The Unentitled

Wearing a suit so expensive it almost shimmied around him as he walked, Barnaby strutted up and down the stage, explaining all to the secret rulers of the world. The meeting had already had four different speakers, each outlining the whys and wherefores of the coming doom. The years ahead needed careful management and within that room was the cynicism to get them through.

“Right now, all across the country, fifty-three million minds are thinking I just know I’m special, I just know. And why are they thinking it? Because we have trained them to think like that. Capitalism could never have thrived on the self-effacing make-do-and-mend mentality. We needed greedy entitled brats, and that is what we created,” Barnaby smiled. He would never think of himself as entitled, he simply deserved and got, unlike the grasping lower beings.

“But now we face a rather different problem. As some of my colleagues have already outlined, the population of England faces trouble. Those who don’t drown in the coming floods will still lose life as they know it. Electricity, supermarkets, holidays abroad, these things will be of the past for most. And these spoilt idiots won’t be able to cope. Their sheer indignation that such tragedy should befall them will be too much to process. And they will bring that indignation to our door. They will expect rescue and free meals. They will want pampering and plumping. Imagine this generation trying to survive rationing in the Second World War! I needn’t remind you that our infrastructure won’t survive such demands.” Barnaby paused, breathed deeply to let the moment build.

“Essentially, we need to change their thinking. They need to know just what they’re worth, which is of course, very little. If not, they’ll fight. They’ll cause havoc. This must be operation Deflate. Wither the egos! And now over to Beatrice for the details.”

This wasn’t a meeting ever talked about in the press. It happened in offices in London, so shiny and spacious that they bent time a little around them, but Operation Deflate began to creep its tendrils throughout the country, tweaking here and there.

First the adverts were changed, one by one. Syrupy voices no longer claimed ‘You’re worth it!’ or ‘Greed is good!’ Now they said ‘Everybody is like you. No thought you’ve ever had is original. Stop hoping’. And people waited for the punch line, the turnaround; the product; but there wasn’t one.

Then came the local news reports. The usual motorway pile ups and flu scares, but now the death count was just a number. No reporter sad-face at the tragic loss of life. No Twitter response, no man-on-the-street opinion. It was as if nobody cared what the public thought. And so the public stopped expecting. They hung their heads lower, stopped playing the lottery, took no more selfies. They started to make do and mend, to toil without demands. Barnaby watched them from his shiny office, as they trudged to work, they were the very picture of hopeless glum. He could see his plan had worked perfectly, these people would go to their deaths with dignity and without fuss. He felt like a God.

7 thoughts on “The Unentitled

  1. Such a powerful story, and insidious message! Not sure whether to feel giddy at your triumph, or depressed about the ease with thich the masses are manipulated. There is enough truth in this fiction to make it chilling… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I think as time moves on, people get wise to the manipulation – and then the manipulation gets smarter too. It’s an arms race!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story though 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Spot on! It’s happening now: the disabled, those on zero hours contracts, those stuck in communities no longer supported by thriving local industries: they’ve all been told ‘You’re not worth it. Nobody cares. The benefits if leaving the EU accrue to the already rich and powerful; infrastructure and such can only get worse.’ In other words, give up. You’ve got diabetes and are overweight from being sold junk food? Give up, you’re going to die. The drugs you take no longer work through being over-prescribed? And you can’t afford the patent-protected new ones? Too bad. The end isn’t nigh, it’s now. We are all, as you succinctly put it, The Unentitled. Brilliantly, chillingly told.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, always good to hear from you, calmgrove. These are frustrating times, and for the vulnerable they are especially tough. I just hope we can stop turning on each other and instead start work together to change things. Don’t give up yet, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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