In the Highway Rat, the rat’s kleptomania means “he even stole his own horse’s hay”. Similarly, ISME’s Rat has given full-blooded support to austerity, stridently opposing minimum wage increases and calling for the abolition of all Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements.
These measures hammer the living standards of the 777,000 SME sector employees, destroy their purchasing power, and send more small businesses to the wall (businesses are closing at almost twice the rate that new ones are formed). ISME’s Rat speaks on behalf of a stratum of male stuffed shirts who spunked away their firms’ revenue on failed property deals during the boom. For all their breying in golf clubs and hotel lobbies about entrepreneurship, they rely on State supports and subsidies at every turn to prop up their revenues. Their solution to the crisis, like the Highway Rat, is to “grow horribly fat by eating up everyone’s dinner.”