Friday, 6 June 2008

What This Conglomeration of Member States Needs Is A Bloody Good War

The chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has called for an increase in defence spending to create a European Army.

The call, from Poland’s Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, will chime with French plans to increase members’ defence budgets to 6% of GDP to beef up military capability.

“The story of the 20th century was one of bloodshed and misery on an unprecedented scale, written into the annals of history in the blood of millions,” said Mr Saryusz-Wolski. “But of course it wasn’t all bad. Unemployment vanished overnight, young people had discipline drilled into them as they were conscripted into the vast armies of death, and people huddled in their air raid shelters experienced a real sense of community as they waited for annihilation from the skies. And we were all culturally enriched by a legacy of really moving poems and movies.”

Nicolas Sarkozy agreed, saying: “On the face of it, France suffered terribly from one world war in which 1.7m citizens were slaughtered, and another under the Nazi jackboot. America, however, emerged from the cataclysm billions of dollars richer as the dominant superpower. If there should be another horrific worldwide spree of senseless carnage, that’s the position we want to be in when it’s all over. But for that to happen, first of all you need a vast, kick-ass army - preferably one equipped with shiny new French-made hardware. Vive la guerre!”

Some member states are likely to oppose the plans, however. Gordon Brown said: “The British are by nature a peace-loving race, which is why we fight so many wars in its name. But if, and God forbid, there should ever be another global conflict, we know exactly where we would stand – right in front of our great friends the Americans.”

Britain Hopes to Lead World in Geriatric Swimming

The government has announced plans to scrap swimming-pool admission charges in England for the over-60s.

Unveiling the plan, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Andy Burnham said the intention was to encourage more people to take up sport in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“In international geriatric swimming, Britain’s pensioners can hold their heads up,” said Mr Burnham. “They have to, or the water ruins their perms and washes the dye out.”

The government hopes to extend the £80m scheme to the whole population. However, swimmers around the country remained sceptical.

“All the local authority pools round here have long since been flogged off to developers and torn down,” said one veteran in a fetching blue rubber cap. “Our only real chance of getting a swim is whenever the streets flood because the council doesn’t like spending anything on unblocking the drains.”

South West MEP Brings EU Funding to Self

South West England’s Giles Chichester has stood down as leader of the Tory group of MEPs, after it emerged that £445,000 in staff allowances were paid to his family firm.

Mr Chichester – a paid director of the map-publishing business - said he had only committed a “technical” breach of the rules in what he called a “whoops-a-daisy” moment which somehow lasted for twelve years.

People in the South West were reported to be pleased to hear who their MEP was at last. “It’s good to know our elected representative is working hard to bring European funding to this deprived corner of Britain,” said one voter, “Albeit in his own wallet.”

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Hillary Clinton Fired

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has failed to make the final of The Appresidentice, after being sacked by Sir Alan Sugar for being “too zany”.

The colourful, but clearly deranged Hillary told the media said she had not had an easy time on the programme. “My accent on claiming to run everything during Bill’s presidency, and what I swore about being shot at by snipers in the Balkans, weren’t liked,” she claimed, adding: “On occasions, it was verging on bullying. I do not advocate bullying or bitchiness, and if that uppity, empty-headed nobody - whose name I won’t even mention - doesn’t offer me the vice-presidential ticket immediately, then I certainly wouldn’t hope he gets his ass well and truly whipped by John McCain in the final.”

Asked whether she had any regrets about her campaign, Ms Clinton said: “I’ve learned not to be so na├»ve, not to talk about colour if you want to blend in.”

Rumours that Ms Clinton would be a surprise contestant at the launch tonight of Big Brother 9 were denied by Channel 4. “Of course, we always populate the Big Brother house with an army of shameless, mad-eyed lunatics who are totally in love with themselves,” said a spokesman, “But in our experience contestants do need to have at least one tiny redeeming feature in their deeply-flawed characters. Otherwise people tend not to vote for them.”

Let Not Poor Tommy Starve

In an unusual move for a serving chief of staff, General Sir Richard Dannett has called for more of the UK budget to be spent on defence.

“With 5.2% of GDP going into defence, only the Americans spend more than us per capita on their armed forces,” said the general. “That simply isn’t good enough. It is a democratic issue, unfortunately, for the country to decide how much to spend on its armed forces. We need a public debate – although, from my point of view, a military coup might be more fun.”

Sir Richard’s critics have pointed out that, according to the MoD’s own figures, £36bn will be spend on defence this year, and by 2010/11 New Labour will have increased the defence budget by over 11% in real terms since 1997.

“The Navy’s getting two new carriers, and the Brylcreem Boys have their shiny new Eurofighters,” argued the army chief. “Where are my toys? I want a great big nuclear-powered hovering tank the size of a football pitch, with guns all over it and stuff, that can turn into a motor bike.”

