Implausible Story 12


Meeting at Number Ten between the PM, the Deputy PM, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health and whatnots (7th June 2003)

3 reports on Radio 4 this last week....

We really must sort out NHS funding once and for all lads and I've called you all together because the Deputy PM tells me he's had a brainwave

I'm going to let him explain.. carry on Deputy PM

Righto PM… and lads.. it came to me in the bath the other night

I was thinking that we need three things, first… to spend less money on the NHS.. second to raise more cash for more interesting stuff and third to reduce hospital waiting lists…

It came to me all of a sudden as I was looking for the bath plug

Who needs most money spending on them for operations?

Answer… smokers and fat people

Who provides a goodly sum to us at absolutely no cost like having to make extra roads and stuff ?

Answer… smokers and fat people

Who has the biggest share of hospital waiting lists ?

Answer… smokers and fat people

Well in one fell stroke we can solve all our problems lads

Before anyone can get put on a hospital waiting list they have to meet two requirements…

First they have to stop smoking

Second they have to lose two stone

Cracked it lads… any questions?

What if a person doesn't smoke and isn't fat Deputy PM?

Clearly they can't answer the first question in the affirmative so they can't get onto the waiting list

How is that Deputy PM?

There'll be just YES and NO boxes. At the top we'll print "Every question has to be answered"

Have you stopped smoking? YES or NO? If it's YES they get considered for Question 2, if NO they're not eligible.

You mean they'll never get on the waiting list Deputy PM?

No that would be most unfair. They have to start smoking and then re-apply. Just before they fill in the form again they'll have to stop smoking.

I bet lots won't be able to… ho ho ho

Is that a good idea Deputy PM?

Of course it is. Every pack of cigarettes that's sold we make about £2.50.. that can't be bad! Extra people smoking equals more fags sold equals more money for the Chancellor... simple

What about fat people Deputy PM?

Well the questions will be arranged so only fat ex-smokers will be allowed to get as far as the second question.

Then the crunch.

"Fill in your current weight and get your local GP to verify the exact figure".

Then when you've lost two stone or after a month go back to your GP and get him to verify this.

Just think lads the waiting list may drop to zero in a few weeks!

What about smokers Deputy PM, can't they just stop and answer Question 1 in the affirmative?

I thought about that Maurice… what happens when a smoker stops smoking?

Answer they put on weight. They go off and stuff themselves full of chocolate or sweets.

So they have to fill in their weight just before they stop smoking then they have to wait a month for Part 2 of the form to be authorised by their GP and when they get weighed their weight will have gone up and they won't be eligible for the waiting list.

Fantastic Deputy PM. How do we go about arranging all this?

We'll announce it as a new health initiative.. nothing to do with hospital waiting lists. We'll keep that bit under wraps. Nobody will be aware of what's going on and then, later we'll announce a record fall in hospital waiting lists. In fact we may be able to actually close some hospitals they'll be that empty!

Absolutely stunning Deputy PM. I'm really pleased that we've got that BUPA scheme.

Anything else while we're here?

Yes PM there's the thing about Royal Mail not wanting to use mail trains any more.

What's that all about Deputy PM?

It seems that the new rail companies are putting up their charges for handling mail. For instance they're going to start charging the postmen that do the sorting on the trains to buy tickets before they get on.

Quite right too Deputy PM. WE wouldn't expect to have to travel for nothing after all.

Of course not PM. If we did that how would we fill in our expense forms. Just think of all the creative thought we'd miss out on.

How's the Royal Mail going to send their letters round the country Deputy PM?

Well there's two ways. They already have lots of aeroplanes and a few more won't hurt. No problem with congestion because they'll be flying at night-time.

What about all the people living near airports.. won't they complain about aeroplanes waking them up in the middle of the night?

The silly beggars shouldn't have bought their houses next to airports should they. They've only themselves to blame. I bet none of us have a house next to an airport have we?

Then there's the other way… by road. Just think of all those empty roads in the middle of the night. What a waste! They'll buy a few more lorries and no problem.

What about huge lorries racing through little villages in the middle of the night?

Everyone will be asleep so who's to hear them? No-one.

If they keep waking up they can move house. No-one's forcing them to live next to a main road after all. That's the great thing about this country of ours Deputy PM. Freedom of choice!

Anything else Deputy PM before my afternoon siesta?

Just that picture of me in the papers PM.

Didn't see that Deputy PM. What picture?

Oh it's nothing PM. I was motioning to those reporters I'd be back in two minutes that's all PM. It was nothing really.

That's what I like to hear Deputy PM. Keep the press fully informed… now off you go.. I need to call dubya before my nap and get our story straight.

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