Both Duffy and Pugh engage with a range of political issues in their poems. Both of them seem very critical of modern society and political leaders.
In 'Weasel Words' Duffy criticises the way politicians are filled with deceit. The epigraph to the poem, defines weasel words as being ‘empty of meaning’, introduces the key theme of the poem. She uses the sonnet form to parody the logical argument of political speakers, a well-versed form that seeks to disguise the fact that there is no real meaning behind the words that are spoken, they are simply evading the truth. "Let me repeat that we weasels mean no harm" represents the political speech structure. The plural 'we' represents those in Government, depicted as ‘Weasels’ throughout the poem.
"Our brown fur coats turn white in winter" suggest that like chameleons, the 'weasels' change colours to what's going on. This shows that politicians have no real values as they are constantly changing their views. The image of white shows that the 'weasel' is trying to appear innocent as white is a colour of purity. Ironically, the politicians have no real moral values and are merely seeking an easy way to win votes. Duffy here comments on the way that politics becomes a game of words and disguises instead of being a matter of honesty. The italicised actions of the group, using the phrase ‘Hear, hear’ and laughing, represent the House of Commons as an institution fundamentally based upon a small group of ‘vicious hunters’ who hide the truth and offer nothing but an empty egg, a kind of mirage with promise of something wholesome but holding nothing but emptiness. Similarly, Pugh mentions the corrupt government in 'MSA'. In the same way that Duffy presents politicians as weasels, Pugh asks 'what happened in your country, when one/ murdering old conman replaced another?' Both Duffy and Pugh identify the corruption that is present in politics. In contrast, in 'MSA', Pugh goes beyond Duffy's description of politicians to actually present the devastating effects of corruption on the people: 'how many sweet faced boys got a taste for torture?' This shows that the persona is concerned for the boys whose lives have been twisted and corrupted by the government. In contrast to these two poems, Duffy certainly has a political axe to grind in ‘Education for Leisure’ as she uses irony to portray the society Thatcher’s government was shaping. The juxtaposition in the title of ‘education’ with ‘leisure’ highlights how the system