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Scorn not his big society

Mr Cameron was today challenged on what some saw as a potential flaw with “releasing public services from the grip of state control”.

Cutting edge research revealed that the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 states that anyone doing work for an organisation must be paid at least the minimum wage. While charities, voluntary organisations and statutory bodies are legally entitled to employ unpaid voluntary workers, private companies are not.

On the face of it, this may present a problem for the implementation of two of Mr Cameron’s most treasured schemes – on one hand, all public sector jobs being done for free; on the other, the outsourcing of all public sector work to private industry, This morning it was pointed out by radical left wing organisers that private companies may not be covered by ‘charities, voluntary organisation and statutory bodies’ and would therefore be leally obliged to pay people for doing a job. Some representatives of the vicious left wing media went so far as to say that Mr Cameron’s two top policy initiatives might now be irreconcilable.

When the revelations broke, several senior tories scratched what appeared to be their heads. In comments made off the record, a number admitted they had never heard of the legislation in question.

“Who came up with this nonsense?” asked one. But morale in the party was hit hard when an intern confirmed that the legislation indeed existed and that the far-left’s unpatriotic attempt to undermine Mr Cameron’s hopes for a better Britain might have some legal legitimacy.

“But if we can’t make all the people we fire work for free, the whole country will collapse!” said one. “I mean, someone has to do these jobs that are getting slashed all over the place. Quite a lot of them are important.”

“Also, if we can’t make everyone work for free, how would the Big Society work?” asked another, looking confused. “We don’t have all that many policies, so it’s really important that we can keep saying this one is going ahead full steam.”

Suggestions that this revelation might discourage plans to auction off public services were quickly dismissed.

“No, we are committed to this very real option for genuine diversity,” Mr Cameron told the press at lunchtime. “Also, we’ve already promised lots of the contracts to our friends.”

However reconciling the two schemes took all afternoon, during which time Mr Clegg volunteered to be tied to a pole outside parliament to distract the public by allowing them to throw things at him.

By tonight, the government had started to downplay any suggestions that these debates would hamper their plans.      

“It’s very simple,” said Mr Cameron. “Firstly, we’ll need to repeal the National Minimum Wage Act, which we were going to do anyway. That really is the only important thing here. This will remove any controversy about our plans.

 Mr Cameron did not address rumours that the government’s back up plan involved conscription for people who have been out of work for more than one week and who can’t support themselves.

Mr Clegg confirmed that his party had checked these plans for fairness and he was as happy to approve them as he was to be released from the pole.

“It wouldn’t be right if we were seen to break the law,” he explained. “But repealing the law would mean that we don’t break it, and that means we remain completely fair, as well as blatantly transparent, which is what the country wants and what we always promised.”

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