Gordon Brown has further angered an increasingly-impoverished nation by declaring that the government will not, after all, be helping millions of householders struggling with skyrocketing fuel bills by giving them a one-off payment of £100.
Announcing the U-turn from an upstairs window of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister shouted: “What do you think I am, made of money? Bugger off, the lot of you!” at reporters, before emptying a chamber-pot out into the street and slamming the window shut.
A spokeswoman for the catchily-named Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform later confirmed that the much-touted cash assistance plan had been dumped in favour of some vague-sounding pep-talk about improving energy efficiency, which would probably contain an appropriate number of buzz-words and platitudes and keep Guardian leader-writers happy for five minutes.
She denied rumours circulating within government circles that the prime minister had prised open the department’s petty cash tin with a spoon and run off with the several hundred million pounds in loose change set aside to help the poorest households with their energy bills, shouting: “It’s my money, and if I want to give it all to the construction industry instead, in return for some woolly promises about better insulation, then that’s my business.”
“I don’t think it was a spoon he used,” she said. “I heard it was a rusty penknife.”
The embattled prime minister later appeared again at the window - stark naked, clutching a cuddly toy panda and grinning from ear to ear - and told the media that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the economy. In an ensuing scuffle within the upstairs room, he was then apparently wrestled away from the window by spin doctors, some of whom seemed to be holding large syringes.