Trials and Tribulations

Remember the teachers, all chewing new cud,

With Oscars to signal their fitness?

No sign of a verdict on that one, m'lud;

They're considering how to bear witness.

Remember the health service, well out of hock,

And the jubilant doctors and nurses?

Alas, they're still weighing the words from the dock,

Or lending a hand with the hearses.

Remember the peers at the end of their show,

And a parliament so much the stronger?

Ah, the judge has been mumbling his summary, so

Their sentences look rather longer.

Remember the ethical hullabaloo?

The defence has been suffering doubt.

Remember twelve citizens, all good and true?

Bad news, sir. The jury's still out.

This article first appeared in the 31 January 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why arms sales are bad for Britain