Teams of UN mediators, led by ex-Secretary General Kofi Annan, have entered Britain in a bid to ease tensions as the country’s school summer holidays enter their sixth week.
The length of the holidays has been an increasing worry to international observers. Mr Annan is said to be concentrating his efforts on the south of the country, with Scotland having achieved a negotiated resolution in late August.
With the situation on the ground described as ‘pretty desperate,’ stories persist of families being driven apart amidst conflict, the economic ruin of household budgets, and the emergence of parts of the country as no-go areas.
“I’m not spending another minute at Farmer Fred’s fucking Adventure Play Barn,” said one mother.
State television has been broadcasting wall-to-wall inspirational sport, in a bid to keep spirits up. But stories abound of violent clashes, and the simple break down of law and order.
“They pushed Moses down the slide, and then one of the big kids pissed in the ball pool,” she added.
Another parent spoke about how the situation had rent his family asunder. “I got on well with my kids in July, but six weeks on they hate me and they hate each other. We need UN intervention and we need it now,” she said.
When told about Annan’s delegation, she was visibly moved. “Thank God – something new to entertain them. He could dress up as a clown or something, and do some sort of routine?”
It is understood that Mr Annan had invited in various cohorts in order to inspire parents to further fortitude, including a trio of Chilean miners from the group that were trapped underground for two months in 2010.
The experiment was not a success. “We arrive in Heathrow and are sent straight to look after a bunch of eight year olds who are off school for six weeks in British rainy summer,” said one.
“I turn round, go straight back. Where’s my lamp? Pass me a canary.”