Public Fury as IMF Cancels Free Cheese Scheme

Dublin – After the national humiliation of declaring ourselves indigent gamblers who had recklessly bet the farm and lost, this morning came an announcement that added insult to indignity, salt to the wound, cheese to the strict vegan Christmas dinner.

The government announced today that its much hailed “free cheese for the needy” programme would be cut as the IMF declared it “an unnecessary expense.”

Minister Brendan Smith's patriotic fire ignited the nation.

Minister Brendan Smith's patriotic fire ignited the nation.

An indignant Brendan Smith, the Minister for Agriculture who had so joyfully broken news of the scheme on Nov. 5, spoke to the press about his intention to resign.

“The free cheese scheme was the centrepiece of this government’s plans for the political, economic, and social transformation of our nation!” thundered Smith, displaying a fiery passion not seen since the heady days of 1916.

“It’s true that we made some mistakes, like giving a bank guarantee of €70 billion we couldn’t possibly afford and then submitting like cowed sheep to the IMF and EU and negotiating a humiliating treaty of surrender due to our own ineptitude.”

“But free cheese was our way back to independence!” cried Smith, invoking the ghost of Pádraig Pearse in a passionate display of cheese-related nationalism. “Not alone would it benefit people from the point of view of providing good food, but it also promotes the use and the value and the importance and the nutrition of cheese and dairy products. Free cheese would have made us all healthier, so the scything cuts we have to make in the healthcare system would have had no serious consequences. It would have made Ireland a global Mecca for cheese connoisseurs, with knock-on benefits for the wine and cracker industry.”

A young patriot in shamrock-green defiantly refuses to hand the cheese back.

A young patriot in shamrock-green defiantly refuses to hand the cheese back.

“I can no longer stand by and watch the unemployed crackers of Ireland sit idle for want of cheese! To the barricades, my people!” cried Smith, suddenly pulling a tricolour emblazoned with a Galtee cheese slice out of his underpants and rushing down to O’Connell Street to lead the masses in revolution.

By the time he got there, the number of demonstrators had already reached 50,000.

Local man Paddy Farrell (44), working hard to dig up Dublin’s crumbling pavements in order to prepare the barricades against the coming IMF charge, said the IMF and the EU had now crossed the line.

“Sure, I stood by and did nothing when FF were reaming us with corruption and driving the country into disaster,” said Farrell as he tried to remember how the barricades looked in the Les Miserables show he’d seen at the Point. “I stood idly by when the government gave the bank guarantee and set up NAMA. I even sat on my arse when the Budget was announced and it became obvious how much we’d have to pay out of our own pockets to clean up the mess of the elites.”

The Irish people man the barricades in defence of Kilmeaden.

The Irish people man the barricades in defence of Kilmeaden.

“But this is the last fucking straw!” he yelled, to cheers of approval from the surrounding crowds. “You can take our homes, you can even take our livelihoods, but you can never take – our cheese!” The crowd roared and lifted Farrell into the air before carrying him to the statue of Daniel O’Connell to have him stand next to the great man.

Fiona Hayes (31), a hairdresser from Cork who had been in Dublin for the day said the minute she heard the announcement she had come running to O’Connell street. “You could just feel it from the people around ya,” she said in the singsong accent that makes Dubliners wince. “They were all just pure boilin’ with rage. The free cheese scheme is the only good thing this government has ever done for us, the ordinary people of Ireland, and if they take that away, then what is our government for?”

“Without that cheese, we may as well submit to being a province of the EU.”

Further up the street, Brendan Smith stripped to the waist and began covering himself in Celtic war paint while bellowing nationalistic slogans at the seething mob.

Deep in the secret vaults of the Ministry of Finance, IMF mission chief Ajai Chopra rolled his eyes at the pictures on the TV screen and went back to the hard work of finding out where FF had stashed all the money.

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