Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Police unwittingly 'providing a structured learning environment' to young protesters

Police escort a class away from the Palace
While police forces up and down the country attempt to control the anger being displayed on the streets, it seems they may have been providing the youth of Britain with the education the politicians are attempting to deny them. While the police have used kettling and other forceful tactics to intimidate protesters and prevent them from taking to the streets again, psychologists have pointed out that young people associate the feeling of being trapped against their will surrounded by lots of other young people with learning.

Few have wanted to speculate about what it is the young people might be learning in their new 'schools', but it does not appear to be the fear of the police that the police are so keen to instill. Worried parents around the country have begun to wonder if such actions by the police may even undermine their children's trust in authority. The police, careful to stay only within their alloted role, deny that they are providing free education to the nation's youth with their baton charges, detentions without charge, mass arrrests and mounted police charges. All they are doing is enforcing the law, they say, and all the teenagers need to learn is their place.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Reports reach the Council of Elrond that Cameron has the One Ring

Today news was brought to the Council of Elrond in Rivendell by Gloin of the Dwarves that David Cameron, Conservative Leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is now in possession of the One Ring, and that the Ringwraiths have been seen abroad once more in the areas South and North of the River Thames.

The One Ring was forged by Thatcher in the fires of Mount Mordor and habitually perverts the minds and hearts of those who own it, weighing heavily even upon its wearer and turning those who lust after power into monsters. Thus, upon hearing the news, Gandalf, a wizard of no fixed abode, dropped his head upon the council table in despair. "Alas! It as I feared!" he groaned. "All is lost!"

"We of the elves are also not surprised by this news," said Elrond, the initiator of the council. "We knew that Cameron had some dark power to take so much away from so many people and yet go unopposed."

"And yet live!" roared Gimli, another dwarf present at the council. "My axe is sharp and my will is strong. I'll bring you his head in bag before the week is out!"

Then spoke Aragorn son of Arathorn, with a deep note of sadness in his voice. "No my brave friend," he said. "It will not be so easy. He is well-guarded behind anti-terrorist police gunmen."

"And alas," said Boromir, a human present at the council. "Our list of allies grows ever shorter. I bring news that Labour, though still claiming to oppose the Tories, have been playing us false. They too stand with Cameron and his Ringwraiths, those bankers so perverted by the dark powers of the Ring that they are no longer human. Their project to steal everything from everybody in the world draws closer to its conclusion."

"There is no hope so long as Cameron keeps his finger in Thatcher's Ring," said Gandalf, and he leaned heavily upon his staff and shook his head.

"Then we must take it and destroy it!" cried Legolas, a Silvan elf of the Woodland realm, whose distinctly unelf-like character often passes unnoticed among fans. "Let us set forth right now!"

"And yet who could bear such a burden?" said Elrond. "Not you Legolas. Not me. Not Gandalf. Once it were in our possession we would all be sullied by Thatcher's Ring and the lust for power that comes with it."

It seemed at this moment that all hope was lost, but there were also at the Council of Elrond a pair of hobbits, small and humble creatures with hairy feet. One of these, Frodo by name, a meek but courageous creature, stood up and said, "I will take the Ring from Cameron."

A great silence settled upon the circle, and those gathered there bowed their heads in acknowledgement of the sacrifice. Then said Aragorn son of Arathorn, "Here, take my flak jacket. It's the least I can do."

And Elrond spoke to the other hobbit, one Samwise Gamgee, and said, "You take my Blackberry Sam. You'll need to stay connected."

And Gimli passed Frodo his helmet and said, "I suggest you wear this. It's too big for you so it will cover your eyes and your ears - that way you won't know what hideous things the papers and tv are saying about you."

"And take this," said Boromir. "A sudoku book to lighten the long hours in the police cells."

And so the hobbits took their gifts, with fear and trepidation in their hearts but no lack of courage, and set forth upon their quest.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Gove: our return to Victorian school values 'a more than adequate preparation for the workhouse'

History class
As the coalition government steps up plans to force benefits claimants to work, making people do jobs for free that might have taken them off the dole queue if they were paid positions, the government is countering criticisms that their plans are 'inhumane' with their new education policy, which they say will make working for free 'more bearable'.

