Mr All-Within-The-Rules and Mrs Worse-Than-Expected

Mr All-Within-The-Rules and Mrs Worse-Than-Expected are the two main characters of the national tragicomedy called Failure of a Country that has run in the UK for one year. This comedy duo explains to the public why all is going well while everything is going wrong.

Mr All-Within-The-Rules is a self-confident man, sure of his convictions and his important position. He has an answer for everything.

“What about the £700,000-a-year pension of Fred Goodwin, who left the RBS after leading the bank to the biggest bankruptcy of UK’s economic history?”

“All within the rules.”

“ What about the MPs’ expenses claims for maintenance and enhancement of their different properties?”

“All within the rules.”

“What about the bonuses for traders and their bosses, despite huge losses in the financial sector?”

“All within the rules.”

Apparently, we live in a brave new world: nobody breaks the rules!

“Why then are people so angry?”

“Because people don’t understand the rules,” says Mr All-Within-The-Rules. “We live in a competitive world, so the best of us must be rewarded according to their merits.”

“But are the rules fair?”

“The rules are sensible and well-founded,” says Mr All-Within-The-Rules. “We live in a competitive world, so the rules must conform to this world.”

“But is it not the rules that make the world competitive, rather than the opposite?”

“The world is competitive,” says Mr All-Within-The-Rules. “It is a natural law, and probably God’s law.”

“Can we change the rules?”

“Changing the rules? Impossible. It is not within the rules!” says Mr All-Within-The-Rules on his way from Westminster to the Square Mile (or the way back).

Mrs Worse-Than-Expected is a contrite lady, with great willingness, but constantly thwarted by events.

“What about the rise in unemployment figures?”

“Worse than expected.”

“What about the slump in national output?”

“Worse than expected.”

“What about losses in the financial sector?”

“Worse than expected.”

Apparently, we live in hard times: reality does not come up to our expectations!

“Why reality is so disappointing?”

“Because reality hasn’t yet understood that we are right,” says Mrs Worse-Than-Expected. “Once reality has realised that our expectations are sensible and well-founded, reality will conform to our world.”

“But who expresses these never-fulfilled expectations?”

“The best of us,” says Mrs Worse-Than-Expected. “Neither the expectations nor those who express them are at fault: only reality is in the wrong.”

“What will happen if reality doesn’t conform to our expectations?”

“Reality cannot be so stubborn. Don’t you see all these green shoots in the meadow?” says Mrs Worse-Than-Expected on her way from the Square Mile to Westminster (or the way back).

Conclusion of the play? Firstly, the “worse-than-expected” is within the rules: in other words, the worst is yet to come. Secondly, the “all-within-the-rules” is worse than expected: in other words, rules won’t change. The best of us will go on leading a brave new world according to sensible and well-founded rules. We have, however, some good news: Mr All-Within-The-Rules and Mrs Worse-Than-Expected are expecting a baby. They will call him Damn-The-Consequences.


One response to “Mr All-Within-The-Rules and Mrs Worse-Than-Expected

  1. Thanks for your link by Paul…
    Marvelous lesson and story.
    Can we sing afterwards like The Beatles “Let it be”?

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