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Humbug

Martin McQuillan relates a Christmas tale.

T’was the weeks before Christmas and Gideon Scrooge sat in his office at the great Chancellery in the heart of London town. Scrooge was a man of austerity. He was known for his dislike of excess of any kind. He was not a man to be swayed by the plight of the unemployed, the incapacitated, immigrants, students, legal aid lawyers, the arts council or local authorities. “More for less” was Gideon’s motto. He was dedicated to spending as little as possible on public causes, while advocating the virtues of self-reliance and private wealth creation. During his life Gideon had acquired a not inconsiderable personal fortune that he viewed as appropriate remuneration for all his hard work, having dragged himself up from the humble beginnings of a minor baronetcy and Maudlin College.

In an office down the corridor from Gideon sat his faithful clerk Willetts, who was struggling to balance his ledgers after a seeming overspend in his department. Gideon had made it clear to Willetts that he could not go home for Christmas until it was sorted out. Willetts dreamed of spending more time with his beloved Tiny RAB, whom he had looked after these past few years and who now because of his impairment was not in the best of health.

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