Implausible Story No.7

 As usual most of the ideas come from news reports in the daily paper or Radio 4, maybe...slightly embellished

This might have been a Cabinet Meeting at Number Ten, quite recently

"Righto lads and lasses, now we're all sitting comfortably, over to you PM."

"Thank you, Deputy PM... Good morning everyone, welcome once again to chez moi... now I'm back from my little soiree, we ought to discuss a few little issues and get them sorted before all the voters find out about our latest little faux pas and not just Daily Mail readers."

"PM."

"Yes Clarence, what is it?"

"Nothing PM, just to compliment you on your command of francais, that's all. You're a true Eurocrat"

"Well we must all try our hardest, Clarence. Anyway as I was just about to say...First there's this business about people not really working, Deputy PM. I read what you had to say in the paper yesterday.
You said that you were going to define "worklessness" and I've just read the draft.
You can't say that someone is not working just because he's sitting around talking.
What do you think WE do all day you great wally.
If you got your way we'd be arrested by the local social security people and they'd try to stop our benefits."

"But we don't get paid benefits, PM."

"It all comes from the same place, Deputy PM and I'm not going to take the chance.
Come up with a better definition or I'll do it myself. How about making everyone collecting social security benefits, "Social Security Assistants". The benefits can be classed as pay.
I say… do you realise…nobody will be unemployed.
What utter brilliance even if I say it myself.
How much do people get at the moment Home Secretary?"

"About £100 a week PM."

"Right. From next week everyone collecting benefits will be deemed to be working 16 hours a week. Standing around talking is obviously work. That means they'll be fully employed under the rules. Pay them the minimum wage, say £3.50 an hour and we'll end up paying them….
Quick…. Secretary of State for Education…."

"What is it PM? Sorry, I was just dozing off…"

"Don't worry, I'll do it myself.. as usual… £54
Saving us how much Secretary of State for Education?"

"Hang on a mo PM…"

Sound of scribbling and paper being screwed up…
More scribbling….
"£64 PM."

"No you great pillock.. £46!
Fantastic. There's about four million scroungers on benefits and that'll save us….
Quick anyone….
Don't look so blank you lot
Pass me a pencil and paper and I'll work it out myself…"

Lots of scribbling

"£184 million… OK?"

"If you say so PM."

"That's sorted then. Write it up whoever's responsible and I'll get it signed off.

Now that idea from the Home Secretary.

Binmen arresting members of the public for dropping chewing gum on the pavement.
I've had two enquiries from the binmans' union already. One says that they want to know if we'll pay all the expenses for foremen to take a degree course in Law leading to them being accepted by the Bar.
And that's not all. They want all the ordinary binmen to attend courses in martial arts so when they arrest someone they'll feel able to protect themselves.
Sounds like a sticky problem… ho ho ho

They also say that, since that crackdown on litter, they've had a number of binmen arrest each other for dropping litter when they were emptying bins. It's some sort of scam so they can get off work for a few weeks while they work out their legal position.
Sort it out Home Secretary. Draft a new law to get the sticky stuff removed from chewing gum or something.

Right…. now those nitty gritty things are aired I'd like to get to the real reason for today's meeting.

That "Think Tank" we set up last year to help reduce our workload has published its first report.
They say they fed some figures into their computers and came up with a really worrying prediction.
They've been monitoring the number of civil servants we've been taking on. They reckon it was 9,000 over the last six months.
They predict that, if we continue at the same rate, the whole UK workforce will be civil servants in five years."

Click to see how many civil servants there are in Whitehall

"Did they say whose Department will have the most PM?"

"Why do want to know that Roger?"

"Well if it's mine PM I think I deserve more money for the extra responsibility."

"You know you might have something there Roger.
I never thought of that. You lot all work for me. I use the term "work" only in its loosest way ha ha
But it does mean that I must end up with absolutely everyone working for me doesn't it. That means I'll be first in line for a rise."

"Quite right PM. You really really deserve it too.
I don't know how you can make ends meet."

"Thank you for those few kind words, Deputy PM. I'm glad someone appreciates me.
I'm sure you deserve your share as well."

"Hang on a minute PM."

"What is it Chancellor and why are you fiddling with that calculator?"

"Well… we'll have to pay their wages."

"We do already Chancellor so what's the difference?

Any money we need we extract from taxes and we use that to pay civil servants."

"Yes PM, but if everyone works for us and we only take about 25% in income tax who pays the other 75%?"

"Well there is VAT, Chancellor and National Insurance and Holiday Tax and Insurance Tax; all those new stealth taxes. We can use that."

"That's not the big picture, PM. Basically if everyone works for us we'll need 100% of everyone's income just to pay them their wages
Put it like this.. We pay everyone January's salary. Then there's no money in the kitty
We'd have to take it all back before February and then they get it as February's salary."

"That seems to work Chancellor I'll go with that."

"What do they have to live on, PM?"

"Oh I forgot about that Chancellor.
Say we allow them 10% to live on."

"That means we can only get back 90% in taxes."

Pause in proceedings while everyone wrestles with this problem...

"What if we pay them 10% less for February, Chancellor?"

"That sounds like a good idea, Deputy PM"

"We'll go with that Chancellor."

"If you say so PM, but what about March?" How do find enough to pay their salaries for March?"

"So we pay everyone 10% less for March as well."

"Brilliant PM."

"PM?"

"Yes, Deputy PM, what is it?"

"Aren't we civil servants?"

"Yes, Deputy PM of course we are."

"Does it mean we get paid 10% less every month too?"

"Gosh I didn't think of that. Anyone got any ideas?"

"I've got an idea PM."

"Yes Secretary for Trade and Industry, what is it?"

"Well you know how the fat cats in the private sector keep giving themselves more money each year for basically doing less?"

"Yes, Clarence."

"Well why don't we privatise the Government, PM?
That way we can stand back from all the bickering about pay cuts.
In fact with all the extra hassle we can expect I think we'd be well within our rights to give ourselves a jolly good rise!"

"That's a wonderful idea, Clarence. I really like it.
We'll form our own Limited Company and that way we can do what we like.
We can charge the Civil Service a realistic 21st century fee for what we do!
How do we go about it, Mr Attorney General?"

"Well PM, I reckon first we call for tenders to run the Privatised Government.
We'll restrict tenderer's to eligible groups. For example … "tenderers must already be governing the UK"."

"I like it Fred. That means there's only us that will be eligible to put in a bid.
We can say whatever we like and no-one can outbid us!
Shall we make it a nice round number... say a £1 each.
I'll pass the hat round later.
Write up a new law Fred and I'll get it signed off in the usual way.
If all goes well we'll all be ex-civil servants by the middle of next week.
I never really liked the name anyway, it sounds sort of stuffy.
I like the sound of being a "fat cat".
You know what I like best, Deputy PM?"

"All the extra money PM?"

"Not just that, Deputy PM. It'll mean that the clever so and so's in the Think Tank will be wrong.
Not everyone will be a civil servant
We won't….. ho ho ho.

Pass the chocolate digestives, Fred.

 

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