The government has voiced its concerns over a lack of field pickers to bring in April harvests, a shortage of healthcare workers and a shortfall in the number of people available to walk through town centres ringing bells and carrying ‘the end is nigh’ signs.
In a statement yesterday the government called for a ‘volunteer’ force of thousands of students and furloughed workers to help bring in crops as the usual immigrant workforce remains conspicuous by its absence.
At the same time, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have signed up to fill gaps in the healthcare service, answering calls, delivering medication and providing support for NHS staff stretched to their limit by the Coronavirus crisis.
A Westminster spokesman said, “our recent efforts to drive foreign workers out of the UK means the nation’s crops are rotting in fields. Meanwhile, our ten year austerity program means the NHS is woefully short-staffed. We want the British public to bite the bullet and plug these gaps. Naturally, we won’t be paying them.”
Number 10 also revealed measures to address a shortage of volunteers willing to walk around holding ‘end of days’ signs.
“People think this will all be over in a few weeks, utterly missing all the classic apocalypse signs. Runs on banks, panic buying, public lock downs and mass hysteria, like thinking Joe Wick is a really good idea.”
“The truth is, we’re looking at, potentially, three years of on-off lock downs while we try to mitigate ourselves of all blame. The economy was already in freefall. Add to that Brexit. Add to that a global recession which was already gathering steam before Covid 19 and then add to that the devastating effects of climate change and you’ve got a perfect storm.”
10,000 People across the country have thus far signed up as voluntary doomsayers which the government hope to mobilise in the coming weeks. “At the moment,” a number 10 insider said, “there’s not enough ‘end of the world’ signs to go round so we’re asking harbingers to make their own. You can download a guide from the government website.”
Michael Alfera, a full-time doomsayer from Manchester who has been raving on the streets of the city for nearly 15 years, was one of the first to sign up. He told the Daily Shunt, “few people realise how skilled this job is. The government thinks just anyone can do it.”
“Actually it’s very hard. You need to have your bible verses remembered by rote and you want a decent sandwich board and a really loud bell. Half the new volunteers don’t even have a thousand-yard-stare.”
The government are thought to be pushing through an ‘induction scheme’ for the voluntary prognostication sector which will teach newcomers how to shamble, look bug-eyed and develop an ‘unwavering faith in the second coming of Christ and/or the rapture’.
“We’re putting together a package,” one of the civil servants responsible for organising the scheme said. “It’s crucial to get this right because, when the internet goes down, newspapers go out of business and TVs are all being used for firewood, monomaniacs and curmudgeons will be the only means of spreading propaganda.”