A literary UKCMRI campaign contribution, by Rob Ingles
Ode to the Superlab
(after Beethoven’ s Ode to Joy)
Europe’ s biggest biolab beside St Pancras Rail Station
promises to cure us all and not to spread infec-ti-on
although pipes leaked badly at Pirbright and from reactors in Japan
and the pessimists all say that things will go wrong if they can.
If all goes according to plan the health of the world will be enhanced
but if virus hits the tunnels you can take the flu to France.
Cost: six hunded sixty million, gov’ ment pays a third of this
cut from health and education, child and age amenities
We’ re told this cathedral of science will perform miracles of health
on all who live in Somers Town, United Kingdom and the world.
Many years will pass ere there’ s any profit to show from this expense,
the chance of leaks or terrorists make it most unintelligent.
UKCMRI say this site is vital for their needs,
colleagues can walk eas’ ly there from Euston and from Bloomsbury
and it’ s such a handy address for overseas scientists to frequent
PhDs will vie to work there and pay inner London rents.
Fifteen hundred in the same lab give critical mass to speed research
e-mails and phone conf’ rences are methods of which they’ ve not heard.
Somers Town says keep research on fifty acres at Mill Hill
with its many sciences and links with clinics round the world
Don’ t despoil the three point six acres promised to our community
till we are entombed by your fantastical monstrosity.
Higher than the top of St Pancras, foundations in the River Fleet
only equalled in dimension by your arrogance and cheek.