Come to Daddy

A group of evangelical Christians has announced plans to build a giant biblical theme park in Germany.

The Swiss organisation says its Genesis Park will feature attractions covering every aspect of Christianity, with rollercoasters based on the Great Flood and Heaven and Hell, a miniature Israel, a Tower of Babel restaurant and a ‘life-sized’ reconstruction of Noah’s Ark.

The Christians have not revealed how they came by Noah’s blueprints, or whether their Ark will really contain two each of the 1,250,000 animal species known to exist. Nor have they revealed how they are to raise the $185m cost of the project - although rumours they were trying to secure funding from German moneylenders in return for a camel-sized needle exhibit and a rewrite of Jesus’ actions in the temple were hotly denied.

Meanwhile, Germany’s hallucinogenic drug-using community is already enquiring about season tickets - although many felt they would probably take a raincheck on any Revelations-themed attraction as it would probably be a bit of a downer, even if it didn’t contain anything they hadn’t seen before.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

BBC Has Pure White Polish Christian Blood on its Hands, Claims MP

A Conservative MP has blamed the BBC’s “liberal elite” for rising number of attacks on Poles living in Britain.

Daniel Kawczynski, speaking on the Today programme, said that BBC bosses “would not do stories about more controversial immigration” and skirted round the issue by giving undue prominence to what he called “White Christians from Poland”.

“The BBC’s PC brigade has stoked up the fires of racism by its repeated insistence that, just because Poles are the largest single national group, they are in some way legitimate targets for discussion,” he argued. “What about the rising tide of Icelandic immigrants? Only last month, there was a twofold increase in their numbers as a couple of them arrived on the same flight. They come over here, with their blatant grasp of everyday colloquial English, their unashamedly alien enthusiasm for renewable energy sources and their dangerously un-British 100% literacy. Next thing you know they’re down in the park, surrounding the ornamental fountain and hunting our native British whales to the brink of extinction. Yet not a word of this rising tide of Icelandism from the BBC thought police.”

Mr Kawcynski was subsequently detained by the police for racial stereotyping in his suggestion that Poles were white and Christian, following a complaint from a group of black Jedi plumbers from Krakow.

Americans Pots Accuse Kettle Mugabe of Manipulating Aid

Robert Mugabe has been accused by US-based Human Rights Watch of using aid as a political weapon in the run-up to Zimbabwe’s presidential run-off election later this month.

"The decision to let people go hungry is yet another attempt to use food as a political tool to intimidate voters ahead of an election," said Tiseke Kasambala, the group’s researcher for Zimbabwe, a day after Mr Mugabe’s government ordered CARE International to suspend its food-distribution operations, accusing it of backing Morgan Tsvangirai’s campaign.

The organisation went on to say that the concept of using aid as a means of forcing compliance was utterly repugnant to Americans, as their government continued to court the fundamentalist Christian vote by funding only those HIV- and AIDS-relief programmes in Africa that promote sexual abstinence until marriage.

Lost the Plot

Ruben Royce – the thief who robbed Lost actor Josh Holloway and his wife at gunpoint in Hawaii - has been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for his three-week crime spree.

Holloway - known to millions as the con-artist Sawyer in the incomprehensible US hit series - was held at gunpoint in his own home by the repeat offender, who made off with the couple’s wallets and Mercedes.

Rumours posted on internet discussion groups suggest that Holloway will soon find himself forced into an unlikely alliance with Royce - who will be discovered, in a series of flashbacks, to have crossed paths with every single person the male-model-turned-actor has ever met – while his wife will probably turn out to be his half-sister.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Mugabe in Europe for Something or Other

The ruthless Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe is still shamelessly attending the emergency UN food summit in Rome.

Although the European Union has imposed travel sanctions on Mr Mugabe’s government, as Zimbabwe’s head of state he is allowed to attend UN meetings. Britain’s International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, told reporters that he will snub the African leader, saying it was “obscene” that he was allowed to take part in the conference.

“Mugabe is a deeply unpopular figure at home and abroad, relying on strong-arm tactics to maintain his tenuous grip on power,” said Mr Alexander. “He has no mandate from his people to govern, and should do the decent thing and step aside for a better man. Gordon Brown himself feels very strongly about this issue.”

Mr Mugabe is expected to urge other nations to follow his example by seizing farms and handing them to poor but heavily-armed militias with no experience of crop management.

“After we kicked whitey off the land, our local troops now have just about enough food for most of the year,” he proudly announced. “If the evil racist farmers had built their farms in the middle of our cities too, nobody there would be suffering from malnutrition either. My solution is to turn the opposition into fertiliser, organise a controlled cull of their voters and blame Britain for everything. If everyone followed my lead on this, all of the world’s problems would magically disappear, starting with Morgan Tsvangirai.”

Meanwhile, in the background, some people were apparently trying to find a way to save the poverty-stricken third world from starving to death because of soaring food prices.

