More transcripts from our bug in the Ministry of Misinformation, Whitehall
Sir: “Morning, Perkins. You look a bit perturbed this morning …”
Perkins: “ Good morning, Sir …. well, it’s the economic news …”
Sir: “Oh come on Perkins … swings and roundabouts, economic cycles, what goes around comes around and all that.”
Perkins: “Yes, but it seems we’re in the longest recession since records began.”
Sir: “Records, Perkins? Well, of course they’re there to be broken, and if anyone can do it, the Labour Government certainly can! Come on, cheer up – it’s just a spot of fiscal turbulence … in six months we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about ….”
Perkins: “Six months?”
Sir: “Well, nine months then … the PM has promised an end to the recession in 2010.”
Perkins: “Some are saying that government promises about the economy aren’t worth the paper they’re written on …”
Sir: “Well, he only said it, Perkins. I don’t think he actually wrote it down as evidence, so to speak.”
Perkins: “But he also said Britain was better placed than other European countries to weather the recession, and now look at France and Germany! My old schoolmate Snuggs down in Southern Germany says there is no sign of a recession – boarded-up and charity shops as rare as unicorns, BMWs, Mercedes and Audis whizzing back and fro’ to Munich – not a banger to be seen, immaculate countryside …. the only black spot is farmers whingeing about the low price of milk.”
Sir: “Perkins, I’ve told you before, that’s Germany … you can’t apply the same standards of comparison to Britain …. as for posh cars, well, they make them don’t they? They probably have a surplus and so are flogging them off cheap.
Perkins: “But what about the sinking £, Sir? It’s now just hovering around parity with the euro – a year ago it was well above it. It’s very worrying …”
Sir: “Perkins …. I believe you’ve never studied economics, have you? that’s just the way it is. The German currency always goes up relative to the £. I remember when I was at school it was 11DM to the £.
Perkins: “But it’s not the German currency, Sir, it’s the euro.
Sir: “Don’t be silly, Perkins. The euro is 90% the Deutschmark in reality. But I wouldn’t worry about the falling £: it’s great for our exports. Besides, it hasn’t fallen relative to people in Britain. The £ in your pocket has maintained its value. Old Harold Wilson had a good understanding of relativity …. our whole approach is based on the principles of Einstein himself.”
Perkins: “But won’t commodities rise, Sir? After all, we depend on imports for practically everything.”
Sir: Aha! But that’s good for restraining consumption … we must consume less, Perkins, if we are to save the planet.
Perkins: “But the PM is banking on increased growth to save the economy, so how can we have increased growth and lower consumption, Sir? I don’t understand!”
Sir: “As I said before, Perkins, you’re not an economist – or a politician, come to that …..”
Perkins: “But they’re saying that we are borrowing billions just to cover current expenditure rather than spending it long-term infrastructure projects.”
Sir: “Ah … now you’re getting a bit technical, Perkins … you really must avoid jargon … after all, this is the Ministry of Misinformation ….”
Perkins: “Well, I can’t help being worried, Sir.”
Sir: “Enough of this nonsense, Perkins. The economy is booming … have you been to Harrods lately? Absolutely packed ….”
Perkins: “Yes Sir, with Arabs and Russian oligarchs ….”
Sir: “Well, look on the bright side, Perkins at least they’re spending their money over here rather than in their own countries ….. besides, where would the Premiership be without their money …. come on, Perkins – let’s have a cup of tea and forget about all this economic nonsense … we have some misinformation to sort out …””