While some have said that the goverment's plans amount to forced labour, sometimes known as slavery, the government has robustly refuted those criticisms. "There is a difference between slavery and the workhouse," explains Michael Gove, Education Secretary. "The Victorians were very much against slavery you know. We value their values, and that is why we are bringing back both free labour and Victorian educational values, which were always a more than adequate preparation for the workhouse. There are, in fact, many similarities between a correctly disciplined school environment and a workhouse. Those Victorians knew what they were about."

The recent coalition White Paper on education outlines a reversion back to tougher exams, tougher discipline and traditional subjects. But Michael Gove has some reassuring words for those who see this as a step backwards. "This is a very modern proposal," he said. "We're a modern Conservative party doing modern things. That's why we have to modernise education as well as modernising benefits. We are modernising everything in fact, and to those cynics who suggest that when I say 'modernising' I mean 'taking away', well I think you should think about your position obstructing progress towards a modern Britain."

Whatever the critics say, the modernisation programme is moving forward and it seems will continue to do so until there is nothing left to modernise.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Scientists: Cameron's use of the words 'fair', 'fairer' or 'fairness' causing rupture in English language that 'may plunge us all into black hole'

More soon from the Large Hadron Collider Linguistics Team, dedicated to firing words into each other at high speed in the hope of finding one that politicians can't break

Monday, 22 November 2010

What to think about...outsourcing public services

MRSA: join the dots
For the grim start of winter a grim (and not very funny) topic in my educational series of posts "What to think about..." Their purpose is to summarise correct thinking and help steer people clear of obvious mental pitfalls. They are presented in a bullet-pointed style because management consultants tell us that no subject in the world is too complex to summarise in bullet points and I have to agree because I've had a few drinks and I want to have sex with them all.

  • The public sector is inefficient
  • The private sector is efficient
  • The private sector can thus do everything better and cheaper than the public sector
  • Except running railways, it turned out, after people died, but the general thrust of the argument is true
  • We just have to make sure that the companies maintain standards, since there isn't any competition except every 10 or 15 years when the contract goes out to tender, but generally companies are nice and lovely so this is easy
  •  The profit motive is thus good, not bad, and has a magical effect on service provision, such as might be conjured by a good-hearted boy wizard with a scar on his forehead, though it's funny when you think about it how few heart-warming childrens tales of government outsourcing there are in the bookshops

And what not to think (I apologise for the number of bullet points here but this area is full of potentially treacherous traps for the undisciplined thinker, causing many foolish people to think that outsourcing is little more than officially organised corruption): 
  • Private companies are often very inefficient too and actually make profits because of monopoly positions, or taking advantage of people who don't know enough or, or lying, or frankly, stealing stuff
  • The one thing that sometimes increases efficiency among lumbering private companies is genuine competition, coincidentally the one thing it is usually impossible to have in public service provision
  •  As a point of fact (so pesky avoiding these when seeking to think correctly - quash without ruth) companies habitually bid cheap to get a contract then work in lots of pricey extras or hold the government to ransom for extra money mid-term on the grounds of unforseeable expenses
  • 'Efficiency savings' often come from squeezing workers till they bleed, thus undermining the quality of life not just of the workers but of the entire country since everyone suffers from the increased wealth gap
  • It turns out that when you give companies a regular public subsidy they behave as complacently as the worst public sector bodies, while skimming profit off the top - result! Or rather, 'results', as they say in the management consultancy trade (we give thanks for all your help in outsourcing, ye blessed consultants).
  • The cost of monitoring the contractors to stop them efficiently cutting corners is rarely included in the analysis of costs (This also has a factual basis but thankfully is easier to crush because it is boring)
  •  The authorities usually go for the companies that put in the cheapest bid, not having heard the adage about peanuts, monkeys and the minimum wage receptionist at a government office who went beserk at the stress of his shift patterns and killed everyone walking through the door with a shotgun. 
  • Which hasn't happened yet, but I keep peanuts in my pocket to placate receptionists just in case.
  • So it turns out private companies often don't do a better job, and they often don't do it cheaper, and when they do, it turns out to be a bad thing for everyone (Careful now! These incorrect thoughts can accumulate into bitter and counter-productive notions such as this - be alert!)
  • Measuring efficiency means measuring the end result, but if how we get there is just as important - if the process needs to be, for example, transparent, consistent, or accountable, or if it can do unmeasurable good along the way because it is embedded in wider society rather than a 'streamlined' company process, then perhaps efficiency isn't the only thing we should be aiming for. This bullet point alone potentially undermines the entire array of correct thinking, rendering the points above superfluous: please take care to dispose of it properly, do not expose to naked flames. 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Mr Plod joins facebook, makes new friends, arrests them

Mr Plod the policeman, who has always spent most of his time with other members of the Plod clan, this week joined facebook in an attempt to modernise himself. "It's expanding my horizons," explained Mr Plod. "For example, I never used to see liberals as humans, but now I see their actual faces and it challenges my preconceptions." Mr Plod has also been joining groups by the hundred, and has 'liked' literally thousands of pages, including the fan page of Boris Johnson, for whom he has always had a slightly guilty admiration, knowing him to have committed criminal indiscretions in his youth but beguiled by his jocular approach to politics.