GCSE < O

Maths exam standards have declined significantly since GCSEs were introduced, says a report by the think tank Reform.

Analysis of exam papers from 1951-2006 – a period of more than a decade, but less than a century, probably – shows the tests becoming shallower and less demanding after 1990. Pupils leave school ill-prepared for the workplace, says the report, adding that a generation of mathematicians has been lost to the nation’s economy.

According to Elizabeth Truss, a deputy director of Reform, “In today’s Britain it is acceptable to say that you can’t do maths, whereas people would be ashamed to admit they couldn’t read. What? Oh. OK, scratch that last bit.”

Schools Minister Jim Knight, however, responded by saying that an independent watchdog monitored exam standards closely. “We’ve trained this dog to bark if it detects any falling standards, and every year when we’ve shown it the papers it’s just yawned and weed on the carpet,” he said. “So that’s all right then.”

Shadow Children’s Secretary Michael Gove underlined the need for mathematics as a driver of economic growth, saying: “India and China are producing four million graduates every year. The single largest area of graduate growth is mathematics, science and engineering. Sorry, that’s three areas, isn’t it?”

Lib Dem education spokesman David Laws called the report “a damning critique of maths education in this country. Still, if people could do the maths they’d figure out that our chances of ever getting elected are nil. So it’s not all bad.”

Meanwhile, Mr Knight pointed to a 350% growth in news statistics in recent years –an increase of at least 50 numbers in real terms, allowing for seasonal adjustment and other factors - saying that there was a 5-4 chance that, of 9 out of 10 people, over one in three was on average three times more fluent than ever before in understanding numerical datas. He was docked marks, however, for failing to show his workings in the margin.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Free Willsy

Prince William today began a leisurely two-month jolly with the Royal Navy.

As part of his training as the future head of Britain’s armed forces, Wills will first learn navigation and boat-handling – which, as a member of the Royal family, he will have had no experience of whatsoever. Once the prince has mastered the tricky manoeuvre of offering the totty a chance to sunbathe au naturel on his yacht, he will continue his arduous assignment with a Caribbean jaunt aboard the frigate HMS 4-Iron Duke – named after Britain’s tireless trade ambassador, his uncle Andy.

The Navy was keen to point out that the prince will be known as Sub-Lieutenant Wales to the rating who presses his trousers and brings him his breakfast, and will no doubt personally arrest millions of drug-smugglers and divert hurricanes away from populated islands in between intense bouts of sunbathing.

Rumours that William will acquire further first-hand experience of his future subjects’ lives by spending six months living hand-to-mouth on JSA in an inner-city bedsit next to a couple of psychos with distinctly cavalier attitudes to self-medication were swiftly dismissed by royal officials.

“Prince William is gaining valuable experience of the armed forces by treating them as one long adventure holiday,” expained a Palace spokesman. “But it would be sheer folly to put his life at risk by placing him in harm’s way on the front line of social inequality.”

However, some environmental organisations say they are worried that the prince’s voyage will tempt Japanese vessels to begin a deadly hunt for the elusive Wales.

The Martyrdom of Saint Laurent

The world of fashion is today mourning the loss of Yves Saint Laurent, who died yesterday at the age of 71.

The innovative designer – known to millions for having his name on loads of t-shirts – bestrode haute couture like a colossus, apparently. Before he invented fashion forty years ago, Paris seems to have been a little-known hamlet of peasants - chiefly known, if they were known at all, for dressing in cast-off Hessian potato sacks.

Saint Laurent was the first person in history to grasp the revolutionary notion that clothes could in fact be attractive objects in their own right, rather than merely a means of keeping the draught away from the bum. He personally invented hundreds of fabrics such as cotton and silk, and patented such revolutionary creations as skirts, dresses and blouses.

But it was as the inventor of getting his name on women’s chests that Saint Laurent will be forever remembered. The couturier was such a force for good in the world that he was, uniquely, canonised by the Pope while he was still alive.

Without his guiding hand at the helm, insiders fear the collapse of the entire fashion industry within weeks.

It's Good To Shut The Fuck Up

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have claimed that trauma sufferers who bottle up their feelings fare better than those who are encouraged to talk about their experiences.

The research - based on a two-year survey of 3000 people who were involved in the 9/11 attacks - may lead to the replacement of ‘talking therapies’ with revolutionary new ‘shutting up’ treatments.

However, the British Army said the technique was nothing new.

“After World War One, we sent millions home from the trenches and told them their loved ones would not comprehend the horrors they had witnessed,” said an RAMC spokesman. “In most cases this led to complete recovery, with perfectly normal behaviour like waking up screaming in the night and a healthy tendency to stop whatever they were doing and shake uncontrollably in a blue funk.”

“Of course, we also had another revolutionary technique for treating trauma victims,” added the army doctor. “We shot them.”