I am Albion and therefore a rebel by birthright.
I am the fruits and seeds fell from the trees rooted in soil
Worked by the Levellers and the Diggers,
claimed by the trespassers of Kinder Scout, the striking miners
of Orgreave, the Chartists of Peterloo, the women of Grunwicks,
the massed blockaders of Cable Street, Wapping, and Twyford Down.
I am Albion and I demand a share in the common land
of the Tolpuddle Martyrs whose own oath spoken words
were turned against them by those whose sons
and heirs still attempt to deny us of our rights to fight the power.
Oh, and they are as wrong now as they were back then.
I am Albion and I claim my thriving street where Bengali and Chinese restaurants sit with Asian off licences and slightly geezerish dealers in antiquities who sell objects from bygone ages next to the Polski Sklep, the football memorabilia shop, the Nigerian barber, the nail bar and hairdressers, the Post Office, the kebab shop with red salt on the chips, the cafes which offer all-day breakfasts and the painfully trendy hipster bar with its gourmet burgers. And where the only shop with regularly broken windows is the one rented by UKKKIP that is barely ever open.
I am Albion and I speak to power with the knowledge of the power that comes with an education that was always more than learning dates and names of lords and the battles they won with the blood of those less rich but an education which comes from all the peoples who live, work, sleep, marry, procreate and raise families and forge friendships in the cities, towns, factories, farms, shops and villages of this England, this Britain, this United Kingdom, this beautifully and wonderfully diverse Albion.
©Robert Hill 2015