Satirical verse: UKIP Brexit if you want to

As my Brexit-inspired satire continues, here is my mini-glossary for those reading this post outside Great Britain.

UKIP stands for the UK Independence Party, which is a Eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in Great Britain. The party strongly opposes immigration, pledging to reduce it to zero within five years. Incidentally, the wife (alluded to below) of the party’s former leader (who is a great fan of President Trump) is German.

Brexit refers to the British exit from the European Union, narrowly voted for in the 2016 EU membership referendum. Brexit has bitterly divided the country, and even the government cannot seem to agree what sort of Brexit it wants. Needless to say, Europe is baffled …  

 

We don’t want no immigration

To pollute this brilliant nation;

We were once the purest race

Which this Mother Earth did grace

(Sorry, there is one correction:

German wives are an exception),

 

But the EU plots and schemes

To extinguish our dreams

About being alien-free

In this land of ours – see?

Our challenge is immense –

We must mount a bold defence.

 

When we seal our porous border

We’ll restore all law and order,

And, to pick our fruit and veg,

We will summon good old Reg

(He is 80 – did we mention? –

This will help him boost his pension).

 

We will stop most foreign aid

And engage in global trade

Beyond EU neighbourhood

(North Korea would be good),

Plus, in line with our agendum,

We will rule by referendum.

 

Also (you’ll be filled with glee),

We will let you park for free*

When you do your weekly shop

(We don’t reckon it’s a sop:

As an ordinary Brit,

You’ll be rather badly hit**).

 

Even if our gut gets busted,

We want to be done and dusted

By the end of next year – max;

See how neatly all this stacks?

(We can – by all indicators –

Trust our clever negotiators.)

 

To take charge of our laws,

We must rally to the cause

With a zealous incantation:

“We are here to save our nation,

And, in Donald’s dazzling vein,

We’ll make Britain great again!”

 

*For at least 30 minutes

**In your pocket

 

PS

 

Wanna know – that’s by the way –

What folk Googled the next day***?

“What’s this construct called EU?”

You are laughing? It is true;

Still, we say: “You know the score,

That’s**** what you have voted for.”

 

***After the 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership

****Whatever that is; if the government still (at the beginning of 2018) can’t agree about what sort of Brexit it wants (hard, soft or anything in-between), you can jolly well make up your own wish list and announce that this is exactly what you have voted for – hey ho!

 

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Further to yesterday’s Tim Knowles post

Cumbria Trust

For the benefit of those of you who do not subscribe to Facebook, the following piece and the ensuing replies were posted in response to our item on Tim Knowles yesterday.

“As I said before – huge respect to Tim in stating his revised position, if only all politicians were brave enough to do this kind of thing… After seeing off the Zip Wire (which is about so much more than the one project and for me all about setting a precedent) this issue will unfortunately become a priority again for those who love the Lake District and Cumbria. Government/Whitehall must not be allowed to foist an unsafe solution on Cumbria just because it suits them. And by the way all the main political parties have been as bad as each other on this issue. Not a party political issue at all.” ~ John Wilson

“Grateful for these kind comments…

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A change of view for Tim Knowles…

Cumbria Trust

Tim Knowles

In a recent post we wrote about the Radio Cumbria report on the latest developments in the continuing search for a suitable site for a GDF. In addition to interviewing Eddie Martin during the news feature, Radio Cumbria also interviewed Tim Knowles, who chaired the last search process, known as Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS).

It was striking that Tim has changed his view since 2013 and no longer supports the idea of geological disposal of nuclear waste in Cumbria.  He appears to share Cumbria Trust’s view that Cumbria does not have suitable geology, and that there are much better sites elsewhere in the country.  It is interesting that we have now had 2 search processes in Cumbria and both the Lead Inspector of the first Nirex process, and now the Chair of the second MRWS process have reached the same conclusion – that the search should move…

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Satirical verse: The globe-trotting Brexiteer

Readers from countries other than Great Britain may wish to note that this satirical verse is about the current British Foreign Secretary, who is an ardent Brexiteer (a person who is in favour of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union).

