"We speak for the lazy people of Britain," proclaimed Mr Hwye Botheughr, announcing the formation this week of the Unemployment Party, which will be contesting all seats at the next General Election. "We speak for those for whom work is a pit of hell."
Relaxing in his dilapidated council house with his partner, Scarlett McSlut, Botheughr spelled out an agenda which he described as a "ray of hope to this vast and hitherto neglected constituency."
There would be longer holidays, shorter hours, more frequent and longer tea breaks and lunch breaks, and an expansion of paid sick leave to cover conditions such as Hangover and Recreational Sleep Deprivation. Fast music played in workplaces to stimulate performance would be replaced by New Age meditation tapes.
Unemployment benefits and income support would be doubled, and claimants contemplating taking a job would be given a 15-day cooling-off period to reflect on whether such a drastic step would genuinely improve their quality of life. Strikes would become a thing of the past, because they would merely duplicate lack of effort.
Homework would be abolished and school attendance made optional for students and teachers alike. "If the kids want to learn something, there's such a thing as the public library, fergodsake, where they can negotiate their own cultural identity unmediated by contemporary academic paradigms. And for the very young," Botheughr continued, "we shall make a start by dropping the name 'Early Learning Centres', and re-naming the establishments in question 'Toyshops'."
Turning to the women's vote, our reporter invited comments on the old saying "Women's work is never done." "Precisely," interposed McSlut; "with the Unemployment Party in power, women's work will never be done because we won't sodding well do it."
Decent hardworking families (DuHuWuFs) would not be discriminated against, but would be helped by Workaholism Support Groups and Indolence Enhancement counseling, whenever the counselors felt like turning up.
The whole nation would benefit by the infrequent attendance at Westminster of Unemployment Party MPs, who would thus do less harm than the MPs of any other party. "We shall not give up valuable leisure time to think up new things to outlaw and ingenious punishments for people who do them. When dubious corporations want to lobby us, they'll have to find us first, and when they do, we'll listen politely and then go back to reading a book."
When Britain chooses its next government, the Unemployment Party will be sitting for office throughout the land. "Just drag yourselves to the polling station on election day," supporters were urged, "and you may never have to spend another miserable day at work. Together," Botheughr declared with barely suppressed emotion, "together we can bring this country to a complete standstill."