Friday, 13 June 2008

Looking Through David Davis' Eyes

The Conservative front-bencher David Dickinson has been branded ‘irresponsible’ by the government, following his decision to stand down as MP for Haltenprice and Howden and force a by-election in protest against the 42-day detention of terror suspects.

The silver-haired heart-throb of Middle England declared that - along with ‘database’ government, ID cards and the partial scrapping of trial by jury - the narrowly-passed measure represented “the destruction of British freedoms.”

“I was rummaging through an old cupboard in my office,” said Mr Dickinson, “And I came across this lovely old set of principles, all covered in dust and manufactured way back in 1900 by the Labour Party. Casting my eye over them, although I’m no expert in this particular area it dawned on me that they might have some curiosity value. Look at them - aren’t they magnificent? You just don’t see many of these nowadays, let alone a complete set like this one. I’m taking them to an auction in Yorkshire. I wonder what I’ll get for them?”

The Liberal Democrats have said that they will not be bidding for the principles, as they already have a set of their own.

“We’ve kept ours for sentimental reasons,” said Nick Clegg, “But they have no intrinsic value nowadays. They’re just a worthless curiosity really, and they’re very expensive to maintain. But they’ve been in the party for generations, and it would break our little hearts to let them go.”

An antiquarian to whom we spoke said that it would be a tragedy for the nation’s heritage if the Labour Party should decide to bid as they would only add them to their private collection, which has not been on display to the public for many years.

Glow West, Young Man

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has announced controversial plans to make up to £1bn available to communities which agree to store nuclear waste. Any such burial site, claimed Mr Benn, “will provide skilled employment for hundreds of people over many decades. It will contribute greatly to the local economy and wider socio-economic framework. And it will glow in the dark for 10,000 years, reducing street-lighting costs significantly.”

Anti-nuclear campaigners, however, are horrified. “It’s about bribing a community with £1bn of taxpayers’ money to bury waste in their back garden,” said Nathan Argent of Greenpeace. “But there’s no guarantee a willing community will come forward.”

However, many of the quarter of a million residents of Plymouth - an unemployment blackspot a comfortable 240 miles from London – disagreed.

“We’s had old nuclear submarines rusting away in the No. 3 basin of Devonport Dockyard for years because nobody knows what to do with them - not to mention the navy dumping tritium in the river Tamar during refits - and it never done me no harm,” said one local, Mr Wayne Janner, waving his fins enthusiastically. “A few hundred tonnes of radioactive waste under the floorboards won’t make any difference, and if it means jobs for my tadpoles, I’m all for it.”

Although Mr Janner’s other head expressed reservations about Plymouth’s above-average leukaemia rates, a naval spokesman said that the few incidences of leukaemia that could be directly traced to radiation from the naval base could be counted on the fingers of one hand – as long as that hand belonged to ‘Mutant-Fingers’ Magee of Albert Road.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Brown Wins Right to Detain Self Without Trial For 42 Days

Prime Minister Gordon Brown managed yesterday to push his controversial 42-day extension through the House of Commons - but only through the last-minute support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

36 Labour rebels defied government whips and voted with Tories and Lib Dems against the issue, which scraped through the Commons by just nine votes. There was uproar in the chamber when the result was announced, with opponents shouting “you’ve been bought” at the DUP benches.

Mr Brown had staked his credibility on the controversial bill to extend the right to keep himself in Number 10 without trial for up to 42 days.

The DUP categorically denied suggestions of a behind-the-scenes deal. “The issue was on national security,” insisted South Antrim MP William McCrea. “When the mainland was being bombed by ruthless IRA terrorists back in the good old days, we god-fearing Protestants contented ourselves with hurling abuse at the Pope and having our own paramilitaries. However, now that we are facing the unprecedented threat of fat idiots from Plymouth setting off fireworks in toilets, we feel that it is OK to brush aside the centuries-old principle of habeas corpus in aqua in tutela and throw away the British people’s right not to be banged up by an unscrupulous, overzealous leader.”

