Modern living

They got off the bus, laughing and pushing.

“It’s getting worse” he muttered to me
“It was never like this in my day”

I thought on this, past the blossoming trees
Municipal planting in sunshine and breeze
Transport (for public use) threading through towns
A McDonalds’ birthday, all presents and clowns.
Schooling for all (granted, variable quality)
Raikes’ progress, a process of growing equality
Not to be scorned or discarded unthinking
But treasured with heart and community linking.
“All children are precious” I thought, did not say.
“You wish to go back? To your grandfather’s day?
Of poorhouse and pressgang and cold early grave
For those with but pennies to spend and to save?”

“National Service, that’s what they need!”
To such bitter nonsense I pay no great heed.

Modern times changing, perhaps they’ll get worse
Close all the ‘failed’ schools, tighten the purse
Send all the bad’uns to prison or war
Kill all the young men, we did it before!
Keeps them away from the jobcentre door…
But the young are not bad, I said that before.

When parents buy schooling, and interns with trust- funds
Get all the big jobs and manage the country
The money men ruling foul twist-ended hedge funds
That build toxic debt and siphon our money
And call it their ‘profit’: I don’t think it’s funny.
The one that they worship is Mammon, the greedy
And who do we blame? The visible needy.
Tax dodging fifteen times benefits fraud
One is a pauper, one is a lord
Guess who is blamed and put to the sword?
The kids of the poor, not the chair of the board.

Modern living

Robert Burton

London, United Kingdom

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A rant.
I am far from ageist, but I do not like to hear young people being demonised.
I spent many years caring for the elderly, and have also worked with young people.
I believe that blaming the young is a smokescreen to hide the excesses of the rich – income inequality being at the root of many social problems in Britain.

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