But colleagues have been complaining that Mr Plod has been spending too much time on facebook and not enough time on the beat. "He spent the entirety of yesterday morning on there," said one colleague. "Apparently he was going round the profiles of 'known protesters' and simply posting the words 'Political extremist' on their profile. It seemed to give him a lot of pleasure but it's not what he's meant to be doing."

When challenged on the amount of time he spends on facebook however Mr Plod explained that he was involved in 'important intelligence gathering' and had set up a number of fake pages in order to attract extremists and other violent characters. "I set up one page called 'I want to punch David Cameron in the face' and it has already attracted 3000 fans," he explained. "I've set up another called 'I have feelings of rage towards those in authority' which I think will be very useful. If you think about it we could probably weed out all the bad people in society just with facebook."

Mr Plod went on to say that he was also about to massively boost his arrest count by arresting nearly everyone on facebook, including all of his new friends, for "sending an offensive or indecent message" contrary to the Communications Act of 2003. "I know it's going to end the fun I've been having on facebook," Mr Plod says wistfully, "And I know a lot of people think the Communications Act 2003 is the kind of law a dictatorial junta would pass. But if I am to apply the law universally instead of just selectively against people I don't like - which would be very wrong - then I'm afraid that everyone is guilty."

Mr Plod will begin his campaign of arrests tomorrow. He plans to use the Isle of Wight as a holding cell until more permanent accommodation can be built.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Police appoint new Witchfinder General

Paul Staines, also known as Guido Fawkes, has today been appointed Witchfinder General for the Metropolitan Police. He is the first person to hold the office of Witchfinder General for 350 years. Paul Staines is a 'Libertarian' and in a former life organised raves but his deep and abiding love of windows has turned him into a force for good on the side of The Law. He now plans to dedicate his life to the protection of the established order and the burning of people who break different laws from him or with magical powers.

Government pays unknown amount of money to Guantanamo 'torture victims' for unknown reasons and due to unknowable 'intelligence concerns' in order to speed up enquiry into itself to see if it knows whether it knows what it was doing to have to make unknown payments for unknown reasons to said alleged 'torture victims' and so establish once and for all its known innocence through an enquiry process known for getting the bottom of everything knowable

This post was jointly sponsored by the Sinister Clown Overlord Manifesto for Greater Absurdity in Politics and the Campaign for Longer Headlines.

It's not torture if someone else does if for you anyway

Sunday, 14 November 2010

DHL wins contract to transport new graduates to jobs

A graduate-sized box, wrapped as a giant gift to the employer
The government has announced today that DHL has won the lucrative contract to deliver graduates, newly qualified and boxed, to their employers. Insiders say that the German company beat off stiff competition from Fedex, TNT and Parcelforce because at similar prices to the other bidders they also offered to install conveyor belts from the platforms of graduation halls across the country out to temporary loading bays. The new graduates will walk up to the platform to receive their qualification, which in most cases will be a facsimile, and then step straight onto the conveyor belt to be dropped into an appropriately size box, which will have airholes and a small stock of liquids and snacks for the journey.

This process, which DHL describes as 'the most efficient delivery of graduates to jobs anywhere in the world', is part of a wider government plan to allocate graduates to wherever they will be most economically active and offer best value for money. The government says that their reduction in corporation tax over the next few years will also represent an increase in value for money, since employers will get 'well-packaged industry-oriented graduates at a lower cost to themselves.'

However Serco, the company tasked with allocating students to their new roles, has admitted to some difficulties in placing certain students. "Obviously the scientists and lawyers and so on can go straight to their designated roles in industry," explained a spokesman. "Social science students will mostly be placed in HR or marketing roles. The arts students we struggled with for a while but then we discovered this whole sector called 'the creative industries' so we're pretty sure we can offload them."

