sour grape juice
"What are the causes, would you say, Prime Minister, for the disturbing rise in the unemployment figures this quarter?"
"Well, if I may, I'd like to draw your attention to the bigger picture. Employment has risen overall by 35% if we look at the statistics for the whole year. "
"35% of what, though, Prime Minister?"
"35% more people have been employed this year compared with the previous year."
"Yes, but what percentage of the population is currently employed?"
"And that's something to be proud of, Prime Minister? What was it last quarter?"
"And a year ago?"
"So it's gone down overall?"
"Yes, but you must realise that two months ago we had 70% of the population in employment and the month before that 80%."
"Is even 80% acceptable? What do the other 20% do?"
"Well we have a benefits system."
"Which your government has cut right back. And even if it hadn't how can you cater for 50% of the population?"
The Prime Minister's face turned into a mask of steel. "We take a very dim view of those who are unwilling to work."
"But if there is no work, Prime Minister, what are they to do? Why is there no work now?"
"Well, I guess it's seasonal."
"Really? But aren't we just fifty-four days away from Christmas? Isn't that usually one of the busiest times with maximum employment? What has gone wrong, Prime Minister?
"We are investigating."
"I suspect you know exactly why we are in this mess, Prime Minister. What are you going to do about it?"
The Prime Minster runs her hand through her hair and bites her lip. "Well, they'll just have to eat Christmas cake. If you'll excuse me, I must go and fulfil the will of the British people."