Friday, 11 July 2008

They Told Me I Was Going to Lose the Fight

Widespread ridicule has greeted Gordon Brown’s identification of himself with a controversial figure from the annals of great literature.

In an interview in yesterday’s New Statesman magazine, the Prime Minister was told that women identified him with a certain brooding, intense character.

“Yes, I’ve often seen myself as that great man of action, Captain Ahab,” mused the PM. “Here is a man who was totally committed to hanging on to the bitter end, regardless of the wavering support of his unfaithful crew. Some say Ahab was blindly obsessed with following the great white whale - whose very existence seemed to taunt him from afar, mocking him mercilessly - and was callously blind to the catastrophic consequences of his flawed leadership. But in my analysis, Ahab was in fact an inspired, visionary commander with the guts to see things through to the bitter end, come hell or high water. You can’t blame him for slavishly trailing in the wake of Tony Dick - especially after the terrible mauling he had received from that monstrous freak of nature in the past.”

Other Parliamentarians have lined up to say which fictional character they would rather compare the Prime Minister with.

“I say, he’s rather like that Yossarian chap in Catch-22, isn’t he?” chirped David Cameron. “Trapped in a war not of his making, at the mercy of ruthless, greedy commercial forces and with nobody listening to a word he says. I haven’t read the book, I’m afraid – too many pages – but I saw the film once.”

Nick Clegg suggested that the character of Miss Havisham in ‘Great Expectations’ might be appropriate, reposing in a once-great house that was falling to rack and ruin about her, obsessively trying to manipulate those around her out of spite for a slight she received in the past. “I know it’s a bit obscure,” said Mr Clegg, “But that’s the kind of guy I am, I’m a Liberal Democrat.”

Meanwhile, the people of Britain – well, the ones who could read, at least – grudgingly continued to act out the role of Winston Smith, the trapped Orwellian hero of ‘1984’.

Civilisation Peaks As Apple Launches New Unnecessary Product

The world became a far better place today, as the starving, impoverished billions in the developing world celebrated the launch of the latest Apple iPhone.

“I can’t afford rice for my family,” said our poor Haitian farming correspondent, still clinging to his meagre existence on his blighted patch of soil. “And our cow has just died. However, I am glad that there are still people in the West who can scrape together the necessary funds to replace last year’s shiny new toy with this year’s shiny new toy. It gives me hope to think that someone, somewhere, is not in the same hellish, grinding nightmare as us.”

The iPhone has been hailed by consumer electronics magazines as the best gadget in the world ever, as it not only has all the features of the previous iPhone, but may work a bit better too.

“Future generations will look back on 2008 as the pinnacle of civilisation,” said the editor of Pointless Gadget Monthly. “The owner of this expensive knick-knack will finally be able to boast that they have actually achieved perfection.”

“This is the best moment of my life,” said delighted customer Greg McGeek of New Zealand, where the global iPhone rollout began. “It’s got widescreen, you can interface with YouTube, play MP3s and podcasts, take photos - and look! No keypad! You can dial with the touchscreen! How cool is that? My life is complete. Now I can surf the internet while I’m cycling to work, because I’m a really caring global citizen who does his bit to save the planet. Look, here’s a news story about the appalling contrast in values between the rich and poor of the world. I’m reading it as it’s being written, halfway across the world! My God, listen to this shallow, self-obsessed twerp. Hang on - I’m saying that, right now! It’s me! I’m in it! Er…”

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Come On, My Lucky Lads

Almost half of Britain’s military personnel say they want to leave the forces, according to a survey by the Ministry of Defence.

With 47% of the Army and Navy and 44% of the RAF saying they have had enough, service chiefs have been left in no doubt that, of the options available in the survey, their troops are unhappy about the increased tours of duty, poor-quality equipment and housing and low pay.

“Obviously one matter that’s been weighing on my mind quite a bit is the prospect of having the family jewels blasted to kingdom come, just to safeguard the God-given right of Americans to drive round in gas-guzzling monster pick-up trucks for years to come,” said one soldier in Iraq. “Funnily enough, though, there didn’t seem to be a box for that on the form. I say bugger this for a game of civilians.”

Some members of the forces, however, poured scorn on their faint-hearted colleagues.

“I’m having the time of my life,” said a Lieutenant Wales, serving a devastating backhand in the tennis court installed for his benefit in HMS Iron Duke’s helicopter hangar. “My entire tour of duty in the Middle East was hardly taxing. It was only a few weeks long, I felt completely safe and I’ve been assured that I won’t have to go back to that ghastly place again. As for the Navy, I’ve got no complaints about the accommodation. The water-skiing is great, room service is tip-top - and we’ve just secured an extraordinary amount of Charlie, so at the moment it’s one long party.”

