[Here is space for you to forget about that ship.]
A vast ship manoeuvres through shifting tides and currents, once guided by stars, its crew held in the belief that, sometime, it might steer smoothly from the indistinguishable darkness of churning black into static space, the calm between points of light in the sky. Now though, blinking colours emit from diodes, displaying constellations that hold less mystery than before. Yet still, a technologically baffling ‘Global Positioning System’ ensures that a steady stream of information keeps its crew aware of their position. The great ship ferries around in, what might appear to be, a depressing, circular dally, but since everyone over the age of 18 gets to be captain, it would make sense that no clear, unified direction has ever quite managed to materialize fully. Which isn’t the end of the world, given that it’s supposed to be a pleasure cruise.
It was built over hundreds of years, and everyone whoever got aboard has contributed to its building, running, and general maintenance. Now the place is a living, thriving, community with all sorts of services and entertainments to offer. There are nurseries and bandstands, libraries and cinemas, for a brief though ill-fated time there was even a roller disco. Thankfully, there were also hospitals.
Not everyone used what was provided, and it was a bit of a sod to run, but the main thing that everyone seemed to hold in common was a shared interest in not letting the ship sink.
Yes. The CitizenShip had for long been a hardy behemoth. But many who had been afloat in it for decades now would grumble, like intermittent drizzle, of how things weren’t as they’d once been. And it was true, their ship now crested with increasing precarity over international waves, of crime.
The place was an absolute state, showing signs of deterioration. Not least of all in the Ship’s Hull, despite recent additions of large scale, hi-res photos of softly lit sea bass with chives and a garlic butter sauce, braceleted ladies cutting fine figures with face tones to compliment chromium-brown, sedative backdrops, with slogans like, ‘History in the making’, and, ‘Coming Soon’ in dignified, white, italicized type. This is where holes had been developing.
Invitations into the spaces behind the images were limited, seeing as these private parts were tightly controlled by a resource hoarding conglomerate called the Conservatories, who inhabited a huge glass penthouse at the highest point on top deck. They believed that they had a right to own the CitizenShip. Even though that right was total fucking horse shit since the vessel had been built by everyone together. It was clearly unfair to sell chunks of the Ship off without the permission of its captains, but regardless of their approval in any case, it was especially unfair to sell it off to those without an interest in making sure the ship would not sink. But the Conservatories all had yachts.
By now, word had been circling that the Conservatories had been the group primarily responsible for the damp that was rising through the Ship, which was bad, because one of the last things that anyone ever wants to have in a ship is uninvited water. Especially when that water is full of crime. Anyway, as became apparent, the Conservatories had been acting out their secretive plan of drilling and progressively widening holes in the Ship for the past few decades. This was what was happening behind the giant images, and sub-aquatic mercenaries, missionaries, and militants had been learnt to catch this drift, so that upon finding the distressed Ship, they were well positioned to offer up their services to mend any problems from the outside. Through collaboration and exchange, the Conservatories were able to build more yachts and a stunningly obnoxious golf course.
Even though the hundreds of thousands of captains on board could have filled the holes themselves, bailed the water, and thrown everyone culpable overboard, that is not what happened. Instead, they took a gamble on the allure of an innovative solution suggested by the friendly outsiders. Unfortunately, the solution was made of mineral water, sand and cement, and pumped violently into the worst affected areas.
As such, a lot of people onboard began to question whether putting holes into the boat was the right thing to have done after all, and whether or not it would be good to continue doing it. The more of this solution there was, the quicker the Ship sank, and as things stood, greater numbers than ever were having to be employed in the solution reallocation sector, as a matter of urgency. A crisis was developing and every service had to do whatever they could to reallocate the solution.
The CitizenShip was on its way down now that many vital services were suffering from lack. Resources were primarily organised for the purpose of spreading the problem of solution from deck to deck. Yet this approach was presented as the only way to manage a fair and balanced descent into the ceaseless ocean of obliteration.
Rankled and perturbed, many onboard had trouble identifying the criminal outsiders. What exactly were these alien forces of the deep? Some suggested pirates, but this seemed wrong because they didn’t bring a decent illegal radio station with them. Others thought of them as cowboys, like the builder kind of cowboys who rip their customers off, such as those occasionally seen on the ship’s popular television programme, WatchSeadog. Yet this didn’t seem quite right either, as that sort of cowboy tends to be a ramshackle chancer with notably weak organizational skills. In the end, most people just stuck with ‘senior management’.
Meticulously planned devastation was the future proposed by the Conservatories. A strong and stable continuation of horror. And there was nothing anyone in the CitizenShip could do about it… Except perhaps the cabin boy.
Known affectionately to many onboard as simply ‘The Absolute Boy’, when called upon to do his duty, all aboard knew he would respond with a resounding, “yes mate!” and that with enough support he could take on the Outsiders and prevent the CitizenShip from being turned into a Citi-Tank.
The community of mates gathered, now pitted directly against the hoarding Conservatories. No more losses could be taken. The entire CitizenShip was on the precipice of great change, at last with a prospect of rocking the boat back towards safety.
Don’t forget to vote Labour on June 8th!