The Robot Problem
I was woken at 6.40 one morning by a hammering on my back door.
I quickly dressed and rushed downstairs to find Alun, in agitated mood.
"It's the mainland council, Jed," he said, "They're replacing everyone's job with robots."
"Are you sure?" I said, it seemed unlikely. "They’ve been saying that for years, but nothing’s ever changed. Most people's work can never be replaced by a machine, no matter how sophisticated."
However, the next morning I was woken at 6.29 by a knocking on my back door. I quickly dressed and rushed downstairs, where I found a small, grey droid. It was Alun 2.0, the robot the mainland council introduced to replace Alun.
"Why on earth are you waking me this early?" I asked. "Even Alun never woke me before 6.40."
"I am simply more efficient," Alun 2.0 said. "I have completed all of the previous Alun's morning tasks in less time."
"But what on earth are you waking me for, what's the crisis."
"It's the mainland council, Jed," Alun 2.0 said. "They're forcing us to speak in English."
"Are you sure?" I said, it seemed unlikely, Happy Island has always been fundamentally opposed to speaking the Queen's English, or the King's English, or anybody else’s English and have our own language, Happy Talk.
"Yes Jed," Alun 2.0 said, "It's all part of the nationalistic jingoism that's resulted from Brexit. Mainland universities are having to teach Geography courses that exclude Europe from the world map and nobody's allowed to speak any language other than English. Chaucer and Shakespeare have been removed from the bookshops, as they speak an olde form of the language which isn't English enough. They’ve abolished Welsh entirely and even the Scots are being forced to speak in comprehendible accents."
"But what will we do?" I said. "Neither of us speaks a word of the language," (Though happily for my mainland fans a translated version of these stories is available on an obscure mainland website).
"It's all sorted Jed," said Alun 2.0. "I have introduced a programme that automatically translates everything we say into English and broadcasts it into my rear end. This complies with the requirements of the legislation, and also fits with the Happy Island tradition that 'If you wish to speak English you can whisper it up my arse'."
I have to say I was most impressed. With the original Alun this would have become a major crisis, involving writing letters to the council, launching campaigns, holding protests and an improbable resolution that didn't really stand up to a second reading.
"You've certainly proved an effective Alun replacement," I admitted. "It's a wonder I haven't been replaced."
"You have Jed," Alun 2.0 said. "This entire story was written by Jedbot 4.9. As part of the improvements the story is available in English, Latin, Welsh and the original Happy Talk from all appropriate websites."