Thursday 4 July 2002

A modest proposal

Reader David Ellams has sent me the following:

Instructions for the disposal of the Blunkett (dis-)Benefit Card

Equipment Required:

1 One work bench with a vice
2 One clamp
3 One hammer (the heavier the better)
4 One electric drill
5 One Tungsten Carbide by 1/2" drill bit (warning do not use metric "equivalent" size)
6 One centre punch
9 One poker
10 one fire
11 One piece of writing paper
12 One personal computer with a word processing programme
13 One computer printer
14 One see-through plastic envelope
15 one second class stamp

Execute the following actions:

1, Place the card face up on the work bench
2. Clamp the card with the clamp so that it will not move
3. Taking the hammer in your right hand strike the card in the area of the embedded chip as hard as you can twenty five times
4. If the embedded chip has not thinned and spread out enough take the red-hot poker and apply it to the chip until it becomes red hot.
"SAFETY WARNING" No 1– do not allow the plastic to catch fire as it will not doubt exude noxious fumes and you will end up thigh deep in Health and Safety busybodies!
"SAFETY WARNING" No 2 – have a 5 gallon bucket of cold water standing by adjacent to your workbench
5. Repeat action number 3
6. Drop the card in the bucket of water to cool it down
7. By now the chip should be sufficiently thin for the next operation
8. Take the card out of the bucket of water and lay it down face up on a block of wood that is approximately 4" thick and 2" wider than the card all round
9. Place the block of wood in the vice so that the card is trapped, with the front facing you
10. With the centre punch and hammer punch the centre of the chip – one blow should be sufficient
11. Fit the ½" tungsten carbide drill bit into the chuck of the drill and tighten it up
12. Plug in the drill to the mains socket outlet and switch on the drill
13. Using the centre you have just punched, drill right through the card in the area of the chip
14. Make sure that you remove all of the chip and leave a nice neat hole, if necessary re-drill with a ¾" tungsten carbide drill bit (warning do not use metric "equivalent" size)
15. Also make sure that your name and photograph are still clearly visible on the front of the card
16. Retire from your workshop to your word processor
17. Place the card in the see-through plastic envelope, and include the following letter

Mr Blunkett,
The Secretary of State for Home Affairs,
The Home Office,
Queen Annes Mansions,
Petty France,
London SW1


Please find enclosed one modified and redundant Blunkett (Dis-) Benefit card, which is

1. Prima Facie evidence of an act of Treason on your part (and be advised that as required by law, I have notified the local magistrates accordingly),
2. A gross violation of the rights of the individual,
3. Contrary to the common law of both England and Scotland,
4. Contrary to Magna Carta,
5. Contrary to the Bill of Rights (1689),
6. Prima Facie evidence that you are one of Moscow’s most exalted cadre called "Lenin’s Useful Idiots".

Yours sincerely

18 Seal the envelope, apply the second class stamp, and pop it in the post.