Monthly Archives: July 2015

The perfect village

The Controller studied the photographs on the desk before him. They were of two villages, one of which had just won the prestige of being declared “The Best Village in the County”.

Village A’s shops were mostly arranged around a village square. Going in a circle the shops consisted of a butcher’s, a hairdresser’s, Post Office, clothing, a pub, newsagent’s, hardware, a chemists’s, small supermarket, fruit and vegetables, another pub, a fish and chips, a small library and another supermarket. People were standing around chatting and others could be seen entering and leaving the shops. Shoppers for the neighbouring town were standing at a bus stop.

The square in Village B had a beautiful array of flowers in a large cart in the centre of the square. Lamp-posts were adorned with further floral displays in hanging baskets. The shops consisted of a butcher’s, a hairdresser’s, a charity for destitute youths, a newsagent’s, a chemist, a pub, a bookies, and a small supermarket. The windows of the closed up shops were adorned with full size pictures of what the previous businesses had been, so if you did not look too carefully it would seem as if you were passing a variety of shops doing business filled with happy customers. The bus stop had gone. Apart from the flowers the square was empty.

The Controller noted the Golden Award for Best Village 5 years in a row, proudly attached to Village B.

The Agent whose desk he was overlooking glanced up at him. “Sorry, Sir, I couldn’t resist looking at the before and after photos”.

“Perfectly in order”, the Controller reassured him.

“We have come a long way in twenty years. The country clearances are going well. First remove transport. Then services such as the Post Office, bank branches and libraries. Strangle small businesses with business rates, red tape and remove parking. The villages empty of their own accord”.

The Agent said nothing.

The Controller looked up at the rows of desks of Agents all busy at their work.

“This is just part of a larger process. Wealthy city people buy up country homes at inflated  city prices as second homes left vacant through most of the year, pricing the locals out of the market. We have gypsies on the pay-roll to set up encampments beside country homes, making £300,000 properties unsaleable, to discourage people from retiring to the countryside. We close down country schools on the argument they are too small so that young families do not come. We remove police cover and arrange some atrocious attacks on gentle, elderly people in their own homes to drive home the message that the countryside is a playground for criminals.  We dissuade GP’s from setting up practice and close the country hospitals. We make sure ambulances never arrive in less than an hour. We put wind farms on the outskirts so that people are driven mad by the continuous low frequency noise caused by the vanes. People soon get the message that the countryside, far from being a haven from the noise, crime and expense of the towns are unaffordable crime filled deserts, without facilities, inaccessible and unsafe”.

The Controller turned to the Agent and smiled. “We find an holistic rather than atomistic approach to problems works best. We aim to cover all bases”.

The Agent remained silent so the Controller answered the question he did not ask.

“Population is increasing – by design. We don’t want people overflowing from the expensive over-crowded towns and cities into the pleasanter life of the countryside. Our employers want maximum population to maximise their profits, but they don’t want to live in the overcrowded world they have created”.

“Does that answer your question?”

The Agent smiled.


Copyright 2015



Family values

“Send him in”.

The Agent from the Family History’s Department entered carrying a thick blue folder. The Controller gestured for him to sit.


“We identified the matriarch at the end of the 19th century. Peasant woman with a very high IQ and robust health. In order to prevent her raising herself we arranged for a marriage with a middle class ne’r do well. Not obvious mental aberrations and unable to hold down a job or take any kind of responsibility. However the matriarch proved adaptive. With two children to support she worked at everything she could turn her hand to and became adaptive, wasting no resources and extracting maximum value from everything, habits of care and economy she instilled in her sons. Despite all our best efforts at sabotage and creating losses she just became hyper-careful anticipating anything that could go wrong and acting to prevent it. She even coined a phrase ” The only way to make sure that nothing bad happens is to make sure that it can’t happen”.

The Agent shook his head in frustration. ” She was scrupulously honest. We couldn’t get her to steal. And scrupulously moral. We couldn’t get her to engage in prostitution. She worked her way out of her difficulties and trained her children to do the same. Her children inherited her intelligence, work ethic, innovativeness and upward striving. They also had very amiable personalities”.

“Everything needed to be a success”, the Controller commented.

“Her children as adults…”

The Controller interrupted. “I take it you are going to tell me her children and marriage partners followed suit along with their children?”

The Agent nodded.

“Then we have a family whose characteristics if they work together is an effective unit for social progression, helping and protecting each other while they advance their careers”.

The Agent nodded again.

“Then we must disrupt this family. Prevent them from working together. Identify a relative who can be used to create division and atomise the relatives”.

“What if the family overcomes the disruption and coheres?”

The Controller smiled.

“Then they will have formed close bonds with each other and everyone becomes a potential hostage. Heads we win. Tails we win. Go to it”.


Copyright 2015

The value chasers

As the Controller entered his office he noted the green file sent in by the Value Chasers Department. He called for his secretary to fetch a coffee and relaxed back to read it. This was the most routine work the Department did and he usually only had to approve the actions.

Subject A.      Single mother with two young children. Christmas was a horrendous time with huge bills and Christmas gifts. Subject A had noticed charity shops after Christmas received unwanted gifts. So she told her two infants Christmas was coming a week later, and bought the Christmas presents after Christmas brand new at a fraction of the price.

ACTION   Tour charity shops after Christmas and buy up new gifts to be put out through market stall at new prices.

The Controller ticked approval.

Subject B.         Working class man with a mathematical bent figured out a major prop of the bookies success was their detailed knowledge of horse racing statistics. Subject sought and found a comprehensive horse racing site giving detailed statistics. Same subject had also noticed that certain newspaper tipsters had a strike rate approaching 50%, with losing runs rarely over 4. He combined the two sets of information and was winning consistently.

ACTION            Remove the free statistics site and replace with a subscription site. Influence the newspaper tipsters to drop their strike rate to average with arbitrary losing runs up to 19.

Another tick.

Subject C.        Poor student but excellent shopper for value had discovered a high quality scent at a reasonable price from a national department store.

ACTION          Have the product removed then re-marketed at a higher price.

Subject D.       Elderly man keeping his electricity bill low by doing everything possible to limit his use.

ACTION          Put a standing charge on the meter and front-load the price per unit so that the earliest units cost more.

Subject E.         London retiree researched internet to find a cheap place to live outside London. Finds a Northern town where houses were cheap on a site which gave comparisons of cost of living in every part of the country.

ACTION            Had cost of living comparison site removed from web. Buy to let landlords despatched to town to buy up houses cheap and charge standard rents.

Subject F.        Woman working for a battered wives charity happened upon an article listing natural an-aphrodisiacs.

ACTION           Priority – this could impact on the lucrative sex industry. Article removed from the web immediately and an ongoing search installed to remove all similar articles.

Controller made another tick and added “Well done”.

The Secretary entered with his coffee just as the Controller finished writing. He closed the file and handed it to her to return to the Value Chasers Department.

It was ongoing, he thought as he sipped his coffee. Poor people devising ways to stretch meagre resources and avoid going into debt.

Every avenue they discovered was closed as quickly as possible.     How  could  you  get  people to work for low wages if they escaped from poverty?


Copyright 2015