No Sense of Duty

Almost nine million motorists will pay more road tax under the government’s impending reforms, Treasury minister Angela Eagle has admitted.

An estimated 44% of vehicles made since 2001 fall foul of the changes in excise duty aimed at discouraging use of fuel-thirsty cars, according to official estimates, with owners of the most polluting vehicles having to pay an extra £245 per year.

Backbenchers have already criticised the backdating of the scheme to cover cars built as far back as 2001, saying they already hit the poor unduly hard. However, genuinely poor people pointed out that they were all right, thanks, as those of them still able to afford any kind of car at all were still driving round in manky old Astras from the early 90s.

“This is an outrage,” said one motorist in the home counties. “I’m driving around in a little Honda CR-V diesel and I’m going to get stitched up by that creep Brown, while some street-racing chav an unbadged T-reg BMW who thinks he’s Jeremy bloody Clarkson gets away scot-free? We’ll see about that. I’m writing a letter to the Daily Mail about this.”

Candidates Outnumbering Voters in Davis By-Election

The Haltemprice and Howden by-election is finally under way today. Tory David Davis – who is not opposed by Labour or the Liberal Democrats - forced the by-election by resigning his seat last month, saying he was making a principled stand on the issue of relentless erosion of the hard-won rights and freedoms of British citizens.

Voting is expected to get under way if and when a voter bothers to turn up.

“We’ve sent out reminders to all 26 candidates that they are perfectly entitled to turn up and vote for themselves,” said the Returning Officer this morning, “But to be honest, I don’t think half of them care one way or another. Especially if it starts raining. I’m just checking the rules to see what I’m supposed to do in the event of a zero turnout. I think we may have to order a big hat, or something.”

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Mosley vs Jews of the World

The women with whom Formula One boss Max Mosley was filmed in a sado-masochistic orgy have denied in court that their activities had any Nazi connotations.

“Max is just an extremely charming, mild-mannered and interesting man who expresses his romantic and sensitive nature in the universal language of love,” said Woman A, “i.e. German.”

Woman B admitted that she wore a Luftwaffe jacket during the sex romp, but denied any Nazi overtones. “It is well-known all over the world that the Luftwaffe were all ardent anti-fascists whose grudging participation in Nazi atrocities has been conclusively shown to have stemmed from a misguided desire to speed up urban redevelopment schemes in other people’s countries," said the German woman. “My grandparents were certainly not Nazis, and the bloodline is a reliable indicator in these cases.”

She had not, at the time, thought anything of Woman A’s comment that “We are the Aryan race, blondes”, she added.

Woman C, who played the role of a prisoner in the fantasy romp, said that Mr Mosley and Woman B only spoke German “to add to the surprise factor and excitement” of the scenario.

Mr Mosley himself suggested that lice-checking and head-shaving were simply normal, everyday activities, and was shocked to think that anyone could possibly see a link with concentration camps. “All right, so my dear old dad was a bit of a Nazi,” he admitted, “But the bloodline is not a reliable indicator in these cases.”

“Before the News of the World published its vile, groundless lies,” he continued, “I was only known as a domineering bully in the F1 community. Now, however, I have been brought low by these criminal subversives working for the Jews – sorry, News - of the World. They must be crushed without mercy so that, in a thousand years, the name of Mosley should be synonymous with strutting about in uniforms and torturing people - but only in a nice way.”

Dildo Murderer Under Pressure

Counsel for the Metropolitan Police has concluded its arguments at the Old Bailey, in the appeal by Barry George against his conviction for murdering Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando.

The final Crown witness was a local bar manager, who testified on oath that Mr George was well-known as “a nutter” in the Fulham area.

“I am an expert in the field of rostering staff and twirling bottles,” said Greg Dawson, “So I can categorically state that the defendant is a bit of a weirdo.”

Previous witnesses have already testified that Mr George was obsessed with Queen, and tried to chat up women by pretending to be the long-dead singer Freddie Mercury. He had also bought a pretend gun by mail order, and after Ms Dando’s death had grown an evil goatee beard like Satan’s and callously left a bunch of flowers at the murder site.

“Jill Dando was not just the best anagram on TV,” said Mr Laidlaw. “If you looked through the wrong end of a telescope and squinted a lot, at a pinch you could mistake her for Saint Diana. Only a raving lunatic – or possibly some London crime lord with a grudge against Crimewatch, but we won’t go into that – could possibly wish her harm. Mr George is clearly bonkers, and that makes him an ideal suspect, because nobody will believe a word he says - especially if those words are ‘It wasn’t me.’ Furthermore, anyone who thinks they can convince people they’re Freddie Mercury would certainly believe, beyond a scintilla of a doubt, that they could just as easily get away with blowing someone’s head off. Mr George is obviously a few aces short of a deck – therefore, QED and can I pick up my fee now, your honour?”

