Tuesday 29 March 2011 by Malcolm Everall

Cash-strapped council to replace Easter Bunny with ‘Socialist Termite’


Wolverhampton City Council has voted to scrap Easter and replace the symbolic furry bunny of springtime with an idealised Socialist Termite, called Barry, in a bid to cut costs.

But residents have hit out at plans to do away with the fictional cuddly egg-delivering mammal, only to replace it with an invasive left-wing insect which feeds on rotten wood and is a pest in parts of Australia.

The move, which is part of a plan by City Hall chiefs to reduce spending in the wake of massive government funding cuts, will see the Christian festival removed from the calendar altogether, along with all mention of crucifixion, Easter eggs, The Eucharist, and pancake racing.

And instead of the word ‘Easter’, council employees will be obliged to refer to ‘The first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal Equinox’, or, to save time, ‘Sprinterval’.

“It’s a time for making tough decisions,” says council leader Roger Lawrence.

“This Conservative-led government has slashed our budget savagely, and we are fighting to ensure that citizens still receive the services they expect and deserve.”

“The libraries have all gone, and the teaching assistants, and the public toilets in the city centre. We scarcely have enough money to go door-to-door, harassing people over their incorrect use of recycling bins.”

“Which is why I think Barry the Socialist Termite will be a big hit.”

Easter Bunny lost in cuts

Wolverhampton’s new Sprinterval mascot was dreamed up at a marathon brainstorming session of the council’s majority Labour group policy sub-committee, convened at ‘Mr Sausage’ in the city centre last Tuesday afternoon.

“We considered a range of options,” admits Cllr Stephen Simkins. “Cuddly mammals were right out of course, representing centuries of the global domestic slavery of animals.”

“Fish tend to appear unsympathetic, and in any case have unwelcome Christian associations.”

“At first we thought maybe a snake or lizard would accurately represent the vernal aspirations of the hard-working families of Wolverhampton, possibly even a newt or salamander. But all of those creatures, while handsome, have solitary habits, and tend to be carnivores.”

“So in the end we had to choose between a wasp and a termite. And Cllr Julie Hodgkiss is afraid of wasps.”

Controversial

But Barry is already a controversial choice. The city’s Conservative group leader, Neville Patten, has attacked Town Hall bosses for ‘arrogance and stupidity’ in their decision to oust the Easter Bunny.

“This is just another example of Labour councillors making the people pay for their own mistakes,” he fumed.

“The real reason Wolverhampton has lost the Easter Bunny is the catastrophic financial mismanagement of the last Labour Government. As for termites, well, they may have impressive powers of social organisation and instincts of self-sacrifice, but they also eat furniture.”

“Personally I suggested Edwin the Springtime Wildebeest, but that bastard Roger Lawrence didn’t want to know.”

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