Quentin Kelp MP - The Eurozone & Sainsbury's

Written by tjmstroud

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Dear Constituents

What a hectic week and it's only Wednesday.

My theme today is Europe and so my Newsletter is full of complicated statistics that might only be full appreciated by my constituents with a decent education.

So, for the majority of you (and that includes that upstart who thinks he's in with a chance to take over from me at the next election) I'll try to simplify things.

After all, this is what you have elected me for - to be your torch bearer, ready to lead you towards the light at the end of the dark tunnel. I do this by lighting a candle of inspiration and shining its bright but flickering light into the dim and dusty corners and by driving forward, picking my way fearlessly through the dark jungle of life by being the only one in Krupton who can see the wood for the trees.

I've actually only got a few short paragraphs to resolve the Eurozone crisis but since visiting Sainsbury's I now feel well qualified to offer my opinion on how to sort out this mess.

Like my son, Hector, I do like a bowl of Coco Pops to munch while I look at the front pages of the morning newspapers but being down to the last Coco Pop in my London flat last night I called into Sainsbury's for another pack and a carton of fresh milk.

Another characteristic of Hector is that he walks along streets trying to avoid the cracks in the paving stones and counting them. He has inherited this mathematical genius from me because I will only enter a supermarket if I can avoid going up and down every row looking for the item I need - in the case of last night, breakfast cereals. On entering the supermarket I invariably carry out some mathematical calculations albeit far more advanced ones than Hector has yet been taught.

Last night, as usual, I stood at the entrance, scanned the rows from a safe distance, studied the signs hanging from the overhead air-conditioning pipes and aimed straight for the breakfast cereals. This method not only saves time but invariably works out much cheaper. It also confirms I am a man, not a woman and so can navigate properly, find the shortest possible route and make purchases quickly and on the basis of genuine need and affordability and not a whim (see my weekend newsletter).

But as I stood and scanned the rows from the entrance last night I noticed there were 27 rows, exactly the same as the number of members of the EU. Not only that, but there were 17 rows that had orange signs. Clearly these represented the 17 members of the Eurozone. The remaining 10 signs were red and clearly represented the more sensible members who have held back from this democratic mockery.

Fortunately, the sign for Breakfast Cereals hung over one of the 10 sensible non-Eurozone rows. Had it hung over one of the 17 Eurozone rows I may well have decided to go for toast for breakfast instead as the Bread sign hung over one of the 10 non-Eurozone rows.

However, once I'd spotted the Breakfast Cereals row I aimed straight for it, plucked a family size box of Coco Pops from the shelf and made my way to the checkout.

Imagine my shock then to find that I was also expected to operate the till. It may have been after 6pm but it seems that all the staff had gone home or had been moved to shelf stacking duties and all shoppers were required to use the self-service check out. But do you see my point?

Even though I had got my Coco-Pops from one of the 10 non-Eurozone rows I was still expected to do something in order to subsidise the larger grouping of 17 Eurozone rows.

Now I object to self-service anyway, ever since they were introduced at petrol stations. For one thing if we were to do away with self-service and revert to manned systems we'd create at least 10,000 new jobs in petrol stations alone and no-one would object if they had to pay a few pence more to be able to sit inside the car in the warm whilst a properly attired attendant dealt with the filling process. School leavers would flock to fill these positions if incentivised by the opportunity to boost their income by cleaning your windscreen or checking your oil and screen wash for a tip.

The way things are going at supermarkets the shelf stacking will soon be done by robots and checkouts replaced by self-service computers. The supermarkets claim it is to improve efficiency and save time. In my experience the queues at self-service tills are getting longer and do you know why? It's because you can get away with not scanning the odd Mars bar or even leg of New Zealand lamb if you're clever. But their real commercial plan is to increase profits for those in charge so that they get bigger bonuses.

And the same system applies to Europe. Claims and promises of improvements are replaced by reduced efficiency and increased costs and all we get is more bureaucracy. We've got self-service in Brussels already - it's run by self-serving unelected bureaucrats.

So, having self-purchased my pack of Coco Pops (and not even got a discount for having done all the work myself) I stood outside Sainsbury's and made the decision to call on the government to introduce a special tax on all businesses operating self- service systems. Not only that but I think we need a referendum on self-service check outs to be conducted at the same time as a referendum on continued membership of the EU.

This is the sort of highly innovative leadership thinking that I mentioned in my opening paragraph. Naturally, we won't be able to do any of this if we are part of a Eurozone block because we would have to comply with tax rules set by Germany.

Just look at the way Aldi and Lidl operate. If they move to self-service check-outs then the next thing is we'll be required to fill their shelves as well - and all for the sake of German efficiency.

Unfortunately, as I stood outside Sainsbury's pleased with myself for the speed at which I had seen the light I suddenly remembered I'd forgotten something and had to go back inside for the carton of milk.

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

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