Self fulfilling prophecies ……
The Government is launching an urgent and expensive enquiry as to why the Nation’s kids are hitting new levels of obesity……….Duhrrr.
Location: Council offices, Somewheresville.
Time: Early June, 1994.
"OK people. The proposition is this….. We need to realise some assets – and quick. Have you seen these expense forms? PLUS, don’t forget the twinning junket planned for next month, Tuscany isn’t cheap you know! Any ideas?"
"Hmmm", Hillary, toyed with his newly inscribed triangular name plaque. It was not what he had expected. He'd just been appointed Director of Education for the City – and already he was being asked to scratch around for cash by the Committee.
Suddenly, as if by divine intervention, he gets the ‘Don Corleone’ of ideas.
"I’m thinking how we can turn VERDANT GREEN into VERDANT GREENBACKS! I’m thinking two up - two down. I’m thinking town houses and imaginatively designed family sized suburban dwelling units for the discerning buyer. But I’m really thinking about a million quid an acre"
"Listen, we’ve got ‘assets’. And the best thing is, nobody will notice if we ‘realise’ them. School playing fields – they’re only used now and again, we could flog them off for housing and ‘trouser’, sorry commit those newly realised funds to urgently needed education projects"
"Brilliant – that deserves a pay rise"
"But what knock-on effects would there be?"
"Look, apart from the dinner hour, the 2 daily play times, the sports days, the football, cricket, hockey & rugby teams, the track & field sports, the Summer fetes, the Autumn fairs, the after schools pastimes……… It’s not doing ANYTHING – It’s just damn well lying there, growing".
"Like a big flat green elephant?"
"Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a huge big green fatted calf actually"
"Look, the kids don’t use it, it won’t be missed – and we’ll make a fortune. Anyway, if we DO build on it, the kids will turn to academia. This way we will force them to take up their studies instead of humping a football around. It’s win-win!"
"Right, that’s that sorted, what’s next on the agenda?"
"Closing school canteens and replacing them with vending machines ……."