 

I am a one-nation Tory

Who cares not a jot for glory,

Am your quintessential Brit

Appreciated for my wit

And a slightly raffish look;

I know how to write a book

And draw lots of nice red lines,

Am a connoisseur of wines,

And I never, ever never tire

When suspended from zip wire.

When our greatness is at stake,

I will (always) have my cake

And will eat it – hence my girth

(Please contain unseemly mirth);

Round the world I widely roam

(Though, sometimes, without a comb),

And I think you ought to ditch

Your displeasure with the rich;

In a nutshell, that is that;

Let me tell you where we’re at.

(I mean our negotiation

Re the freedom of our nation.)

I’d had not a drop of Marnier*,

When I told this old chap Barnier

He could go and jolly whistle;

Fair enough: he didn’t bristle

But came out with poppycock

About loudly ticking clock;

We are not, so as you know,

Giving Barnier any dough;

Of this there can be no doubt:

After all, we’re getting out,

So you can now go and chill;

What? We’re paying 20 bill.???

Nah, not on your blinking nelly!

(I’ll repeat this on the telly),

Not if I can … wait a sec,

PM’s waving a fat cheque …

It says 40 – but that’s double!!!

Grrrr, we really are in trouble:

That’s the dosh, I acquiesce,

Promised to the NHS;

Payout wasn’t in our plan –

Things are going down the pan;

But fear not (I’m being frank):

With a tiger in my tank,

I will cut us such a deal

That you’ll think it is a steal;

I’ll outshine the other stars

And put Elvis – yep – on Mars**!

 

*Grand

**An expression Boris Johnson used to describe the likelihood of his becoming Prime Minister

 

Satirical verse: Supplication of a Pole in Brexit Britain

I have now started writing political satire (in verse) inspired by Brexit. To those reading this outside Britain, this country has voted (albeit narrowly) in favour of leaving the European Union. This has provoked much controversy and created deep divisions between the supporters and opponents of Britain’s membership of the Union. I believe that one of the reasons behind the vote to leave was the desire to curb immigration. Since I hail from Poland, and am thus one of those immigrants whom many (though, of course, not all) Brits seem to dislike, I am getting my own back by satirising Brexit in verse. Enjoy!

 

With this country set for Brexit,

Please don’t show me to the exit

‘Cos, some misdeeds* notwithstanding,

I could pass for quite upstanding

(Although not when in repose

After vodka overdose,

But I know that it is sinful

Having what they call a skinful):

I will not condone a fiddle

And sit roughly in the middle

On the scale from saints to sinners;

I eat carrots with my dinners,

Take crushed garlic, go for walkies,

Have foresworn soft-centre choccies,

And I’m also (fancy this!)

Upping my Omega 3s**.

I did pay my taxes – once***

And have grabbed at every chance

To perform a kindly deed

When I spied a soul in need;

Have you ever even tried

To become a helpful guide

To a dear old lady who

Looked confused and lost to you?

I’d be in there like a shot,

Never mind how hard she fought …

But there are (I’m shy, don’t clap)

More fine feathers in my cap:

I have never been a chancer,

Smuggler, banker, spy, pole dancer

(Although I’m a dancing Pole),

I have tended to my soul

And renounced the deadly sins****,

And I’ve used recycle bins,

Plus, I never did striptease …

Can I stay then? Pretty please!

 

* We shall not dwell on those, though

**The lovely natives routinely place the apostrophe before the ‘s’, where it’s redundant because ‘3s’ is a regular plural; we may be aliens, but we have studied English grammar – in depth

***Or twice

****Well, at least three of them

 

Comic verse: Sales and philosophy

As notorious as our gales

Are the January sales,

Where you always – yes you do –

Find a bargain, if not two.

When an urge within you surge,

Your account you swiftly purge

(It’s now down to but a dime)

And have jolly, jolly time

Buying all that lovely stuff

Until husband says, “Enough!”

Then you wait, all tense and pale,

Till the February sale,

When you go, with joy and glee,

On another spending spree.

