Phillip Hammond is expected to announce a major shakeup of school meals as part of the budget today. An inside source told The Liberator that the government has been working on a plan to introduce gruel across all primary and secondary schools, in a move expected to cost approximately 7 pence.
The Liberator’s source is very highly placed within the Conservative party but wished to remain anonymous. Speaking from under a blanket like a ghost from Scooby Doo, they revealed:
“It’s true, gruel is coming back. We think Dickens gave it a bad reputation. It’s overdue a rebrand, really. The plan is going to include all primary and secondary school students, with gruel becoming mandatory for both breakfast and lunch. It’s a great option because kids literally won’t have the energy to faff about in class anymore. We think attainment will actually go up.”
Seemingly aware of the potential for public backlash against the idea, our source tried to dispel any fears:
“Don’t worry, we’re not going to bring back workhouses or anything. I mean, we had a couple of working groups set up to explore the idea, but it’s just too much of a PR minefield right now. But there are going to be new after-school programmes available to those who want to participate. We’re calling them ‘labour dwellings’, and students can go there to get some solid work experience in exchange for more gruel, if they like.”
When asked about how the measure would be funded given the current climate of austerity, our source went on:
“I wouldn’t worry about that, gruel is basically made of water and sorrow. We actually paid for the entire programme by having a quick whip-round at lunchtime.”