Highly implausible story 1


This story is made up and couldn't possibly be true

Corruption in high places?

It has been said that, "Power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Can you think of an instance in everyday life?
I think so.
Take this example for instance (completely fictitious.. naturally).

Cabinet meeting at Number Ten, behind the usual closed doors…

"I'd just like to say welcome to this special meeting everyone and over to you deputy PM"

"Thank you PM….

Just before we get underway lads and lasses…
two things.. first only one chocolate biscuit each and I'll send a tin round during the meeting for the coffee fund
…second just to re-iterate the house-rule about anyone not supporting the official line gets the sack

AND by the way the tin is for putting 50p IN not for taking 50p OUT and it wasn't funny last week when some irk slipped in a Euro!"

Vigorous nodding of heads and assertive coughing and clearing of throats and tutting all round…

"Back to you PM".

"Righto… I'd just like to say…

Top of the list of today's opportunities to get to grips with is The National Health Service

Just before we start…
There's no-one here that actually tries to use it is there?
We've got to be absolutely unbiased and objective".

"No Prime Minister of course there isn't we've all got the special medical plan you organised for us and our families"

"Well that's OK then

So we can talk freely and without prejudice


By the way deputy PM, has that Think Tank we organised come up with any more ideas?

You know…
Like the one where the patient is asked when they're going on their holidays and a letter is sent to their house when they're away saying that if they don't hear from them in two days the hospital will assume they want to cancel their appointment.

That was a super idea and cut the waiting lists for the seventh successive month!"

"Yes PM I got an e-mail from them yesterday….

Well actually it wasn't from them exactly it was from the Daily Express
For some reason it had got sent to them by mistake but they noticed your name on the top and they sent it on to us".

"Very good of them

Do you think they read it?"

"No PM I'm sure they didn't…
Not if it wasn't addressed to them".

Well what does it say?"

"It's a new idea….
They've got a pilot scheme or two already running…
It goes something like this..

The hospital receives a letter from the GP…
That goes onto a big spike for issue to the Pending Department
The Think Tank did some sums and recommended the spikes are 12 feet high but some hospitals found that was tricky because of low ceilings so they reduced it to 5 feet

But PM we've had a problem".

"What's that Fred?"

"They just can't get the staff..

Most Pending Departments are understaffed and just can't cope with the number of spiked letters"

"Can't they get agency staff to help?"

"They say they're too expensive and in the case of one London hospital the Chief Executive wants a pay rise for looking after the extra people working for him".

"So what's the problem…
He can give himself one surely to goodness.. we do for heavens sake!
Tell him to help himself out of the money he's saved in operations and pills and stuff…

Right so these Pending Departments do what ?… remind me.."

"Nothing.. they just file the letters away".

"Just that?"

"Oh no they scan the letter into their computer and convert it into a text file".

"Come on Fred.. don't blind us with science.. we're politicians not nuclear scientists!
Come to the point...
Why do they copy the letters?"

"They send the text files to the Correlation Department".

"Remind me Fred.. what do they do?"

"Well they compare the patients' names with Death Certificates
If they find a match they send a memo to the Waiting List Department".

"You mean so they can be removed from the waiting list?"

"No silly.. oops sorry PM… so they can be put on…"

"Oh I see.. the waiting list is full of dead people?"

"Oh no PM not everyone is dead.. people aren't perfect and mistakes are made

Sometimes live people are put on the waiting list as well by mistake".

"Just by mistake?"

"No of course not PM, live people are put on the list on purpose as well".

"Is that a good idea Fred?"

"It's like this PM..

We guaranteed that Consultants got a good slice of the NHS cake

We always make sure that enough easy jobs are fed through for the consultants to get enough work to make a living

They can't survive on the non-NHS business alone

People like us just don't get sick like the plebs do we, ha ha".

"I suppose you're right Fred..".

"Anyway we have to work something out to put an end to those whining Lib Dems objections".

"Why not fully fund the NHS PM?"

"Now Obadiah… because you're new here I'll make an exception!

Let me explain in words of one syllable, because I know you failed the GCSE in English

One.. We fully fund the NHS

Two… To do this we put up Income Tax by 10p

Three…The opposition make a big stink and we lose the next election

Four… Then we're all out of work… SEE!

So forget about FUNDING you ignoramus!

The solution is to simply increase the length of the Pending Departments spikes
Any problem with ceilings and we can have a rebuilding programme

That should keep us going till after the next election".

"What about all the disgruntled NHS patients that didn't get seen to PM

Won't they vote against us?"

"Don't be daft Obadiah..

Let me spell it out for your tiny mind…


Now over to you again deputy PM".

"Righto PM…

I left the best bit till the end

Our pay rise….."

Murmurs of approval all round and the sound of a coin being dropped into the coffee fund tin……

"Just so we can be seen to be democratic….not now Obadiah… you can look it up later

All in favour say aye…."

Righto lads and lasses that's agreed then.

No-one say anything, don't go throwing your money around, and the newspapers won't get to know anything at least until I've sorted out a really good argument for our rise. Something along the lines of bringing MPs salaries into the 21st century.

Now just before we knock off one tiny word of advice.

The Suggestions Box outside my door....

Some anonymous irk suggested a name for these new schools we discussed last week.

The ones that will provide "education par excellence" and stressing a superior command of English.

We CAN'T use the name "GRAMMER SCHOOLS".

In fact we can't even use the name "GRAMMAR SCHOOLS" you useless buffoon.

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't I recognise the scrawl of the Secretary of State for Education on the suggestion slip.

Well if I'm right don't let it happen again!

And I'll ignore the other suggestion to name the schools providing "education sans excellence" as "MODERN SECONDARY" schools!

First it doesn't sound right and second we already did away with something very similar donkeys years ago!



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