The NHS is not another country
Going to clinic's not a trip abroad
Its purpose is for treating not for hunting
No frontiers from reception to the ward
I have to cross the town not cross the oceans
A hospital's no tourist trap now, is it?
Rather than the needles, stitches, lotions
So many other sites I'd rather visit
Not smuggling drugs nor medicines nor pills in
The staff are healers, they're not border guards
I've nothing to declare except my illness
I don't send postcards, I get Get Well cards
- They treat my sickness not my shade of skin
- Why should I need a passport to get in?
Mine, and occasionally others'.
The NHS is not another country
Attila the Stockbroker writes in his Morning Star column:
After the French gigs on Wednesday and Thursday I came back to Cambridge yesterday for a trades council gig with a very brave and talented woman.
I first met Janine Booth in 1983 when, aged 16, she interviewed me for her fanzine Blaze the evening after Brighton had beaten Sheffield Wednesday to reach the FA Cup final for the first and only time in our history.
She turned into a fine performance poet who joined our ranting ranks in the mid-’80s and then went off to work on the London Underground, become an RMT activist and have three lovely sons with her partner, fellow RMT militant John Leach.
She's marked her again and the scars will preserve it
She's causing her pain 'cause she thinks she deserves it
She isn't a file on a case worker's shelf
She isn't self-harming, she's harming herself
Hyphen, inversion may make it sound neater
Straight like the burns from the bars on the heater
She's the subject, the object, the hurter, the hurt
The rejecter, the reject, the victim, the perp
"If a man ever raised his hand to me
I'd be gone."
Roars and applause from the studio audience
Put the shame-faced guest in her place
And the waves of clapping
Wash the blame
From him to her
Written on the occasion of the Labour Party's campaign day for the NHS.
It isn't my humour
That sees off my tumour
Or my banter and mocking derision
It isn't my laugh
But the medical staff
And their caring, their skills, their precision
Once more with apologies to Leonard Cohen ...
It never was a secret plan
The rise to power of Macho Man
He never used a subtle schmooze to woo you
Behold the hero of the hour
The billionaire who fought the power
The phoney rebel called out Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah
A satirical piece for cat-loving Leonard Cohen fans ...
They sentenced her to living with the humans
She's going to try to rule them from within
She's purring now, she's purring then she'll doom them
- First you let the cat out, then you let her in
The media is reporting that Susan Boyle may never perform live again, and that this is because of her Asperger Syndrome - implying that it is her autism that is the problem rather than the barriers that the entertainment industry puts in the way of autistic artists.
From struggling years her star had come to rise
When those judgemental judges were surprised
A frump like her could have a splendid voice
The admen and accountants full rejoiced
But putting on that mask was such a drain
Now Susan may not sing on stage again
The Palace ceiling's showing cracks
The servants' quarters may collapse
They can't afford the Bedroom Tax
Please help our Royals In Need
On screen a choked-up millionaire
Is holding tight to Pudsey Bear
Defy their pleadings if you dare
Dig deep for Royals In Need
I’d like to get out but the lift doesn’t work
And my knees are too weak for the stairs
I meant to get out but the telly keeps telling me
People like me should be scared
I was going to get out but the place that I’d go to
Has signs saying 'closed' on the door
I’d still have got out but the lady who went with me
Doesn’t come round any more