Britain’s huddled masses of urchins, scullions and paupers are today rejoicing at the news that their years of a diet of gruel are over, thanks to the goodwill of their government. ‘Kind Old Phil’ Hammond, Workhouse of Commons treasurer, has been saving up copper coins all this time, and is now able to lay on a much improved regime of crumbs purchased from the tables of some of his colleagues in the Workhouse of Lords.
Nevertheless, some professional ne’er-do-wells are still discontented, demanding a richer diet and even saying that living on gruel hadn’t been necessary. ‘Nonsense, nonsense’ remarked Kind Old Phil, ‘you see, financiers used to dine on three banquets a day and that led to the financial crash ten years ago. Naturally we had to keep them on this diet to avoid a shock to their systems – and that didn’t come cheap! But it would not do for the general populace; they would suffer indigestion.’
In response, a Mr A. Dodger of London remarked that it wasn’t rich food but double standards that made him sick, and Phil had better watch out if he didn’t want a large saveloy inserted ‘where the sun don’t shine’.