Goodbye Andy Capp
by Jim Aitken, illustrated by the statue in Hartlepool
Andy, oh Andy, what have you done?
This is definitely your lowest yet.
Though you were caricature combined
with stereotype, you were still ours.
You were one of our own and all your
stupid antics served only to entertain
the Blue Bunch who saw you as 'andycapped.
They drove you down and feasted on you
and on your kind. They deliberately used you
and all similar presentations of you
to drive down benefits and to introduce
bedroom taxes, zero hours and foodbanks.
Before this ghastly deed we did, at least,
accommodate you and tried to raise you;
enable you to see from the bottom up
but now, after what you have done, now
you really will look absolutely ridiculous
in a top hat and tails and the Blue Bunch
will never welcome you, never see you
as one of their own. Yes, they will give you
a union flag to wrap around yourself
but you can never eat it for it will never
sustain you or nourish you as the class
that once looked after you. Now, Andy,
now you will forever be Andy Capp-in-hand.
Jim Aitken is a poet and dramatist living and working in Edinburgh. He is a tutor in Scottish Cultural Studies with Adult Education and he organises literary walks around the city.
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