I hope you had a great Hogmanay, and have now forgotten New Year’s Day when sensible people sleep it all off.I wanted to write to you in the spirit of this great festival to tell you how your company has added to the joys of this old and formerly Scottish custom. I left it until today for obvious reasons. No-one wants a serious message from the boss on New Year’s day.
I have been stung by criticisms that the Board of UK PLC in recent years has been too narrowly Scottish, and aware that many of the joys of being Scottish could be more widely applied by changes to the company’s practise and policies. That is why we extended 24 hour drinking, hoping the idea of serious drinking at the time of change of year would spread more convincingly beyond Scotland. I think you will see just how well shareholders have responded to this thoughtful initiative.
I was also worried that shareholders in England did not seem to get enough time off to celebrate New Year in the way we always did in Scotland. The English seemed more hung up on the earlier seasonal festival of the 25th and 26th December. Despairing of weaning them off this, despite all our efforts with changing the language and banning Boxing Day hunts, we decided to just give everyone longer holidays instead.
Our plan to give most people two weeks off for the seasonal festival and New Year has worked well. We led the way from Parliament of course, where we ensured the MPs were sent away on 16th December, not to return before January 5th. We went for a longer period than two weeks, partly because MPs collectively are not very good at counting and sums. I am told some of them have broken the spirit of this by writing blogs and sending out press releases. They were meant to be leading by example, drinking more and doing less, so we will look into whether we can control these unwelcome work activities more. We must find ways to make them enjoy themselves, as we insist on all of you enjoying yourselves in Board election year. As I have often reminded you, the drinks will be on us for the next few moths, unless you use the rival company Conco. We will be advertising our wide range of benefits and income top ups so your glasses can be charged.
I was also keen that we should extend the Scottish winter weather to the rest of the UK. The snow bound homes and the all white on the night scenery are part of the magic of true Hogmanay. That was part of the reason I was so keen to save the world from a temperature rise. I hope you will forgive me from reminding you, but this has been one of the most astounding achievements of your comppany. It was literally as I finished speaking on how we could save the world that the big freeze up and the snow began. I think you will agree you never got this much snow and ice at this time of year when Conco were in charge. It’s a huge improvement. I see it as part of my climate equalisation policy, showing that what Scotland has England should have as well.
It was in that same spirit of generous sharing around the different parts of our company’s territory that led us to allow English shareholders to participate in the losses and activities of two great Scottish banks. Our decision to take over most of those institutions’ shares was the single biggest leap forward we made in our policy of record spending and borrowing. What has been little appreciated is just how it also advances fairness between the different regions of our company. If Scotland is just so much better at generating losses than England, it is a magnanimous gesture and part of our fairness policy to let England join in.
Some have said it is not fair that England has to pay more tax than Scotland to help pay for the company’s activities. They point out that more people proportionately are in paid employment outsde the company in England than in Scotland. I agree. That is why we have been pursuing monetary and economic policies designed to push up the unemployment rates in England, and to increase the numbers of people on UK PLC’s own books both sides of the Scottish border. We want to minimse the need to work for other employers throughout our area, not just in Scotland. We intend to make it as difficult as possible to employ people in the private sector. I think you will agree that that policy is working nicely as well. I am sorry if you still think too many people are in non UK PLC jobs in England. We are working hard on that issue all the time. Our latest bankers tax should get rid of some more of these unwanted jobs, to be followed by the new higher income tax which will stop some of them and drive others out of our territory for good.
Some silly forecasters wrongly said we would let prices fall and create a deflation. The Board’s vigorous action in boorrowing more and printing more will,I ensure you, push prices up at a livelier pace in this New Year. Just to make sure we have asked our railway subsidiaries to charge more for car parking and some journeys if you do go by train. We are sticking up VAT again which will help. Watch petrol prices. We aim to get these much higher over the course of the year, as they feed into all other prices. Our company slogan of “Never knowingly undepriced” will ensure that wherever we think prices are too low we will take corrective action.
So my advice is to sit back and pour yourself another favourite tipple. It’s on the hosue for the next four months. Given the winter conditions you can’t go anwhere easily, so forget all this work lark for a bit. Like the MPs, you deserve another holiday and I am going to make sure you have one.
Yours in snow