Hide your camera,
Hide your cash,
Conceal your wealth.
Wear no jewellery,
You are entering the land of hopelessness.
Hide your conscience too;
Because their poverty is down to you.
In a world of such inequality
What we have creates their misery.
Cream rises to the top
But so does shit.
Our smart clothes
And easy lives
Rubs their noses in it.
There is nothing to lose
When there is no way to gain.
They are victims on the streets
In a world
The criminally insane.
I wrote this poem after arriving in Brazil. We were told that poverty was rife and crime and violence endemic. We should take care at all times and be sure to hide all valuables such as cameras. We should leave money and jewellery in our safes.
I walked around Recife and Olinda. There were little children with young teenage mothers begging in the streets. There was garbage and there were shanty towns of corrugated iron. There were also immense multimillion pound apartment blocks for the wealthy.
This system does not happen by chance. It is the result of the schemes we operate. We human beings have designed a way of operating that create poverty. The inequality is the result of how we run things. It does not come about naturally.
It does not have to be this way. We can design better systems. What prevents us from designing something fairer is greed and the desire for power.
I consider both of those desires to be criminally insane.
I would prefer to live in a fairer world where there were not huge numbers of people living on the edge. That would benefit them and me.
This chasing after money and power leaves misery in its wake.
There are better ways.
Firstly we could stop voting in power-mad politicians and secondly we could start thinking more globally.