• Jean Rafferty


MEMORANDUM April 2020 From: Human Resources Department To: Prime Minister Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to pledge this department’s support following the disloyal questioning in the House of Lords of our policies on protecting the over 70s. We have to expect the Labour lot to be against us now that good old Tony Blair has gone, but Lord Lucas, a hereditary peer? It really is quite outrageous for him to challenge our thinking on this. I suspect he sees the clock ticking and is afraid that he himself will have to stay in lockdown when the rest of us are able to get out and about and enjoy our second homes. What a selfish approach to something we’re all in together.

It is quite clear to me that to make the fullest use of our human resources we must assess the resources’ value to us in the most clear-sighted and fair way. What use are people over 70, really? Forty percent of them may help with childcare but do we want our nation’s children being cared for by duffers like that?

We must look at this logically, PM. The one real contribution they make to the economy is the new fund-raising model for the NHS - Captain Tom and all the other old buggers walking round in circles and camping out in their gardens. That must be ring-fenced as essential work, though we have to look to the future on this and make provision for when they inevitably pop their clogs.

My modest proposal on that front would be to class child patients as essential workers. That way they will be contributing to their own care and ensuring that their leukaemia or muscular dystrophy has been for a purpose. Newspapers often run full double page spreads about these children but the profits are usually siphoned off to useless charities like Cancer Research. In future the sick kiddies will have to tell their stories to raise funds for the NHS. Only the pretty ones of course.

But I digress. This corona crisis has sharpened my department’s thinking and we are buzzing with new solutions to the problems in our society. What I wanted to discuss with you is the burden the old place on the rest of us. Now that we’re releasing the prison population we have spare accommodation and my latest modest proposal is that we use that for the over 70s, particularly the ones with dementia. They have no need of the luxury surroundings that care homes give them because, let’s face it, half the old ducks aren’t aware of what’s going on around them.

Prison staff are well trained in the use of equipment such as power hoses, which could be utilised to keep them clean. We’d have to ensure the officers weren’t over-enthusiastic as they normally use these things to quell riots, but I’m sure they’d soon get the hang of it. A bit of prison discipline would certainly toughen up the old codgers who keep insisting they’re fitter than they’ve ever been. I’m afraid some of them grew up in the Swinging Sixties, one of the more decadent eras we’ve been through, if the history books are to be believed. Not a useful period to anyone, I’m afraid. From the sound of it, it encouraged public disobedience and licentious behaviour, though between you and me, I do like a filly in those pelmets they call mini-skirts.

By relocating the over 70s to the prisons, we would free up the care homes to become luxury hotels, which would contribute to the whole of the economy instead of benefiting just one section of society. There remains the thorny question of how to relocate the prisoners. At the moment we are still negotiating the terms of the Public Order channel and the proposed pay-for-view public floggings. (It’s a pity the name Flog It! has been been taken by that damn antiques programme - it does have a rather snappy ring to it.) I expect some of the more colourful inmates to become media stars once we start creating reality shows like that jungle thingy or perhaps some of the extreme game shows the Japs used to go in for, where they competed to see who could hang up longest without tearing their nipples.

But we can’t deploy them all in the new TV channel, so perhaps we should re-institute another traditional solution, transportation. That sounds a bit better than deportation and, as you know, we have to get the interface with the public just right. No point in coming up with all these marvellous solutions if the optics aren’t right.

Now this has nothing at all with the fact that I invested in Virgin after our recent discussion, but Branson has a fleet of airliners and a couple of cruise ships hanging around going spare after his strategic withdrawal from Australia. I know I wanted him to use this capacity for what I call the Final Solution for the over 70s (though some geek in the department says this won’t go down well with the public as Hitler used that phrase in the Second World War) but these things take some time to set up and there will be plenty of luxury cruise liners going spare once we get through this tricky period.

We need to move fast and despatch the population of the prisons off in one form of transport or another. The airliners would have a proper send-off like a rocket launch and would then take the prisoners to some island in the middle of nowhere where they would have to use their survival skills to, well, survive. It would be the same with the cruise ships. They’d just keep cruising indefinitely until the fuel ran out.

I’d expect there to be turf wars over the cabins with sea views and gang lords taking over the supply chain, supervising fishing parties and meting out justice to prisoners who stepped out of line. I don’t need to tell you that crime and violence as entertainment go down very well on terrestrial television. It would be a surefire winner on our Public Order pay for view. Watch this space, PM. With best wishes, Jeremy Pictures courtesy of Pixabay