Tuesday, 07 February 2023 08:53

New Broom

Written by
in Poetry
New Broom

New Broom

by Paul Francis

Who could they get to sort the Windrush mess?
Ex-cop inspector Wendy Williams
opened the can of worms, filed a report.
Two hundred and seventy pages full
of thirty measures to be carried out.
It would take time and work to put this right.

How could this outfit ditch hostility?
The vans went round, swept up the trash.
White staff turned down black migrants
lost their paperwork
condemned their lack of paperwork
ignored the fear and trauma that creates.

She builds in safeguards, other people’s views,
correctives to this insular contempt.
They’ll need to know colonial history.
They’ll run events to reconcile, connect
officials with the migrants, bridge the void.
Commissioner for migrants, to express
the impact of decisions on their lives.
An independent chief, who’s free to check
Home Office immigration policy.

Priti Patel, no pushover,
accepted this, agreed to implement
all thirty recommendations, get it done.
Progress was slow. Twenty-three people died
before their compensation could be paid.
She still insisted lessons would be learned.

But that was then. Suella Braverman
is now, the wicked witch who turns back boats.
No way will she be hogtied by the past;
her judgement is the only guide she needs.
“The Williams findings can’t be set in stone”
an aide confides, and sure enough
she’s ditching all the safeguards, one by one.
Don’t want to learn, to listen, put this right;
just clear the decks, and send them on their way.

Migration policy has been outsourced
but Sunak, Starmer and the media guess
that we won’t want to know.
D’you think they’re right?

Read 888 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2023 09:11
Paul Francis

Paul Francis is a retired teacher, living in Much Wenlock, who's
active in the West Midlands poetry scene. His website is

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