Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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You Can't Get The Staff

user image 2020-06-23
By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry

The much vaunted app that seems 

to be no longer so vaunted if at all

the commitments that wither

almost as soon as they're uttered

the NHS Track and Trace tsar

a baroness who had formerly been

the chief executive of a telecoms company 

when there was a breach of thousands 

of its customers' data

and who left with a full year's salary

of £550,000 despite working 

only two months of that financial year

and who as a Jockey Club board member

argued against cancelling the Cheltenham Festival 

as Coronavirus cantered towards us

allowing a quarter of a million people

to congregate 

be socially very near to one another

and then disseminate over a wide area

potentially spreading the infection

with all that that mundane but grave phrase implies

our democracy 

still led and misled

by an aristocracy

the lie of modernity 

trapped in a form of feudalism 

until the hoodwinked citizens

of Albion call it a day and decide 

that they don't wish to work 

for such baronial employers any more 

and learn to print their own money

as our rulers essentially have always done

and what of those highly qualified and experienced 

scientific and medical officers

who are suddenly absent 

from Downing Street presentations

where they had provided a degree

of much-needed wisdom and caution

a level-headedness amid the madness

of months of growing terror

and a collapsing economy?

is this because they had not given 

in to the requests to back  

Dominic Cummings

over his lockdown meandering?

or had they somehow done themselves

out of their own jobs by allowing

their expertise to rub off on Ministers 

in a process of osmosis by the mere act 

of standing two metres from humans

who previously held experts in contempt?

Dexamethasone is a steroid hailed

in June as an important discovery

in tackling the disease

following a complex trial

(“the world’s biggest”)

that involved 175 UK hospitals

Spain had been successfully using

this inexpensive and well known medicine 

for this type of treatment since February

yes Spain

a country in Europe

in our world 

and not in outer space 

not beyond the gaze 

of our most powerful telescopes

the last time I checked

but then again they are foreigners

our professors seemed so pleased with the results

and any good news is to be lauded 

and applauded in this litany of bad news

but had they in effect reinvented the wheel?

importantly could an additional 4 to 5,000 lives

have been saved had it been introduced earlier?

meanwhile Macaque monkeys 

escape from an Indian laboratory 

with Covid-19 samples

a metaphor for our times