No-one is illegal…

I met a Spanish guy one time,
the kind who’s called a gypsy,
which caused the local cops such worry
he strapped himself beneath a lorry ..

.. to get here, hoping to be free
of Franco’s friendly custody.
My first hint of the desperation
of that persecuted nation.

A trick like that would not work now –
our border guards have got this sussed,
though many others try it still
and, if not caught, are often killed.

You think that they deserve this fate?
To drown at sea, asphyxiate
with dozens more locked in a truck.
Were they simply out of luck?

Is your imagination just so dull
that you can’t wonder why someone
would take those risks to reach this shore?
Is the dole worth dying for?

Can you show one single bod
whose job an immigrant had got?
If it’s because they work for less,
then help them get paid better! Guess ..

.. you ’ve never undercut another …
In a union, are you brother?
Then fight for pay equality –
cross-border solidarity.

Control our borders? Don’t talk crap!
Drawing lines across a map
won’t make one side different from the other
when over there’s a cousin or a brother.

We’re on an island? Think again!
The Welsh, the Scots still have a claim
to parts they held as theirs before
the frontier moved after some war.

The land you live in was built –
the roads, canals and rails,
as well as most the buildings in between –
by those and, yes, the Irish too. I mean ..

.. migrants from these British Isles,
as well as others from abroad
whose low-wage graft or else as slaves
made all the wealth that paid ..

.. for everything you think is ours
and was gained by our great powers …
Why? Are you rich? Do your veins flow
with blood of gangsters, high or low?

Gangsters? I mean aristos
and other chancers who all grow
strong and fat on others’ labour,
happy to exploit their neighbour ..

.. wherever these may call their home
and don’t care how far those roam
so long as there are bucks to gain
and most in their own hands remain.

You think you have rights to keep
what former bosses got to steal
from people like yourselves, whose lands
our ancestors overran ..

.. and then deny their descendants
the chance to get back some remnants
of the plunder that they lost
with so much pain and so much cost?

And don’t say Poles and Czechs don’t count –
you don’t know the full amount
our banks and overlords once took
from them as well as your folk. Look ..

.. into your own history –
it’s a well-planned mystery
designed to keep you ignorant
of the fact that you’re an immigrant ..

.. however long that you’ve been here –
your kin were foreigners, it’s clear.
So, whether they are poor or regal,
no-one can be called illegal.

rs 15-16.7.18