But it is with philosophy students that Serco has had the most trouble. Eventually they located a small, somewhat barren island off the coast of Scotland in need of labourers to till the rocky, unyielding soil. "It's very isolated there and there's not much to do besides philosophise," explained Serco. "So what with philosophy graduates being otherwise economically inactive we figured it was a good match." One philosophy student, asked to comment on the plan, cryptically referred to it as a 'valid metaphor'.

Meanwhile DHL say that they have been working on streamlining the delivery processes even more since submitting their bid. "We asked some economics students to help us, and it turns out that if you don't put airholes in the boxes, and you don't give the package - sorry, person - any food or drink, you can actually save a lot of money. It does mean that about one in every six hundred dies of asphyxiation, and about one in every two thousand dies of thirst, but even factoring in the revenue losses it still works out cheaper for us."

However in an ironic twist it will only be economics graduates transported in this low-cost manner. "We discovered that it breaches human rights or something," said a DHL spokesman, "But then we looked into it further and realised that human rights don't cover economists. Since the triumph of the Chicago School within the discipline it turns out they aren't human any more - they have all been transmogrified into robotic drones for a fundamentalist ideology. So that will save us some money."

DHL has also won the contract to find new homes for lecturers and professors who are likely to undermine ratings in the new 'Research Excellence Framework'. Again they have had trouble finding somewhere to transport those with an inability to adjust to the new culture of 'excellence' and 'value' within universities. Eventually a home was found for them in Timbuktu, Mali. "We know it sounds like the punchline to a cheap joke," said a spokesman. "But it turns out Timbuktu had this ancient and - dare I say it - old-fashioned university, where knowledge and learning were valued as good things in themselves. We thought they'd feel at home there." The transport of inefficient faculty members will begin sometime in 2011.

The government has said it is pleased that universities are now going to have more contact with such a successful company as DHL, and already many university presidents, provosts, deans and rectors see the company as an example to universities. "We long for the day when we too can be as efficient as DHL," said Sir Keith O'Nions, Rector of Imperial College. "In fact I'm a little jealous of their motto and I've wondered if they'd mind us using it: Excellence. Simply Delivered. So you see we're effectively in the same business. I think this will be a great partnership."

Saturday, 13 November 2010

We Are All Windows Now

A diverse and vibrant community worthy of the protection of the state
In the wake of the minor facebook viral success of my National Day of Mourning declared for windows of Millbank Tower (I say minor - this blog is usually just read by my friends so it has boosted traffic way above the norm. Hello to all the lovely people I don't know and please do sign up to the feed or Twitter updates) I am pleased to see that people have begun to recognise the key part that windows play in our political life. Someone has even created a facebook page Become a Window (G'wan, say you 'like' it).

Upon reading this it struck me that we have reached an important moment in the history of British politics: the moment when the British people, tired of being treated as mere statistics and objects by their 'superiors', can finally get their revenge by becoming objects. While on the face of it this plan appears counter-intuitive, even crazy, it is actually the best thing to happen in British politics since Thatcher died (Editor's note: she's not quite dead yet, despite haunting us all - please amend for final post). The beauty of it is that, by becoming windows (or other object of your choice) we will in one fell swoop qualify ourselves for (a) the protection of the courts (b) the protection of the police and (c) the blind affections of journalists.

As windows then we will no longer be abused by the police and their arbitrary powers, we will be able to assert our right to a life of ease and leisure sitting within a supportive frame, and above all our voice will be heard within public political discussion. On these building blocks I am fairly sure we can reconstruct politics in Britain from the ground up. From the mindless oppression of the windows of Millbank Tower then it appears that some good has come, their shattering sacrifice has not been in vain - all that is required is that each of us stand up and say 'I am a window too!'

Friday, 12 November 2010

National Day of Mourning declared for windows of Millbank Tower

An extremist lets everyone down
In the aftermath of the student riots, and as the nation surveys in horror the wreckage of Millbank Tower, Westminster, the Prime Minister today announced that there was to be a National Day of Mourning for the lower windows of Millbank Tower. He spoke in Parliament with quiet dignity and a solemn demeanor to announce the Day of Mourning, saying that "Every shard of glass from those windows cut me to my very soul."

"We are all horrified at the loss of these windows and the vicious, mindless aggression that caused it, and this day will help people going through the different stages of grief," he went on to say. "In particular my heart goes out to the nation's journalists, who seem utterly inconsolable. It touches my heart that those who have been so stoical in the face of the cuts we have made, cuts that will result in mental health problems, family breakups, homelessness, stress, and even death, have yet dug deep within their hearts to express pain, disappointment and grief at the loss of those fine windows, once polished proudly every day by our minimum wage cleaning contractors."

