The British Prime Minister said today that as part of his new plan for the economy, he intended to revive the 'Workhouse Model'. This meant that individuals and families would have somewhere to go when they became destitute or had their houses repossessed.
The aim of the new workhouses will be to make products that can no longer be produced because of the declining economy and the resulting factory closures. With shutdowns set to continue, the production of items like Minis and Sanyo TVs, Burberry Clothes and HP Sauce may rely on the new scheme. With UK production figures at their lowest for many years, Workhouses are seen by many as the way forward.
Workhouses were very popular in the 1800s, providing bed, hard manual work and gruel in unsanitary conditions for hundreds of thousands of paupers.
The new Workhouses, claims Gordon Brown, will be a very different matter. Designed along the lines of our high-security prisons, they will house bankrupts and the homeless in 'suites'; six foot by eight foot rooms with easy-access toilet facilities. Each worker will be expected to perform 12-15 hours of labour per day, with no days off. There will be three Pot-Noodle meals a day, with 'lights-out' at 22:00.
"Think Guantanamo Bay with hard labour and no torture", he said.
When asked what was different from the 1800s version, the PM said "Pot Noodles. They weren't invented until 1979."
"Workhouses of the twenty-first century will help to reduce the burden of healthcare and pensions for a sector of the community that does not really need them", said Mr Brown, "They will be giving something back to the country at a time when we must all do our bit."