As the Icelandic government nationalised another bank in a desperate measure to save the tiny country from imminent bankruptcy, Gordon Brown today declared war on the beleaguered island state.
The prime minister is hoping that his last-ditch attempt to secure its assets - if it has any - will protect the estimated £3bn invested by greedy Britons in Icelandic banks whose interest rates looked, and indeed proved to be, too good to be true.
“I have dispatched a task force to the North Atlantic on a mission to occupy this dangerous rogue state, which I am sure will prove to have been solely responsible for all of the world’s present troubles,” he told reporters as he emerged from an emergency COBRA briefing. Our elite force will tie up in Reykjavík’s historic harbour in the Old Town district, walk straight past the customs officer and seize the historic, psychologically-important Gaukur á Stöng bar before taking the strategic heights of the revolving Perlan restaurant, situated on top of the city’s water tanks with commanding views of the surrounding landscape.
“From there an armed patrol will set out to capture the hated tyrant, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson - which shouldn’t be difficult, as his residence is in the middle of nowhere and if you ring on the doorbell and he’s up, he answers it himself.”
“We shall also topple his statues, if there are any,” he added. “Otherwise we could always drive over to the airport and push the Jet Egg sculpture over. That ought to show the puffin-munching bastard who’s in charge.”
Mr Brown then handed the war briefing over to commanding officer - and sole member - of the invasion force, Alistair Darling.
“I’m ready to take on anything,” explained the confident chancellor. “I’m pretty handy with the old four-by-two, so any saga-spouting fanatic who stands in my way had better look out.
"Once I have seized the reins of power of Iceland, I shall have total economic control of the lucrative salmon-fishing permit and hand-knitted sweater industries. I am sure that if I look hard enough I will find documentary evidence that Iceland was planning to use its weapon of mass destruction - the Hekla volcano - to spread a toxic sulphurous cloud across Europe, and then we can put the evil Grímsson on trial and hang him from the nearest tree. If we can find one.”
When asked by reporters if perhaps the British government could just follow Iceland’s example and nationalise all the banks, Mr Darling rushed off hastily, saying he had to launch his rowing-boat before the tide went out, or the Russians or Swedes might get there first.