Thursday, 13 September 2012

Quantitative Easing - Friday Flash

The man was bigger than he had adjudged from TV and newspapers. Not that it made any difference really. He wasn't sufficiently anatomically apprised to be making adjustments in his thrust.

He would only get one stab at this. Whether it proved to be fatal or not was irrelevant, it would certainly prove cataclysmic. And injurious of course, it had to prove injurious to him. But this wasn't to be a frenzy and a flurry. Self-control had to be maintained in full. His act had to buy him an audience with the man. For he was too grandiose of office to attend to his constituents in his weekend surgeries, but had lackeys do it for him.

Besides he himself wasn't a constituent, not in this affluent neck of the woods. Once, when he still believed in Parliamentary Democracy, he'd written to an MP who was introducing a Private Member's Bill which was utterly oppressive to certain sections of society. The MP had curtly replied, telling him to take it up with his own local MP. He then wrote back again to say that since this was his own personal piece of legislation, he ought to shoulder the responsibility of answering all correspondence arising from it. The MP never did him the courtesy of a second reply.

That was the thing about our representatives, other than once every five years, they didn't really give the populace the time of day. And yet they proclaimed we were all in it together. This was errant nonsense of course. Even in times of a booming economy, there was a rump of the deprived and dispossessed. Left utterly cut off from any trickle down of wealth and which the government continued to neglect and positively shun even when blessed with resources to try and re-embosom them. But now of course, in time of total economic misery, those struggling and suffering become swelled in number. The rump is now formed of those insulated by their wealth and protected by alarm systems and steel gates.

Well, with a humble three inches of flashing steel, an implement we used to manufacture for ourselves only the factories and ore plants were sold off for scrap the last time this Party were the government, he was going to demonstrate that they could not hope to remain separate and aloof any more. That's why the knife was so apposite. Him holding the handle at one end, his target snagged at the blade's point. There was no dodging that indelible connection.

He leaped out at his target and thrust hard. The man's shock seemed to be still interlaced with looking down his nose at his assailant's breach of decorum. But then he started bursting out in sweat and his nose seemed to be dissolving, much indeed like a toffee. His shirt may have been blue, but his blood wasn't. The two men were ineluctably merged, the man's blood staining his own jeans. Right, the conjunction made, his captive audience skewered on the end of his tempered steel, time to cut to the point.

"As Chancellor of The Exchequer, what is it that you can do? Quantitative easing, but only to a limited degree, because we don't want to sink into the state of Weimar Germany and have to cart a wheelbarrow of banknotes around just to buy a loaf of bread. Then there's all those foreign junkets you take, parachuting in a Royal Prince, in the hope of landing some lucrative foreign contract. Nice work if you can get it. Don't see a lot of trickle down to the likes of me though. Maybe if I worked in an arms factory. And then third, since there's really not a lot you can do to foster growth, instead you look to make cutbacks and savings. The economics of austerity behoving the soothing mantra that we're all in it together. Only what services do you choose to cut? The NHS, but if you don't die on me, it won't be their services you'll be calling on will you? The police, god last summer's riots should have shown you what that leads to, feel secure now do you? There's blood on your manicured lawn here. Drains, Trains and water supplies, how can we a first world country that receives so much rainfall be suffering drought? Immigration officers made redundant so that any terrorist is almost free to wonder through overburdened passport control. And tax inspectors, so that corporations and your rich pals get off paying virtually nothing. Yet in their chronic mismanagement of the economy, still they award themselves unspeakable bonuses and pay rises, because they're private businesses and your government refuses to intervene in their affairs. Find the money from them. if they don't like it and hightail it for foreign climes, then they won't clog up the queues of people waiting to get back in the country then will they?"

The man was trying to speak, but his words were being serrated by his labouring breath, which the other noted was less than perfumed. When they did emerge as a croak, this was not the plummy, rarefied voice he was used to hearing pronounce from the Despatch Box in Parliament.

"War-ter... War-ter-nnn..."

Still no please or thank you the other thought to himself, but the tone was less than imperious and scarcely imperative.

"Do I look as though I'm the type of person who can afford to indulge in buying bottled water? I'm told that explorers can drink their own urine in extremis, but if I unzipped my trousers here and now, I think it would send out the wrong message entirely. I don't want to humiliate you, as much as equalise you. Quantitative equalising it might even be called. Besides, I don't have a silver spoon to ladle the water between your lips, while yours seems to have dropped out somewhere in the grass".

The man slumped forward into the arms of his adversary.

"See I here and now renounce my citizenship of the country you have been charged with the privilege of overseeing. I feel what few rights and benefits to membership of such a civilised society have been progressively stripped away by you and your ilk, so that there is simply nothing left worthy of subscribing to. No values and no value. Consider this severance as my notice to quit."

The man silently bubbled some blood on to the hand holding the knife. He took it for a seal of accord.

Yes, we are finally all in this together he thought to himself as he gently lowered him to the ground, the man's head resting in his lap. He was bleeding out like the country had too. He waited for the police to arrive, though with the drastic reductions to manpower, he expected a rather long wait.


Steve Green said...

Oh boy, what a scathingly accurate take on many of the things wrong with this country.

A brilliant piece of writing Marc, I enjoyed every word of it.

And after all... We ARE all in this together... aren't we? :)

Aaron said...

Quite a deep, extremely well-written piece. Nothing more ill-mannered than a student bleeding out while the lesson is being taught!

Virginia Moffatt said...

Good job this is fiction, I expect there's more than one person in this country who'd like to do this. Nice wordplay with steel.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I rather think your fictional politician got the point (Sorry)

You do razor sharp commentary rather well.