Signal Failure

When the trains are running late
the country is in crisis,
never mind the distillate
of petrol's rising prices,

food that is not fit to eat,
rampaging vigilantes,
zenophobics on the streets
and Marks and Spencer's panties

sabotaged by Nike and Gap
and other fashion labels
altering the corporate map
of Europe's fashion stables.

When the trains are running late
governments are shaken,
riots laggardly abate,
railway staff forsaken.

Dukes and judges, bankers, lords
battle on the stations
with the proletarian hordes
and their blood relations.

The plunging price of stocks and shares
creates a moral panic,
the death rate of commissionaires
unleashes a titanic

backlash of the bourgeoisie
whose livelihoods are threatened
by each worker absentee
whose daily drudge is brightened

by the immanent collapse 
of the railway system.
(They hate the trains but then perhaps
that's 'cause they've always missed 'em)

When the trains are running late,
all other woes forgotten,
we work ourselves into a state
and lather something rotten,

mouth obscenities at god,
whose unacknowledged fate,
is to get the blame, poor sod,
when trains are running late.