It’s now March – the sale is on,

Blimey, how the time has gone.

Then it’s April, May and June;

All those sales – oh, what a boon!

(Don’t you love the current trend

With the sales that never end?)

When your hubby grabs your purse,

You protest: “It could be worse:

If you think about it, honey,

I am saving lots of money!”

At which point, you hear a groan

And see hubby lying prone;

This prevents a likely scrape,

And you make your bold escape

With a ponder that goes thus:

Why can’t men be more like us?

Here’s to a stress-free Christmas!

It’s been a while, but I’m sure you’ve been so busy you’ve barely noticed. Anyway, I’m back but will be changing course: I’m working on a book of humorous verses, some of which will be posted here from time to time. This one, which comes with warm season’s greetings, is about my stress-free Christmas – hope yours is too.

 

She’s a secret that is murky:

She has never stuffed a turkey;

Christmas pudding and mince pies?

That’s the stuff she simply buys.

She looks forward with great glee

To a Christmas that’s stress-free,

Which, of this there is no doubt,

Means, quite frankly, eating out;

This is why she is so merry

(Though her hubby blames the sherry),

Knowing they will have a ball;

Merry Christmas, one and all!

 

96: President Trump’s contribution to the Grammar Day: to tapp or not to tapp?

Just in time for today’s Grammar Day, Donald Trump fired off the following tweet:

How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phone during the very sacred election process.

In order to help President Trump out a wee bit, I’ve decided to post the relevant extract from my recently published Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 & 4 with Handy Usage Notes. The extract deals with the doubling of consonants at the end of verbs (such as ‘tap’). But the President also used the wrong tense and, if his pronouncement was meant to be a question, failed to deploy the question mark, of which more further on.

6.10                  Spelling verb inflections

6.10.1 The doubling of consonants

Before endings -ing and -ed are added to base forms ending with a single consonant letter (except x), those bases double the consonant letter if the preceding vowel is stressed and spelt with a single letter. This is exemplified below.

  • Bar ends with a single r preceded by a stressed a spelt with a single letter. Thus, bar – barring – barred. Similarly, permit ends with a single t preceded by a stressed iI spelt with a single letter. Thus, permit – permitting – permitted.

By contrast, when the vowel is either unstressed or written with two letters, there is no doubling of the final consonant.

  • Enter also ends with a single r preceded by e spelt with a single letter, but this vowel e is unstressed. This is why the doubling of the final r does not occur: enter – entering – entered. Similarly, although moan ends with a single n preceded by a stressed sound oa, this sound is represented not by one but by two letters: oa (sequences of two vowel letters representing a single sound, such as oa, ai or ea, are called diphthongs). Again then, the doubling of the final n does not occur: moan – moaning – moaned.

Exceptions to the consonant-doubling rule

The rule is broken with bases ending in g and c: those consonants are doubled despite being preceded by single unstressed vowels: zigzag – zigzagging – zigzagged; traffic – trafficking – trafficked.

Unlike American English, British English also breaks the rule in bases ending in l, m and, in a few verbs, p coming after single unstressed vowels: signal – signalling – signalled;  trial – trialling – trialled;  travel – travelling – travelled;  telegram – telegramming – telegrammed; worship – worshipping – worshipped. However, most verbs ending in p have regular spellings: develop – developing – developed; gossip – gossiping – gossiped.

END OF EXTRACT FROM MY TEXTBOOK

As for the wrong tense, the Present Perfect (here, has gone) may not be used to refer to events which took place at a defined time in the past (such as last year’s American presidential election), this being the job of the past tense – the Simple Past, in this case. And while the structure of this part of the presidential tweet is typical of a question, no question mark is used. It is possible, however, that this pronouncement was meant to be exclamatory, but the writer’s command of English tripped him up. If a question was indeed intended, what President Trump should have written is this (stylistic and content-related considerations aside):

How low did President Obama go to tap my phone during the very sacred election process?

