The Budgie

Those of us living in the UK are looking forward to the annual Budgie on 21 March. If you’re unfamiliar with this colourful national ritual, it means our Prime Minister’s little helper will dress up in a bird costume, perch on a wooden bench and – when his time comes – he will stand up and sing to the nation.He will sing of import and export duties, tax increases and price hikes on alcohol, tobacco and anything else which people are likely to enjoy. These things help pay for the Budgie’s exotic plumage and his gilded cage.

During the song, people sitting on either side of him will twitter and nod approvingly; especially when he reaches the bit about how he has inherited a challenging fiscal landscape from the previous regime.

‘Indeed!’ they will chorus, their beaks opening and closing – snapping up cuttlefish crumbs of wisdom as they drop from the little helper’s perch like dandruff from a prostitute’s wig. ‘Yes, yes. We agree.’

Other less palatable things drop from birds’ perches – and I think we’re going to be eating a lot of that over the coming years. Still, it’s for our own good. The song is Truth and Truth is the law.

A magic word will be intoned over and over again throughout the ancient and well rehearsed ritual, designed to hypnotise us simple peasants into unquestioning compliance and absolute belief.

That word is ‘prudence’. Say it to yourself now… Its power is colossal. When he says it the little helper’s sensual yet cynical and twisted mouth will pucker up like a dog’s bottom. The nation will weep with joy at such wisdom, and the deep privilege of being allowed to bask in it.

When the little helper’s song is over he will signal the end of his courtship by flapping his wings and saying, ‘I commend this Budgie to the House’. The place will erupt. Mount Etna will erupt. My boils will erupt. Feathers will fly. It’s time for my pills – and a lie down in a darkened room. I’d lie down in a well-lit room instead, but… you know. It’s the cuts.

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