result, we had thousands of children who weren’t immunized,
And as a result had their overall health compromised.
And once again this was a confirmation of the worst fears –
And the first death from measles in Britain in 14 years.
This is just one example of such a foreboding act,
That occurs when we value personal feeling over objective fact,
Be sure to spread this lesson amongst our impressionable youth,
Or we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
You can follow Toby on Twitter, Wattpad and his excellent blog tobythewastrel
Look out for next month’s guest post, a detailed piece on why going indie was the right decision for him, by horror writer Anthony Morgan Clark
Do you have something you would like to submit to this blog? It can be a poem, short story, novel extract, or a blog style post about writing, reading, or an experience of being an outsider (and not caring!) As long as it is glorious then sent it my way! Guest posts are once a month.