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From austerity to moresterity

Ian Martin
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Ian Martin witnesses a sinister, winged briefing

MONDAY Spend the morning imagineering the global cityscape as a post-apocalyptic golden waterworld, its luxury floodwaters still rising, liquid gold oozing into every niche and crevice, surging, purging, rebranding London as Boston, New York as London, everywhere a golden glooptopia etc, then break for lunch.

TUESDAY Trying to design this bloody prototype high-speed vacuum tube pod. Driving me mad. It’s not even a paid gig. I’m doing it as a favour for an old friend. Beansy the nanofuturologist, who wants to ‘take The Pod to the next level’ whatever the clattering bollocks that means. His brief is sketchy: ‘Imagine you’re on the London Eye but instead of crawling at a snail’s pace through the listless London air you’re travelling at about 700mph through a sparkling tube that gets you from Euston to Glasgow in half an hour and you don’t throw up.’

I think the way forward here is to stop thinking of them as trains and start thinking of them as superfast 1970s National Express coaches but with nobody throwing up. I’ll push on.

WEDNESDAY Brilliant. Finally found a way to get paid within 28 days. I’m printing 3-D invoices.

The 1970s coach feel is further enhanced by there being no toilet or buffet service

THURSDAY It must be a great advantage to be accompanied everywhere by a swarm of sinister pet bees. The minister for architecture and luxury housing, the Hon Aeneas Upmother-Brown, is fortunate to have their counsel. Today he’s giving an off-the-record briefing to journalists about ‘moresterity’, the government’s fiscal agenda, which will officially succeed ‘austerity‘ later this year. It’s a reassuring message for the senior journalists, all of whom have mortgages and would, to be honest, quite like the value of their properties to rise by another 70 grand this year.

‘But what about those living in SOCIAL housing?’ asks some impertinent young madam, presumably from a publication with ‘Housing’ in its title. The bees sound puzzled. ‘Do you mean those luxury apartment blocks with mm a communal swimming pool and whatnot, mm?’ says Upmother-Brown. ‘Ahhhh,’ say the bees. ‘No’ says madam, who has that spindly, vegan look about her. ‘I mean affordable housing for people on low incomes’ – here the bees silently look at one another – ‘adminstered by local councils and housing associations…’

The bees make a sharp collective ‘bzz!’ like an electric saw turned on and quickly off again. ‘Oh THAT. Not really my bailiwick, mm, soz,’ says Upmother-Brown, pointing to his name card. ‘Architecture and luxury housing. Need to ask one of the municipal johnnies. Out of my mm mitts.’ The vegan spindle’s about to ask a supplementary question but the bees move in, orbiting her head like angry, hairy protons. The minister expands further on his innocence.

‘It is hardly MY fault if land and property holdings have been transferred from the, mm, mayor and corporation of such-and-such to as you say housing associations, thenceforth to mm some equity management company or as it were other commercial interest. Mm we live, do we not, in the real world and shareholders mm have every right, do they not, to feast upon the bloody ribboned guts of the poor…’

A sudden swarming. The bees in settled commotion around Upmother-Brown. An urgency of hum and waggle. ‘Correction. Have every right to expect strong dividend growth. Mm’.

Clever, clever bees.

FRIDAY Further refine my high-speed vacuum pod with a ‘spartan and tartan’ décor. Going fully retro with this. The 1970s coach feel is further enhanced by there being no toilet or buffet service.

Beansy thinks it looks ridiculous, but I explain to him that all long-distance coaches once looked like this and made everyone feel as though they were travelling cheaply through uncomfortability. Nobody really knows how much you should charge for whisking people from London to Glasgow in half an hour and if you go to the toilet before boarding there shouldn’t be a problem.

Beansy finally gets it and thinks it’s brilliant. Very enthused. Says he will fully commit to the idea by growing a mullet and smoking Rothmans.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Opinionated Sarcasm 1, Informed Scepticism 2 after extra time and crowd chanting.

SUNDAY Media review in the recliner. Glad to see sponsors of the Enchanted Forest Bridge silencing their critics once and for all by adding a further high-level walkway at treetop level, thus doubling its credibility.

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