Red Christmas by Jodie Rose McLoughlin

It’s no fun being a socialist at Christmas
When it’s all about the spend spend spend
Drowning in unnecessary commercialistic greed
The capitalist nightmare gravy train
never stops or comes to an end.

Hey you with kids, I get it!
You want them to have the best, be happy, spoiled, have what you didn’t have,
but what about the rest?

The queues at the Foodbank get longer.
You long to wake up from the dystopian dream.
In a nation that’s become so cold and right-wing,
that opposition to war is called communism and extreme!

War creates more war.
Terror creates more terror and death.
Whilst people you love bury their heads in the sand
Like ostriches, safely tucked away, ignorant, blind and deaf.

No fun being a socialist at Yuletide.
Nowhere to hide from adverts, jingles and false cheer.
When in reality things are far from OK,
as leaders bomb us forward into another cutthroat year.

I’d rather spend my Christmas
with the homeless and the needy
Than endure forced conversation and overindulge:
so wasteful and so greedy.

As the tryptophan in the turkey sends me to sleep
I can doze off in bliss and pretend to be a sheep.
Jumping over fences to keep everybody happy,
suppress the urge to be myself,
say something inappropriate, dark and deep.

Grit your teeth at racist, nationalistic comments.
As Grandma makes everyone watch the Queen’s speech,
God save those subjected to austerity,
as Aunty gives you a disdainful look
as she thinks you’re a scrounger and a leech.

As they suckle at the media’s rotten teat.
A drooping, toxic, saggy treat.
You’ve learned to keep quiet in your friends smart houses,
where no one wants a downer as they choke down their manufactured meat.

It sucks having a conscious at Christmas
as you succumb to the awkward, drunken kiss.
When you’re given things you don’t need and have to be grateful.
Surely ’tis more to the season than this?

Charitable giving which is sadly necessary,
this year many thousands won’t have food in their bellies.

it’s tricky to cook a Christmas dinner in a hostel or B&B,
but so what?
I’m ok,
now pass me the remote for the telly.

We can’t change the world
Won’t dance the capitalist dance,
but can’t we just for once try a ‘radical’ solution,
and maybe just give peace a chance?

Money is the rotten root,
cause of the workings of this evil world,
where is God to fight the Devils when you need him?
Says this ‘terrorist sympathiser’ of a girl.

Who values innocent life.
Will not live by the self-serving knife
Piling my plate higher than I need it with material goods,
being selfishly in denial when poverty is rife.

It’s not easy being a ‘radical’ during Noel.
If my glances matched my thoughts then they’d ice over hell!
Oh joy to the world, the sprouts are in the oven,
stinking out the place,
because there’s nothing like a strong hypocrisy smell.

Wafting up my nostrils and making me gag.
I’m not like them, but I can pretend.
Be polite, smile, keep it light
and try not to offend.
It’s really shit being a socialist at Christmas,
under attack and struggling to defend.

People’s chosen leader mocked,
feeling fat and ugly in this frock.
Watching the clock with my pendulum eyes,
if only the drone ants would scurry back under their rock.

Never part of the flock.
Proud to stand apart,
with my back to the maddening crowd.
No amount of English scorn or expectation
will keep my head ‘respectfully’,  subserviently bowed!

It’s lonely being a socialist at Christmas.
Always the outsider, apart.
But I must live as I believe, making these choices not with my selfish head
but with my giving heart.

My beliefs allow me to sleep well at night.
To you I’m sure they’re pie in the sky,
but I’d rather be a leftie, liberal, soft-hearted, sometimes unrealistic,
than glorify,
the innocent who die.

Unnecessary,
put that gift set back on the shelf.
Money cannot buy you true happiness or health.
Rich in love, I pay the price,
for speaking my mind and being myself.

A price worth paying for speaking the truth.
I trim the fat off my friends list this December night.
I believe in miracles and that people’s views can change.

The socialist at Christmas may be excluded from the party,
but at least they know they’re morally right.

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