- 06 Dec 10
As the country flushes itself down the toilet, our correspondent picks up his pen...
Dear Cousin Government,
I'm writing because we're all very worried about you.
Now, it's true, I haven't corresponded much over the years. I sent the money you demanded every Hallowe'en and hoped you'd leave me alone. To be honest, dearest Cuz, I always considered you the most unsavoury sort. You lie and you thieve. You used the family's funds to cover your pedophile pals' arses. You gave those louts Cheney and Rumsfeld the use of our airports. Only a couple of months ago you were snapped out boozing with youngsters as our fortunes went down the toilet. Oh, how I wanted to slap your gombeen head!
And now you've blown the family inheritance and the kids' college fund bailing out your corkscrew-crooked banking buddies. Yes, that same shower of bankers who charge us for the privilege of lending them our money. Who penalise us for using another ATM machine when theirs is out of order. Who levy two-fifty a page if you need an extra printout of your records.
But you've gone too far this time, dearest Cuz. You've gone outside the family, to the moneylenders. You've brought shame upon our house. Certain family members have suggested that things are what they are: we must tighten our belts and bite the bullet and suffer. We were too lenient with you, and now we must pay the price. But Cuz, if I have to tighten my belt any further, I'll need ribs extracted. See, when the boom was on, I was a self-employed scribbler struggling to feed a small family. I did not have the readies to buy up apartments in Eastern Europe. I had diddley squat then, and I have diddley squat now. Like many folk of my class and vintage, I rent my dwelling place, buy groceries in Aldi and clothes in charity shops. Given benefits, I could probably make more money signing on the dole, but hey, I like to work.
A great man once said, to live outside the law you must be honest. He also said, steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king. When I was young my parents urged me to stay away from strange men who looked like tramps or bohemians. Times have changed. I warn my children to avoid anything in a suit and tie -- especially an ill-fitting navy-blue double-breasted job.
Dearest Cuz, I urge you to book yourself into rehab without delay. It may not be the luxury you're used to, but it beats swinging from a lampost. See, up until last week I was afraid the other family members wouldn't do something rash. Now I'm afraid they will.