Ministers today were embarrassed to discover that many of their key policies were the result of an extended consultation with a dead shark.
Tory ministers have been taking regular guidance from a group calling themselves “Reform”. Originally thought to be a right-wing think tank, it now transpires that it is in fact a right-wing FISH tank created by Damien Hirst.
Claiming to find a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity, the Reform Shark was only unmasked after 12 years of giving the same two words of advice; “cut funding”.
“The first time we heard the suggestion, we were delighted, as it seemed to encourage private sector involvement and market de-regulation” said one minister, sheepishly. “But by the fiftieth time of hearing the same two words we started to smell something fishy.”
As it turns out, it was a massive tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde and not the MP Nick Herbert, as was previously thought. A Treasury spokesmen tried to clarify the situation: “Apparently when you ask a shark to reform the public sector, they just assume you want to CUT the public sector. Of course if you say it out loud it just sounds moronic. If you keep cutting at a thing it eventually falls apart. The trouble is, the shark said it with such conviction - after all, it is an iconic piece of 1990s art”.
Ironically, despite receiving tens of thousands of pounds from corporate donors, “Reform” has never felt the need to “cut” its own funding. “Oh Cod, I know this looks eely bad,” apologized the Shark. “I hake the fact it's a load of scallops. Bass-ically I said this was a roeful idea, but they said stop carping on. Mullet it over. Don’t be so shellfish. We need you to come it from a really different angler, don't be koi. Frankly the whole thing is giving me a haddock.”