The ULEZ Crook - a ballad
Someone made the suggestion to me that Sadiq Khan, if he could get away with it, would charge pedestrians and their emissions. That was enough for me to put pen to paper. If you're offended, apologies, but I think with this saga, to quote the late, great Karen Carpenter, we've only just begun.
This is the tale of Sadiq Khan.
A man who was despised
Not just because he loved ULEZ
But mostly 'cause he lied.
Now Sadiq was a spendthrift mayor.
He used the people's cash.
Foreign trips and first class seats.
He was extremely rash.
One day his F D said, "We're broke.
We've run right out of dosh.
If we don't get some quids in soon
You'll fall beneath the cosh."
Now Sadiq was a hypocrite.
He hated cars in town.
Except for those in his convoy.
They never made him frown.
"Let's charge the drivers for their cheek
In using my highway.
'Emissions' are the reason why.
We'll rake in loads each day."
"Consultation - that's the key
To getting ULEZ out."
But answers came that weren’t the ones
He needed, so did shout,
"We'll get more answers from our friends
Ignoring those we hate."
But still most people said, "No, NO!"
Sadiq was so irate.
"I make decisions, that's my job.
No one will cross with me.
Let's forge ahead with this great plan.
No one will moan, you'll see."
Now Sadiq's mate was "Camera Stan."
Ten thousand he did buy.
Installed them on each traffic light.
"You b*****d," all did cry.
But Sadiq was not yet deterred.
"It's dreadful, so much smog.
You must pay up, pollutin' scum."
Although 'twas only fog.
Soon Sadiq sighed, he was so cross
For London drove no more.
Said Sadiq raising not one pence,
"I need cash now," then swore.
"You have clean air in London though,
So what's the problem boss?"
"That's not the issue," Sadiq cried.
"It's all about the dosh."
Sadiq he looked out down the road
And saw just bikes. Felt sick.
"It's how they get around now sir."
"Then tax them all - and quick."
"Emissions though, from bicycles?
How would we make that stick?"
"Bad breath," Sadiq he then replied.
"Pollutin', makes me sick."
"We'll license bikes with number plates
Just like with cars alright?"
"But cyclists don't go on the roads
With traffic lights in sight."
"They simply take a quick short cut
Around the back they race."
Ten thousand cameras more he bought.
ALL junctions he did place.
Again he sighed, extremely cross,
For no one peddled now.
"What's left as bikes are off the road? We need a new cash cow."
Pedestrians were then in sight
For Sadiq and his mates.
"They have emissions all day long.
We'll set some obscene rates."
"Old people are the worst you know
And those who scoff fast food.
We'll charge them most but all will pay.
I'm really in a mood."
"Each one will have a licence plate.
They'll even glow at night.
We'll soon recover outlay now.
Oh Allah, I'm so bright!"
"But walkers they don't use the roads,
But paths and woods and fields."
Ten thousand cameras more he bought.
"You'll see how much that yields."
But London had a COVID scare
Once more, so inside went
Nine million souls and there they stayed.
Soon Sadiq's spleen was vent.
"I need some money NOW!" he cried,
But no one heard his plea.
At home they were tucked up in bed
Or watching the TV.
Mysterious forces in the night
With ladders on their back.
Khan's cameras were the target for
To paint the lenses black.
(Yet "Camera Stan" he had struck gold.
To Jersey he did go.
He bought a yacht and kissed his wife.
"My bung on you I'll blow.")
So then the cameras were removed.
Soon London back in vogue
With vibrant, happy, smiling folk
And not a lying rogue.
All Londoners were out once more,
This living, breathing place,
'Cept one now called, "The ULEZ crook,"
His tenure in disgrace.
I hope you like it! Please leave a comment below!
©John Hemming-Clark 2023