James Combes - The-Latest comedy writer
Last week the government announced that it had isolated the main concerns of the general public and written them all down in a nice Word Document. This document was promptly printed off onto some nice, expensive vellum paper, bound together, filed lovingly in a very shiny plastic wallet and lost on a train to Edinburgh.
And so that would seem to be the end of that. The politicians and civil servants concerned all received a sharp slap on the wrist and were sent to bed with no dinner, no tea and no chocolates. They were told "to seriously think about their actions" and not to "come down again until they were genuinely sorry". Or until they had drafted a new version of the document.
They retreated to the metaphorical naughty-step of their bedrooms, tucked themselves into their SpongeBob Squarepants duvets and went to sleep without a bed-time story. In the morning they set about re-drafting the document but found it immensely difficult. Being unable to multi-task, they had not yet mastered the art of watching SpongeBob Squarepants whilst simultaneously looking up big words in the Oxtail English Dictionary for inclusion in the document.
It was at this point that a man with a Cheshire-cat smile and a receding hair-line turned up at number 10 with the mislaid copy of the revolutionary file and handed it to Prime Minister Gordon-the-Gopher. The Ten-Point Plan can be seen by clicking on this hyper-link: http://www.the-latest.com/government-announces-radical-new-proposals-combat-environmental-and-social-problems:
And today - after a slight delay - we have an exclusive interview with the Minister For These Sorts Of Things about the document. He had this to say:
"The government is keen to impress upon the public the importance of recycling. There are only three resources in the UK left that are not under serious threat and these are: weasels, ex-Fund Managers (FMs) and sarcasm. We need to utilise these. And we have a plan."
This positive response is perhaps surprisingly optimistic given the events of last year. As the credit crunch began to bite, the first victims were the large investment companies, and the Fund Managers, who were disgraced, sacked and released back into the wild.
It had been a tough year for FMs. Back in February 2008 it was almost impossible to walk through the City of London without treading in one. For the months that followed there were constant complaints from locals about the noise pollution caused by these once overpaid mammals of the genus criminalis fundus exploitatus.
Dave Wilkins, a key-worker for Timpson’s locksmiths in Old Street added:
"It was really difficult getting to work. If you weren’t paying attention you might tread in a Fund Manager - and that could get pretty hairy around Liverpool Street - and you had to remember to scrape your shoe before you got into work everyday. There was also the noise pollution. I’d get off the train, put my ear-phones in but I could barely hear the music coming from my iPod."
Like so many others trying to get on with the day-to-day business of earning a crust, Dave found his journey to work constantly interrupted by a thudding noise.
"All I could everywhere I walked was:
A few seconds later:
THUD ...and so on."
It was the sound of Fund Managers falling from grace. They fell through February and March, like a family-sized multi-pack of lemmings out for a saunter on Beachy Head.
They were disgraced. All around the Home Counties wives threw them out to think about what they had done. Armed with nothing but an Armani suit, a Rolex watch and a credit card, they had little choice but to turn feral.
They scavenged and took to hunting in large groups, reverting to their pack-animal instincts. Five Star Michelin restaurants, top class hotels, Business Class lounges in Heathrow and pretentious restaurants across Central London were targeted by these Fallen Angels as they attempted to claw their way back into a society that no longer wanted them.
The government was forced to issue strict instructions on how to dispose of these unwanted FSA staff in an environmentally-sustainable way, but these measures cost money that most families could no longer afford. Many resorted to illegal FM Tipping instead.
One year on and the problem is as bad as ever. Groups of Fund Managers - collectively known as "Weasels of Fund Managers" (see http://www.the-latest.com/whats-difference-between-weasel-and-fund-manager for details) - can be seen across the country, hanging around outside phone-boxes in quaint country villages and in the queues for the Euro-Lottery on a Friday night. There have been reports of old ladies being harassed by ex-Fund Managers as they go about their business. Ethel Murguntyre, a pensioner from Hampstead, commented:
"They’re always lurking on street corners, drinking alco-pops, lobbing estimated growth per capita figures at innocent passers-by, and trying to snatch mobile phones from innocent hoodies, who are now scared of going out."
The Armani Armies are constantly moved-on by local police and people are again being urged to think twice before illegally dumping their FMs.
But what do the government plan to do? The Minister For These Sorts of Things, who has not said much yet, largely because he keeps eating Hobnobs and dunking them in my tea, has a plan:
"It’s all to do with that Ten-Point Plan. We have this list of social and environmental problems to deal with - how to dispose of Fund Managers in a responsible manner, global warming, the proliferation of sarcastic weasels on the streets of London, nuclear disarmament, the cost of loft insulation. We really need to start thinking outside the box."
(It is a little-known fact that cabinets do their best thinking inside cardboard boxes. They prevent the ideas from escaping. The problem comes when the tall-boy and the futon decide to join in, making the box over-crowded and putting it under considerable structural stress.)
But the Minister remains positive. He said a solution has been reached. And it seems that the Fund Managers are a key part of that plan:
"Point nine on that list refers to the growing number of unemployed Fund Managers causing a nuisance to the public. This is a huge problem, but - crucially - part of the solution."
The Minister then went on to liken Fund Managers to waffles, claiming that they are "waffley versatile" and can be used in a number of different ways on the international and the domestic front:
"The first item on the Ten-Point Plan is that of reducing the country’s carbon footprint. Fossil fuel is a major chunk of the problem and we are running out of it. But we are not running out of unemployed Fund Managers. Simply substitute one for the other.
A second example: nobody likes nuclear missiles. But I see no reason why we can’t disarm our nuclear warheads and - if the worst comes to the worst and we really do need to lob something unpleasant at someone - we could just use ex-FMs as warheads instead. Much better environmentally speaking and far more fun to watch."
Indeed, it would seem that The Minister For These Sorts of Things has done considerable research on this front. He suggests that unemployed Fund Managers can also be used as:
- Loft insulation. ("They really do keep the heat in quite nicely and they come in all shapes and sizes. Simply order a couple of weasels of FMs and lay them down next to each other.")
- Skittles in bowling alleys. ("The cost of manufacturing those skittles has risen dramatically in recent times. We - as a party - have been approached by several firms that are looking to reducing their overheads by substituting FMs for skittles.")
- Speed bumps.
And so it seems that the future is not all doom and gloom. The possibilities are endless, unlike the average packet of Hobnobs. But the message here is one of recycling and responsibility.
The government have asked that the public remember two crucial points:
- Please do not release unwanted Fund Managers back into the wild.
- Put them out with the recycling on a Wednesday morning, first making sure that they have been cleaned of any excess flotsam and jetsam.
Local councils are now obliged to collect unwanted members of the genus criminalis fundus exploitatus so that they can be used for the benefit of the whole country. This makes a refreshing change. More importantly, this means the rest of the country can go back to watching SpongeBob Squarepants without worrying too much.