1492. Basel. In a flash of inspiration the town council summons the city’s ‘fools’. Outcasts, handicapped, homosexuals and subversives are herded onto a ship with neither sail nor oar and floated down the Rhine into permanent exile. Many centuries later in present day Britain, the government selects a group of long-term unemployed, bundles them onto a bus and drives them deep into the unknown to work for their dole.

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