by our welfare correspondent Sid Ovski
Last year's Montreal conference broke attendance records
The DGAFU, the international unworkers union, is to choose the Wirral for its annual conference in 2010.
The event, which barely attracts more than a handful of its global 240 million membership, is in its 90th year and is set to draw crowds from as far away as Wales.
The DGAFU, who were formed not long after the stock market crash of the 1920's, have endured world wars and recessions and have survived despite almost continual lack of support from its own members.
Lloyd Winston, Head of the Institute of Advanced Inactivity, spoke to the Groan about the need for a conference no one bothers to attend. 'We feel that, as the credit crunch deepens, many people no longer take us seriously as a union, ' explained the esteemed academician from the rich mahogany of a supporting mantelpiece yesterday.
'Here, in the Wirral, there are a steadfast nation of fellow unworkers who, we hope, will swell the ranks of this year's conference'.
He emphasised the importance of maintaining the traditions of the union and its devotion to its core beliefs. 'The DGAFU have been giving slackers a bad name since 1929 and we hope to be able to be bothered to do so in future'.
Despite the set-backs, the DGAFU have been unable to attend several political demonstrations this year. They were absent from most major unemployment rallies and only managed to complete one engagement, the Sunbathing for Darfur charity marathon which they later revealed they entered by mistake.
Several of their original members are from Merseyside. Roy Lake, 77, of Lower Expectation Rd. Seacombe, used to be a full-time unworker until he slipped and broke both of his benefits in a fall. He now suffers from a full-time job working as a leisure consultant for Slactivities Incorporated, a branch of the Bonidal group.
Roy Lake yesterday (Guitar Hero score 420000)
'I'd not worked a proper job since I retired from me paper round in 1942,' murmured Roy, splaying idly across the cushioned upholstery of a late 19th-century embroidered ottoman. 'Without the grants, benefits, loans, workshops and courses I very much doubt people like me could have lasted as long as we have'.
Roy explained how, over the years, he'd aided both Tory and Labour governments during his years as an unworker. 'Without my continual presence on courses such as Wirral DJ Initiative and New Ferry Scrapheap Challenge, the powers-that-be would have had to own up to the true unemployment figures and stop burying our fellow unworkers in the stats!'
Despite vast numbers of unworkers failing to show up for last year's conference in Montreal, DGAFU chairman, Bob Nodofalot, has high hopes for the Wirral meet. 'We're sponsored by Nintendo, Pizza Lab and several growers' organisations,' he murmured, eventually.'Lenny Henry, one of our most well-known members, has agreed to give out the Golden Giro awards too!'
But word on the streets wasn't confirming his positive outlook. Jobless, ex-soft furnishings consultant Rocky Burns, reckons it will all be a waste of time. 'I never went to last year's and this year will be no different', he shrugged noncommittally over an abandoned breakfast last night.
Mr. Burns, 56, who recently moved back to his mother's house after a chip pan set his sofa on fire, claims he is not affiliated to any unworkers' union and prefers to remain independent, adding, 'I just can't be arsed'.
Unworkers riot in a storm of violent protest at recent benefit cuts
Tickets will be available for the DGAFU Conference from Conway St. Jobcentre or any branch of Netherspoons.