by Tom Black
On the Sea Lion Press Forums, we run a monthly Vignette Challenge. Contributors are invited to write vignettes on a specific theme (changed monthly).
The tenth theme was "Social Credit"
National Social Credit
Heil! No need to apologise, I have not been waiting long. I would advise you keep your appointments more closely for the remainder of your stay, however. Others are less forgiving of Anglo-Saxon ‘punctuality’ than myself. I have ordered. We are having Schwarzmeerkaviar. I trust this private room is to your- Good. To business so soon? I had hoped we- well. Very well. Forgive me, I will need to- yes. The papers. Oh, listen to me. I am such a- what is it you say? Stereotype? Papieren, bitte! [laughter] [indistinct] These are in order. Your Press Permit allows you to speak to me and any of my rank and below, and I see we are not in violation of your social curfew. Between you and I, you are not missing much - the nightlife of Germania is currently, by virtue of the latest fashions, gravely decadent and not something a pretty fraulein from overseas should subject herself to. My credentials? My, the tables are turning. Of course. Satisfied? Good. As is clear, I am involved in the implementation of Nationalkredit at Gaue level across the Reich, though obviously I have so far only seen it up close in the Ost. My office was, until the end of last year, in Himmlerstadt. A reasonable question. No, do not misunderstand me. I am not dictating what you can and cannot ask. However, it need not be said, but… I am allowed to do so. My co-operation with your report is a sign of the Reich’s desire for continued Offenheit with Great Britain, indeed the Führer is very grateful to Mr Healey for- Of course. I understand our time is limited. To return to your question, I was recalled to Germania because of success, not failure. The regional implementation in the eastern Gaue since 1986 has been a great triumph. Ratzinger is a new kind of Führer in many ways, but he is still the Führer - triumph, victory, and success are his watchwords. Umgestaltung is not his only priority. Yes, it is fair to say that Umgestaltung - transformation? This is your word, yes? - is the driver behind Nationalkredit. With the current challenges around resources, faced by the entire planet, of course- Well, that may be, and if Mr Healey has found a way to root out his own Shortage Saboteurs then the German Volk wish him the best. But the Indians and the Chinese are struggling with the same problem, and even President Haig has been forced to acknowledge the superiority of the German approach to these trying economic times. Even if he does look sour when he says it! [laughter] Furthermore, the challenges of administering the needs of 600 million people are even greater than- That figure is uncontested in serious circles. I believe it takes into account the population of the Scandinavian protectorates and- Nobody is feeding you any ‘line’, Fraulein. I have no intention of feeding you anything but caviar. [laughter] Well, I believed that to be funny. Very well. Once again, I stress that you will not find many Schutzstaffel officers as willing as I am to put up with this kind of questioning. But- ah. We shall pause while we are served. [indistinct] Danke. A good family runs this establishment. Each generation has fought - the founder of the original restaurant fought at Verdun in the Europakrieg, both his sons fought Stalin alongside your countrymen during the Endsieg, and the current proprietor lost a foot in Aserbeidschan. Now, excuse me one moment. This mouthful demands my attention. Delicious. Fraulein, forgive me, you may think me an oaf, but I can tell when a woman has been kept waiting too long. Ask and you shall receive. The genius of Nationalkredit is that its fundamental principle is identical to the principle which underpins the Reich, and has always done. Purity. The problems faced by our fathers are mercifully no longer with us. The Judenabwanderung was perhaps Hitler’s greatest success - outside of the Endsieg, of course. But the makeup of our population today brings its own challenges. With the Shortage Saboteurs continuing to cause problems, we must prioritise, as we have always done, the flourishing of the German Volk. This means the strongest of our stock must have the best chance to succeed. Certainly, I have mine here. An attractive design, do you not agree? I like the gold border. It is fine card, too. I do indeed. My position entitled me to a full check, and I am pleased to say the blood of 9th century Vikings runs through my veins, where it mingles with more recent Sudetendeutsche stock. I’m sure there have been exaggerations, but it is true that this is a factor. My skull shape is, as