Friday, 9 May 2008

Dancing Round The May Poll

It’s another bad news day for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a poll shows that Labour’s support has plummeted to the lowest level since records began in 1930.

According to the YouGov poll, at 23% the Labour Party is trailing 26 points behind the Tories, who have an approval rating of 49%. The result is even worse news for the PM than the hammering his party took at the local elections last week.

Speculation is now rife concerning possible successors to a man who is now seen as an electoral liability by many in the Labour movement. However, some polls have suggested that other Labour figures may be even less popular than the grim, haggard shell of a man currently occupying the top job. In a random survey carried out by the Nev Filter in the pub last night, the weirdo propping up the corner of the bar said you might as well have an undertaker running the country, while a fit Polish bird slapped our reporter and the landlord said bring back Maggie.

Where Are The Nuclear Wessels?

Russia harked back to the shows of military strength that characterised the Cold War for today’s Victory Parade in Red Square, with the first display of armoured vehicles and nuclear missiles since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The parade included Topol-M ballistic missiles, T-90 tanks and a fleet of AA vans to keep the clanking rust-bucket arsenal moving.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied the show of force was “sabre-rattling”, claiming it was “a demonstration of our growing defence capability.”

“I want to send a clear message to Hitler,” he said while drinking a glass of water and operating his puppet President’s wooden jaw. “If he gets his evil fascist hands on a time machine and decides to invade the future, he’d better not pick 2008 to attack us as we are still slightly better equipped than we were in 1945.”

Cardinal Rules of Reporting

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, has urged Christians to treat unbelievers with “deep esteem”, according to every media source in Britain.

Journalists desperate for a catchy headline seized on the tiny part of the Archbishop’s speech that woke them up. However, the Catholic leader protested that they had deliberately missed the point of his speech.

“What I actually said was that our life together in Britain cannot be a God-free zone, and we must not allow Britain to become a world devoid of religious faith,” he argued. “Societies ruled only by reason are like those created by Hitler and Stalin, ripe for terror and oppression. Does that sound like ‘Atheists have a good point’? I don’t think so.”

Beer and Sex Linked In Shocking Revelation

Research suggests that it is not only binge-addicted Britons who turn to drink and drugs to improve their sex lives. According to a survey published today, all over Europe young people are saying they drink to improve their chances of getting off.

Top of the munter-pulling league was Vienna, where nearly half of those questioned had drunk alcohol and had sex by the age of 16. In Palma the figure was 37%, closely followed by 36% of Venetians. Scousers seemed almost sensible in comparison, at 30% - but many felt they didn’t need to drink, as their native wit and charm would surely see them pulling a stunner every night of the week.

"Millions of young Europeans now take drugs and drink in ways which alter their sexual decisions and increase their chances of unsafe sex or sex,” said study leader Professor Mark Bellis of Liverpool John Moore's University. “Uurrp, pardon me - after I get through this bottle of vodka I’ll be heading for Cream to try my luck with the ladies. They can’t get enough of me."

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Burmese Days

As a major appeal is launched to raise funds for disaster relief in Burma, aid agencies fear the death toll from Cyclone Nargis could reach 100,000, as a million homeless survivors fight – sometimes literally - to find food, water and shelter.

International aid has been held up, however, by the Burmese military dictatorship, with aircraft carrying relief supplies being refused landing clearance and growing queues of volunteers waiting for visas.

Burma’s Prime Minister, Lieutenant Thein Sein, took time out from a rare photo-opportunity to explain the reason for the delays.

“We’re very sorry,” he said, “But until these pilots, relief workers and journalists stop talking about Burma and start using our preferred title of Myanmar Republic, our officials will continue to turn them away saying, ‘Burma? Sorry, no such place.’ On top of that, until the planes are painted in our air force colours and the volunteers are taught our language, we can’t let them in. Otherwise, our people might get the impression that we in the military government are less than the benevolent, all-powerful friends they have come to know and love.”

Meanwhile, back in Britain, those who object to more of their tax going overseas pointed to a disaster closer to home, as 400 metres of Dorset’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast slid into the sea.

“These poor dinosaurs have been cruelly exposed to the fury of the elements,” said a bigot this morning. “Meanwhile, the authorities are refusing to let fossil hunters into the area to do their work. I say charity begins at home.”

Summit Wrong

Chinese officials are rejoicing over the arrival at the summit of Mount Everest of a special high-altitude Olympic torch.

The torch was carried to the roof of the world by a team of 12 climbers, with the final ascent shown live on Chinese TV.

