We knew, the people in the street.
We all saw the new cars, the rush to buy,
questioned how neighbours could afford
flashy weddings and communions as
if the village was suddenly as rich as the elite
posing on glossy pages at the hairdressers.
But those were the innocents, tempted to spend,
lured by kind bankers to take out loans,
caught up in the frenzy of avarice,
it all seemed so normal when everywhere you looked,
everyone you knew was doing the same,
ignoring the payback noose, tightening.
The guilty are those who played corruption as a game.
The banks, no excuses, there can be honest profit.
The truly unforgivable, our elected representatives
wooing with lies, stealing our votes, wasting our taxes,
pocketing their percentage, laughing at the fools,
those stamped on whilst blinded by tribal blinkers.
And still we knew, just had no proof.
Knew they bought votes with jobs for the boys,
knew each shoddy new building had cream on top,
knew their delusions of Formula One grandeur
would come at a price from our pockets into theirs.
And still they won, hey ho, better the corrupt you know.
Slowly, too slowly for meaningful justice,
the proof emerges, like bubbles of sulphur
hidden deep in muddied, putrid depths.
The guilty squirm in court, desperately doing deals.
We who knew and shouted to the winds are vindicated,
the fooled embarrassed, the complicit disgraced.
But it is not enough, will never be enough
for the iceberg few to spend some time in jail.
No going back to undo elections won by fraud and lies,
no fixing the misery arising from their victories,
no rewilding the landscapes eaten by their greed,
only honesty will regain the honour of a nation shamed.