CONSUMERIA
1973


The Sixties ended in 1973 with the OPEC oil crisis. Newly married, we moved to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, at that time often a drunken and sometimes a violent city.

Newly radicalised, I joined the Civil Service as Her Majesty's Collector of Taxes, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 'A' Division. On the training visits, I experienced at first hand the extremes of poverty and wealth to be found in Britain - from the struggling sharefishermen living in the Knott's Flats in North Shields to the pink liveried footmen in the palatial Bank of England building.

There was the hypocrisy of the commercial world as big business avoided tax on a professional scale whilst the tabloids boomed on about benefit cheats.

The essence of all this experience was focused through this poem, written in the style of a biblical oration.

You can see what I meant about ANGRY YOUNG MAN!

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My molecules tell me it's all over for CONSUMERIA,
My atoms add "it has nothing to give"
sitting here in GREED BRITAIN,
Where the ignorance lies thick on the pavements just lemoncheese, My cellular waves whispered
"What you lose on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts...."
SHAME! on you shortplankheaded louts that WOULD NOT CARE,
Shame! Shame! on your pruneskin racial hatred.

CONSUMERIA
CONSUMERIA

Your poundnotegreen landscape lies cracked and festered,
Scratched by your mad planetary smokewinds.
ADMIT IT NOW, all you televisionsetheads out there,
YOU SAT AND WATCHED IT HAPPEN,
You went on night after night, altering your contrasts whilst the houses of your mind were burgled.

CONSUMERIA
CONSUMERIA

See all your fallingcities with their bronzemarble moneyshrines,
All their lendingbankpalaces - see you die in your humansewers.
Who tried to kid all you insuranceleechmoneylenders
Your obsenityhearted existence was real?
What GUARANTEE did you have you were sane?

CONSUMERIA
CONSUMERIA

Your pulsating cancercell creaks on through the timefields,
And I sit watching the rain, listening to your back break.