THERE is clearly a years-long conspiracy of sabotage at Great Western Hospital.

A monstrous fifth column of wreckers has undoubtedly been at work since a time long before the first foundation was dug, when Swindon’s hospital existed only as a collection of lines on an architect’s drawing board.

Why would such a dreadful legion be sent to wreak havoc on a blameless hospital?

It is impossible to say, or to speculate on who sent them.

There can be no other rational explanation for some of the strange and horrible things that have happened these last 20 years or so.

The most recent of these horrible things came to light only the other day, when it was revealed that no less than 2,313 people who arrived at the accident and emergency unit last month ended up waiting more than four hours to be admitted, treated or discharged.

For more than 25 patients, the wait was at least three times as long.

Some naive people claim this is merely a case of uselessness, indifference or both among certain people in high places, but they are clearly mistaken.

It would be entirely inappropriate to blame, for example, the politicians who have had oversight of the NHS in general and the hospital in particular during the course of its existence.

For one thing, I would be on shaky legal ground by doing so as a General Election approaches, and there are strict rules against singling out any politician or party for praise or condemnation.

For another, singling out any politician, or all of them for that matter, wouldn’t make any sense.

You see, what all of those politicians have in common - dozens of them down the years, whether their party happened to be in Government or opposition - was their absolute love and commitment to the NHS.

No matter what else they disagreed on, they all spoke movingly of the institution’s magnificence. All insisted, often with such vehemence that tears sprang to their eyes, that the health service must be preserved at all costs, that its buildings must never be less than fit for purpose and that the hard work of its personnel must never be regarded with anything other than love, respect and reverence.

They would not tolerate the problems at Great Western Hospital for a minute, let alone a period spanning many years.

Senior NHS managers are also clearly blameless as far as the barbaric waits suffered by accident and emergency patients are concerned.

As the top people in the organisation, they naturally care deeply about its wellbeing, that of patients and that of every employee who toils under their authority.

Would they allow patients and staff to suffer while raising barely a peep of protest, no matter the effect on their employment or pension prospects, or their chances of ultimately receiving a knighthood, damehood or peerage for services to the NHS?

Of course not.

The sinister and mysterious group of saboteurs I mentioned earlier are the obvious culprits.

It was they who sabotaged the design of Great Western Hospital and made it too small for the Swindon area’s growing population.

It was they who sabotaged various departments and ensured pay and conditions for frontline workers were so stressful that a staff shortage was inevitable.

It was they who secretly arranged for vital services to be hived off to assorted profit-driven organisations.

It was they who we can only assume threatened senior managers into silence over the ongoing problems.

The only alternative explanation is that all those official words of support for the NHS meant nothing - which would be ridiculous.