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Blog - Richard Downes

The Glorious Servant Dreams about The Department of What and Pardon


It had been a hard day of concentration at the office. The Glorious Servant had applied himself to processes of application, focusing on rules, regulations and get out/get off clauses. Thinking back in time he remembered a name. He thought it was Joseph Heller. Regardless of correctness he settled for that. Before going to sleep he considered, once again, if he knew the author of Catch 22 or not. The glorious servant closes his eyes.

The Department Of What and Pardon

I dream’t about the the DWP last night
The Department of What and Pardon
Where a fusty old civil service diktat
Commands they start all lines with what or pardon

What, they say
You want more
Pardon us. We don’t give more

They say what
Your payment is 12 weeks in arrears
Pardon us. But whose debt is it?

What they say
We make you go to the food bank
Pardon us but whose embarrassment is that?

They say; what
You want help with budgeting
Pardon us; but whilst we should do it when did our staff ever get the training

What they say
You say these sanctions are killing you
Pardon us, but isn’t that a saving and proof at last
That universal credit is working

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Colin Hambrook

Like it Rich!