The Five Year Plan


Raising dimpled glasses at the long oak table, the Committee agree to disagree. In honour of Orwell, they wear pig masks through which they have to sip with straws, each one responsible for breaking a camel’s back, and those with a certain joie de vivre have pinned curly tails to the hems of their jackets, retro-modelled on styles popular in the late 90s. Everything is New here. ‘This,’ says Napoleon, flourishing his glass, ‘is a New Inclusive Agenda. And this,’ adds Squealer, slapping the table, ‘is a New Flexible Workspace. And this,’ shrieks Tony Blair, who misunderstood the memo, wiggling the tail that dangles at his arse, ‘is a New University!’ There will be laughter, fights, and later rumours of unspeakable acts. The air stinks of sour whisky and glue. Outside, in the long and faceless corridor, Benjamin sighs beneath his mask, straps on his exaggerated hump, and waits for the shower of straws.


Oz Hardwick




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