Contracted out


The Passport Office, long since privatised

and charging what the Government describe as

entirely realistic fees

refers enquiries to Palermo.


What’s left of legal aid’s contracted out

to a cheerless firm in Kazakhstan

which never fails, the Government says,

to give consistent value.


The revenue from captive grids

of all essential services –

the water and the power and the gas –

flows glittering to all parts of the globe.


And your next door neighbour’s never seen:

she runs casinos in Hong Kong.

Her house is dark; the only sound

comes from a tripped alarm.