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The Great Murder Permit Trading Scheme Swindle

By Peter Boyle

Imagine a government trying to sell to the public a new proposal to reduce murder rates by selling rights to murder. The government brazenly names it the Murder Reduction Scheme.

Here is how it works: The money raised by selling murder rights could be used to subsidise terrified potential victims to arm themselves for self-protection, thus hopefully reducing their chances of being murdered. But that's not all! Some of the money raised from selling the aforementioned murder rights would also be used to compensate professional killers and other commercial organisations that might be adversely. It is hoped that over time, subtle “market signals” will encourage these murderous commercial enterprises to shift their investments to non-murderous activities

Sorry, that's just not good enough, responds the parliamentary opposition that prides itself on being even more committed than the government to protecting business interests. Its leader, who has made so many killings that he's one of the country's 200 richest, says: “Listen up! Over in Yes-We-Can Land, they've got an even better idea. They are going to give their top killers FREE murder permits. Yes, they can!”

Feeling the pressure, the government (of what some are now thinking of as Perhaps-We-Might Land), announces a Grand Opening Sale.

The Crazy Warehouse Salesman is hired to sell the discount murder permits. “Crazy, crazy, crazy! Murder permits going for just $10 each – for one year only. Shootings, stranglings, bashings, stabbings, axe murders – you name it, every permit's got to go. Get them while they last!”

The government then rolls out a Clark Kent lookalike, who allegedly was once a hard-fighting union chief, to threaten the opposition: “I'm warning you Silvertails, if you force the Murder Reduction Scheme back to the drawing board, Murders Inc could end up paying more”, he growls.

Meanwhile, a group of crime researchers released a new study that showed a “90 % probability” that already sharply rising murder rates had been underestimated by half.

[Submitted for publication to Green Left Weekly]

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