Our NHS groans like a gangrenous laugh,
satisfaction now far from both patients and staff.
An NHS ward makes up the next bed,
as suffering souls become targets instead.
Consultants are drawn by satisfaction and pay,
and the mind stretching challenge of curing Miss Hay.
Our nurses demob and chase agency stash,
a fraction of trouble for double the cash.
The budget expands with nowhere to turn,
As government cuts continue to burn.
The system is broken, the money is tight,
people are stressed, just turn off the light.
Our schools are no better, it has to be said,
results are what count if you want to stay Head.
The government calls for results to improve,
our children need grades if the country’s to move.
So Ofsted investigates every small crack,
and anyone lagging will soon face the sack.
The teachers are stressed and seek to implore,
our children to progress, just a few stages more.
Our children are pawns in political chess,
their results are required to keep voters impressed.
But the voters have children who need to see CAMHS,
They are under the pressure of endless exams.
So which will break first? The schools or the kids?
Something must change as our lives hit the skids.
Our debt grows each day by millions of pounds,
It’s 1.8 trillion and we’re still losing ground.
Our economy falters and refuses to grow,
we’re told to work harder with nothing to show.
The deficit shrinks, but not by enough,
and one more recession will finish it off.
The state will default or something much worse,
the banks will foreclose on our poor public purse.
Then what shall we do, with no money to pay,
for our schools and our hospitals on that very dark day?
Our lawmakers tinker with national policy,
unfettered by norms not matching their honesty.
The economy’s god, and has to be served,
adopt monetary law or face hardship deserved.
Competition is fierce and all must comply,
from banker to bin man to sly private eye.
And cameras stare into all open space,
There’s nowhere to hide from their all seeing gaze.
The state becomes nanny, policeman and judge,
with laws to control all those who won’t budge.
Dare anyone protest about all of this pain?
Any who differ face Twitter campaigns.
It’s an animal farm behind this ol’ barn door,
how did we all drift to Orwellian ‘4?
Our housing costs spiral up out of control,
As landlords benefit from those on the dole.
The rich quickly swoon at the value of property,
as the gap in our wealth lands millions in poverty.
It’s location, location, location, they say,
undesirable places soon urban decay.
The rich separate and the poor must then cluster,
As the sad urban landscape loses its lustre.
The people who gather in middle class cliques,
have no real idea about life on our streets.
Grandparents swim in the wealth they have gained,
Whilst grandchildren muse about their future sustained.
The cool Western nations suppose order’s a given,
human nature, they say, is the root of true livin’.
We pity poor countries where corruption is rife,
we can’t fathom out their bent way of life.
“British values” are best and they need to be taught,
or the nations which move here will bring us to naught.
Society believes that we Brits know what’s best,
Rule of law and good justice will make you all blessed.
But to live by which laws? And who did create,
the sad way of life which now we all hate?
These laws did not grow, as if from the soil,
But we must live in Great Britain, in a way not to spoil.
The threat from abroad is now threat from within,
an evil idea gains a following thin.
But then in our streets, and across many lands,
this trickle of followers slowly expands.
Their message is clear, their methods intense,
submit to our way or lose your defence.
We rely on our spies and then on the Met,
as GCHQ trawls the vast internet.
But these systems are creaking, there’s barely a plan,
our intelligence systems are dependent on man.
Our confidence wanes as we wake from the dream,
this world is in melt down, or so it would seem.
The United Kingdom has been rent asunder
By a Brexit debate which continues to thunder
In corridors powerful still held in check
By democratically fierce public debate
Our proud sovereign nation gave up the goose
As EU structures tightened the noose
The historical voice of the once great Great Britain
Now left like a sad and whimpering kitten
We beg and we plead as deal breakers rise
And the threat of collapse reaches the skies
So what will result from the daft referendum
A poor vassal state or complete isolation?
We just need to wait as the future unravels
And poor UK folk find new directions of travel
And where is the church in all of this mess,
The body of Christ, who came down to bless.
Her life is now hidden, tucked safely away,
by media moguls on vast corporate pay.
But the church has gone quiet, embarrassed to speak
the words of our Saviour, who honours the meek.
The voice of the prophets becomes a mere mumble,
as the servants of Christ continue to stumble.
Through internal wars, designed to divide,
the house of Jehovah, the Lord’s precious bride.
And so as predicted, the branch of Christ withers
The faithless are blown like snow in a blizzard.
The church has lost heart and sight of her Lord,
Congregations now age whilst the young are dead bored.
There needs to be change, a new way and direction,
The work of the Spirit, complete reformation.
The system is broken, and so then are we,
we collectively groan whilst longing to flee.
But to what shall we run and to where shall we go?
We can’t close Great Britain and move the whole show.
There’s one thing to alter, our god we must change.
Out with the targets and cold stock exchange.
We must usher in God, three persons in one,
Eternally loving, the bright morning Sun.
Creation gives value and true dignity,
To each human being, made by bless’d Trinity.
Our fall is complete, as we each went astray,
vast temples of Mammon trade on our Lord’s day.
What we desp’ratly need is a dose of real grace,
our sins washed away as to God we must face.
His laws they do bless and by wisdom he guides,
our burdens he carries, he heals our divides.
God refused to stay distant but came down instead,
to be born with his creatures in a poor cattle shed.
His words bring us life and his light he does shine,
in pits of our darkness, he says “you are mine.”
From the pain of the cross he calls “it is done!”
As God our great Father gave us his Son.
Christ’s life and his death were true sacrifice,
and he turns on it’s head, our fools’ paradise.
As our life finds meaning in the love of the Lord,
our reason for living now strikes a new chord.
God’s kingdom of love is a kingdom of peace,
our rest is then found and our battles will cease.
And so goals need to change from the bank to the Lord,
our desire is to please him, no longer to hoard.
The Lord is not stupid, he’s no crazy fool,
he let’s us chase others, till we go through his school.
His lessons are hard, his love can be tough,
we go our own way till we cry “that’s enough!”
“Have mercy on us, please turn the way back,
we were fools to chase targets, as one thing we lack.”
“We lack a real sense of what life is for,
the stress and the chaos shout, there has to be more!”
So when we will turn from the cruel god “economy”,
who drives us like slaves through lies of autonomy?
Let’s abandon this god, and his ways which bring strife,
and collectively turn to the God who brings life.
To lose our life now, in the King’s saving grace,
is to find our real self in the Lord’s resting place.
by Neil Robbie
(First published December 2015. Updated to include comment on Brexit and the state of the Western church)