Habeas corpus in aqua in tutela – Latin for ‘Your man in charge is dead in the water’ is one of the most important principles in British law, or was until yesterday.

A jubilant Mr Brown declared: “This is a major blow against my terror of being murdered by cowardly assassins, and means that I now have the power to detain myself in Number Ten for a reasonable period of time.”

Opponents have not conceded defeat, however, and vowed to continue the battle in the House of Lords. “Even Lord Archer probably couldn’t make a bigger hash of running the country,” said one Labour rebel. “And that’s saying something.”

These Fuelish Things

Motorists across the UK are refusing to heed government appeals for calm in the face of Friday’s impending four-day strike by tanker drivers.

Although there were hopes that last-minute talks might yet avert the protest at the eleventh hour, car drivers were reported to be queueing at some garages, and one had already run out of diesel early this morning.

“Blah-blah-blah blah, blah-blah blah panic-buy,” was the message heard by half-asleep motorists on their car radios. “Blah blah-blah blah empty shelves, blah-blah-blah starve to death.”


The actor Daniel Craig received hospital treatment yesterday for an injury to his finger, sustained in the shooting of accident-prone Bond Movie, Quantum of Solace, a spokesman admitted.

The 40-year-old was treated for a cut sustained during the filming of an action sequence at Pinewood Studios. The producers also denied that a fire broke out at the studio complex at the weekend, claiming it was a pyrotechnic special effect, but admitted that the Bond actor had been treated for a facial injury last week. The film has previously seen a stuntman seriously injured after crashing into a wall, had a valuable Aston Martin accidentally driven into Lake Garda, and been held up by an on-set protest from an irate town mayor in Chile.

“Bond fans can look forward to a spectacular extravaganza of breathtaking action,” said film reviewer Jonathan Ross, “And Bond producers can look forward to a spectacular extravaganza of breathtaking compensation claims.”

“This is likely to be the first action movie where the ‘Making of…’ documentary promises more action and excitement than the actual film,” he added.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Honour The Greatest Poet

The latest creation by the best author in history has been sold at a charity auction at Waterstones in Piccadilly, with fans of the greatest literary creation in the history of civilisation raising the final price of the undisputed pinnacle of 21st-century fiction to £25,000.

St JK Rowling wrote the 800-word prequel to her life-changing Harry Potter oeuvre on the back of a sheet of A5-sized card - making a refreshing change from her last two brick-sized masterpieces - and tackled criticism that her works were facile trash pandering to a public too thick or lazy to read a proper book.

“I bleed words, I really do,” she claimed, recounting yet again the tale of how utter penury had forced to write her first Harry Potter novel on used toilet paper with a sharp stick whilst shivering outside a cafĂ©, for the benefit of anyone recovering from a coma. “I am worth every penny of the £560m I have earned through the sheer psychological torment of putting one word after another, over and over again until elevenses. And I thought it was time for me to let some sub-literate mug donate a few grand to charity, out of gratitude to me for all my years of struggling as a single mum on state benefits blah blah blah – you can fill in the rest.”

Several words were reported to be ecstatic at their new-found value. “I’ve always been treated as worthless and commonplace,” said And, “My agent fought a long battle to persuade St JK to include me in her output - but it was worth it. I’m now worth £31.25 per appearance - and that’ll be £156.25, please. Plus another £31.25 if you’re writing out the amount in full on a cheque.”

Other words, however, expressed their disappointment at being passed over by the towering genius of letters. “We’re all very disappointed,” said Derivative, flanked by Hyped, Overrated, Pandering, Simplistic, Opportunist and Egotistical. “There seems to be no place at all for us in JK Rowling’s lexicon.”

“That’s another £31.25,” added And. “Hang on - £62.50. You’re a glutton for punishment, aren’t you?”

The Food of Love

Following February’s decision by Kosovo to separate from Serbia, MPs in Pristina are to select a national anthem from a shortlist of three, whittled down from over 130 competition entries. The national anthem must be in place prior to the formal implementation of the constitution on Monday, and should be unique, distinctive and original while remaining above ethnic partiality.

Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ is regarded as the favourite - although Mary Martin’s ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, from the 1940 film musical of the same name, and Bjork’s ‘Army of Me’ are also in the running.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Serbs were considering retaliation, in the form of Sue Thompson’s 1952 hit ‘You Belong To Me’ blasting from loudhailers across the border.

England Made Me

The British government faces heavy criticism after admitting that it spent a total of £230 on promoting St George’s Day over the last five years.

The sum is broken down into £116 spent in 2007, £114 in 2006 and nothing at all in the preceding three years.

Apopleptic cabbies and football fans across England, outraged at the insult to their national pride, vowed to put even larger flags on their car aerials - even if it meant they couldn’t actually see where they were going.

“When we had an empire, everything in the world was just peachy, wunnit?” screamed a Mr Garnett. “Land of ‘ope and Glory? Yaw’re ‘avin’ a larf, mate. This useta be the best bladdy cantry in the world - nah look at it. Them ruddy foreigners is larfin’ at us – larfin’, I tell yer.”

Meanwhile, MPs representing the other three nations of the UK called for an inquiry into the gross waste of public money.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

And The Balls Shall Set You Free

Children’s Secretary Ed Balls has announced that failing schools must raise their educational standards, or face being closed down or turned into privately-funded academies.

Announcing the injection of £400m into schools which miss the target of 30% of pupils achieving at least five GCSE grade Cs, Mr Balls said: “If local authorities cannot give children a decent education, then what better solution than to hand the schools to well-financed religious fundamentalists, who are very keen to teach pupils the basics they need to qualify as valued members of a modern society - namely that evolution is nothing but a wicked lie of Satan’s, to spread doubts that the world was created by an omnipotent deity in seven 24-hour days?”

Some voices have been raised against the plans - claiming that, in many Christian-funded academies, religious indoctrination has spilled over into almost every lesson.

“With all due respect to Mr Balls – and with a name like that, frankly that’s not a lot – I don’t see how giving a child a first-century education is going to prepare them for the twenty-first,” said a leading member of the ape family, who will surely burn in hell for all eternity. “The state is washing its hands of responsibility for educating our children, and delivering them into the clutches of a bunch of rich lunatics who think God chats with them on a daily basis. This backwards scheme is typical Balls.”

The Children’s Secretary responded by saying that Britain’s social and economic prospects hinged on the belief that miracles can, and indeed do, happen.

Cop Shoot Cop

Britain’s police have criticised Britain’s police for being trigger-happy following the death of PC Ian Terry, killed in a Manchester training exercise by a fellow officer armed with a shotgun.

“It’s frightening to realise that more police officers are tooled up now than ever before,” said a chief constable, who did not wish to be named for fear of retribution. “Gun culture has become commonplace in police circles, and people are right to be concerned about these firearm-toting psychopaths strutting about, secure in the knowledge that the law is powerless against them. Not a single copper has ever been convicted for gunning down an innocent member of the public.”

“These anti-social thugs think they are above the law,” said the ghost of Jean Charles de Menezes, speaking through a medium, “And indeed they are. Now one of them has killed a police officer in the course of carrying out his duties. That used to be a hanging offence, but this villain will probably get away with a slap on the wrist for breaching health and safety regulations. Where will it end? The government has tried amnesties, but not one policeman has handed in a weapon. It’s time to get tough. Remember, guns don’t kill people - police firearms specialists do.”

Know Your Rights

The UK has proudly announced the torpedoing of EU plans to give equal employment rights to temporary staff, following a 12-hour meeting of employment ministers in Luxembourg.

Business Secretary John Hutton called the outcome “a very good deal for Britain. By ‘Britain’, of course, I mean ‘employers’.”

Under the deal, temps in Britain will gain holiday and sickness rights after 12 weeks on a contract assignment - a climbdown from the European proposal that rights should start from day one. Temps across the country claimed that they would now be even worse off, as employers would simply curtail temporary contracts at 12 weeks, lowering job security even further.

