MELTDOWN: United Kingdom goes into receivership.
After numerous bail-outs, eternal payday loans and 300 years of living beyond its means, the UK has finally run out of other people’s money.
Some said it was impossible, others said it was in inevitable, but on Tuesday morning, ten minutes after the financial markets opened, but an hour before the milkman calls round for his money, the sovereign isles of Great Britain declared themselves insolvent and called the receivers in.
As the globe’s sixth largest economy collapsed like a drunken sailor, observers offered their thoughts on what had brought this ex-great nation to such a sorry end.
Martin Alsop, chief trading partner at Citibank shook his head in disbelief. “We all knew the UK was only keeping up appearances, but nobody saw this coming. They’re a pillar of society. They keep their lawns mown and their dirty washing hidden. Hell, they even led the neighbourhood watch for a while. We can only assume it was that 46 years holiday in Europe that finally did them in. A tour-de-finance. Pity. They’ve been such a bloody good cash cow.”
Sheila Braveheart at Barclays was less than enamoured with the way the country had let things slip. “It’s a disgrace”, she said, “Puts Britain on a par with the man in my road who owes six years’ child support. I’ll never lend them a cup of sugar again.”
Business not as usual
Throughout the day, fast thinking parties acted to ensure their property and assets were not seized by the Official Receiver. In the West Midlands, Jaguar Land Rover began a rapid recall of all unsold cars, shifting them from vulnerable UK dealerships to parking lots in the Republic of Ireland. JLR called the move, ‘standard banana-republic protocol.’
Retailer Primark immediately commenced a ‘Country Going Out of Business’ sale and slashed prices in a bid to sell stock before it became a windfall for the sheriff. Ladies tops that had been selling for £1.99p were marked down to minus £3.99p, with stores giving customers wads of cash to take the clothing away.
The exact cause of the UK's sudden demise has yet to be determined, but experts are in no doubt that ‘living large’ and blowing huge sums on flimsy baubles was largely to blame. Paula Winslow at the Slough Citizens Help Centre was adamant this was the case. “We see it all the time. One small influx of easy money leads to a spending spree and soon, it’s all borrowing and debt to keep the fun going. The bills pile up and before you know it, it’s off to the food bank to get dinner for 70 million.”
Sir Norman Jarvis at the Parsimonious Institute agreed. “Clearly, the UK’s rocky road began with that Christmas bonus from North Sea Oil. Once that was gone, she began flogging the family silver. First the gas and water, then the airports and telephones, then the railways. When that was gone, she begged the bank for an overdraft of two or three trillion, which was wasted on trinkets like HS2, Cross Rail, ferries from heaven, garden bridges and anything branded Capita.”
Perry Feggis, an unemployed labourer that RFN bumped into outside the Peckham Job Centre put it more simply; “Fackin’ stupid in it? Pissed the readies away. Take that bleedin’ Iraq War. Wot that cost? Fifty, sixty billion? Fack. Coulda hadda million goes on the lottery for that. Makes you wonda who’s in fackin’ charge.”
The UK's dead, long live the UK
Exactly who was, or even still is, in fackin' charge remained a mystery as the day wore on. Westminster was closed prior to auction and the residents of 10 Downing Street were in the process of eviction, as the property had been sold to a Saudi Prince for development into a bordello and bone-saw museum.
With no one else to turn to, it was left to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to soothe the worries of a dispossessed nation. Speaking from the new Royal Yacht, which had been moved to safe harbour in the Caymans, she said, “Although we are not amused, we see great opportunity in the rebirth of our country. From this day forth, Great Britain will no longer be ruled upon by incompetent politicians and self-serving civil servants. A new dawn beckons. Under the personal guidance of the nation’s new Lord Protector, Arch-Duke Donald Trump, we remain confident that the United Kingdom will rise again.”
Shortly before RFN went to press, rumours were circling that a bid for the UK’s assets, made by a syndicate led by Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un, had been accepted and approved by the Receiver.