I had the idea of using the painting Raft of Medusa as a metaphor for the Thatcher regime ten or so years ago whilst doing my MA. It’s a poem that I failed to make anything from ever since, but never gave up on either. When the opportunity came to write something in response to Tom’s paintings and I saw the Raft painting, I thought its time had a finally arrived. Thatcher’s death and where we find ourselves now gave it some context. Tom’s initial request for ballads, also underlined the doctrinal aspect of the subject matter and it seemed to finally fall into place. I didn’t want to respond or directly reference the painting, or Gericault’s, but the raft proved a useful metaphor for the then, and unfortunately now.