Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words ‘I have a cunning plan’ marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation.
I have a cunning plan Lord Blackadder. Why don’t the Government, buy turnips from our farmers at a huge price, say 50 % above the market rate? We would hold the turnips in godowns and cut off all exports to the rest of the world. The sudden shortage from the world’s champion turnip exporter would cause global prices to shoot sky high.
Blackadder [sipping his ooliang]
Mmmm yes I see Baldrick that really is almost quite clever. We then throw open the godown doors and ship our turnips to the world at a premium. Our farmers win, the Government wins, Blackadder wins and foreigners lose – but then HEY they don’t vote in our elections. This is a no-brainer Baldrick except for one teeny weeny flaw. Turnips don’t grow here. Hang on a minute……….I have an idea.
[Six months later] Blackadder [enters stage right]
Well Baldrick where’s my dosh?
Errrr Lord Blackadder we have a slight problem. You know all that rice you asked me to buy from our farmers at hugely inflated prices?
Well no one is buying the rice from us. That beastly general trader Melchett in Dubai started to buy his rice from India, Ceylon and Saigon as soon as we hiked up the price and we were SOOO unlucky that India lifted its rice export ban flooding the market with millions of tons of rice. There is good news though!
And what may I ask is that?
We won‘t go hungry.
Oh yes and why not?
We have a lot of rice
Blackadder [muttering and exiting stage left]
Oh god. We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick insect got stuck on a sticky satay stick.
Baldrick [muttering and exiting stage right]
Well if we had stuck to turnips we wouldn’t be in this mess.