Ozymandius and the NHS


I met a traveller from a once-great land
Who said: Two vast and roofless wings of brick
Stand by the car park. There too, close at hand,
Twisted, a broken gurney bears no sick,
And shattered screens, machines once at command,
Of masters learned in needle and knife,
And arrows, symbols, “X-Ray”, “MRI”,
The hands that reach’d into death and found life.
By fallen stones, a plaque, where faint appears:
“My name is David Cameron, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Battered by winds,
Sun-whitened, drown’d by rains, boundless and bare
The sad and empty halls stretch far away.


If you liked this, there’s more poems and sketches here, extracts from my novel here, and a selection of the best posts here. Oh, and please comment, like, share, whatever takes your fancy.



  1. Very funny. I love that poem, and I love your version of it. Agree with it – not sure. I live in Oz, and the fame of the nHS has spread far and wide – we think of it here as being really very good. Not?

    1. Thanks! As to it being good – well, the idea is excellent, and the execution is good, more often than not, but the last few years have brought a string of poor-care scandals, high-mortality hospitals and cover-ups to the surface, and the current Government is implementing massive reforms that the opposition considers tantamount to privatisation (the Government denies this). The jury’s out on whether they will damage the NHS beyond repair – I am being somewhat cynical by suggesting in the poem that this is a given.

      Been busy but three quarters of the way through “Deeper” and loving it. I’ll review it when I have a chance.

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