If We Were Real – The Quiz

i daniel blake.jpegYesterday I hosted an event at the wonderful Swindon Poetry Festival. As part of the evening I read the following poem ‘If We Were Real’, which was published in the Rialto; I then used it as the basis for a quiz. The following sixteen points, reference a film/book/play/TV programme, which portray the working class from the 1960s to the 2010s. It seemed to go down well, and the winner got ten out of sixteen, which under time constraints and not able access the Internet, was very good (the cheats know who they are). So, if you are that way inclined, why not have a go. No prize, just the personal satisfaction that comes from any pointless test of our memory. Only clue I will give is that they are all British and I Daniel Blake isn’t one of them. Please don’t post your answers in the comments section, as they will give it away for others. I’ll post the answers at the weekend and you can tell me what score you got in the comments then. Best of luck!

If We Were Real by Peter Raynard

1. Jo’s mum Helen is a slag,
doesn’t stop her having a go
at Jo getting pregnant by a black man
and staying in a hole
with that pansified little creep though.

2. Colin’s mum is no better,
she’s just after his dead dad’s
insurance money, but Colin’s
a little toe rag running for his life,

who’ll let the whole fucking lot
of them down. 3. Arthur’s a proper
hard bastard, working his seed
into as many women as he can.

4. And guess what, Victor’s only gone
and got his missus up the ready rough,
so has to live with the mother-in-law,
and she’s had a leading role

in working men’s jokes for years.
5. Tommy’s off up the match, an away game
kick-the-shit out of any proper casual
who’ll have it. 6. Ray beats up his missus
when he gets home, stamps on her throat

like some rat he found in the bog. 7. Lol’s Dad
commits the horrors with her sister
and her mate any place he can, then tries
it on with her until Combo ends the cunt.

8. Young Timmy knows how to enjoy himself,
he cleans double breasted windows,
or checks under the sink for some
scantily clad plumbing, before delivering

a whipped cream double entendre
to bored housewives. 9. Rita likes a bit
of that an’ all, off shagging Bob,
with her mate Sue, 10. but her namesake

tries her hand at books instead of dotting
her luck on the bingo of a Saturday night.
11. Shirley’s fucked off to Greece, can’t stand
talking to the wall no more, cooking

egg ‘n chips for her husband,
who believes that’s a woman’s place.
12. Billy’s dad knows what a man should be,
and it’s not a fucking dancer.

13. Rent’s smacked off his boat, so goes swimming
for a pearl in the filth of the bog,
whilst 14. Dushane’s a boy at the top
of his game, on the estates round his way.

15. Like Frank’s kids, who surround him
like a wreath, this all may be true.
16. And Big Chris is right when he says,
‘It’s been emotional.’

But is that really all we are?
Do we not go by any other names?

The Other One percent? by Peter Raynard

Much is written about the top 1% in our society; the single percentage who were privately educated, have a family history of exclusion from the masses, hold the majority of the world’s wealth, and thus political power. This situation was borne out of the neo-liberal emphasis on the individual; that if you give someone the means to progress, through education, economic freedom, free market, etc., then society as a whole will prosper. Much of this thought is behind the promotion of social mobility, in particular enabling those who have been born into a low economic and social status, who without some help in terms of wider opportunity, will remain both inactive and unproductive. (more…)

‘Precarious’ & ‘The Combination: a poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto’ (please scroll down to exit via the gift shop)


Precarious CoverPrecarious was published by Smokestack on April 1st this year, and I have been on a Precarious Tour around the country, with the novelist and poet Richard Skinner (whose book The Malvern Aviator is also published by Smokestack) . So far we have read in Oxford, Huddersfield, Newcastle, and London – with Bristol and Swindon to come later in the year. I have also read in Derby, St Albans, and London (at the launch of Jane Commane‘s book launch of Assembly Lines), and later at Ledbury Poetry Festival, Cork, and Merthyr Tydfill. (more…)