I’m sure you can see, exemplary, and suggests qualities of leadership and forward planning. Not a surprise, but another benefit in my little book here, as you can see on… [indistinct] ...this page here. Yes? Military service adds a small bonus. Social behaviour another - a clean criminal record is, naturally, itself proof of a lack of some specific deficient genes. But racial background comes first, as it should. Yes, we are aware of that simplistic nickname. ‘Racial Credit’ indeed! [laughter] Such a thing would be barbarous and unsophisticated. Since you ask, let us return to me as an example. All these factors come together to apply a multiplier to my currency expenditure. The government has prioritised simplicity here - prices are controlled, and can be raised when necessary. My current Kreditmultiplikator is 1.451, so, if I wish to purchase a loaf of bread, or, more likely, a fine Riesling, I can pay for it with - roughly - only 66% of the Marks necessary. You see? I am here to explain the system to you, Fraulein, not justify it in the face of ridicule. Your remarks are no doubt pithy and cutting, but Nationalkreditworks. That is the metric by which we Germans judge things, not their viability as a dinner table conversation topic. Ah, I was expecting this myth. How like an Englishwoman to be horrified by an alleged change to queueing systems! There is much ignorance around this, which is a surprise. Arischwarteschlange - Aryan queues, I believe you call them - were introduced under Führer Wirths in what was, with hindsight, a precursor of this scheme. German establishments already have the infrastructure for two queues, and the German Volk are well used to their status dictating how quickly they are served, and even what products are available to them. They all understand this is a matter of necessity, just as it was when Führer Fegelein ordered emergency measures at Tankstellen during the fuel calamity. The success in the Ost was and is real. Disturbances over shortages reduced wholesale, the cities of Goebbelsburg, Barbarossa and Manstein have returned to a state of growth for the first time since the 1960s, and I saw first hand the orderly way with which the German Volk conducted themselves under the new regulations. A heartwarming moment was a young boy waiting patiently for his lower-scoring friend to purchase baked goods for them both to share. The strong allowing the weak to provide for him - would that all children could have such clarity of- oh? Really? A surprising request. You understand the full process requires blood tests, interviews, examinations and so on? You flatter me. I shall attempt something unsophisticated with the naked eye - something I am used to doing, I will admit. Look at… [indistinct] ...this, here. I’ve drawn out a very basic version of the table used. I’m sure they will not miss this serviette. Now… Your hair is naturally blonde. That is obvious, and is in your favour. Your eyes… enchanting, no question, but that does not concern us, regrettably. It is a myth that blue is the only preferred colour, however - your shade of green suggests Indian Aryan ancestry some way back, which means… yes. One moment, bitte. My next calculation will require you to tilt your head upwards and to the left. Thank you. A Nordic bone structure. Goodness, Fraulein, if it were up to me, it appears you would be the richest woman in the Reich! [laughter] Now, the difficult part. Your family history. Obviously, being an Anglo-Saxon, you have a better chance of success here than if you were from the Third Republic… Oh? [laughter] Why did you not say so? During the Endsieg, you say? Did he settle in Britain afterwards? Ah. My condolences. No, that name is not familiar to me. Wait! I have seen this on a map. I believe there is a railway junction in Silesia by that name. Was your grandfather a railwayman? I see. Any other German heritage? Ah, then of course we can move on. This is but a silly exercise. Would you like to know my estimate? I stress that it is just that - an estimate. 1.35. Were your hips more childbearing, you could have reached 1.38. I observed as you walked to our table. As I am sure all men do, wherever you go. Fraulein, alas, we must conclude. According to the itinerary forwarded to me by your Chaperon - he has been detained for some time in the water closet, I assume? - you are due to be at Südbahnhof in one hour, and- I beg your pardon? I have just outlined the many ways in which Nationalkredit - please use its proper name - is anything but ‘hocus pocus nonsense’, Fraulein, and I would ask you not to be profane- Hm? Oh, so not a railwayman? Forgive me, I do not follow- What? Just what kind of journalist are you? What do you think you ar- [indistinct]