Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

I'm all right Jack.

Reading this it's too easy to wonder if the storyline is being used as a handbook.
Newly-graduated Stanley Windrush is looking for a job, but fails miserably at interviews for various entry-level management positions. Stanley's uncle Bertram Tracepurcel and his old comrade Sidney Cox persuade him to take an unskilled blue collar job at the uncle's missile factory, despite the misgivings of his aunt Dolly.

At first suspicious of the overeager newcomer, Communist shop steward Fred Kite takes Stanley under his wing and even offers to take him on as a lodger. When Kite's curvaceous daughter Cynthia drops by, Stanley readily accepts.

Meanwhile, personnel manager Hitchcock is assigned a time and motion study expert, Waters, to measure how efficient the employees are. The workers refuse to cooperate, but Waters tricks Windrush into showing him how much more quickly he can do his job than other, more experienced employees.

When Kite is informed of the results, he calls a company-wide strike to protect the rates his union workers are being paid.

This turns out be exactly what Cox and Tracepurcel want. Cox owns a company that can take over a large new contract with a Middle Eastern country, at an inflated cost. He, Tracepurcel, and Mr. Mohammed, the country's representative, would each pocket a third of the £100,000 difference.

However, things don't quite work out as planned for either side. Cox arrives at his factory to find that his workers are walking out in sympathy for Kite and his strikers. The press reports that Kite is punishing Windrush for working hard.

When Windrush decides to cross the picket line and go back to work (and reveals his connection with the owner of the company), Kite asks him to leave his house, provoking Kite's wife and daughter (who likes Stanley very much) to call their own private strike and also walk out. More strikes spring up, bringing the country to a standstill.

Faced with these new developments, Tracepurcel has no choice but to send Hitchcock to negotiate with Kite. They reach an agreement, but Windrush has made both sides look bad and has to go. Cox tries to bribe him with a bagful of money to resign quietly, but Windrush turns him down.

On a televised discussion programme moderated by Malcolm Muggeridge** (playing himself), Windrush reveals to the nation the underhanded motivations of all concerned. When he throws Cox's bribe money into the air, the studio audience riots.

In the end, Windrush is convicted of causing a disturbance and everyone else is exonerated. He is last seen with his father, relaxing at a nudist colony, only to have to flee from the attentions of the similarly unclad women.

As an aside, Muggeridge's father was a founder of the Fabian Society.

No comments: