Westminster today was inundated with a new type of homeless beggar, beggars that no longer just want a 'penny for the homeless' or for a 'cup of tea', but for luxury goods and services.
One down-and-out, dressed in a Saville Row suit and handmade leather shoes, shouted out 'Fahsand quid for a weekend in Italy, guv?!', and another had a sign with 'Genuinely Homeless, Down To Last Two Luxury Georgian Flats'.
This beggar, Jerry Adamski, said: 'Listen, mate, wot wiv the recession annat, and the guvment fiddling the books and wotnot, I 'ad to get me sign out, else I might 'ave 'ad to do somefink pretty drastic, like get a real job.'
'This begging lark's 'ard work, I tells you, it'd be easier to be an Irish freedom fighter that never accepted British taxpayers' cash than this! Got a smoked salmon sandwich on youse, to be sure?'
And another trampette, Hazy Memories, speaking through a hedgerow of artificially red hair, added: 'Do what? Listen, me old duck and needlework, it's us ladies and haddock and custards that made this country the great place it ain't, a corny rhubarb moose of snorkel and flippers.'
'If you lend as five pounds I'll buy you a pint of cods down the Old Gooseberry and Pencil Sharpener', which was about as helpful as anything Hazy Memories says, or 'a load of feeble bullshit and lies that wouldn't fool a two year-old', as Jerry Adamski more accurately put it.
Metropolitan Police were tolerant of the new species of beggar, and one officer, Sergeant Cameron Work-Shy, said: 'If the beggars give me a bit of their bish bosh every day, I'll leave them in peace. After all, it's not a criminal offence to get free holidays, meals, airfares, hotel stays, use of luxury cars, top quality food and drink, and a palace for your pet duck, is it?'
'It IS an offence if your taxes are all stolen, your house is repossessed, your job disappears, your health declines, your savings become worthless, and you turn to alcohol or heroin to block out the stress, and ask people on the street for money to feed your habit.'
Alastair Darling, MP, was unavailable for comment, and unavailable for anything except needing a map to find where his constituency in Edinburgh is. And overseeing the collapse of one of the world's biggest banking corporations. In Edinburgh.
Take the A1 to Berwick, Mr Darling, then turn left. And follow the 'Penny For The Homeless' signs, until you reach Edinburgh. Then tell the limousine driver he's been made redundant.