Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Socialist Sonnet No. 143

On Benefits


The magistrates of Speenhamland decreed

No one should be too poor to eat, instead

A working wage too deficient for bread

Must be subsidised to meet that need.

Since then, two centuries and more have passed,

Yet pay and prices still remain mismatched,

Requiring governments to have hatched

All manner of benefits, such a vast

Complex web of doles, those magistrates

At the Pelican Inn would look askance

To see how little has been the advance

Of society, how progress abates

For however long workers delay

Rejecting reforms and seizing the day.


D. A.

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