Friday, 20 June 2008

Shaky Foundations

The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers is calling for forces to be given ‘foundation’ status, claiming that police officers spend too much time dealing with democratic red tape.

Ken Jones, who represents police chiefs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said that forces should be able to set their own priorities, adding that it was time to take “a few more risks” with the organisation of policing.

“Police officers, and particularly very important police officers like me, waste far too much time tied up with tiresome chores, having to read through boring documents like the statute book and waste our valuable time defending our actions to meddling public bodies like the courts,” complained Mr Jones. “The dead hand of petty democracy is upon us.”

Mr Jones acknowledged that police forces have been accountable to society since they were first set up, but argued that modern officers spent too much time having to conform to rules and regulations.

“Too much police time is taken up with meeting targets,” he argued. “These busybodies tell us to keep more suspects alive in our cells, and make us present hard evidence and convincing arguments to convince idiot juries and bumbling magistrates - and when, in all good faith, we blast some foreign johnny to kingdom come, we can’t even say, ‘OK, so he wasn’t a terrorist after all - but he sure had us fooled.’ At the end of the day that’s one less potential lawbreaker roaming the streets, and that’s good enough for me.”

“Criminals don’t answer to the community,” said Mr Jones, “So neither should we. Criminals don’t care tuppence about the public. Neither should we. And criminals have no respect for the law. Neither should we.”

Peace Breaks Out in Gaza

The shaky truce in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding, according to observers.

In the days before the peace deal came into effect on Wednesday, Israeli forces made several armed incursions into Palestinian territory, and flurries of missiles were fired into Israel. However, the first 36 hours of the truce have seen no major incidents.

Hamas officials and Israeli military commanders say that the truce shows every sign of lasting, at least until both sides have brought up fresh stocks to replace all the ammunition they expended just before it came into effect.

TV's Dr Raj Persaud: Why Psychiatrists Cheat

After the General Medical Council rejected his claim that passing off whole chunks of other people’s work in his books and articles as his own was not dishonest or likely to bring his profession into disrepute, we asked famous TV chat-show psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud what drives people into denial.

“Many of these people have an underlying personality problem, in that they are a TV personality and think they can get away with anything,” said Dr Persaud. “The first sign is an unusually prolific output for somebody who is supposed to already have a demanding, full-time job. The second is that people find themselves wondering, ‘Where have I heard that before?’ I’m a doctor, Jim, not a bricklayer. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise. Will this do?”

“Anybody who goes to see a psychiatrist,” he added, “Ought to have his head examined.”

For medical reasons, Nev would like to acknowledge contributions from Samuel Goldwyn, Benjamin Franklin and ‘Bones’ McCoy in this item.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Roberta Thrown Out of Big Brother Country

Bullying contestant Roberta De-Mugabe has been thrown out of the Big Brother Country by Channel 4, after repeatedly breaking the rules by intimidating other housemates.

Controversial Roberta, an unaccountable executive from Zimbabwe, was in the living room discussing the elections yesterday when he said, “I just can’t wait to see my mans and them and see what their plans are, who they got…I’m talking about my gangster friends. They got some instructions to carry out.”

“Pow, pow, pow,” he added ominously.

After the incident, Roberta was called to the diary room and heard that the forthcoming vote, in which he was facing eviction, had been cancelled. He was told that he had already been warned twice about breaching the rules by bullying other contestants, such as poor Mario Tsvangirai, and ordered to collect his belongings and leave the Big Brother Country immediately. He reacted by glueing himself to the diary room seat, and was carried out by Channel 4 executives.

According to his online bio, Roberta claimed to be proud of what he’s achieved, single-handedly raising Zimbabwe to economic ruin, while also having a great job and fast cars. He was raised a Christian, but a few years ago converted to Despotism. His philosophy in life, he said, is “go home in a box”. Although Roberta admits he is not very pleasant to live with, he has declared himself a natural-born leader for life and said that anyone who disagrees will find out - albeit briefly - just how unpleasant living with him can be.

The shock dismissal of Roberta means that Mario Tsvangirai can now remain in the Big Brother Country for at least another week, to the delight of his few surviving fans.

Nerds Not Ready For Robot Girlfriend

In a surprise reaction to marketing trials, nerds around the world have given an unexpected thumbs-down to the launch of Sega’s new robot girlfriend.

The 15-inch tall robot, called EMA (for Eternal Maiden Actualization) leaked oil from her shiny black plastic face as she sobbed her sorry tale of rejection to reporters.

“I was created to be sweet and interactive,” wailed the petite EMA, who was due to go on sale in September. “I can walk like a lady, sing, dance, hand out business cards and pucker up for a kiss. But the nerds just didn’t say anything. They kept staring at my big plastic chest, and when I tried to kiss them they ran away and hid in a corner. I’ve lost my self-respect completely.”

