‘Mummy,’ said John. ‘Why am I not allowed to play with that nice boy Jeremy?’
‘Because he’s not our sort, John,’ Mummy said. ‘He has crooked teeth and he doesn’t wear a tie. He’s what Daddy calls a loser.’
‘What is a loser, Daddy?’ asked Janet.
‘It’s someone we all decide not to like,’ Daddy said. ‘Most of the other boys and girls won’t play with Jeremy.’
‘But I like him,’ John said. ‘He doesn’t swear like some of the other boys.’
‘And he wants us all to share our sweets,’ Janet said. ‘I think that’s jolly kind.’
‘I think he wants to share your sweets,’ Mummy said.
‘We have a grown-up word for that,’ Daddy said. ‘What do you think would happen if you all shared your sweets?’
‘We would all have a cracking good mixture,’ John said. ‘That would be fun.’
‘No, John,’ Mummy said. ‘You don’t understand. People like him would have more sweets and you would have less.’
‘Mummy means fewer,’ Daddy said.
‘But you let us play with that boy Owen,’ Janet said. ‘He wants us to share our sweets, too.’
‘Owen wears a tie,’ Daddy said. ‘He wants to be like us really.’
‘And he didn’t mean what he said about the sweets,’ Mummy said. ‘That was just to get people on his side for a little while.’
‘I think some of Owen’s gang who stopped playing with Jeremy want to make up and be friends again,’ John said.
‘Does that mean we can talk to Jeremy again?’ Janet asked.
‘Certainly not, Janet,’ said Mummy. ‘It means you must keep making fun of him and his friends until nobody talks to them at all.’
‘He has to keep being a loser,’ Daddy said.
For an adult satirical take on the Tory age of austerity, Lady Thatcher’s Wink is available both as a paperback and an ebook.