The StirrerThe Stirrer

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond



The Tories are demandingan enquiry into the cost of tarting up the Ministry of Defence's Whitehall offices - estimated at£2.3 billion over the next 30 years. Contrast that with the lousy conditions Forces families have to live in. Stirrer poet BrendanHawthorne goes to war.

Home Front

From marble halls and shag-pile floors

come Defstan stiff upper lip statements

regarding professional commitment

and how well we're doing at the front

But our brave men and women

our protectors of liberty and freedom are

not just having to fight to stay alive

in the heat, noise and fear of peace-keeping

Their personal battle goes way beyond that

From the realms of questionable protective

equipment and hardware, thoughts range

to something much closer to heart and home

their sights momentarily resting on community

and where the whistleblowers have finally

called it a day on the filthy insanitary conditions

endured in some quarters of domestic arrangements

Demands that the landlords get their fingers out

and bring our soldiers home to a place fit to live in

should never have to be called in this country

a land that now costs respect and dignity on the deficit side

of accountability and budgetary confinements

How on earth can we, a once proud nation

expect our finest to face death on a daily basis

welcome them home with honour and praise

only to see their families living in squalor?

How on earth can we expect anyone to listen

to us from our global moral high ground

when we offer a shining example way forward

a new beginning for the modern world

if we can't get our own house in order?

We need someone in power to show humanity

common sense and have an opinion outside

of the hive mentality that shrouds our political arena

Someone who will call the shots and be aware

that repercussions and passion still show

that someone somewhere cares more about

morality than securing themselves a pension to be

spent in foreign fields and warmer climes

Copyright Brendan Hawthorne 2006

(For information about performances by Brendan andother local poets check out

Leave a comment or raise new issues on The Stirrer message board.

©2006 The Stirrer