John Sandilands


Albert and the Jaguars

Date published: 2000?
Publisher: not published - except on the website

John wrote this clever poem about John (now Lord) Prescott when Prescott was Deputy PM, charting what a long way he had come from his early beginnings as cabin crew on the cross-channel ferry.


(With acknowledgements to Stanley Holloway and the late Albert Ramsbottom)

Now everyone’s ‘eard of Westminster
Which is famous for ‘ot air and sin
But ‘ere’s what ‘appened to young Albert Prescott
After New Labour got in:

Young Albert ‘ad ‘umble beginnings
A cabin-boy’s bunk was ‘is bed
Back and forth on the cross-Channel ferry
‘E’d dream of the great days ahead –
Of the days when all men would be equal
And ‘e’d be the Captain instead.

In them days life weren’t so plain-sailing
For a lad who were born lower-deck.
And ship’s mate, a terrible tyrant,
Would grab him by scruff o’ t’ neck
“Look lively you low-income lubber”
He’d hear this tool of t’management shriek
“Bad wages and little advancement
Is the lot of the poor and the weak.”

“ ‘ecky thump’ then thought young Albert
(In dialect, for posh talk were never ‘is thing)
“I’m boogered if that can be right
Fair do’s for all is more like it –
I’m joining Red Revolution tonight.”

He sent off for appropriate papers
In pencil wi’tongue sticking out,
Which was more than sufficient credentials
When all this Oxbridge stuff counted for nowt.
In them days the Red Revolution
‘Ad no place for tycoon or toff
An’ them what sounded their aitches
Would right rapid be told to bog off.

So on payment of proper subscription,
Ten bob then or theer-a-abouts
Young Albert was ready to rumble
And sling all the rich boogers out.

Apart from Captain of ferry
He’d a list of all those for the chop
Like them who owned their own houses
An’ got unlimited tick from posh shop.

His eyes would go very beady
At sight of those he thought overfed
Men wi’ bellies too big for their trousers
And faces all puffy and red.
“Do you good” you could hear Albert mutter
“To shift a bit o’that lard.”
‘E was specially ‘ard on car-owners,
Convinced that they’d got ‘em by fraud.
“Same sort” ‘e’d say, “looks down on Skeggy
And takes all their vacations abroad.”

Well, by now you’ll be getting a notion
Of Albert’s political stance.
So let’s fast-forward to Westminster
To see how ‘is cause was advanced.
Let’s ‘ave a look at the picture
Take ‘is book, so to say, from the shelf
Where we’ll see that in battle for justice
Albert’s done all right for ‘isself.

Far from ‘is bunk on the ferry
“E’s got an apartment in Admiralty Arch
No rent ‘cos it’s let grace and favour –
That’s ‘fair do’s’ for all on t’march!
Here he’s spent thirteen thou on new carpet
No vinyl or lino or tat
All paid for by taxpayers’ money
And you can ‘ardly get fairer than that!

His real home, oop North’s, like a castle
Wi’ acres of land all around
Though elsewhere ‘e’s planned thousands of ‘ouses
Where all common folk can be found.
The selfsame poor ‘uddled masses
E’s determined to turf from their cars
And shoehorn into public transport
Crammed into buses like jamjars.

Our Albert, meanwhile’s done a U-turn
On those who own motor-cars
Like Albert isself, for example
Who’s got not one, but two JAG –U- ARS!

Now plump and red-faced and important
He’s chauffered all over t’ land.
By some extraordinary metamorphosis
He’s become the kind of fat-cat he can’t stand!

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List of John Sandilands articles

John Sandilands

John Sandilands Articles

  1. Obituary, March 2004 >>
  2. Introduction to Articles >>
  3. Article2 >>
  4. When the cure is sun, sea and mud >>
  5. Interview with Ava Gardner >>
  6. Interview with Dustin Hoffman, Los Angeles Times, 1968 >>
  7. Fiji >>
  8. Patrick Moore >>
  9. Mr Pastry >>
  10. Interview with Jane Fonda >>
  11. letters to and from John to editors >>
  12. Ballooning >>
  13. The Toad Cross Code >>
  14. Peter Sellers; that is the problem >>
  15. In bed with John Sandilands plus Jilly Cooper, Zandra Rhodes and Peter Cook >>
  16. Know the Type >>
  17. Animal poems >>
  18. The Toad Cross Code >>
  19. Albert and the Jaguars >>
  20. Herogram >>