“We’re very pleased about this feat,” said a Chinese spokesman. “This is about the only place on earth where you can see the Olympic flame without some damn fool protesters trying to grab it. In fact we’re thinking of relocating the entire Olympics to the summit of Everest.”

Police Get Anti-Social

UK news, and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has told the police to crack down on hardcore troublemakers who ignore warnings about their anti-social behaviour to give them “a taste of their own medicine”.

“These hooligans can expect a visit from PC Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By,” said Ms Smith. “If you’re a persistent offender, he might turn up outside your house in his car, blasting out the hits of Phil Collins from his sound system morning, noon and night. Or he might stagger around in your garden in the small hours of the morning, hollering “A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One” at the top of his voice and relieving himself all over your cannabis plants before having a drunken argument with me, accusing me of flirting with other coppers down at the station. He will steal your wheelie bin, emptying its contents all over your driveway and claiming he’s doing vital forensic work and you can’t touch him for it. He will make your life hell.”

Asked whether anti-social police behaviour might include terrorising law-abiding members of the public with firearms, the Home Secretary responded by launching a barrage of abusive language at journalists - shortly after which she was surrounded by a gang of laughing police officers calling her a “middle-aged slapper” and urging her to “get ‘em out” for the lads.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Oh, My Poor Joints

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is set to ignore the recommendation of the government’s own advisors and reclassify cannabis into Class B.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had argued that the popular recreational drug should remain in Class C, where users are rarely arrested for possession. However, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is understood to be worried about the “more lethal” effects of the stronger form, skunk.

Members of the government’s advisory council were said to be disappointed by the PM’s stance.

“Gordon should, like, just chill, right?” said one member who spoke out under conditions of anonymity, i.e. he couldn’t remember his name. “We’ve all been misusing drugs for years, for research purposes, like, y’understand? He reckons cannabis is lethal, I mean where’s he coming from man? Where’s he get that idea from? I mean, where? What was I saying? Er… Did y’see him on the Andrew Marr Show the other day, cool as f-, whoops, like sorry man, broadcasting rules an’ all that, yeah, sorry ‘bout that. Everyone was expecting him to be a gibbering wreck after the election results, but there he was, calm as you like - and why? ‘Cos we slipped some weed into his porridge, that’s why. Apparently he just completely slid off his chair five seconds after the interview ended, he was like totally blissed, man. Respect, yeah?”

Viva La Digital Revolution

Cubans are set to experience a digital revolution, as home computers go on sale in Havana for the first time as part of President Raul Castro’s ongoing relaxation of restrictions on everyday life.

Crowds formed at the Carlos III shopping centre to look at the £400 systems – although, with an average wage of only £10 a month, most Cubans will be looking for quite some time. Even the few who can afford a PC - generally those with relatives abroad sending them money – will find themselves twiddling their thumbs after the initial thrill of switching on, as internet access is restricted to schools, universities and some workplaces. The Cuban government blames the US trade embargo for preventing the island nation from connecting to undersea fibre-optic cables, limiting it to expensive satellite links to the worldwide web.

It is also unclear how the Cubans will actually operate their computers, as Windows and most software will also probably come under the embargo. However, President Raul recommended one solution based on Cuba’s history.

“Back in the heady days of the Spanish Main, this island of Hispaniola was famous for being a haven for daring anti-fascist pirate freedom-fighters,” he announced, in a three-day long speech. “I urge all techno-Cubanos to hoist the Jolly Roger and plunder the digital treasures of the Microsoft oppressors. Windows 98SE is dead in the water and defenceless - it is ours for the taking! There are even rumours of the existence of a fabled Vista Home Edition, with which we will be able to destroy the running-dogs of virtual capitalism using their own weapons, such as the fearsome Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV. Our brave avatars shall hack the evil arch-plutocrat Gates to death! Viva la digital revolution!”

He then carried on playing Evil Genius, the game in which a Blofeld-style tyrant tries to take over the world from a tropical island base while fighting off inept secret agent infiltrators.

Cuban computer enthusiasts we spoke to were eager to plug their new PCs in and enter the information age, just as soon as they had a regular daily mains power supply.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

My Mind Is Going, I Can Feel It

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine say that taking regular doses of the painkiller Ibuprofen can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease - although it appears they forgot that the University of California in San Diego made the discovery nearly seven years ago.

The rediscovery comes on the same day as an announcement by researchers in Maryland that women with long legs are less likely to develop the illness. Previously-published research has indicated that old people who exercise regularly are less prone to Alzheimer’s, while those with high IQs or large waists increase their risk.