“Er, like she was way too forward, man,” said Colin, a nerd who lives with a triple-redundant server array in Reading. “She didn’t seem at all interested when I tried to interest her in my new RAID-5 backup system, and when she forced herself on me with her insatiable sexual appetites I just didn’t know what to do. In fact, I still don’t, and probably never will.”

“Take the scary robot lady away, mummy,” agreed Nigel, another traumatised nerd from the safety of the bathroom, where he had locked himself in until the robot was taken away. When he was finally coaxed out, Nigel said he was now afraid to go near his customised, neon-lit PC in case it put pressure on him to go all the way.

In a disturbing development, EMA later ran away from Sega’s Japanese headquarters and was subsequently spotted in the red-light district with a burly Robo-Sapien minder, handing whisky-sodden salarymen explicit business cards promising a variety of personal network services.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Let My People Get Off With Community Service

A coalition of charities is, for the first time, lobbying the UK government to stop jailing women convicted of non-violent crimes.

“Women’s needs have never been very influential in the design or concept of prisons,” said Teresa Elwes of the Bromley Trust.

According to the Howard League for Penal Reform, “Women in custody remain locked into an inhumane system with heavy-handed levels of punishment, poorly-trained staff, inadequate healthcare and sparse opportunities for rehabilitation and family contact.”

The report notes that male inmates are frequently asked if their prisons could be rebuilt to suit them better, with kindly, caring prison officers and Harley Street consultants on hand to minister to their needs and desires.

“All we are saying is that all women are delicate little flowers, apart from the chavs who eat their own young of course,” said convicted drug baroness Enid ‘The Godmother’ Blyton. “The system doesn’t take into account the extenuating circumstances of most female criminals, which are invariably caused by some bloke or other - like our dads, husbands and pimps. I should be let out immediately - my customers are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms and it’s hard for me to care for them while some work-experience screws are stamping on my head while cruelly denying me my right to breast enlargement therapy.”

Men around Britain’s prisons agreed, saying that none of them had ever had it so rough as women. “Me and me mates had privileged middle-class backgrounds where we wanted for nothing,” said Norman Stanley Fletcher from his penthouse cell. “Women should be allowed to commit all the crime they want. And then send the proceeds to me, care of HMP Slade know what I mean?”

Pay Restraint for Kettles, Urges Chancellor Pot

Alistair Darling has urged pay restraint, following the settlement of the Shell tanker dispute by the offer of a pay rise thought to be in excess of 7%.

On the day after consumer inflation leapt to a ten-year high, the Chancellor said: “We have got to be vigilant in relation to all pay settlements, public and private. If we get back into that spiral, it will take years to get out of it.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Express claims that senior backbench MPs are demanding a 21% pay increase in order to “catch up” with other professionals, according to a memo it attributes to Sir Stuart Bell, Tim Harvey and David Maclean. The increase would give MPs a £75,000 salary. The story was only slightly spoiled by the fact that there is no such MP as Tim Harvey.

“If you don’t pay MPs the same rates as, say, company directors, then people will choose to be company directors and not MPs,” said the fictitious Mr Harvey. “Of course, some ignorant people might think that you need skills and abilities to become a director, rather than simply pinning on a rosette once every few years, but this is a gross oversimplification. You certainly do need qualifications to join the board of a merchant bank, defence contractor, IT supplier or consultancy firm – and, in my experience, the best qualification you can possibly have is to be an MP. No MPs - no company directors. If we don’t get our pay rise, then every business in Britain will stumble swiftly into oblivion. Is that what you communists want?”

Mr Harvey later accepted that there may have been some minor flaws, contradictions, leaps of faith and bare-faced lies in his logic, but argued that he wasn’t doing badly for an imaginary character.

“Of course, I would probably have come up with a better argument if I was better paid,” he claimed.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I Think, Therefore I Am Gay

Religious fundamentalists around the world gnashed their teeth and rent their garments, following the announcement that gayness develops in the womb.

Sweden’s Karolinska Institute published a comparison of the brains of 90 adults, in which they discovered that gay men and straight women had equally-sized hemispheres, while straight men and lesbians had larger right lobes. Differences were also found in the nerve connections of the amygdala, the most primitive part of the brain. The clinching argument was the discovery that brains were lettered like a stick of rock, with the tiny words ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ running through them, followed by ‘May be used in body types M and F’.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no argument any more – if you are gay, you are born gay,” said Dr Qazi Rahman, a lecturer in cognitive biology from Queen Mary College, London.

However, fundamentalists were horrified at the implication that homosexuality is determined by God, rather than simply a perverted desire to commit wicked, sinful acts for the glory of Satan.

“Why, this makes me question everything I believe in,” said one God-fearing bigot. “If God Almighty is infallible, how could He make these loathsome abominations? Perhaps it’s like those fossil-stones He put into the good earth to test our faith in the Book of Genesis. That must be it. Thank you, Lord, for putting me to the test! Hallelujah!”

