by Tom Barwell-Best

Jack said to Jill we can’t afford these bills
Jill couldn’t hear him, she was dosed up on pills
That the doctor prescribed her when she felt mentally ill
She lost her mum, job ‘n dog and it all went downhill….. 

The same attitude since the Victorian times of workhouses
The poor working in the factories sleeping with the mouses
Stitching high end materials for rich women’s blouses
and opium-smoking gents in top hats on leather couches

How’s this still acceptable, people working themselves to death  
After paying to survive they’ve got nothing left
Of their pay cheque, but more stress, sweats and more debt 
You can guarantee if you can count then you have wept  

If you’re not born into wealth and got no one to fall back on
When you can’t go to work cos your car keeps going wrong 
Keeping on top of the bills gets incredibly long
When your mind ‘n body are aching from the working week just gone

Some people with money don’t seem to understand 
That the system needs to evolve we need to make a plan 
Where relationships aren’t destroyed and careers aren’t lost 
‘Cos you want to buy a 4th house and put up the cost 

‘Cos you wanna invest in an Airbnb 
Your eyes lit up at the price of holidays in Newquay 
so you buy up properties like it’s a game of monopoly 
But these are real people that are gonna be left in the streets

Or if they’re lucky they’re only forced to leave 
a place where they’re valued members of a loving community
but all you see is your greed and the money increase 
You don’t recognise people are hanging on by the skin of their teeth

We’re not weak but it’s hard living just trying to survive 
Since when should 60 hours + not give you the means to thrive
Pick another career, you say, go into business like me 
Well, if we all did that whose gonna pour you your tea 

In that cafe you love that was forced to close down 
‘Cos now in the winter there’s no one around
All the locals got priced out of their wonderful town 
So you could stack up the pounds in your savings account

No wonder the youth misbehave and ain’t keen 
Owning a house on minimum wage is a just a pipe dream
but why when empty homes in 2019
Totalled  six hundred and forty eight thousand one hundred and fourteen 

That’s nearly three quarters of a million uninhabited properties 
But a quarter mil are homeless, who the hell even owns these? 
Why do you feel the need to accumulate such wealth 
When the working class are paying for a roof with their health 

I don’t know the solution, I’m just another human 
But poverty correlates with crime ‘n that’s proven 
You can’t just expect people to accept that their losing 
Any chance of a decent life and just keep cruising 

You can’t walk into an area and displace people 
You can’t cause such upheaval and expect it to be peaceful
The working class and underclass might be poor but not feeble 
Have your “Escape to the country” but watch out for the sequel

‘Cos people push back when they get pushed to the edge 
When you’re only thinking of yourself you’re driving a wedge 
Between those who have and those who have not 
All this business, business, business has got to stop 

How can it all be about supply and demand 
When we have finite resources that’s a compromised plan 
Have some consideration for the ripple effects of your actions 
on the people you consider less than objects 

‘Cos the people who are suffering have long had enough 
So, we’re all uniting together before it comes to fisticuffs
It’s a crazy world these days and we’re trying to stay tough 
Watch out for this space and come call our bluff 

‘Cos its rough watching your community disbanded 
Seeing your common people winding up stranded 
The resentment is building and if I’m being candid 
The greed of some people is absolutely rancid 

And it’s a sickness that some of us are trying to cure 
We won’t give up easy, of that you can be sure
Good intentions for others is something that’s pure 
I doubt we’ll find that in your guest house brochure 

We can secure cohesion in a united front 
Against these multimillionaire investors on the hunt 
Let’s confront everyone on their destructive buying 
I’ll protect what I hold dear or die trying 

Property developers just chill ‘n enjoy what you’ve got  
that’s all we’re try’na do with our pissing pots 
Come visit, come join the community we have 
Only take what’s given and offer something back

So this is an appeal to all the landlords 
All homeless, and tenants, and homeowners in their scores 
Let’s explore our options as equal individuals 
Draft a mutually beneficial plan with all of the conditionals 

That’s needed, so we can all feel alright
Why not start a debate show that runs all night 
Where everyone can have their turn, and everyone gets an invite 
Let’s connect ‘n talk this out, we all just want a good life 

We don’t wanna fight and we don’t wanna rage 
whether the solutions rent caps or raising minimum wage 
let’s make the most of what we got in this crazy day and age 
if we can all work together maybe we’ll turn the page 

But for now, if you can afford it, consider residential letting 
I know people gotta make money but I’ll put money on betting 
That half of these people who have bought up half the towns 
Can allow holiday lets until next year around 

but the people that keep Cornwall ticking over
might have to move away to Sheffield or Dover 
or get left on the streets for their hearts to grow colder 
With their hatred for a failed system left to smoulder and smoulder 

So put an immediate halt to all avoidable evictions 
It’ll take too long to bring in necessary restrictions
Use your better nature do what you can to ease frictions 
‘Cos I’m not opposed to opposing bailiffs and welcoming the convictions

Sign the petitions and join the think tank
recognise some people have got nothing in their bank 
Without these communities some people’s hopes would be blank 
Think compassion, ‘cos greed’s ship has been sank

Reproduced with permission