A chill wind blew through the cracks in the already disintegrating new workhouse building. Mister Bumble paced the corridor muttering at the shoddy and shabby peeling paint and silently wishing they hadn’t used unpaid labour to build this workhouse. But it was estimated that thousands would be saved if qualified and skilled labour was junked in favour of unpaid labour. “Oh well”, thought Mister Bumble, “at least my office is warm”. As he walked quickly towards his office shivering as gusts of wind rattled through the windows more cost cutting as insulation and draft excluders are not worth the expense for these people. Mister Bumble shook his head vehemently while pursing his lips thinking about “these people”.
When Mister Bumble attended the job interview for jail keeper (well, in the advertisement said it said, “facility manager”..) he was asked a number of questions by the board of private trustees who run the “facility”. Three of them, one was the Personnel Manager, Mrs. Corney, a middle-aged woman with a pinched face peering intently at Mister Bumble. Mister Limbkins, a rotund man red in face staring at the plate of Hob-Nobs in the centre of the table and Mister Heep, a polar opposite to Mister Limbkins, sitting straight tapping his bony fingers on the table.
“Good morning, Mister Bumble, I am humbled that you could attend at the last moment”, said Mister Heep
“Now, Mister Bumble, the job entails overseeing of this new exciting and efficiently run facility, which, as you know, was only opened recently by Iain Duncan-Smith”, cooed Mrs Corney
“Do you think you have the capabilities for this job, Mister Bumble”? asked Mister Limbkins
“You must also have some knowledge of the type of people being admitted here”, sniffed Mrs Corney
“Yes”, interjected Mister Heep, “these people, they just don’t try. There are jobs, unpaid jobs. But will they take them”?
Mister Limbkins tutted and shook his enormous head, “Indeed Mister Heep, they won’t do what they are told. They demand pay and conditions. PAY AND CONDITIONS”! shrieked Mister Limbkins spluttering bits of biscuits.
“Workshy, that’s what they are. Scroungers too. They want their benefits but won’t do anything, just lounge about at home, watching Jeremy Kyle and going out shopping in Oxford Street. SHOPPING IN OXFORD STREET”… Mister Limbkins coughed violently and looked like a coronary was on the cards.
“Well, the ConDems soon put an end to that nonsense. If these lazy workshy scroungers couldn’t get a job then NO BENEFITS, and the workhouse”, grinned Mrs Corney
“An absolute money saver, no shelling out benefits or housing benefits or tax credits or disability benefits. Just warehouse the lazy blighters in this state of the art detention centre”, said Mister Heep
“Ha! Erm…no Mister Heep, I think you mean state of the art facility”, interrupted Mister Limbkins.
“Oh yes, humble apologies”, stated a startled and embarrassed Mister Heep
“Well, Mister Bumble, do you think you keep these lazy miscreants in order”? asked Mrs Corney
Mister Bumble sat there, he too was staring at the ever diminishing plate of HobNobs, eventually breaking out of the spell of the desire for biscuits and chocolate and nodded his head.
“Of course I can, it is important to instill order and discipline and I can keep my beady eye on these scroungers. Making sure they work their fingers to the bone for their keep”, maintained Mister Bumble….
That all seemed like an eternity as Mister Bumble sat in his luxury well heated office. Unfortunately, his room couldn’t keep out the cheap and nasty stench of the food given to the inmates. Fortunately, for Mister Mumble his food was tasty and aromatic. He was pleased with himself, he had passed his probation period, discipline and order was top priority and this workhouse has been awarded most productive (though there had been rebellions which thankfully with the help of the TSG, water canons and plastic bullets was quelled quickly).
“Oh yes,” thought Mister Bumble as he sat back on his chair, “another year is ending and another is approaching. The workhouse, ah yes, the way forward for the 21st century, totally breaks the human spirit”… He checked his drawer just to be on the safe-side that it was well stocked with plastic bullets and tasers… just in case, you know some aren’t broken enough.
Merry Christmas to you all…..And a happy New Year