Friday 29 July 2016

Industrial Action

The BBC simply will not take the Brexit vote lying down. Yesterday they reported Lloyds Bank’s announcement of local branch closures as being a result of the referendum result when in fact they are simply a symptom of the globalised world. Branches have been closing for years as people shop online, bank online and even socialise online. Nobody ever enjoyed the queues anyway as banks still ridiculously send all their staff to lunch at the same time as everybody else; machines do it so much better. Lloyds actually had to put out a tweet to explain these plans had been in place long before any hint of a leave vote was in the air.

The Greens also can’t stomach the thought of an independent nation and will seize on any ill wind as proof-positive that the wretched patriots and Eurosceptics have doomed the country to eternal malaise with a side helping of global warming to boot. So wedded are they to their pessimistic communistic concepts that they would like nothing quite so much as to see everybody starve, rather than see basic capitalism continue to feed the world. But then, their hatred of humanity is well-documented.

Labour, on the other hand, see themselves as the friend of humanity yet in Owen Smith would see a return to collective bargaining, wildcat strikes, flying pickets and all the paraphernalia of ersatz revolution... all of which would only result in ruin... which they could then gleefully blame on Brexit. There are some sick people in the world and collectively they would like nothing more than to see a free Britain fail miserably to regain its true place at the highest table. How they would cheer as the factories closed and commerce ground to a halt.

But businesses fail all the time, even in the best of times. And people lose their jobs regardless of whether we are in, out or partially engaged with Europe. Life goes on and events often have more complex provenances than we imagine. It is so easy to jump to erroneous conclusions. A friend of mine recently came home to tell his wife that they would have to draw on their life savings as he had just lost his job in his mid-fifties and had little chance of finding other work in what was a declining, traditional industry.

Bill had worked since leaving school at the local pickle factory, but piccalilli was very much an older taste and sales were down. The youngsters were looking for more exotic fare and he explained that the company had been looking for any excuse to lay off staff and that he was just another statistic in a gloomy pattern of industrial decline. She wasn’t happy, her dreams of retiring to a comfortable villa in Spain suddenly brought abruptly to a rude awakening.

“How dare they!” she yelled “You have given them almost forty years of devoted service. Why you? Why did they fire you?” He sighed, sat her down and said “To be fair, they had no choice. For years now I’ve had an urge to stick my dick in the pickle slicer...” She was aghast and clutched her hands together in front of her mouth. For a moment she couldn’t grasp what he was saying, although he had been acting strangely for some time and she supposed that working every day in such a repetitive line of work couldn’t come without some psychological effects. Before she could enquire further he continued.

Hylda Baker - nearest and dearest - 'Ave y'been, Walter?
She knows, y'know!

“Well, today I finally acted on that urge.” The wife ran over to him, told him to stand up and in one fluid movement she whipped down his trousers to see what damage had been done. There was none of the expected gore. She was puzzled and proceeded to pull down his underpants. “But you look perfectly okay,” she said, relieved. “So what happened to the pickle slicer?” Bill pulled up his trousers and refastened his flies. He looked devastated as he told his wife. “They fired her too.”


  1. Groan!!!!. Me to. I have heard that joke before but still it is a good one and the rest of the article was excellent.

  2. It's not the age of the joke but how you handle it. Well played Batsby, well played.