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Breaking News: UK Government to Cut Time by One Third November 17, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Knockabout, Life.
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IN ANOTHER DAZZLING DISPLAY OF BRILLIANCE the UK Government has announced plans for a new round of cuts, this time to time itself. To help reduce the economic deficit, hours will be reduced by one third to only 40 minutes. In order to ensure that most people don’t realise that they’re being short-changed, minutes will also be reduced by one third to only 40 seconds, whilst — by an amazing feat of quantum mechanics — seconds will be lengthened by one half.

At a Press Conference held earlier today, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, explained how the new time system will be brought into play:

This is something that we as Liberal Democrats have long anticipated. It’s a sophisticated calculation but can actually be explained quite simply: if you take a second and add another half-second you end up with a time span that’s one third longer than the original. You then apply the temporal dilation principle to squeeze the extended second into the original temporal space and that space expands to accommodate it in much the same way that we Liberal Democrats keep expanding our manifesto to give the Tories everything they want without actually compromising any of our core commitments. It’s a very elegant solution which means that I get to remain as Deputy Prime Minister for twice as long as the Coalition itself exists whilst David triples his power base and eventually takes up residence in Buckingham Palace leaving me to run the country. We can, as David has said, be immensely proud of how far we have come — and with time even shorter for you but longer for me, we’ll be going even further.

Speaking more specifically about the cuts, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

By shortening hours to only 40 minutes, more people will be able to work more hours whilst still taking home the same pay. This will reduce unemployment at the same time as reducing the need for employers to give their workers breaks. Paying people the same for working shorter days will be offset by devaluing the pound by 50%, which means people will be able to buy less for the same money and will thus be incentivised to work harder, faster and longer in order to earn more. To offset the currency devaluation the British economy will be floated on the international stock exchange. We expect China to make a successful bid and should therefore be able to introduce greater levels of poverty and slave labour within a very short time frame, shortened even further by the shortened hours. I think we can call that a result, don’t you?

Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, elaborated:

This is a very far-reaching policy that will impact upon all of our lives to ensure that the rich continue to get richer whilst the poor get poorer until they are so poor that they simply vanish from the face of the earth, apart from a few who will still be needed for cleaning duties. We have worked out that people will work, on average, twice as fast as they do now in order to achieve the same amount in a reduced time span. This will lead to increased stress levels, heart attacks and premature death which will represent considerable savings on the pensions bill. At the same time we expect the elderly to degenerate faster as they simply won’t know what’s hit them: you get to a certain age and time flies by anyway; this system will make time fly even faster and they’ll age faster without noticing. Within half their anticipated pensionable lifespan most of them will be dead. The ramifications are enormous, almost as big as my ego, and I am therefore delighted to be changing my name — officially — to Iain Bunkum Smith. If anyone argues with me I’ll tell them they’re speaking absolute bunkum and that will be the end of it, especially if they’re a BBC Today Programme presenter attempting to ask searching questions. If you’re my friend you can call me IBS.

George Osborne continued:

IBS is quite right. Even eternity will be affected because it will arrive sooner than expected for most people, especially asylum seekers, the homeless, poor, weak, vulnerable, anyone on benefits and anyone who is mentally ill or whom we, for whatever arbitrary reason, simply do not like. We have further ascertained that due to the quantum mechanics involved even God cannot escape: his job title will be reduced by one third. We gave him the choice of becoming known as Od or Go and he explained that since most people think he’s pretty odd anyway, he’d prefer to go for Go — which also happens to be my initials. Unfortunately because of the time dilation effect we don’t have time for any questions but you may now worship at my feet and a mandatory collection will be taken as we all sing a rousing hymn.

Now go read about the impact this government’s cuts are having in real life:

To opt out of politics is to opt out of life April 13, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs.
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In fact, I’ll go further than that: opting out of politics is not an option, it’s capitulation. To opt out is to cop out, to surrender, to abdicate responsibility, to give in.

But don’t worry: this isn’t going to degenerate into one of those terminally boring posts that tries to emotionally blackmail you into voting. I myself may or may not vote in the forthcoming election, but either way I most certainly won’t be signing up to Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Promise to Vote‘ campaign or supporting any of the other coercive voting campaigns. Because politics is about far more than voting: voting is merely the tip of the iceberg — a tip that can, of course, become a tipping point, but which can also become a tripping point, a point at which people can say, “That’s it, job done, duty completed.” Cast your vote and walk away — and that, I think, is more of an abdication than taking a principled stand by refusing to vote when there is no candidate worthy of the vote.

And that’s part — only part, please note — of the problem I’m up against: I’ve yet to see anything from any of the parties that makes me want to vote for them — especially when I know full well that whoever I vote for, the party that finally gains control of our supposedly democratic country will do so not with a majority but with the biggest minority. That’s not democracy, it’s certainly not a mandate from the people when most of us didn’t want that party in power, and I have no desire to support such an anti-democratic system. Suppose that I do vote and that the party I vote for wins against the wishes of the majority: what does that make me if not a co-dictator along with the party?

To me, a far more important principle than voting is freedom. That, I think, is what true democracy and politics are about: freedom; and that freedom must necessarily include the right to withhold your vote as much as to bestow it. Then afterwards, after the fuss has died down, to get back to business by standing up to whichever bunch of clowns gain this country’s inglorious crown.

Don’t be fooled: there’s more to politics and democracy than the ballot box. It’s not how we vote or who we vote for that counts: it’s how we live in between times. Don’t vote with the ballot box: vote with your life.

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