The Prime Minister went on to pay tribute to Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students. "The temptation must have been so strong," he said, "To stand behind those he represents and their expression of dissatisfaction and rage. Instead he too felt deep compassion for those simple, innocent panes of glass. There goes a true man, thought I, when I saw him refuse the temptation to say that we deserved it."

At several points during the speech the Prime Minister almost gave way to his emotions, even brushing away a tear at one point as he spoke of the tenacity of journalists who "by their refusal to distinguish between violence against people and violence against property, are making a stand for the rights of windows everywhere."

The Prime Minister went on to thank all those who, while denouncing the violent demonstrators, had never once referred to his own cutbacks as violent, nor his waging of war in Afghanistan, nor his refusal to roll back the anti-terrorist laws that grant the police more power than ever before. "It is these fine distinctions in definition," he said, "And it is in the beautiful poetry of asymmetrical denunciation, that civilisation thrives. Me, I like civilisation. It's worked so well for me. So thank you."

The National Day of Mourning for Millbank's Windows will be this Tuesday, 16th of November. When asked after the speech whether people would get the day off work for the Day of Mourning the Prime Minister's spokesman quickly made it clear that this would not be the case. "We're trying to get people to work more, not less," he said. "Just mourn in your hearts, okay? And get on with your work. It's what the windows would have wanted."

Monday, 8 November 2010

What to think about...The Olympics

Once you've seen it as Lisa giving Bart a blow job you never see anything else 
Behold! Another in my educational series of posts called "What to think about..." Their purpose is to summarise correct thinking and help steer people clear of obvious mental pitfalls. They are presented in a bullet-pointed style because management consultants tell us that no subject in the world is too complex to summarise in bullet points, and having seen one recently explain the causes of the Oxfordshire Rising of 1596 I'm inclined to agree.

  • The Olympics provides entertainment to millions of people, like X-factor
  • It creates peace between nations, like the UN, but by fast running and leaping and throwing rather than by talking and wearing blue helmets
  • World Peace for £7bn is a right bargain, particularly compared to the UN
  • The area it will be in will benefit from investment, even if it is investment in stadiums rather than, say, houses, or schools, or hospitals, and in fact throws people out of their homes for said stadiums
  • Children will be inspired to pursue excellence in sport, as they are encouraged to pursue excellence in all things, particularly if they go to academies, and fuck you little Josh if you just aren't excellent at anything
And now, unsporting thoughts such as might be harboured by losers and other inexcellent types:
  •  The world is hardly struggling to create light entertainment and it can be done a lot cheaper than by holding the Olympics. If you released an over-excited guinea-pig on the dancefloor during a Strictly Come Dancing episode it would entertain everyone as much as a gold medal in the javelin. Cost of a guinea-pig: £5. Cost of a caffeine pill to feed to the guinea-pig: 20p. Total cost: £5.20.
  • If you object to drug-fuelled family entertainment that's the Olympics out the window isn't it? Though of course if no one gets caught we can all pretend it isn't happening.
  • As far as I can see the people who really benefit from this huge expenditure of public money are property developers, building contractors, advertisers, providers of outsourced services, management consultants, politicians who get to strut around looking important, and media commentators who have so little to say that they are desperate for a chance to fake excitement about a man running a hundred metres.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Intrepid journalists do battle with facts in national media

The ever-tranquil British populace at play
Observers of the national media have in recent weeks noticed an interesting and heroic trend among journalists and commentators in the press, on television and even on the radio. The heroic efforts have been directed against a remorseless and tireless enemy: historical facts. The battlefield has been the question of whether British people are the sort of people who might take to the streets in violent opposition to abusive or incompetent leaders, and the plucky underdogs in the media seem surprisingly sure of their ground.

"It's very clear that the British aren't like the French," said one commentator indistinguishable from all the others. "We simply have no history of demonstrating like the French do. It's pretty much their first reaction to anything - to go out and protest. While British people just sort of sit at home and moan a bit. That's why the French had a revolution and we didn't."

