Political Fables: Amber Rudd's Hansel and Gretel

Right.

Now, as it is of vital importance for us to learn lessons from the past, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a particular issue of national importance recently brought to my attention.

There was, at one time or another, a great famine that settled over a land, far, far away. This famine created many child refugees. Two young children (let’s call them Child H and Child G) were cast out of their family home by an evil Step Mother and left to starve in the deep, dark wood.

These two starving children decided that they would be at an economic advantage if they were to journey through the deep dark, wood and into a magical land that they heard was awash with sweeties and magical benefits that the townspeople gave away to children like them. Not unlike Britain today.

This magical land was filled with good, hardworking families, who all felt they must do their utmost to help those less fortunate than themselves.

However, the people of the magical land had all just voted in a national referendum, 52% to 48% in favour of keeping out the dirty foreign hordes of gremlins, goblins, and, in particular, starving children. The people wanted to stop these ne’er do wells from journeying through the deep, dark wood, crossing the border, and disturbing the beautiful green, strawberry field, and cricket-pitch laden shores of the magical land.

Thus, support of the less fortunate extended, quite rightly, only to those already legally residing within the magical borders.

After the vote, the brilliant leader of the magical land placed a beautiful and popular fairy, called Amber, in charge of protecting borders and stopping dirty foreign hordes of gremlins, goblins, and starving children, from crossing the deep, dark wood.

Even though the beautiful and popular fairy had voted against closing the borders of the magical land, she nevertheless took her job very seriously and did it well. Very, very well in fact.

However, not all members of this otherwise peaceful and magical land were so gracious and accepting of the democratic mandate. There were many witches who wanted to ruin the local economy and disrupt the beautiful and popular fairy’s plans by letting the starving children in.

This was a terrible outcome for the magical land

One witch built a house out of gingerbread in order to create an incentive for the starving children to cross the deep, dark wood into the magical land. She laid a track of a variety of treats for the children to follow so they could get to her house.

The witch took this action in spite of the beautiful and popular fairy imploring the witches of the magical land to first look to local children to fill their needs.

The fairy tried to explain that the deep, dark wood was so dangerous that by incentivising starving children to try to leave the deep, dark wood they would be placing the children in even greater danger than if the children just stayed in the deep, dark wood forever and stopped bothering everyone. But the witch didn’t seem to understand this simple logic.

So, incentivised by the sweet, alluring scent of ginger, Child H and Child G made the dangerous and perilous journey through the deep dark wood, over the border, and into the magical land. They soon discovered the gingerbread house and the witch made offers of rich, unhealthy, food, low-skilled employment, and the opportunity to become a range of pies.

This was a terrible outcome for the magical land. It simply could not sustain the number of starving children looking to cross the deep, dark wood in search of gingerbread houses, despite being the 6th largest magical economy in the world. The beautiful and popular fairy took to the town square and implored all the children who were still far away and lost in the deep, dark wood to simply look elsewhere for food.

And the townspeople applauded her.

The beautiful and popular fairy then asked all the starving children (who were still far away and lost in the deep, dark wood) to consider the option of going back to their evil stepmothers in their own famine-ridden countries and just making a go of it there. After all, if their evil stepmothers are able to stay alive during the famine then it can’t be all that difficult, can it?

And the townspeople applauded her.

The beautiful and popular fairy was kind and benevolent and understood that going home was not always an option for some people. So she then told the starving children (still far away and lost in the deep, dark wood) that they ought to simply stay there. She pointed out that the starving and lost children could look at building a new life inside the deep, dark wood rather than making the perilous journey through the deep, dark wood in search of gingerbread handouts.

And the townspeople applauded her.

She then cleverly pointed out that feeding starving children was not a sustainable system by anyone’s calculation.

And the townspeople applauded her.

Once she had masterfully dealt with the starving children (still lost in the deep, dark wood), the beautiful and popular fairy turned her attention to the children who were already illegally residing within the borders of the magical land.

She declared that all witches who were knowingly employing or renting cages to starving children from the far side of the deep, dark wood were committing a criminal offence and this could lead to execution or a small fine.

And the townspeople applauded her.

The beautiful and popular fairy pointed out that while captured by the witch, these foreign children did not pay taxes, did not add value to the economy, nor did they make any effort to contribute to or join in with their local community. The foreign children were despised by local children who hadn’t been given the same opportunities of unpaid work, getting kidnapped or being turned into a pie. The fairy also pointed out that the witch was resented by other local witches who were making the effort to do the right thing and capture local children for their pies.

And the townspeople applauded her.

every magical land, such as this magical land or, say, Britain, needs its own Fairy Godmother

But the witch did not listen to the beautiful and popular fairy and continued to fatten up both Illegal Immigrant Child H and Illegal Immigrant Child G in preparation for a whole range of pies she would be selling at an inflated price in the market on Thursday.

It was only after ignoring all of these pleas and warnings from the beautiful and popular fairy, Amber (who did her job very well), that the witch discovered the true cost of hiring foreign labour without the correct security checks.

After complaining that the oven was not large enough for her to fit inside, Illegal Immigrant Child G stood by and watched the Witch demonstrate that it was indeed large enough for a human (or a witch) to sit quite comfortably whilst being roasted alive. However, she was then betrayed by her own employee who closed the door, resulting in the witch’s a slow and agonising death.

Of course, the beautiful and popular fairy was deeply shocked and saddened by the incident. So saddened, in fact, she tweeted about it using a sad face emoji.The beautiful and popular fairy was aware that it was not the first time in the magical land that a witch had faced the tortuous death of burning, particularly at the hands of those who held extreme religious views. She vowed to investigate the incident and learn the necessary lessons.

The lessons, I think, we ought to take from this story are: that every magical land, such as this magical land or, say, Britain, needs its own Fairy Godmother, like me for example, to protect its hardworking people from the hoards of desperate, starving, and most likely dangerous, children clambering through untold perils in the vain hope of finding sanctuary within our borders.

Of course, the experts say that these children aren’t dangerous or greedy at all. But I think we’re all rather tired of experts and prefer fairy stories, don’t you?

More about the author

About the author

As well as contributing to Disclaimer, Holly has published several comic short stories with Black Coffey, and has been known to write and perform stand-up comedy at festivals and charity gigs. Her first play for the radio is in production with Frequency Theatre, and she is currently working on a full-length play for the stage.

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