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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Yes, Mr Duncan Smith


“Well, Bernard” said Sir Humphrey, “how are you getting on with your new Minister?”
“Oh, Iain's OK but some of his policy ideas are a bit strange”
“A minister with policy ideas? Extraordinary!”
“Yes, he's had another idea to give benefit claimants an incentive to get into work”
Sir Humphrey shuddered
“After the row he had when he claimed the benefit cap had incentivised 8000 claimants to go out and get a job?”
“Yes, and despite the roasting he got from the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority for it”
“As I remember, I suggested you persuade him to talk about liars, damn liars and statisticians but you let him go all religious and say he believes he's right”
“I know, Sir Humphrey, I know!”
“So what is this latest idea?”
“Well, it's a bit of partnership working with the MOD”
“No Bernard! No, no, no! The army does not want the reintroduction of National Service, especially if it involves the unwashed and the unemployed!”
“I know that's a hardy perennial Sir Humphrey but this scheme is truly different”
“Really?”
“Iain's proposal is that anyone unemployed for more than a year is handed over to the Army and shot”
“Well, that's certainly a very strong incentive to get a job, Bernard but surely even he hasn't forgotten the Human Rights Act?”
“Not at all, that helps immensely”
“How so?”
“Well, as you rightly observe, the ever more annoying Human Rights nonsense would scupper an otherwise sensible and effective policy so adding weight to the idea we should abolish Human Rights”
“Well done,” Bernard said Sir Humphrey quietly “You're really getting the hang of politics at last”

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