Hamster and Thatcher (deceased) - The two child benefit cap
Sir Keith Hamster, newly-elected leader of the Labour Party, is keen to re-shape socialism for the 21st century, but none of the policy wonks in his party share his vision. Luckily, he has a secret policy advisor that nobody else can see or hear: the ghost of Margaret Thatcher.
Sir Keith arrived at his office to find that his official Policy Advisor, Jeff Feckland already, at his desk.
“Ah, Sir Keith,” he said, “Campaigns have come up with a new series of attack ads on the Tory two-child benefit cap. It’s all very powerful stuff, we thought you should sign it off.”
At that moment, Lady Thatcher chose to appear, though of course she could only be seen by Sir Keith, with whom she showed a special attachment. “State handouts, interference in the free market, you can’t run a country that way. You’re practically paying scroungers to get pregnant.”
“Would that be popular though,” said Sir Keith to Feckland. "Won’t voters think that we’re encouraging young women to get pregnant and claim benefits. I think we should support the two-child policy, we don’t want to be seen as the scrounger’s party.”
“The vast majority of benefit claimants are in work, Sir Keith, they’re just so badly paid they need additional help to feed their kids. Ending the benefits cap will lift a million children out of poverty.”
“If you can’t afford children you shouldn’t have children. People need to get their household books to balance otherwise the nation’s books won’t balance,” said Lady Thatcher.
“If you can’t afford children you shouldn’t have children. People need to get their household books to balance otherwise the nation’s books won’t balance,” said Sir Keith.
“But we desperately need people to have children, we have an ageing population and if people don’t have kids now there’ll be nobody left of working age in twenty years time. We’ll be entirely reliant on migrants to do all the work.”
“The good thing about migrant workers,” said Lady Thatcher, “Is that they work hard, are cheap, and break the unions.”
“We’re the Labour Party,” Sir Keith said, “We embrace a multicultural society, there’s nothing wrong with migrant workers.”
“But the two child policy is abhorrent Sir Keith. We should be here for working families and their children.”
“There’s no money left,” said Lady Thatcher.
“We can’t afford uncosted policies,” said Sir Keith.
“But it was costed,” said Feckland. We were going to make £3 billion taxing the big tech companies. Then you met with the big tech and dropped the tax, leaving us £3 billion short.”
“We had a very positive meeting with big tech and they hinted that they could find their way to a £50,000 donation to the party. We need to make friends like these for the sake of party finances.”
“So we have to ditch our policies because the mega rich offer us a few crumbs in donations, which we only need because we’ve no members left and all the trade unions have abandoned us. It’s only a one-off donation, what will they make you do to get more.”
“We’re fine, financially,” said Sir Keith. “We’ve been given over £20 million by private health companies.”
“It sounds to me,” said Lady Thatcher, “That you’re on the way…”
“We’re on the way to power,” said Sir Keith.
“I meant on the way to becoming Tories. You’ve abandoned everything Labour once stood for,” continued Lady Thatcher. “Well done.”
“We’re on the way to electoral suicide,” said Feckland. “The electorate is going to notice that we don’t have a single, solitary policy for them to vote for.”