A poem by Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons, poet and novelist, penned this poem in response to Theresa May’s vile racist speech at the Conservative conference. We are proud to republish it for National Poetry Day

Refugees Welcome Here demonstration, central London 17th September 2016. Photo: Steve Eason


There was an Irish immigrant
Who dug the canals
And built the bridges,
Who carved the tunnels
And made the roads
And only consumed the wealth
He created when he ate.

There was a Jamaican immigrant
Who nursed the sick
And changed their beds,
Who took their temperature
And listened to their pain
And only consumed the wealth
She created when she bore her child.

There was a south Asian immigrant
Who worked the mill
And wove the cloth,
Who drove a taxi
When the place closed down
And only consumed the wealth
He created when his daughter
Went to university.

There was a Polish immigrant
Who drove a bus
And spoke to her passengers
In a tongue not her own
And had a smile for them
And only consumed the wealth
She created when her son
Was sick.

There were Tory MPs
Who claimed for duck houses
And the cleaning of moats,
Who grew fat on hedge funds
And loved banks which,
Though socialism was hated,
Had their own special sort
Just for the very rich,
And consumed the wealth
Others created, and smiled


  1. It is good to see poetry on the site. Back before 1968, International Socialism often used to publish poetry (Adrian Mitchell, Roger McGough).
    Comrades may be interested in the new anthology Poems for Jeremy Corbyn – http://www.shoestring-press.com/2016/09/poems-for-jeremy-corbyn/
    The anthology will be launched in London at Housman’s bookshop in Caledonian Road, King’s Cross on Friday 14 October, entry free but with collection, with a similar event in Oxford on Saturday 22 October at Wesley Memorial Hall, New Inn Hall Street, at 4.15pm (entry £4/£2).


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