Cabinet Meeting, December 2004
Good Morning lads and lasses take a
pew and we'll get on with today's business.
The PM has asked me to deal with things
while he's visiting his doctor.
What is it Deputy PM? Is our esteemed
No Eustace he's in the prime of his
life. I meant his Spin Doctor not his actual doctor.
The theme of this meeting is to think
of any more ways to make a little money on the side so we can
reduce income tax just before the election.
What's that Mr Home Secretary, "privatise
the treasury and sack the Chancellor"? I think that's going
a bit far to get the leader's support. After all he's really
good friends with the chap. You shouldn't believe all you read
in the papers.
What I was thinking of was extending this business we've already
got underway... transferring costs from the exchequer to council
Let me remind those of you who haven't
already realised what we've done lately.
First, the transfer of the issue of
licenses to pubs from the local magistrate to the local council.
I haven't heard of that one Deputy PM,
Well it hasn't actually been publicised
along those lines Eustace.
You know about the obsession of the working man? I use the expression
in the broadest sense of course.
What do you mean Deputy PM.. you mean
that the workforce doesn't really work?
No not at all Eustace. Just because
a man spends his life filling supermarket shelves instead of
digging coal 2 miles underground doesn't mean he isn't working
I meant his obsession for drinking alcohol.
Not really an obsession. It's just that over the years, like
Prohibition in the US... because we didn't allow pubs to open
until it was quite late, most people thought of drinking time
as a special thing
something like a reward.
If we tell everyone they can just walk into a pub at any time,
even at breakfast time, they'll treat this like winning the lottery
and be really grateful to us and vote for the party at the next
That's an amazing idea Deputy PM, but
what's that got to do with saving money?
Well Eustace, let me spell it out but
don't go blabbing to one and all, it's supposed to be a secret!
The Think Tank for Making Money came
up with the plan.
At the moment magistrates issue drinking
licenses and dancing and music licenses for pubs, like they've
done for donkeys years. It's just that with high wages and expenses
of magistrates and their helpers the TTMM worked out that it
actually cost 20 million pounds to issue the bits of paper. They
think that, as local councils are very good at issuing bits of
paper, a few extra bits wouldn't go amiss and we could save 20
How is that connected with 24-hour drinking Deputy PM?
Well all was going well until we discovered that with all these
liberals and whatnots in the local councils, not to mention teetotallers,
they all ganged up and said that the licenses would have to go
up in price from £5 to £2,000. The cost of all the
extra staff, they said.
Good heavens Deputy PM. That sounds
It is a lot Eustace, and it will put
up the price of a glass of beer by quite a lot and of course
one of the very aims we are planning will backfire.
The beer-drinking workers won't vote
for us at the next election!
That sounds pretty serious Deputy PM.
Indeed Eustace, hence we've changed
the slant, as it were. All-day-drinking is the thrust. The beer
drinking fraternity will be so grateful they won't realise the
license thing was the hidden agenda, as it were.
Pubs will sell so much beer in the extra time they're open that
they will be able to keep the prices the same.
Won't all the beer drinkers be paralytic
Possibly Eustace. So we've got a second
We'll tell everyone that we're really
against all day drinking by telling everyone that we'll charge
extra to those publicans that allow beer drinkers to imbibe more
than a pint or two. We can't have drunken beer drinkers causing
By the time people realise that we've saved 20 million pounds
by adding a few pence to the price of a pint they will already
have voted for us.
It seems to be working because the papers have concentrated on
the headlines, "24-hour drinking", and, "police
budgets to be paid by rowdy pubs", and haven't picked up
on the 40,000 per cent increase in the pub license.
Next I should mention another of the
Think Tank's ploys.
Decriminalisation of illegal car parking.
You mean we won't get a criminal record
for stopping on a double yellow line to pop in for a packet of
fags Deputy PM?
Quite right Eustace.
That sounds a great idea Deputy PM.
The hidden agenda is the transfer of police responsibility to
More time for our brave Bobbies to fill
in all these new forms that we've issued to reduce the level
How can filling in forms reduce crime
levels Deputy PM?
We won't go into that Eustace. It's
Suffice it to say that, in future car parking will be up to the
Won't that be quite difficult Deputy
I mean, won't the local councils have to employ lots of people
to look at meters and issue fines and install lots more ticket
Well, look at it this way Eustace...
If big business can make lots of money
from the motorist then local councils will be able to as well.
You'll only be able to park outside
your own house either by paying lots of money for a special disk
or paying a huge fine.
Some councils have already got their
own plans underway, it's just we'd like them all to get involved.
In fact by charging lots of money they'll be able to keep the
council tax bill from going up to pay for the extra things we've
shifted to them without hardly anyone finding out.
And what's more the way councils already
work by sending a bailiff to collect outstanding council tax
money will already be in place.
Why haven't local councils spilt the
beans Deputy PM?
The more things councils have to do,
the more people will have to be employed.
The more people employed the more the
salaries of the bosses can increase to reflect the extra responsibilities.
In fact all council workers will probably
get promoted and benefit from better pay scales.
Take the New Forest District Council
for example. *** see below
A few years ago parking was free. Now
they've just increased car parking charges in their area by up
to 100%, and the price of the special clocks they issued to local
residents to give them free parking have gone up by 20%.
That's only fair Deputy PM. Why should
local people be able to park free, after all they should travel
by bus to do their shopping and not clog up the roads with their
There aren't any buses in lots of the
New Forest Eustace, at least maybe only one per day. Last year
NFDC issued these clocks at cost to locals to compensate them,
saying that it was only the tourists and visitors that would
have to pay for parking.
What are you getting at Deputy PM?
Well I heard from a very good source
that these clocks are going to help finance the cost of making
street parking an expensive business Eustace.
The bigwigs in Hampshire County Council
have told the New Forest that their parking clocks are far too
cheap and they should charge a lot more and use the money to
pay for hiring people to stop everyone parking free at the side
of the roads.
Of course I'm only quoting this as an
It's going on all over the country,
but don't tell anyone. It's supposed to be a secret.
Decriminalisation of car parking offences
sound like a jolly good thing. But we mustn't let anyone get
wind of the extra high cost of stopping their car.
why don't we tell people
that they'll actually save pots of money not using petrol?
Explain yourself Eustace...
If you stop your car for an hour instead
of driving it at 30mph that could save a gallon of petrol at
least. Parking for £2.50 per hour will actually save the
motorist nearly £2.50.
Jolly good idea Eustace. We'll slant
car parks as "petrol saving sanctuaries".
I'll pass that to the lads in the Think
Something along the lines..
Signs saying, "Stop here for half
price petrol". People will be queuing up in droves to feed
Right that's enough for today lads and
lasses... and see if you can think of any other ways of saving
money by the next meeting...