Ageing Thatcherite Norman Tebbit, doyen of the Tory right and, more recently, harbinger of a “Lesbian queen”, has given a staid suggestion of how to deal with the problem of “Neets” – those Not in Education, Employment, or Training.
Anyone not currently drawing a paycheck or studying (as well as “low level criminals”) should be made to pull up ragwort – a common wildflower that is dangerous to livestock and agriculture.
Tebbit said in a letter to chief executive of the charity Buglife that “there would be little cost to bring it [ragwort] under control if Neets and low level criminals were required as part of their contribution to the society which finances them, or which they have abused, were used to uproot this weed”.
'Pull up ragwort...'
Here are five other jobs Tebbit might like to suggest to help those currently out of work:
Neets should be sent into the sewers of Britain’s largest cities armed with a candle and a mallet. Fifty confirmed kills a day for the Neet over a course of six months should go someway to restoring an appetite for work.
Neets should be forced to place themselves in servitude for a period of no less than a year. The female Neet should be employed in the kitchen as a scullery maid, while the male Neet must ensure the coal shed is full, the master’s shoes are buffed and all the table legs are covered.
Neets small enough to fit into a chimney stack should be shoved down there barefoot and naked… even if the house is gas fired. They must then stay in the dirty flue until they find a job.
Neets should be made to make matches, preferably by dripping wooden sticks into phosphorus. This should happen in a cramped room with no ventilation. Long-term health problems would no doubt arise from the toxic fumes, but this would only incentivise the Neets to find gainful employment elsewhere.
Neets should be forced to scavenge for coins or bits of copper in the sewage along the banks of the Thames. Due to their debt to society, Neets should be made to work at least 100 hours a week for half a crown.