I write this blog from Ted Hughes’ old gaff – Lumb Bank, perched above the misty Calder Valley near Heptonstall in West Yorkshire. I’m running an Arvon course for some bright young sparks and enjoying it very much.
Anyway, that’s not relevant to this poem …. I’ve been thinking about Ed Milliband’s phrase ‘The Squeezed Middle.’ It irritates me, because that’s me he’s talking about, I fit the demographic pretty squarely, and I’m fine. I have a pretty luxurious life, I don’t think it’s people like me he should be worrying about. Forget the squeezed middle, let’s direct policy at helping the ‘popped poor.’ Here’s a silly poem, and it’s the closest I’ll get to writing about the Royal Wedding.
The Squeezed Middletons
Oh no, cried Papa Middleton on opening his Times,
the Pound has shed its value and we’re set for steeper climes.
They’re going to freeze my salary, inflation’s just increased
we’ll have to sell the horses, well a few of them at least.
Oh blow, chimed Mother Middleton, oh what a darned palaver
I’ll cut down on the champers, but I shan’t resort to cava!
What’s this?! Young Monty Middleton let loose and stroppy roar,
no quail’s eggs for breakfast? Why Mother, are we poor?
My Darling, cried his anxious Ma, some how we’ll muddle through
but if Pa sells the chopper, well, I’m no sure what we’ll do.
But then solution came to Pa, a thought so stray and wild:
Now mother am I right to think we have another child?
Why yes, my dear your daughter Kate, we made her in the eighties
the year you did that deal with those dubious Kuwaitis.
Of course, the red-cheeked fellow barked, the answer dear’s a sinch
we’ll peddle Monty’s sister to a emerald-laden prince!
So Kate was fetched and telegrams sent forth into the world
and soon a queue of inbred boys arrived to see the girl.
A deal was struck and cards were swiped, a son-in-law was gained
and after that the Middletons were never squeezed again.