All in all, it seems that the best way to avoid the curse of Alzheimer’s Disease is to be a stupid skinny woman who jogs every day on her stalky legs until she gives herself a headache.

Meanwhile, researchers in Britain are said to have found that Alzheimer’s is extremely rare in emos, Scientologists, people born on a Tuesday, anyone whose name begins with a vowel (with the exception of the letter U) and babies.

Smile! You're On Candid Camera

Speaking at the Security Document World Conference in London, a senior police officer has warned that despite a huge investment in CCTV cameras, Britain has failed to cut crime. Although the UK had more TV cameras than any other European country, said Detective Chief Inspector Mike Neville, “no thought” had gone into how to use them, and they had solved only 3% of London’s street robberies.

“A big problem is that although we have cameras on every high street and middle-class area, there’s nobody at the other end actually watching,” he said. “Perhaps this is something we should look at. We’re also developing software that can track distinctive brand logos worn by criminals - such as the word ‘Swag’, which often appears on hessian sacks carried by ne’er-do-wells and ruffians. And anybody wearing a Lonsdale sweatshirt is obviously a chav and, therefore, clearly a dangerous criminal who should be taken into custody and detained indefinitely.”

Another problem identified by the dogged detective was that criminals were not afraid of cameras. “We should put remote-controlled gun turrets on street cameras,” he suggested. “Then they’ll think twice before sticking two fingers up at us after an evening on the lash.”

Solace for Bond Fans as Winehouse Dirge Shelved

Producer Mark Ronson has announced he has abandoned plans to write the next Bond movie theme tune with Troubled Singer Amy Winehouse, claiming she is not ready to make music.

“Amy’s head has been down the toilet for the last two days,” he told Sky News, “And her throat is sounding pretty rough.”

A spokesman for the Troubled Singer, however, said the decision had been taken because she had “other ideas” about how the song should develop, possibly including the lines “You’re me best mate in the ‘ole bladdy world”, “Leave ‘im, ‘e int worf it” and “Wot you lookin’ at eh?”

Ronson denied that the cancellation had anything to do with the film’s producers failing to fall over themselves in any rush to sign a deal, saying that he had also suspended his other work with Troubled Winehouse, such as hauling her to the nearest park bench and carrying her bucket.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Arse, Sir Kylie

Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue has been honoured by the French Government for her “contribution to the enrichment of French culture”.

After hearing she had been made a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters, the diminutive 39-year-old diva said: “Bonzer! I am deeply honoured to be recognised in this way? French culture has influenced me greatly yeah? and I have always had colossal respect for the arts and people of France?

"Every time I prance about on stage singing ‘I just can't get you out of my head, Boy your loving is all I think about, I just can't get you out of my head, Boy it's more than I dare to think about’, in my mind I really am the tragic poster-girl of proto-realism Emma Bovary?

"Even at the start of my pop career, I was inspired by the legendary sheila philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir? whenever I belted out those timeless words ‘I should be so lucky, Lucky lucky lucky, I should be so lucky in love’?”

“I’ll place this award in my trophy cabinet, yeah?” she added, “Right next to my prestigious FHM Rear of the Year 2007 award?”

What's It Like To Be Dumped, Sir?

Advice on emotions and relationships should be made a compulsory part of sex education classes, according to the NSPCC.

The charity says its Childline is receiving nearly 50 calls a day from children who feel pressurised to have sex and lack basic knowledge about relationships, pregnancy and puberty.

“Children are in the dark about the biological and emotional aspects of sex,” said Sue Minto from Childline.

Some have criticised sex education for concentrating on purely functional aspects of reproduction, claiming that leaving explanations to parents often fails, for the simple reason that if their parents understood anything at all about relationships, sex or pregnancy, most of the children would never have been born in the first place.

We spoke to some children online about sex. Our case comes up next Tuesday.

Three Minute Warning? Just Time To Put The Kettle On, Then

Recently-declassified documents from the mid-1950s reveal the fears of nuclear defence planners that the traumatised, irradiated survivors of a massive atomic strike on the UK would face a terrible shortage of tea.

A memo from the period states that “The tea position would be very serious, with a loss of 75 percent of stocks and substantial delays in imports, and with no system of rationing it would be wrong to consider that even one ounce per head per week could be ensured."

Embarrassed government officials refused to say whether the situation had improved fifty years on, raising fears that Britain could be reduced to a state of feral anarchy if terrorists were to strike at the nation’s tea distribution network. However, the Home Office temp on Bank Holiday phone cover said, “More people drink coffee nowadays, don’t they? Don’t you journalists have anything more important to report?”