The UK is formally presenting a case to the UN in which it will try to claim the entire crust of the planet Earth, in a landmark challenge to the existing understanding of what constitutes ‘land’.
Britain is kicking off by claiming that Ascension Island - a secretive military base in the South Atlantic – is, like many islands, actually the tip of an underwater mountain, and that the traditional 200-mile territorial limit should be measured from the base of that mountain, rather than the tiny little tip that pokes out above the waves.
“If we get away with this whopper, there’ll be no stopping us,” said the optimistic Foreign Secretary, Miliband One. “First, we establish the basic principle that land means all that stuff below, as well as above, sea level. Then we argue that, just as the island depends on the undersea mountain for support, so the mountain depends on the sea bed to stop it from crashing through to the magma layer beneath.”
“The world will be ours,” he added with an insane cackle.
The ostensible aim behind the remarkable challenge to accepted semantics is the acquisition of a larger domain in which to search for oil, gas and minerals.
However, Miliband One did not rule out the eventual annexation of hitherto-undiscovered deep-sea horrors like that hideous swimming mouth-thing, or maybe a scimitar-toothed angler fish the size of a double-decker bus, which could be modified by genetic engineering into an unstoppable legion of lethal anti-terrorist monstrosities. Or something.
“Can you imagine Osama Bin Laden’s face when he finds himself cornered in his remote cave by a nightmarish, pulsating squid-thing with a beak like a JCB?” exulted the Foreign Secretary. “Or picture a highly-dangerous Brazilian tradesman at your local station, instantly reduced to bloody ribbons before your eyes by a specially-trained giant eel with a cross-cut shredder for a face. Nothing will stand in our way! Vote Labour.”
The UN, however, is reported to be in favour of sticking to the generally-accepted definition of land favoured by the Oxford English Dictionary, and for that matter every other dictionary – namely, those bits of the Earth’s surface that aren’t sea.
“The blinkered fools,” smirked Miliband One cryptically. “Mark well their faces, my evil beauties.”