Once Upon a Time . . .

A short Story by Steve Cook

Once upon a time in a land far removed from common sense, in a cave deep under the Mountains of Avarice, there lurked a government.

The government had issues, not least among which was a tendency to tell fibs, if by “tendency” one means a relentless compulsion and by “fibs” one means self-serving fabrications of the most pernicious kind.

The government spent its days covering its ass, pretending to be respectable, feigning sincerity, worshiping Lucifer, stabbing fey hordes known as “Voters” in the back and enriching its pals.

Not everybody in the government was a crazed loon of course. Some individuals were quite nice and sincere and, despite all appearances to the contrary, trying to do a decent job of not ruining the country – a task that many people in government believed was impossible in any case.

But, unfortunately, all too many of those manning the ship of state were in fact certifiable loons, so much so that those who were trying to be not mad found they could not get anything done - unless what they were trying to get done was in fact stupid, in which case getting it done proved quite easy on account of receiving lots of support and encouragement.

As a result, the most advanced civilisation in the history of the planet was successfully steered into bankruptcy, something that most of those outside the mystical Nevernever Land of government had thought impossible.

Be all that as it may, it came to pass that the government was quite good at enriching its pals by siphoning off the wealth of the people and making it look like economics. One of its favourite and most successful capers was to join forces with its pals in the Psycho-pharmacy and promote the use of drugs until legal and illegal drug use became so prevalent vast swathes of the population spent much of their lives off their faces one way or another.

Thus was successfully launched a drugs epidemic. It was a drugs epidemic as unequalled in all of human history as the blandness of the pinstriped nutters responsible for engineering it. In fact, no other epoch came close to the biochemical devastation unleashed upon the despised Voter hordes (nor indeed the pasty-faced blandness of the maniacs who caused the unleashing). 

Predictably, the resultant impairment in millions of drug users of impulse control, responsibility, awareness, moral sense, contact with reality and other attributes deemed non-essential to the furtherance of a decent culture, brought about a rise in crime levels also – and not coincidentally – unprecedented in history.

Thus, the task of keeping order as society became increasingly unhinged fell upon the hard-pressed legions of the Constabulary.

The Constabulary was quite good at keeping order but the task of doing so against the tide of a drug-fuelled crime wave was a taxing one.

So the government, dedicated as it was to taxing in all its forms, decided to make the task even more taxing by reducing the Constabulary’s funding.

And when the citizenry became cheesed off by all the unchecked crime it was seeing, the government managed to skilfully mobilise its pals in the media to ensure the Constabulary were held to ridicule and blamed for the whole thing.

Thus it came to pass that the government got itself off the hook and managed to go right on enriching its pals in the Psycho-pharmacy while everyone blamed the Constabulary as the country fell in to chaos and ruin.

The increasingly unsafe environment naturally prompted more and more people to seek out antidepressants and other chemical balms for the stress of living, thus making the Psycho-pharmacy even more obscenely rich than it was already.

So successful was the government at making the Constabulary look bad that few objected (as most were by then off their faces in any case) when the Constabulary was phased out in favour of private, corporate-owned police forces that were given all the citizens’ money to make them feel safe (which they never did). By an amazing coincidence, the interconnected banking-corporate oligarchs that owned the Psycho-pharmacy were by and large the same interconnected banking-corporate oligarchs who owned the private police forces.

Meanwhile, a similar thing was happening with the NHS. The government and its pals in the psycho-pharmacy worked hard to make everyone ill, whilst withholding funding from those trying to make everyone well again . . . [and so the madness continues . . . ]