“Well spotted,” said a human resources consultant. “We’ll miss you when you’re gone. Write some notes for your replacement, would you?”

Monday, 9 June 2008

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? No, It's a Nutter From Devon

The British people were celebrating in the streets today after being saved from the evil of Har-Man by a pair of costumed superheroes from Devon.

The hitherto-unknown heroes, ‘Captain Conception’ and ‘Cash Gordon’, used their superpowers to climb a ladder onto the roof of the villainous Har-Man’s secret base in the South London wilderness, where they fearlessly unfurled a banner revealing the inspiring message that a father is for life, not just conception.

“Curses,” hissed the wicked Har-Man, twirling her black moustache and shaking her fist at the caped crusaders clinging to her chimney. “Foiled again!”

The arch-villainess, who as the evil ‘Deputy Leader’ strikes fear into the hearts of millions of ordinary voters, set her inept army of loyal henchmen - the police - against the defenders of Fathers4Justice. In the ensuing battle, in which Har-Man’s crazed followers deployed the dreaded ‘megaphone’, one of the heroes - possibly Cash Gordon (although it may have been Captain Conception) – was dislodged from his rooftop position. However, the other brave comic hero used his special ability to talk to the media on his super-mobile, and said he would remain on the roof until the evil Deputy Leader admitted defeat and read his fallen colleague’s ranting book.

“When she was Minister for Justice, Har-Man refused time and again to listen to our reasoned yelling for the rights of absent fathers to spend quality time with their kids,” shouted Captain Conception, or possibly Cash Gordon. “We successfully brought down Blair the Joker two years ago by fearlessly pelting him with purple flour in the House of Commons, bravely dressing up in silly costumes and recklessly endangering public safety by climbing up tall buildings. Now we have used the recently-published listing of MPs’ second homes to stage this publicity stunt, thereby giving ammunition to those who claimed the information would be abused by any old bunch of nutters. Our actions surely prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Britain’s children need a responsible father figure to teach them the proper way to behave.”

Mugabe Shocked By Human Rights Group's Statement of Bleeding Obvious

Zimbabwe’s dictatorial president Robert Mugabe has reacted with horror to the publication of a report by New York-based Human Rights Watch, which claims that a campaign of violence has destroyed any chance of a free and fair run-off election later this month.

“Zimbabweans can’t vote freely if they fear their vote will get them killed,” said the organisation’s African director Georgette Gaynon, citing evidence that the president’s Zanu-PF party and its allies were running torture camps, and detailing 36 deaths, in addition to an attempt by the Zimbabwean police to ban opposition rallies and the temporary arrest of the opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.

“I am deeply upset to hear of these horrible attacks on freedom and democracy,” said the aghast dictator. “I humbly ask any of Mr Tsvangirai’s supporters who have experienced or witnessed intimidation to come to me personally and tell me their shocking tales of abuse. Unfortunately I can’t come to them, as I seem to have accidentally superglued myself to my desk. However, let me give them my word of honour that if they present themselves at the gates of my presidential palace and say they’re from the Movement for Democratic Change, my sympathetic guards will know just what to do with them.”

“Don’t miss our next report,” said Human Rights Watch, “Which will contain irrefutable evidence that noses are overwhelmingly in front of people’s faces.”

Lest We Forget Whatsisname

As the death toll of British soldiers in Afghanistan reached 100 after a suicide bomber killed three paratroopers outside their base, Defence Secretary Des Browne issued an emotional pledge.

“They gave their lives securing freedom and stability,” he wept as he waved a small onion under his nose. “We will never forget them - just like we have never forgotten those soldiers, whose names temporarily escape me, who died in the first Gulf War, the Falklands, Suez and Korea.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown added his own tribute to the forces, adding: “The risks they bear and the sacrifices they make should be in our thoughts, not just today but every time we fill up the car. It is through their suffering that we have ensured the continued availability of cheap fuel.”