Referring to the crushing cost of living crisis which is forcing ever more families into poverty, Jake Berry, the freshly installed Conservative Party chairman, said last week “People know that when their [fuel] bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or get a higher salary, higher wages, go out there and get that new job.”
I’m sure the nation’s hard-up, whether momentarily financially embarrassed or mired in long-term poverty, have been kicking themselves ever since being exposed to Mr Berry’s penetrating wisdom. Of course, they’re thinking. It was staring us in the face the whole time. If you haven’t got enough money, GET MORE MONEY. Why has nobody told us this before?
One might say that Mr Berry’s comment seems destined to take its place alongside Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” and Ebenezer Scrooge’s “Are there no prisons?”, except of course Marie Antoinette probably never said any such thing and Scrooge is a fictional character. Jake Berry is a real person, a human being (or a reasonable facsimile of one) and apparently meant what he said.
Clearly a man of such extraordinary sensitivity and empathy is wasted as the chairman of a probably moribund political party; he would be far better suited to the burgeoning industry of life coaching. Can you imagine the self-help book Jake Berry could write? Well, I can; in fact, I’ve taken the liberty of ghost-writing it for him.
So I hereby proudly present some extracts from Jake Berry’s new self-improvement blockbuster I’m Okay; Sorry, Who Are You Again?
JAKE BERRY’S GUIDE TO PERFECT PHYSICAL HEALTH
People have often asked me how I always seem to be in such good health. I tell them that after many years of painstaking research I finally discovered the secret to perfect physical health and it’s this: DON’T GET ILL.
Not many people realise this but GETTING ILL can have a seriously detrimental effect upon your health, temperament and general sense of well-being, as such you should AVOID getting ill at all costs.
If, however, you discover that through inattention and general lassitude you HAVE in fact become ill, then don’t panic. There is one course of action available to you, and it is to GET BETTER.
JAKE BERRY’S GUIDE TO PERFECT MENTAL HEALTH
The most important thing you can do to protect your mental health is to maintain a positive attitude. Concentrate on things that improve your mood and make you happy. You must be careful at all times not to become SAD. Sadness can lead to other undesirable conditions such as anger, depression and socialism and must be guarded against.
If you discover that you have, in fact, become sad, here are two things you must do immediately: Don’t go on about it.
JAKE BERRY’S GUIDE TO RELATIONSHIPS
My extensive studies in this field have revealed two essential facts to me: that people tend to gravitate towards others with whom they have the most in common, and that, consequently, most strong and long-lasting relationships are forged between people who have common tastes and values or who, in other words, like each other. This sort of bond is rather less essential in relationships in which one or more of the partners has a lot of money.
My advice, therefore, is that you should seek out people that you like, or who at least have a lot of money. If, as occasionally happens, you find you like them rather less with the passage of time (or they run out of money), there is no shame in breaking off this relationship and looking for someone whom you like rather more (or who still has lots of money).
JAKE BERRY’S GUIDE TO ACHIEVING WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Once you’ve got that well-paid job you were looking for (see previous chapter) it’s important not to overdo it in terms of time commitment. All too often we can allow our work hours to invade our leisure hours to the detriment of our mental health (see above).
The thing to do is to decide just how much work you want to do, and adjust how much time you want to have, and devote appropriate numbers of hours to each pursuit. Thus you will achieve equilibrium or “balance“. It really is that simple, and if it isn’t, you’re not doing it right.
POEM OF THE WEEK
We rubbed our eyes in wonder
As we checked our phones to read
The polls had given Labour
A 33-point lead.
The government has nothing
But bluster and excuse
But with two years of their term left
That lead is of no use.
Two more years to line their pockets
Two more years to watch it burn
Two more years till anybody else
Can ever have a turn.
Can they sink any lower?
They can, and will indeed
Meanwhile, all Labour has is
A 33-point lead.