Fair-weather socialist

Suddenly you face
The possibility of me
Getting a place
Next to yours, of me
Coming to dinner
Without learning manners
Without losing the cap
Still using these vowels
Not caring how much
Jane Austen and Tolkien
And the oeuvre of Mike Leigh
And Romantic poetry
Mean to you
With my lack
Of gratitude
That you descended
To my state
That you befriended
Me, for your efforts to
Educate me
Improve me
Fix me
Elevate me
With my disinterest in
The time you invest in
Making me want to be you;

You shudder.
In a flash of inspiration you see
The necessity
Of embracing all that is
Accept a commission
On the basis of a
Fearsome reputation
For a column in the Daily Mail
Bearing the advice:
The project has failed
Give it up, think again
Poor people just aren’t adequately nice.

The age-old story: a privileged liberal type is all fervent and leftie, and then when he or she realises that poor people can’t actually be “civilised,” loses all interest in social action. It happens again and again. A lot of them end up writing for the Daily Mail.

You know what poor people actually need? Money. So they won’t be poor anymore. So what if they’re still not “our sort of people”? That’s irrelevant. Poverty is an evil in itself.

(Wood lives in Wales and blogs at The John Heron Project, where this was first posted.)