An Unnecessary Distraction.

Bad jokes about important things and a lot of less important things

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Is the Hunger Games something to do with the Pasty Tax?

I’m starting this with a confession: I don’t know what the Hunger Games is. For the past few weeks, I’ve been vaguely aware of this film coming out, that everybody already seemed to know about and be excited for, and I’d never flipping heard of it. I pretended, for a while, that I knew what all the fuss was about. And when I say that, I mean I nodded blithely along to conversations on the topic, and then forgot it existed until the next time I saw a Facebook status, or was drawn into another conversation about this terrifying enigma.

It’s probably necessary at this point to admit that I didn’t even come close to Googling The Hunger Games, and still haven’t, because I really don’t care all that much. That said, a couple of days ago I snapped a little and begged for answers - all I got was that The Hunger Games is a trilogy of books and there is now a film about it. Great. So I took the title literally, and assume that the books are about games where you are hungry if you lose.

I’ve also managed to gauge that the plot(s?) involve some sort of post apocalyptic battle for survival, which is always good fun, and pretty much fits my ‘games about being hungry’ assumption, and I think this is really where I made a breakthrough: The Hunger Games is about the Coalition! If we take a closer look at the past few weeks, it all makes perfect sense.

The introduction of 20% VAT on hot takeaways, after all the debate, outrage, and glamorous photoshoots, is actually neither the end of a tax anomaly, nor an unnecessary strain on a consumer population already under enormous financial pressure. It’s just one of the rules of the Hunger Games, you guys! Dave’s just introducing a bit of healthy competition to our lives, because it’s fun! It explains so much about why Dave and the Gang were so excited to bring a bit of ‘healthy’ competition to so many of our other things - like the NHS. I mean, fair enough the stakes of Cameron’s Hunger Games are pretty high, but just think of it as a return to classical Rome! Only instead of fighting lions to the death in an extravagant amphitheatre, for survival and gladiatorial pride, we’ll be fighting each other to death in the street on our lunchbreaks, over hot sandwiches and basic public services.

That’s where this fuel ‘crisis’ comes in too, I reckon. I mean, on the face of it, Francis Maude’s warnings that the mere threat of a fuel tanker drivers’ strike would threaten lives was an ideologically driven tool to isolate and break the unions and avert industrial action, as well as “Totally unnecessary, totally self-inflicted, and quite frankly, a bit of a mess”. But if you think about all this rationally, Maude only created the panic-buying in the first place to try and hype up the Hunger Games! It’s all so obvious now. Taking away the public’s ability to travel independently adds an extra element of the Coalition’s beloved competition to the Games - it’s all in good fun, honest. 

Well. All in good fun if you’re not actually competing, of course. If you’re a member of the feral elite whose attitudes manifest the rampantly materialism that has led to the inequality and aggressive individualism that characterise our Hunger Games, then you can sit back and enjoy the show! You’ll never have to enter the Colosseum. You just get to watch the rest of the populat-sorry - participants, turn on each other just to get by, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to walk to Greggs for your overpriced lunch on your lunch hour, because the cafeteria in your office is serving up poached quails eggs with a side of grilled asparagus and a dressing of peasants’ tears today.

If you were thinking of drinking away the misery caused to you by a brutal competition for a cheap lunch while you’re working to avoid the repossession of your house, and the ability to maintain a mobile lifestyle, think again. With minimum alcohol prices set to rise above 40p per unit, you won’t even be able to partake in a comforting gin binge. Admittedly, as a postgraduate student without a loan, this probably hurts me more than most, but how else am I supposed to handle the nervous breakdown that will ensue when I graduate and a jobless reality deals me a bodypunch to the soul? That said, there is a get out of jail free card though, so at least theoretically we have a second chance to secure our own survival.

The pasty tax, granny tax (and just… the Budget), a minimum threshold for alcohol prices, and all this goddamn petrol panic buying are the rules of the game. If you can survive all that, you win, or something. But if not, you remain as one of the struggling, idiotic, panic-buying, rioting masses. And with higher education becoming more and more elusive, and even A Levels potentially becoming increasingly restricted to fit an already restricted University intake, we the players are going to find it harder and harder to get past these economic obstacles. No cheeky deals or cheats either guys, because the rulemakers will know about it; they’ll be reading your emails before long. There are no ladders in this game; only snakes. The odds for most of us in the Hunger Games just aren’t great.

So, if you lose these elusive ‘Hunger Games’, you are hungry/stranded/cold/uneducated/die. What is the prize if you win? Not just survival. Something better than that. Dinner with David Cameron. The chance to influence public policy! And the ability to perpetuate the Hunger Games for the next generation of bumbling proletariats that was unfortunate to be born into the same relatively unprivileged statuses as, well, us. I know I wrote about the inhumanity of this flawed and corrupt party financing system last week, but I see the point of it all now! It’s all part of the Hunger Games right? Right. It’s all about our feral elite.

By all means, correct me, since I still haven’t actually looked up what the Hunger Games actually is, but - am I close?

    

Filed under the hunger games pasty tax coalition fuel strikers panic buying apocalypse cameron