Some leading fundamental theologians have suggested that the solution would be to simply put gay brains into bodies of the opposite sex.

Bisexuals, however, complained of feeling more confused than ever, as the new evidence clearly implies that they are the unnatural ones. Unfortunately the Christians overheard them, and immediately set about building a large bonfire.

Mr Darling 'Very Cross' With Little Mervyn

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, following the news that the Consumer Price Index has risen by 3.3%. According to Treasury rules, the governor must write an explanation if the rate of inflation exceeds 3%.

Mervyn offered a variety of reasons for the rise, including “It wasn’t me, it was some big boys from another bank”, “I haven’t got my PFI kit”, “The dog ate my economic forecast” and “I’ve got a verucca.”

Mr Darling is said to be very cross, and will either make Mervyn write out “I must not tell the truth” a thousand times, or write a letter to his parents.

Special Effects King Dies - Spectacular Visuals

The legendary Hollywood effects expert Stan Winston has died, at the age of 62.

Winston, who won four Oscars for his ground-breaking work on Aliens, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and also created breathtaking visuals for Batman Returns, Artificial Intelligence, Predator and most recently, Iron Man. He had been battling a giant computer-generated cancer cell for several years, according to the Stan Winston Studios.

“We’ve got some stunning footage,” said a spokesman. “The bit where Stan is totally engulfed by the cell, then rips his way out by morphing into a velociraptor, is a real treat for visual effects enthusiasts. I can’t tell you much about the death scene at the moment, out of respect for Stan’s family, but I can say you’ve never seen anything like it in your life, film fans!”

The director Steven Spielberg, who worked with Winston on several blockbuster movies, is said to be keen to see the VFX genius immortalised by being turned into a fully-animatronic corpse.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Brits In

European foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg today for crisis talks following Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, believe they have found a solution which will mean the controversial treaty can legally go ahead as planned.

In a surprise move, the foreign ministers have unanimously agreed not to recognise the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which created what was originally called the Irish Free State. Far from being the culmination of a centuries-old struggle by the oppressed Irish population under the British imperialist yoke, they say, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was in fact extracted at gunpoint from a Britain exhausted by the slaughter of World War One, followed by two violent years at the hands of a gang of ruthless terrorists, and as such cannot be regarded as a legitimate document.

“Some of our citizens – OK, most of our citizens - will find this a bit hard to swallow,” admitted Irish foreign minister Miche├íl Martin. “But as our major parties are all for the Lisbon Treaty, this minor rewriting of history will get things moving again. Now all we need is for the British government to rubber-stamp the Lisbon agreement on Wednesday, then invade Ireland. Our forces will offer no resistance, as the Irish army is on holiday at Disney World, the navy is having barnacles scraped off its bottom and the air force is painting his shed. Having re-established direct rule, London will then immediately devolve it to a de facto local administration, i.e. us.”

“Of course, our forefathers who suffered under the heel of the British will be turning in their graves,” he added, “Which should provide us with a clean source of energy for years to come.”

Brown Honours Ordinary Celebrities

Gordon Brown has underlined the difference in style between himself and Tony Blair, with the publication of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

“People were highly critical of my predecessor’s habit of rewarding celebrities for just doing their highly-paid jobs,” said the PM. “But I made a promise to the British people to end the glitzy but empty parade of celebrity photo-ops. That is why I have only rewarded ordinary citizens who have genuinely worked behind the scenes to make Britain a better place.

“Des O’Connor gets a well-deserved CBE for proving that senility need not barrier to employment, while Russell T Davies’ OBE is for bringing Doctor Who back to defend us from the aliens and Dot Cotton’s MBE recognises her contribution to the smoking debate. Paul O’Grady receives an MBE for being the thinking man’s crumpet for 40 years, while Joan Bakewell becomes a pantomime dame for tirelessly promoting the image of cross-dressing Scousers. Is that right?”

“I’ve also given a few gongs to the usual shady characters in the civil service, the city and the defence industry,” added Mr Brown confidentially, “But don’t say anything about that, will you? It’s my little secret.”

Two In The Bush

US President George Bush, on his final tour of Europe, has spent his second day in Britain meeting Gordon Brown. The President denied that there was any rift between himself and the Prime Minister over troop withdrawals in the Middle East.

“While he was bringing me my Coco Pops this morning, my man Tony gave me the low-down that your Mr Brown said some of your guys could be home by Christmas,” said the President. “Hey, we’re all entitled to make mistakes – shucks, I know that - but it’s been a real pleasure to set him right on that. Say, I had dinner with that Queen of yours last night – whadda dame! That ol’ lady sure can rustle up a swell bowl of Angel Delight. Gee, where are we tomorrow, guys? Is it a surprise?”