Hey, you. Yes, you! Want a tenner?
It’s yours. Well, it’s not yours, but you can have it. You deserve it.
Of course what you don’t realise is that the tenner I’m giving you is actually yours. It was to start with, what I’ve done is promised everyone a tenner, but some people don’t have a tenner to start with, so in order to give everyone a tenner I have to take a tenner and a fiver from those who do have the cash to start with.
People like getting tenners. Because people like it so much, they vote for me. They still haven’t realised that it was their tenner in the first place.
I’ve had an idea. Perhaps if I promise people two tenners, more of them would vote for me. Hmmm, yes, I like that. What do I care that I actually don’t have all these tenners? What do I care that if you add up all the tenners in the country, it doesn’t actually equal all the tenners I’ve promised to shell out? By the time everyone’s realised what’s happened, I’ll have stepped down or been kicked out in favour of the bloke who has promised everyone three tenners.
All of a sudden, all the people I borrowed tenners from to give to you, on the promise of them getting their tenners back, plus a fiver, based on the fact that the magic money pixie will pay a visit, want their tenners back.
Oh dear. I’ve got no tenners.
All of a sudden people are getting angry. The people I borrowed the tenners from are asking ‘where’s my bloody tenner?’ All the people I promised tenners to are asking ‘where’s my bloody tenner? You told me it was mine. I demand my tenner, or I’m going to smash the place up. My tenner, my tenner, you said, miiiiiiiiiiine!’
But you know what? Here’s the really good bit. All those tenners I borrowed? I didn’t borrow them in my name, oh no, I borrowed them in yours. Clever, isn’t it?
And then, and then, when everyone gets really cross, I get together with all the other tenner promisers and set up a unity government. What this means is that all the people who were promised tenners will be faced with a choice at the next election of voting for someone who promised them a tenner, can’t deliver on that promise and wants them to pay two tenners for the tenner that they gave their dad, or for someone who promised them a tenner, can’t deliver on that promise and wants them to pay two tenners for the tenner that they gave their dad.
OK, it may not be me, but it will be one of my friends that wins, and we are all friends really, even if we pretend we’re not.
Tenners all round!
Greece really is screwed.