The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come has admitted that it feels ‘despondent’ after failing to convince the Chancellor, George Osborne, of the folly of his miserly ways or to infuse him with a seasonal generosity.
‘I’ve not received a referral from my colleagues in the Christmas Past and Christmas Present department since 1843, so this came as a bit of a surprise,’ said the spirit. ‘I got the memo through but it only had one name on it - this Mr Osborne Esq of London must a right arsehole, I thought. I got that much right.’
The upset phantom conceded that he had hit trouble as soon as he had begun his visit. ‘Normally I wake the victim up with a little bit of ‘wooooo-ing’ to unsettle them,’ he said. ‘But he just opened one eye and said ‘Is that you, Alexander? Fetch me a cup of warm milk and my rose-tinted spectacles, there’s a good fag.’
The Ghost recounted how Osborne eventually awoke fully, sitting bolt upright and paying close attention during the visions that followed. ‘I showed him what Christmas would be like if he carried on his present path,’ he said. ‘Hospitals closing down, businesses going bust, benefits cut by 80%, freezing old people forced out of their care homes onto the streets, schools turning away poor children, the BBC taken over by Rupert Murdoch, the rich making obscene amounts of wealth at the expense of the working poor, Vince Cable driven mad and wandering the streets of Twickenham, Michael Gove all-powerful and hated by everyone. It was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever shown anybody. But he just licked his lips and said ‘Do you think you could speed all this up a bit? I could make it worth your while.’’
‘He didn’t even bat an eyelid when I showed him what would happen to poor little Tiny Clegg,’ revealed the Ghost. ‘Although to be honest I doubt there’s anything anybody can do to save that timid little runt from wasting away completely by May 2015, so it’s not all bad.’