“What about law and order?” implored an Albanian crime victim.
“We will oblige the police to publish detailed local crime statistics every month,” Cam promised.
“It will take them more than a month to write!” said a man in a Mackintosh raincoat.
“Why do you say that?” asked Cam.
“Because I am a policeman and you, by the way, are in danger of causing a disturbance.”
“Furthermore,” Cam went on, “we will create a new ‘right to data’ so that government-held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then published on a regular basis.”
“We’ve already got that!” shouted a bigoted old woman.
“He’s called Julian Assange!” yelled another.
“Anyway, who’s going to pay for this Big Society?” continued the bigot.
“The banks are,” said Cam. There was a general outburst of laughter.
“Who are you kidding?” they hooted. “Which planet was it?”
“We are going to have a special Big Society Bank and they are going to help small- and medium-sized businesses.”
“Never!” howled the mob.
“It must be hard being a stand-up comedian,” said an ex-undergraduate who couldn’t afford the fees.
“And they will be doing this for nothing, I suppose,” inquired an old campaigner.
“Well, not exactly,” said Cam. “They will be charging a normal commercial bank rate plus a bit to make their bonuses stack up.”
“Making profits, then.”
“It’s a wizard plan,” Cam screamed above the din. “It’s going to be called Project Merlin and I will lead the initiative personally to victory!”
Another wave of raucous laughter followed.
“You and whose army?” shouted a redundant one-legged soldier.
“He’s right, you know,” said Foxy, who had only just arrived. “We haven’t got one.”
“Lord Wei has given me his word. I have a document to prove it,” shouted Cam.
“That’s what Chamberlain said!” came the response.
“I’m afraid to say that Wei just left,” Foxy whispered to Cam.
“We know what you’re up to,” slobbered a man with horrible lips who was standing opposite Cam. “You think you can break up the public sector by getting rid of public servants and trade unions. You think that you can get thousands of poor sods to work for nothing while their businesses go under because the banks won’t provide them with the help they need. And in the meantime you and your greedy private-sector chums can get as fat as that pulpit poof scarecrow over there.”
“I say steady on,” grumbled Boris.
Police reinforcements were arriving, and just in time, as people had begun exchanging blows.
“I never even got onto health and welfare and things like that,” said a disappointed Cam.
“Better leave it, old chap,” said Boris, “and while we’re about it, I would chuck that utopia rubbish in the river.”
“What a shame,” muttered Cam, tearing up the pages and hurling them into the stream. “So much for ideology; it never even floated. Do you think there was a leak?”
“It was riddled with holes,” said Boris, “rather like old Major Currie’s Back to Basics. Come on, let’s go round to Cleggy’s for a kick-about.”
“He hasn’t got a ball,” said Cam.
“He is the ball,” said Boris, and they both burst out laughing.
Cam suddenly grabbed Boris’s arm.
“I’ve just had a brilliant idea,” he cried, “It’s called multiculturalism.”
“Why not leave it for another day?” Boris chuckled.
“All right,” said Cam.
And they all lived in coalition ever after.
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