Poetry Corner: David Miliband- “The best position is the front line and not the front bench”

He walked in bold for questions of any topic, any scope,
To bridge the gap between politics and the public his hope.
But first he felt obliged to justify the war in Iraq,
For hindsight is powerful: we shouldn’t have attacked.

He stayed casual and cool, arm draped over a chair,
He’s proud of his achievements: Irish peace and healthcare
(But if Labour was elected, one thing’s for sure,
Students would still be paying a whole lot more).

He believes in Big Society: in community hope,
(But with no funds from government, how can we cope?)
When we see others suffering we should gladly step in,
Not for our government, but our neighbours, our kin.

Through questions he leaned forward, paced, and stood tall
He answered everything: the big to the small.
From membership to the EU to parking permits,
To all he dedicated his charm and his wits.

He regretted Sri Lanka, we were blocked: couldn’t interfere
Human Rights should be upheld, but there is the fear
That national sovereignty would always be applied
So in International Law our hands are tied.

We ran out of time and answers became short
As pearls of wisdom, he wanted to import.
“The best position is the front line and not the front bench”
To go out into battle and not hide in the trench.

And difficult decisions are made for a Minister
If they were easy, they’d be for Everyman to administer
Britain is diverse: some poorer some richer,
A mass of contradictions, it’s a confusing picture.

Miliband showed us the impossibilities of happiness
Not everyone can be satisfied, who will you hurt less?
Discontent and dissatisfaction are just part of the game
But politicians and front liners are lumbered with the blame.

Cerys Gibson


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