95: Venimently perplexed

Some of you might have heard about a recent by-election in my parliamentary constituency, Copeland. Propelled by the sense of civic responsibility, I duly attended a local hustings, at which our independent candidate revealed his impeccable Europhobic credentials with the rhetorical question “A million Poles enough for you?” No sooner had I regained composure than I was assaulted with his campaign leaflet, in which the wannabe MP regaled us with the following pronouncement:

The Green Party are being venimently [sic] against nuclear energy.

Are they really? In an obvious attempt to be even-handed, the leaflet proceeded to castigate other political parties:

The farming community has been hit by this present governments [sic] stopping of subsidies.

Predictably, the Labour Party, currently presided over by Jeremy Corbyn, did not escape unscathed either.

The same can be said of Labour supporters who vote for Jeremy Corbyns [sic] Labour Party.

In an attempt to hit us hard with his anti-global-warming message, the campaigner chided us thus:

How many times does Keswick have to flood before the resident’s [sic] get the message. [sic]

The environmental theme needed to be reinforced, so the leaflet contained the following imploration:

We all need to change our behaviour now to slow down global warming to ensure our ancestors [sic] have a planet to inhabit.

But of course! It also appeared as if our independent candidate felt that a wee threat could go a long way.

To the people who disagree with me, I have bad news for you, but you will dislike global warming and increased sea levels even less [sic]!

Will we really? And the campaigner had other gripes:

Recent cost cutting decisions such as the demolition of the public toilets in Whitehaven is [sic] disgraceful.

But, hearteningly, the leaflet wasn’t all negative:

Land based wind turbines can produce energy much cheaper and more accessible [sic] than their off-shore counterparts.

The publication finished on an uncharacteristically literate, if a tad contradictory, note:

We have the 27th best education system in the world and every year it seems to get worse. The state education system has failed to produce results, so a drastic rethink is required to improve results.

It was rather hard to resist the conclusion that the leaflet had been produced by the very embodiment of this failure.

 

94: The Demise of a Publisher – and the Rise of a Phoenix

Grammar and punctuation book cover 2.jpg

It was ten months ago that I proudly announced the impending publication of my linguistic opus, Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 & 4 with Handy Usage Notes, by First and Best in Education. Well, maybe not quite an opus: I had, in fact, lopped nearly a third off an earlier incarnation of the textbook, which was targeted mainly at the British Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14). But, while the book had been shortened and, I hope, improved, its scope had been widened to include also older students. So all that was left for me to do was to sit back and wait for the royalties to start rolling in. Alas, a few months later I found myself a bewildered recipient of a notification of the demise of my book’s publishing house. How come: they had been going for years! Sadly, it appeared as if they were now going straight into administration.

But what is it they say about doors closing: when one door closes, another slams in your face? No, perhaps not that one, for I definitely wasn’t going to let this setback deflate me. After all, I am now a fully-fledged publisher myself. So my phoenix-like textbook is again in the public domain, as a shiny A4 paperback, elegantly bound, as well as an e-book, both available worldwide. And the best thing is that, with no middlemen to take their cut, I was able to slash the book’s price considerably. The book can be accessed via the links below, via the books page on my website or by Googling its title and author (i.e. me).

Paperback

http://www.lulu.com/shop/anna-nolan/grammar-and-punctuation-for-key-stages-3-4/paperback/product-22988266.html

 E-book

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N1QVWHD

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1QVWHD

 For those interested, here’s a brief description of my textbook. The book gives an introduction to the grammar and punctuation of present-day Standard English in the context of their relevance to communication. Its up-to-date grammatical and punctuation content, rooted in British national literacy strategies, is particularly relevant to Key Stages 3 and 4 (ages 11-16), but the book can be used also for, and by, older students. Its unique selling points include concise notes addressing a range of relevant usage points, a spotlight on the areas which writers tend to find troublesome and authentic examples helping to bring the content to life. While focusing on British English, the book does point out some differences with American English – particularly in the area of grammar. Its main aims are to improve students’ communication skills (particularly written), to constitute an accessible reference source and to serve as an editing handbook.

I hope the book will serve its users well.