Take a sickie and smash the state

A CELL of armchair revolutionaries has discarded theories that society can be brought to its knees by bloody violence. Instead it has called a World Phone- In-Sick Day to wreak chaos in Britain's establishment.

The activists, who go by the name of Decadent Action, do not quote Mao: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun," or Lenin: "The substitution of the proletarian for the bourgeois is impossible without violent revolution."

Their belief is that capitalism can indeed be destroyed, but from the living-room sofa. The end of world finance will be achieved by a "leisurely campaign of good living and overspending".

The date pencilled in for World Sick Day is Monday 6 April - the first day of the next financial year.

Its manifesto advocates the purchase of luxury goods on a massive scale by activists armed with as many credit and charge cards they can muster, in order to dislocate the economy.

Savings should be spent and benefits squandered, the aim being hyperinflation, leading to "large-scale social unrest, in turn leading to the collapse of the monetary system and the disintegration of the state apparatus".

Now Decadent Action , which publishes an irregular newsletter and scatters seditious e-mails across the Internet, are calling for the workers of the world to unite - and take a day off to help foment revolution.

"The idea of World Phone-InSick Day is to damage the economy - costing employers millions and contributing to inflation," said Mr H, a spokesman for the group. "It's our version of a General Strike. It's Monday, and it's nice to extend the weekend. Go out on Sunday night and have a good time."

A scan of the latest statisticsshows that sick days do cost British industry dear. According to the Confederation of British Industry, in 1996 pounds 12bn was lost through sick pay, replacement staff and lost productivity. There were 187 million working days lost to sickness, although it is not clear how many can be put down to bare-faced "sickies".