A Practical Ballad

Don’t buy a thing you know nothing about,

That applies to unknown debt bought by the banks

That turns out to be toxic and worthless,

And to the ill considered, impulse item you grab on the way out of Tesco,

A thing you invariably do not need.

Does the investment you plan to make have any social element?

Will it better the world, or better only you,

And maybe damage a child or two?

Reflect again before you buy.

The true cost

In lives and land blighted,

In animal misery and the earth’s scarring would break your heart.

Surely, your prosperity does not have to depend on endless growth,

For on this planet, growth cannot be endless.

If you just cherish more the things you have,

The people you have and hold,

The beauty and craftsmanship of delightful things,

You will be rich in a new kind of way.

Let’s have economies that mirror evolution,

Change and constant adaptation,

Not policies that declare “use it all up, over live and exhaust it all”.

Justifying your actions because,

“it’s within the rules” is just a way to abdicate personal moral responsibility –

Mr Member of Parliament.

If armaments and drugs are the world’s two biggest industries,

Doesn’t that tell us about humanity’s dis – ease?

Science is telling us the world is one organic whole – Gaia.

So let’s live and work and make one whole thing of this earth

And all its people, its places and its diversity.

Learn to disagree without being divisive,

To embrace difference without being threatened.

We will need all our human powers for good,

Not one brand of ideology, to fashion the wisdom of survival.

And let us not build a society based on debt.

Let’s rediscover productive work, because, right now,

We are stealing our children’s future,

Selling it in the present,

And calling it gross domestic product.

Gross, it certainly is.

Richard Frazer June 2009

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