To a central government think-tank near Westminster, where the best and brightest minds affiliated with the Dem-Con coalition have been trying to invent a plausible story the electorate might swallow; something to explain how unemployment could fall significantly in the latter half of 2012, even as the economy remains squarely in the shitter.
“The problem here is indicative of the Chancellor’s massive, ongoing success.” Chairman of the tank and leading ‘blue sky imagineer’ Cyril Thigh (left) told Home Defence.
“We’ve done really well, blaming Britain’s ills on the jobless; those men and women everyone in work sees as lazy, self-gratifying leeches. We’ve depicted these people stumbling blearily from lavish flat-screened homes to collect their benefit cheques once a fortnight, but now we’re having difficulty maintaining the kind of mass ‘double-think’ that keeps the jobless effectively scapegoated, even as their numbers decrease.” “With the range of wonderful employment opportunities the PM and cabinet have created.” Mr. Thigh went on. “From unremunerated workfare to lowly part-time jobs that don’t pay enough to live on, the number of British adults we can legitimately slander as ‘scroungers’ or ‘skivers’ has come down drastically, in spite of the lack of real jobs. I’m not sure how we square that with the forthcoming ‘quadruple-dip’ recession, in all honesty.” “Oh well,” Cyril concluded. “The public have fallen for everything else we’ve said. I’m sure Dave will think of something.”
Indeed, the number of people classed as ‘out of work’ fell by 82,000 between August and October last year, while UK ‘employment’ is now at its
highest level since records began. Critics say this is down to simple reclassification and statistical sleight of hand, with many of those who now
call themselves 'self-employed’ doing so for tax purposes only, even as they display the kind of productivity that leads to endless weekdays sat
at home, drinking tea and occasionally looking at celebrity pictures online.
“The problem this coalition has, particularly the Tories, is that unemployment levels may continue to drop. If that happens, there are no obvious candidates for demonization, in the face of some of the worst economic mismanagement in history.” Policy Analyst Anneka Stench confirmed from her office at Kings College London. “Historically, the Conservative Party has always found some socio-economic group to victimize and distract attention away from its failings. Unfortunately, single mother numbers are also down, poor people in crappy jobs have to be cast as ‘strivers’ in Cameron’s speeches, and as for immigrants or asylum seekers, well….” As if by magic, Ms. Stench produced a set of figures accompanied by some kind of scatter diagram. “As this clearly illustrates, following the implementation of policies aimed at preventing rich foreigners from coming here to study, while ensuring those in immediate danger from harsh regimes are no longer considered for asylum, immigration is lower than it’s ever been. Meanwhile so-called ‘economic migrants’ would have to be absolutely frickin’ mental to come to Britain looking to better themselves financially.”
“I suppose they could still pull the race card, purely out of desperation.” Anneka mused. “But for a major political party that’s kind of a last resort these days. Even UKIP don’t claim all the bad things in life are a result of ethnic minorities or multiculturalism. They tend to go for handily-faceless EU bureaucrats instead; men who may or may not be imaginary.”
But such is the level of concern among government circles that a group of Young Conservatives were last week despatched to England’s major
population centres, desperate to find underworked families (or, at least, people on benefits who might be overweight and not entirely Caucasian).
These lazy twots would then be ‘flagged up’ to tabloid newspapers and used as case studies of fecklessness by the Prime Minister himself.
But so far the YCs have uncovered precious little evidence of a benefits culture that could signify “all that’s wrong with the country”, or indeed
anything to illustrate that massive stumbling block the coalition faces in its attempts to turn everything around. Indeed, all the chinless yahoos
brought back to central office were a few photos of a bloke called Darren from Rotherham (right), who turned out to have an alcohol problem
and was in need of immediate medical attention.
Their subsequent report, released by the Bow Group think-tank, suggests that MPs move on from the workshy and place the blame for this situation on homeless people, amputees, women who have kids by more than two fathers, violent video game makers and a specific minority religion; either Catholicism or Scientology. But
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and former dole claimant Iain Duncan Smith (left) was having none of it. “We must continue to take scroungers to task, whether they exist or not.” IDS told a Telegraph journalist earlier today. “The last thing this government needs is for ordinary Joe-Plebs to notice the inconsistency, put two and two together, and realise the economic situation is down to coalition ineptitude, an inability to force corporations to paying their share, and ongoing tax breaks for the
Smith goes on: “There are still one and a half million individuals in Britain collecting ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance’, a figure that allows plenty
of leeway for continued scapegoating. It’s not as if all of these claimants can prove they’ve been looking for work every waking moment,
as my new system dictates.”
Further into the conversation Duncan Smith goes on to say: “You know, I happened upon a long line at my local food bank just before
Christmas, and it was clear to me that many of the families queuing in the cold had already blown their very generous benefit allocations on luxury goods, like sex toys or Furbys. Soon these parents will discover they’ve nothing left to feed their children, and will want another hand-out from the state. It makes me so angry! We should do
something about this. Maybe my friends from the private sector could step in? Hang on, that’s a brilliant idea…” IDS then yelled at his assistant to get the Prime Minister on the phone before mulling a possible privatisation of the nation’s food banks, noting they were Britain’s fastest growing industry. Duncan Smith ended by asserting that he was sure fantastic companies like ATOS or G4S would be excited by this opportunity and, according to reports, PM ‘Diddy’ David Cameron has promised to think about the suggestion. Meanwhile Duncan Smith left the interview room for his annual haircut, still muttering about ‘the undeserving