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A Man of Yet a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

The Poorville Estate

‘‘Allo mate, this where I apply for a council ‘ouse?’

‘That’s right. Which location were you thinking of?’

‘I fancy summit on that new Poorville Estate - the one next to Posh Park.’

‘That’s a nice area.’

‘Yeh. I wondered why they’d built a council estate there. You’d fink all them rich people in Posh Park would have complained.’

‘On the contrary, they supported it. It’s an important part of planning strategy to have deprived areas adjacent to affluent neighbourhoods.’

‘Why’s that, then?’

‘It gives the wealthy a baseline against which to compare their lifestyles. It provides an identifiable group of real people to demonise for the ills of society. That’s why we’re so careful about who we select for tenancies on those estates. You are a member of the feckless poor, aren’t you?’

‘Well, I’m on benefits, right now.’

‘That’s good. We’re looking for an unemployment rate of around thirty percent. You don’t happen to have a pregnant, unmarried, teenage daughter, do you?’

‘Sorry, mate.’

‘That’s bad luck. We particularly need to get their numbers up in order to match the DMDP.’

‘What’s the DMDP?’

‘The Daily Mail Demographic Profile. It tells us how many of each type of social problem we need to build a proper working class ghetto.’

‘I didn’t know so much plannin’ went into makin’ a rough neighbour’ood.’

‘Oh yes. It’s a masterpiece of social engineering. We’ve already built a run down, dilapidated pub and a sink school. All the teachers will be fully trained in modern teaching methods, so most school leavers should be illiterate.

‘Ain’t left much to chance, then?’

‘Certainly not. Those selected to provide medical cover have been hand picked from areas with the highest mortality rates in the country, and all NHS dentists have been banned for a radius of forty miles. Would you like a cigarette?’

‘No fanks. Never liked fags.’

‘It might be wise to start if you’re hoping to move to Poorville. We plan the average life expectancy on the Estate to be at least twenty years less than in Posh Park.’

‘What uvver low-life you lookin’ for?’

‘We still need a lot of single parents on benefits; a fair number of binge drinking young people and around ten drug dealers. What can you and your family offer us?’

‘Not sure. We’re a decent, ‘ard workin’ family. I lost me job due to the recession, but I’m startin’ a new one next week.’

‘That’s not very good, I’m afraid. The DMDP doesn’t include decent, hardworking families.’

‘That’s a bummer. What do we 'ave to do to get a place on Poorville?’

‘We have training courses. Here’s a brochure.’

‘Cor, there’s lots in ‘ere. I could do courses on burglary and benefit fraud. And me son could qualify in school avoidance, vandalism and muggin’. Me wife might even go for this City and Guilds in prostitution - it would certainly bring in the dosh.’

‘That’s the attitude. A willingness to change is so important. If you and your family can do well in those basic studies then you’d be off to a very good start. Who knows, you might even graduate to petrol bomb manufacture and advanced rioting.’

‘Can I apply now for an ‘ouse on the Poorville Estate.’

‘Certainly, I’ve an application form here. Can I take a false name…?’