A song in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan – based on the state of the insurance industry.

And after seeing that list of appointments..

(To be sung to the tune of ‘there Lived a king’ from the Gilbert & Sullivan work ‘The Gondoliers’)

Insurance, though it first  was done

By smaller ventures like the ‘Sun’

With passing years came to be run

By few insurance giants.

The mergers flowed in rushing spate,

and competition grew so great

that some were forced to integrate


And form the ‘Sun-Alliance’.

They said: “however fires may burn,

Our premium income we must earn;

We need to change from stem to stern

Beyond all recognition.


We’ll deal with all those thefts and fires;

In our demesne we’ll all be squires,

And give to each who so desires

A titular position.

Now, that should set the soul afire,

When everyone can be a squire

We’ll give to all who so desire

A titular position.


They made joint this and that’s galore;

With superintendents by the score

And managers on every floor

for managerial thinking;


While clerks who knew what they were at

Could form a secretariat,

With chiefs and Deputies and that,

As easily as winking.

And 0. & M. worked all night through,

Producing i/c’s two by two,

While Local secretaries grew

from Tunbridge Wells to Truro

Surveyors, too, were known in brief,

As Chief, Chief Chief, or Chief Chief Chief;

Each Claims Inspector held in feoff

His individual bureau.


So each could sigh with great relief:

“At last I have become a chief!”

When everyone could hold in feoff

His individual bureau.


And so the high appointments flowed,

while managerial faces glowed;

To them the host of titles showed

A prospect truly sunny;

But here appeared the awful rift –

At all these titles staff just sniffed:

“To Hell with ‘superintendent’ – Lift’:

We merely want more money”

An honour , when it multiplies

diminishes before our eyes

A paradoxical surmise,

But, not ingrate or shoddy ;

And each and every employee

with Mr Gilbert must agree,

When everyone is somebody ,

Then no one is anybody.


Now that’s as plain as plain can be ;

To this conclusion you’ll agree

when everyone is somebody,

then no one’s anybody.