Building A Brighter, More Secure Future Ben Wilkinson
Conservative Party election manifesto slogan, 2015
You must understand what we are building is not the housing we promised. Not a hospital, or school. It is a brighter notion, an idea of Britain, where more food banks will flourish, but for those secure there is no cause for alarm. The future
is a place where the rich hand the future to the poor, in which the great buildings of Canary Wharf, climbing secure above Tower Hamlets, offer up a glut of wealth to the unfortunate, more than you can imagine. This is a brighter
future, we promise, it is much brighter than a concept like equality. A future cannot be built on that. We all want more, and some people are better at building wealth, or else inheriting it, so a tax for those who are beyond secure
is unfair: they made their money secure through society, and being brighter – or otherwise having been born to a fortune – will make sure that in the future sometime, this trickles down. As a building stands firm, you have our word that more
will come to those without. Making more is paramount to our concerns. To secure this, in the meantime we have cuts building steadily, to public services that the brighter, more secure have no need for. In the future you may need them, but the future is a
notion, distant and unknowable, it is a distraction. What we are promising is more. What we promise is a secure future and this will be true, for some. More secure as the great sun of the City shines brighter, casts its shadow. Look what we are building.
This is our future. What we have is a mandate to fulfil, building a Britain more secure. And for us, it will be brighter.
Ben Wilkinson's For Real (2014) won the Northern Promise Award at the Northern Writers' Awards. He is a keen runner, and among other things, reviews new poetry for the Guardian and works as an editor for the Poetry Archive. This poem was first published in New Boots and Pantisocracies.