Not content with having overseen the disastrous MTAS computer system failure, and ordered hundreds of millions of unnecessary swine flu shots, and destroyed the social lives of millions of smokers and closed thousands of pubs, outgoing Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson today unveiled his parting gift.
“I’ve been working on it semi-secretly for years, and it’s one reason why I’ve lost a lot of weight in recent years, and have been getting a bit saggy-arsed,” Sir Liam said, tapping the box of Little Donnies, about the size of a cigarette packet, on the table in front of him.
He slipped out a Little Donnie from the packet, and held it between thumb and forefinger. “It’s really just a miniature clone of myself, about half an inch long, but with six legs. You just pop one of them up your arse, and it will act as a little internal policeman, making sure that you don’t eat too much, or drink too much, or smoke anything at all. It roams around inside your intestinal tract, sampling the food you’ve been eating and drinking, and consuming anything it deems excess to need.”
In the silence as reporters slowly took on board this information, Sir Liam peeled off the cellophane from the Little Donnie to reveal its life-like facial features. The tiny face of the Little Donnie was the spitting image of Sir Liam.
As reporters asked, after the long silence, what the lifetime of a Little Donnie was, Sir Liam replied that it depended very much on the lifestyle of the human host. If the host human neither smoked nor drank alcohol, nor ate chocolate, crisps, meat, fat, sugar, salt, and a very long list of other foodstuffs, the Little Donnie would starve and die within a few months, and would be naturally voided. “If not, it could last for the remaining lifetime of the human host.”
When reporters asked whether, once inserted, a Little Donnie could be removed, Sir Liam replied, “It would be very difficult. It would be a bit like trying to catch a rat in a drainpipe.”
Asked what effects human hosts might experience, Sir Liam said, “There are no effects if you eat moderately, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t snack, and make sure you get enough exercise.”
“But,” he added. “If you eat, for example, a chocolate eclair, Little Donnie will probably consume all of it before your own digestive system does. And as a result it will swell up.”
“And in fact,” he said, producing a large ball and placing it on his desk next to the packet, “It can grow to be as big as a football. Which would be extremely painful. So, within minutes of eating a doughnut or a piece of chocolate, you’d start to experience sharp pains as the Little Donnie swells up. But after a few such nasty experiences, you’d rapidly learn to avoid these symptoms, by sticking to a strict diet of bread, water, bran flakes, muesli, lentils, and so on. And you’ll be much healthier for it, of course.”
Asked by one reporter how a Little donnie regulated exercise, Sir Liam explained that a Little Donnie spent most of its life in the host’s rectum. If the host spent too long sitting down, “more than 10 minutes, say,” the resulting increase in rectal pressure would cause the Little Donnie to wriggle around, forcing the host to stand up.
When further asked how anyone could manage to ever get any sleep, Sir Liam explained that a Little Donnie had its own natural sleep cycle, from 11 pm to 4 am. “Five hours sleep is all that anyone really needs,” he said. “After that, it’ll wake you up to make you do your morning press-ups.”
Asked if anyone other than himself had trialed the Little Donnie, Sir Liam replied that most of the outgoing Labour administration had been fitted with Little Donnies some years ago. “It was the main reason that most Labour MPs voted for the smoking ban. Their Little Donnies wouldn’t allow them to do anything else. Not unless they were prepared to endure weeks of agony.”
Sir Liam revealed that David Cameron had been fitted with a Little Donnie shortly after becoming leader of the Conservative party. He hoped that the rest of the new Lib-Con cabinet would be fitted with them in coming weeks. And all of the new intake of MPs by late summer.
He said that GPs and hospital surgeons were also being asked to fit Little Donnies to patients as a matter of routine. As CMO he had already unilaterally implemented this policy. “Your doctor will ask to examine you, ” he said, “And he’ll just quietly pop one in.” Sir Liam said he hoped to get parents to buy packets of Little Donnies for their children. “We’re hoping to be able to sell them in the space vacated by cigarette cartons. And to use the same bright primary colours that cigarette packets used to have. And sell them at about the same price for a packet of 20.”
As reporters squirmed and fidgeted and looked uncomfortable, Sir Liam expanded on the health benefits of Little Donnies. “We’ll no longer have to persuade anyone to voluntarily change their lifestyle. Little Donnies will make sure that people are made to – nudged, if you like – change their lifestyles, and do what’s good for them, all day every day. Little Donnies will cure the smoking epidemic, the drinking epidemic, and the obesity epidemic all at the same time. It’s truly a miracle cure.”
Sir Liam also said that Little Donnies responded adversely not only to tobacco, but also to cannabis, opium, cocaine, ecstasy, and a variety of other illegal drugs.
Asked whether the implanting of Little Donnies would remain voluntary, Sir Liam replied, “Not if I can help it. I don’t want to get into the so-called ethics of this. Some people say that it’s an infringement of freedom. But what use is freedom if people just use it to kill themselves smoking and drinking and over-eating? It’s best if trained medical practitioners – people like me – are allowed to decide what’s good for people, and then to make them do it. Why the hell train doctors if people can just ignore their advice. By the way I’m very glad that stupid woman is going to be forced to have her cancer treated whether she likes it or not. She has no business telling doctors what they can or can’t do.”
Sir Liam then produced several cartons of Little Donnies, and offered them to reporters. None were accepted, except by the Guardian correspondent.