Written by bunnyhugger

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


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image for Community Unites against Big Society
'You're all in the shit together.'

Nohope Estate, Slagheap, Northumberland: Our reporter accompanies Condescensia Smugspeak as she takes the Big Society initiative to this bleak repository for the underclass, several members of which are standing aimlessly around in the concrete open area outside the tower blocks.

Three Youths are standing at some distance from and occasionally glaring at each other. Asking the name of the nearest one, who sports a crewcut and Union Jack tattoos, Smugspeak gets the reply 'Who wants to know?'

'I'm your Community Organizer, Condescensia Smugspeak, but you can call me Connie! And you are -?'

'I go by "Pitbull".'

Establishing that the two other Youths are called Roop and Damon, she informs them about the new Citizen Service programme that Young People are eligible for, with outdoor activities and all manner of worthy civic endeavours on offer.

'You're not getting me into no fucking Boy Scout camp,' replies Roop; 'Right on, mate,' says Pitbull; 'Word!' says Damon.

So she next informs a Stout Matron whose name, it turns out, is Bertha Iggotry, of a meeting on Friday night to set up a volunteer police force for the estate.

'Fridays I go to Devil Worship,' objects Mrs Iggotry.

'But I'm sure you'd like to do something to control these young tearaways who make going out in the evening a terrifying ordeal!'

'No ordeal, Missus, the darkness is me element.'

'But don't you want to put a stop to all the graffiti that disfigure your environment?'

'What you got against graffiti?' shouts Damon. 'They the spontaneous expression of the inchoate aspirations of the masses!' 'Right on, mate,' says Roop; 'Hear, hear,' says Pitbull.

'Well - possibly, if they're tastefully executed and have a valid point to make. In fact, I have a Banksy handbag at home, and I'll BRING it to SHOW you next time I come! … It's just the vulgar ones that we don't like, such as "Daredevils rule OK", ha ha.'

As the Youths hang their heads in vicarious shame at this archaism, Smugspeak, undaunted, turns to a Weedy Little Man wearing camouflage trousers and an 'Ian's Stag - Beirut, 2004' T-shirt. 'How about you, sir? Wouldn't you like to be on the graffiti-cleaning-up team?'

'You must be joking. I lost my cleaning job with the Council and now you're telling me to clean up for nothing.'

'But that's the beauty of it! We've got to get out of our materialistic ways of thinking, because it's that that's brought about the Deficit! Oh well, … and what's your name, dear?' persists the Community Organizer, addressing a Young Mother with two children in a double buggy and three school-age children hovering behind her.

'Fiona Feckless and the Feral Five here, what I had by seven different men, and don't ask.'

'With your experience, I'm sure you'd like to run a creche for the other mums here while they tidy up the grounds, since you're obviously a non-working Benefit Breeder, I mean Single Parent, and have nothing to do all day.'

(Loud laughter from the Stout Matron.) 'Me look after more kids?' protests Feckless. 'Are you out of your tiny mind?' 'Well said, dear!' cries Mrs. Iggotry.

Ever hopeful, Smugspeak appeals to the remaining stander-around, a Withered Crone. 'It's good to see you out and about,' she begins compassionately.

'I just like to get out of that box room they put me in for under-occupancy,' explains the Crone. 'It's easier to manage, like they said, and if I stand sideways I can even stretch my arms out all the way. But I just get a bit worried about the handles on the outside.'

'In that case, I'm sure you'd like to do your bit for our community programme, so you can feel like a useful citizen instead of an expensive lump of decaying flesh that the world would be better off without, wouldn't you? - No? - No? … Well, I hope all you people will talk it over, because on Saturday afternoon I'm coming back, and guess who I'm bringing - the Prime Minister himself, who will be delighted to meet you all!'

So the whole gathering goes into a huddle, and as they discuss her proposals, the Community Organizer is thrilled to hear someone say, 'We're all in this together.'

Come Saturday, our reporter follows Smugspeak and Cameron, who find that the entire estate seems to have turned out to greet them. 'This is truly inspiring,' declares the PM. 'Young and old, black, brown, and white, poor and - er, poor, all gathered together to serve their community and free themselves from the dead hand of the state!'

But at a nudge from the suddenly worried-looking Smugspeak, Cameron registers the expressions on the faces of the assemblage, notices placards saying 'Busybodies Piss Off' and 'No Wages, No Work', and hears a wave of muttering spreading through the crowd, in which the words 'rope' and 'lamppost' are prominent - and remembers an urgent appointment somewhere else.

'Don't worry, Prime Minister,' Smugspeak consoles him as they hurry away, 'Despite a certain amount of cognitive dissonance, I think we've planted a seed.'

'Indeed,' he agrees graciously. 'After all, it takes time to mend a broken society.'

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: Society

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