The government has appealed for calm after a woman in Braintree, Essex claimed to have seen a Bulgarian lurking in some bushes near a local petrol station, leading to fears of hysterical panic-bigotry among thousands of Daily Express readers.
“It was walking upright like a man,” said Cicely Flanagan, who reported the incident, “but was clearly hunting for benefits, scrabbling through bins and scaling trees. I tried to chase it off, but it just threatened me with a picture of what I think could have been its wife and small children. I can’t be completely certain, as I was recoiling in horror at the time.”
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) moved quickly to reassure the public that the lone ‘Bulgarian’ had probably escaped from a container lorry somewhere and urged people ‘not to jump to conclusions that we actually are dealing with anything as serious as a Bulgarian’. It could simply be a confused Frenchman, they suggested, and reassured the public that lots of humane measures were already in place to deal with those.
But the DWP spokesman urged vigilance, saying; “If you do spot the suspected Bulgarian – perhaps attempting to put its name down for social housing and a new fridge freezer – our advice is not to approach it. If cornered it could turn into a Romanian and we don’t want British people putting their own benefits in jeopardy.”
Local UKIP candidate Roger Bentos said: “I suspect it had been lured to the petrol station by the freeze on fuel duty announced in the budget. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a boatload of them on their way over tempted by our ridiculously inexpensive warm beer.”
Mrs. Flanagan’s daughter Ursula Godwin said her mother had been left shocked and dismayed by her ordeal. “My mother has been left shocked and dismayed by her ordeal,” confirmed Ms. Godwin. “You wonder how in this day and age, what with all this new technology and wotsit, Bulgarians are still able to get out of their hutches, or whatever. Damn you, European Court of Human Rights. Damn you.”
Prime Minister David Cameron writing in today’s Daily Mail has promised to vigorously throw Bulgarians and any other Eastern Europeans who aren’t planning to open large bank accounts directly back into the sea. “Bulgarians are of course amphibious and would be perfectly happy wading just off the coast off Folkestone until the necessary paperwork is completed,” the Prime Minister wrote, “or an urgent vacancy arose at the local Asda.”
And to further reassure the public, Deputy leader Nick Clegg unveiled plans on Monday for foreign workers to rent oxygen whilst working in the UK. “It’s only fair that they pay for the air they breathe, and don’t just go around filling the place with carbon dioxide. If you’re going to take something out, you must put something back, which is why in the interests of fairness the charge won’t apply to any workers from overseas who photosynthesise.”