At present the journalists and commentators appear to be winning the battle, but historical facts, needing neither food nor drink nor cocaine in order to keep going, have a habit of making a comeback when least expected. We await the outcome with baited breath

In the meantime, since triflingoffence aims to entertain as well as inform, we have, in a burst of altruism, devised a quiz for journalists who have repeated themselves so often they must be on the verge of killing themselves to end the boredom. The fun-filled task is to trace the source and historical context of the following quotes from history. The only tool necessary is Google which, judging from the quality of their output, most journalists are more than familiar with.
We see that things have now come to extremities, and we will prove the extremity. We will rend down the hedges, fill up ditches, and make a way for every man into the common pasture. Finally, we will lay all even with the ground, which they, no less wickedly than cruelly and covetously, have enclosed.
Still, enclosure is the kind of thing that people forget in a hurry, like Big Brother contestants.
One thing I must tell you more..... 
Break in pieces quickly the Band of particular Property, disown this oppressing Murder, Opression and Thievery of Buying and Selling of Land, owning of landlords and paying of Rents and give thy Free Consent to make the Earth a Common Treasury without grumbling.....that all may enjoy the benefit of their Creation.
The language of the two above gives away their age, but some of the themes tend to crop up repeatedly.
We are bowed down under a load of taxes; which, notwithstanding, fall greatly short of the wants of our rulers; our traders are trembling on the verge of bankruptcy; our workmen are starving; capital brings no profit and labour no remuneration; the home of the artificer is desolate, and the warehouse of the pawnbroker is full; the workhouse is crowded and the manufactory is deserted. We have looked upon every side, we have searched diligently in order to find out the causes of a distress so sore and so long continued. We can discover none, in nature, or in providence. Heaven has dealt graciously by the people; but the foolishness of our rulers has made the goodness of God of none effect.
It seems unfair to rely on such studied rhetorical flourishes, so over to someone who never indulged in such things.
It is a conflict which, if it is fought out to a conclusion can only end in the overthrow of parliamentary government or its decisive victory.
Ho hum. And finally, a first hand report.
Another rush from the crowd, running madly. Somebody grabbed me from behind. I spun around. "It’s alright, it's only me". A friend thank god. Hands held. "Don’t run, that’s what they want". I’m running because I don’t want to get trampled. We get out of the crowd for a breather, talking excitedly, then look down the road to see smoke billowing out, something’s on fire. The news spread quickly down to us, "What's burning?" "South Africa House", "South Africa House has gone up in flames". Sheer ecstasy. The joy on people's faces as this news spread.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Osborne: 'A multi-class society has failed - it's time to try integration'

Solidarity of the declasse
In a landmark speech to parliament yesterday the Chancellor George Osborne announced that he believes that the 'multi-class' experiment has failed. "The middle classes don't talk to the working classes because they're scared of them. The working classes don't talk to the middle classes because they think they've got a broomstick stuck up their arse. I don't know about your criteria for failure, but that meets mine."

The Chancellor's solution is a radical one: he is to abolish the middle classes and integrate them into one great 'melting pot' of workers, who will work longer hours, with less job security, for more years, and for less pensions than ever before. "I think worker's solidarity is a lovely thing," said Osborne. "And with the help of my policies there's going to be a whole lot more of it, because no one will be putting on airs and graces when they get their house repossesed."

Osborne also suggesting that the expanded working class be renamed the 'working and not working class', since this will also vastly increase the number of people in what some have dubbed his 'super-class'. "The Tory party is and always has been the party of 'inclusivity'," he explained. "And it seems unfair that a large percentage of the population of the country who could be working would be excluded simply because there isn't any work to be had except for bailiffs and soldiers."

However critics of the new class 'integration' claim that Osborne is being less than honest with his claim that 'we are all in this class together'. "I hate to have to point this out," said one commentator who didn't wish to be named for fear of being thought a raving Commie, "But there's one class still not integrated in this super-class - which I think is a lovely idea by the way - and that's the class beginning with 'U'. If Osborne isn't sure what it is or where to find it, I'll give him directions to the Cabinet meeting room and a mirror to place on the table."

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats responded to criticisms of the 'super-class': "Yes, there has been a lot of naysaying. We may have been naysayers ourself once upon a time. We have the capacity to change, and to say yea as well as nay, sometimes in the same week. There's nothing wrong with that, or with anything, if you ask us at the right time of day. Getting the right time of day is kind of tricky I admit, particularly since I couldn't tell you what right or wrong is any more, or the difference between yes and no, and, wait...what was I talking about? Yes, the elimination of the middle class. Thumbs up from us!"