Future Shortchanged

‘The UK has exceeded its commitment to cut carbon emissions to 34 per cent by 2020. Under Ed Miliband’s Labour government, balsa wood cars are powered with twisted rubber bands’

Asked to imagine in 2011 what Britain might look like in ten years’ time, the historian Andrew Roberts predicted a solid decade of austere Tory rule. Now that 2021 has arrived, we wish to reassure a beleagured nation as to Britain’s prosperous future. 

Contrary to Roberts’s forecast in Prospect magazine, David Cameron’s unpopular spending cuts returned Labour to power in 2013. Prime Minister Ed Miliband’s immediate raising of the corporate tax rate to 76 per cent produced the anticipated windfall. From all over the globe, companies flocked to the UK in an eagerness to “do their fair share”. Telecoms magnate Steve Doshgrubber opines: “We’d originally built our plants in Malaysia and based our central office in Dubai. But when we heard about the opportunity to make a serious contribution to Merry Olde England, we moved all our operations to Newcastle. What this company cares about is supporting the British government, and that’s how our shareholders feel too.” Indeed, business leaders have been pressing for the corporate tax rate to exceed 80 per cent, but the PM is said to be resisting a furtherance of private sector “bragging rights”. The only downside: these patriotically profitless companies cannot afford employees.

Now that the top income-tax bracket is 92 per cent, wealthy individuals, too, have made a bee-line for British shores. “Sure it’s expensive,” a London-based sheikh concedes, “but it’s worth it for the weather. Besides, with all the delays and engineering works, I get a marvellous amount of reading done on British trains.” North Sea oil heiress Sally Lockness-Jones is apologetic about departing her homeland to work as a barista in a New Jersey Starbucks: “See, with the new 37 per cent National Insurance levy for top earners, I’m actually in the 129 per cent tax bracket, and the extra money has to come from somewhere.”

Meanwhile, restoring the maximum annual housing benefit to £104,000 per family and boosting other benefits to above pre-Tory levels has failed to produce the dependency and social malaise that Conservative naysayers predicted. “It’s true, I could collect twice the money I earn working if I went on benefits,” father-of-12 Bleu Cholera from Croydon noted. “But I’d rather have my dignity. All my neighbours feel the same.”

The job to which he refers, of course, is working for his local council. Now that 98 per cent of the British workforce is on a government payroll, the UK has achieved nearly full employment. The key, Miliband discovered, was to apply principles of levitation to economics — which is why early in his premiership he gave the post of chancellor to David Blaine.

We don’t suffer even the modest ongoing “social disturbance” foreseen by Samuel Brittan, for riots are a problem of the past.  Currys manager Cap Capital explains: “Turns out the whole problem was charging for our products. Now when some hoodie from Peckham pops by, we all help carry a flat-screen to his car. One bloke came back yesterday railing that we fobbed him off with a free iPad from last season, but when we exchanged it for the newest model and threw in earphones for the inconvenience he calmed right down. And we gave up on installing windows yonks ago. Health and Safety said looters might cut their hands.”

Meanwhile, soaring immigration has bulked up an industrious but politically docile underclass clamouring to do the work that “locals don’t want”. Smiling foreigners offer to clean their communities’ toilets for free, just for the chance to learn English. “We live in big tented camps without running water, but it’s all — how you say — jolly good fun!” says one Iraqi asylum-seeker. 

The UK has far exceeded its commitment to cut carbon emissions to 34 per cent by 2020, due to the powering of balsa-wood cars with twisted rubber bands. Householders now heat their homes with candles and heavy breathing. Labour also credits the levying of £100,000 tax on every airline ticket for leading to the closure of nearly all British airports. A Mecca for bargain hunters, Heathrow is now the world’s biggest flea market.

The development of bouncy-castle nuclear power plants has eliminated any concern about keeping the lights on. Granted, with regulatory red tape, old-fashioned plants could take between 10 and 15 years to build. But safer technology has revolutionised the industry. Providing clean, affordable energy, the new rubberised facilities can be inflated in 15 minutes.

So sunny is the state of Britannia in 2021 that it seems churlish to utter a discouraging word. Yet we note with sadness the parlous condition of our domestic pork industry. Under Miliband’s benign regime, farmers are losing livestock at an alarming rate, their pigs having learned to fly.

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