It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Mr Carney peered around the corner of the decrepit office block, a vein throbbing against his receding hairline, his fingers tightly clasping a briefcase containing information that was officially undesirable. The coast was clear. Swallowing hard, knowing he probably only had one chance, he ran. He scurried out from under what had acted as his home for the past few weeks, dashing across the deserted roads, heart beating in time with his frantic footfalls. High up above him was a church-like corporate structure, emblazoned with the three official maxims of the post-Brexit UK government:
POVERTY IS PROSPERITY
EXPERTISE IS IGNORANCE
MUMMY IS MUMMY
He reached cover underneath the front of what remained of a newsagent from across the office block, hands shaking uncontrollably. Creeping through the rubble, he tried to control his breathing, but any hope at success was quickly dashed by the sound of low voices and boots crunching through the broken bits of pavement. Terrified, he tried to leap into the back of the store – but leapt instead right in front of a member of the Mummy Militia.
The officer raised his standard-issue SA80 up to the governor of the Bank of England’s face.
“You’re Mark Carney, aren’t you?”
“What have you got in that briefcase?”
Carney heard a few more officers surround him from behind.
“P-papers,” he stammered. “Please, look – I…”
“I know you’re a good, decent man, just…trying to do his job,” he implored in a thin voice. “But – these papers have just got the facts, you understand? The truth about what is happening to our credit rating.”
The officer sniggered. The others grinned evilly around Carney.
“Heh. The facts? Who do you think you are – an expert?”
“Well…” mumbled Carney.
“This country has had enough of experts, Mr Carney.”
“Sir, please,” pleaded Carney. “Don’t you see what’s happening to Britain? Our economy is in tatters and…”
“Mummy banished pessimists!” barked the officer. “Pessimists aren’t allowed in our bright new British future. Mummy said they would be disciplined. That they would be fixed. And I think you’re a pessimist, Mr Carney.”
“No!” cried Carney helplessly. “No I’m not, I’m just, I’m just trying to help -”
“Enough,” said the officer flatly. His ugly thuggish face turned serious. “We’re going to take you to – the Glove of Compassion!”
“No. No. Please – no!”
While the Mummy Militia’s tank-like vehicle rumbled through the city streets, Carney heard the officers turn up the radio volume. The Mummy Song was beginning, and all the officers joined in enthusiastically. It was a sinister little ditty, sung to the tune of The Red Flag.
“Leadsom’s flag is a nice cool blue
She can be your Mummy – and your neighbour’s too.
Those journalists who lie and smear
about our leader – disappear!
So let’s rewire babies’ brains
While pessimists rot in chains
Family is the groundwork here…
(But you’ll be gone if you’re a queer).”
The nauseated Carney gazed up out of the window as they passed through the twenty feet tall metal gates of the Glove of Compassion. The speakers blared encouraging slogans through the air: “Build high for happiness!” “Don’t forget your two tablespoonsful of military respect for authority!” The building itself was literally shaped like a giant gloved hand; albeit, the clenched fist did not look particularly compassionate.
Once inside, Carney was quickly ordered to strip and wear the pyjama-like uniform expected of all the pupils at the Glove of Compassion. Fortunately – relatively speaking – Carney had arrived just before dinner was being served in the lunch hall. These were aspiration meals – even less on one’s tray than the outside world’s aspiration rations – each served with an unidentifiable viscous blue fluid in a paper cup, which was, according to the overhead speakers, “…a scrumptious cup of Anglo Saxon determination, to help the medicine of rehabilitation go down! Drink up, patriots!” It tasted like vomit.
Whilst munching away on “all-British nachos” that looked and tasted strangely like pencil sharpenings, Carney thought he saw none other than the loathed Europhile criminal George Osborne being escorted towards the Discipline Chamber. He would soon learn that you often heard tortured screams from the Discipline Chamber – and no one who ever went in there came to the lunch hall ever again.
After dinner, the pupils were marched by the armed officers to a relaxation room, where they had the pleasure of watching the beloved herself make television pronouncements. Leadsom had taken to doing this in a sort of vague emulation of Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats. Of course, these days Andrea Leadsom was rarely referred to as Andrea Leadsom. Instead, she was the country’s Mummy.
Everyone stood as the Prime Minister came on. She smiled kindly, her eyes glinting.
“Our report for today, patriots,” she duly trilled, “is another triumph for optimism. Britain today is indeed building high for happiness! First, one hundred wind farms were bulldozed today…”
Almost instantly, the congregation of pupils began excitedly whooping and cheering and applauding. A bemused Carney was rather more demure, until he caught the glare of a nearby officer. He obediently joined in the cries of delight.
“…The Spokesman – and that is indeed Spokesman, not Spokesperson, you know – of British Industry has today declared us to be the greatest economy on the planet!” she continued ardently. The cheers grew louder and louder. “Truly, Brexit has begun a beautiful new golden age of prosperity for England and Wales!”
“But before I go tonight, patriots, let me offer my Leadsom Lesson of the Day: I want to live in a Britain whose residents are determined to speak English. I want to live in a Britain where there is a shared belief in freedom and democracy, and equal rights for men and women. I want to live in a Britain with a sense of humour – where there are no groups whose life choices are ‘above’ criticism. This country has had enough of political correctness. Do you understand?”
“Yes Mummy!” roared the pupils, and Carney, mildly mortified, realised he had joined in.
“Now don’t forget to read your beautiful Bibles, burn those pesky burkas, and remember – Poverty is Prosperity, Expertise is Ignorance, Mummy is Mummy.”
While most of the other pupils stayed up to watch the BBC’s political editor Kay Burley offer a report on the on-going war with Russia, Carney went to his new room.
But just as one pessimist entered, another reborn optimist was leaving. As the Mummy Militia tank pulled out of the gates to the Glove of Compassion, George Osborne looked back up at that giant fist penetrating the polluted and dying sky above. He looked up – and smiled. Just like all the pupils at the Glove of Compassion eventually would. In the end, all of us will have to learn – learn to banish pessimism, learn to not listen to the experts, and build high for happiness.
George Osborne closed his eyes for a well-earned nap, and he began to murmur the Mummy Song.
He really did love his Mummy.