Mr George will take the stand today, and is expected to express a strong desire to break free.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Ongoing Economic Implosion May Just Possibly Hint at Recession After All, Say Businessmen

The UK is facing the threat of recession within three months, according to the quarterly report from the British Chambers of Commerce.

Many of the 5000 small- to medium-sized businesses surveyed said they were experiencing falling orders, cash-flow problems, rising costs and declining sales.

“We put our heads together over lunch at The Ivy and asked ourselves what could possibly be behind it all,” said one of the leading financial wizards from the Chambers of Commerce. “We thought it might be global warming, terrorists, dumbing down, knife culture, the Beijing Olympics and any number of other things that seem to scream from the front pages every day. Then somebody at the back piped up and said he’d heard of this thing called ‘recession’ that he’d read about on somebody’s website. We all laughed and said ‘Don’t be daft, Charlie, there’s no such thing!’ After all, you only read about recessions in history books – along with dictators, plutocrats and slavery. If they ever existed at all, they certainly don’t exist now – or so we all thought.”

“Every day the government says we’re experiencing a minor economic downturn,” he went on, “And we thought they must know what they’re talking about – after all, we trained all the civil servants who advise them. But it seems they’ve been talking out of their backsides for months. I’m going to dig myself a bunker, sell everything, lay in some supplies and a shotgun, and prepare to defend my family against the rampaging, ravenous mob.”

Gordon Brown - still looking rather full after his lavish meal at the G8 meeting yesterday - wiped a truffle off his chin and told reporters that although the global economy was experiencing some temporary setbacks, there was no recession.

“Even if there was,” he belched, “Then thanks to our net deficit, high borrowing, lack of gold reserves, over-reliance on service industries and dependency on fuel and food imports, Britain is well-placed to weather it.”

The Prime Minister hastily cut short the interview when he noticed an official from the World Bank approaching, with several bailiffs in tow.

G8 Leaders Promise To Ponder Climate Change Before They Die of Old Age

The world gave a rousing cheer today following the announcement that the G8 has agreed to give some thought to adding a 50% cut in carbon emissions to their wish list by 2050, if every other country on Earth agrees.

The statement is being greeted by environmentalists as another encouraging step forwards, after last year’s declaration that “something really ought to be done about it by somebody, preferably the Chinese and the Indians.”

“The world is safe at last,” said leading environmental campaigner Starchild Moonflower, from underneath a pile of Japanese policemen. “My work here is done.”

Some hardliners, however, pointed out that by 2050 the Earth will be an uninhabitable, searing hell, and suggested that now might be a better time to think about maybe doing something or other to prevent a runaway greenhouse effect.

George Bush, however, poured scorn on the doomsayers. “I hear it’s raining again in Britland,” he said. “What more proof do you need that global warming isn’t happening yet? OK, so it might be a reality by the year 2050, but by then I sure won’t be around to see it - and neither will the rest of us.”

He was then struck by a huge tsunami, before being swept up into the sky by a giant twister that sprang up from an enraged Mother Earth.

Gordon Brown took up the argument, saying that climate change was such a complex issue that he would only be able to devote his attention to it when he had plenty of free time.

“Everyone should have a hobby or interest to keep them occupied in their retirement,” he said. “I shall be making plans the moment I get back to Britain.”

Those Earth-Shattering G8 Pronouncements In Brief

And there’s just time to sum up the other announcements from the G8:

1. Robert Mugabe has been very naughty.

2. Everyone should stop wasting food, apart from us.

3. Have you seen the price of petrol lately? Shocking.

Monday, 7 July 2008

"What Food Crisis?" Say G8 Leaders, "This Caviar's Lovely"

World leaders are playing down the deployment of 21,000 police in the Japanese lakeside town of Tokayo to cover the G8 meeting which begins there today.

With rising food and fuel prices likely to dominate the agenda, the heads of state stressed that the worldwide economic meltdown was purely a figment of people’s imaginations, caused by misinformation, bad karma and negative vibes.

“With 21,000 police officers standing between us and the people of the world, anyone would think we were less than universally popular,” said Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “Let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. The worldwide recession that isn’t happening is not our fault. The Japanese authorities are polite to a fault, and to save delegates from the embarrassment of missing a meeting by accidentally forgetting to set their watches to local time, they will be able to ask a friendly Japanese policeman every three yards.”

“Gee,” said US President George W Bush. “Look at all the nice shiny uniforms. When do we get to talk about putting more missiles into Europe?”

Meanwhile, starving people in the poorest nations on Earth took heart from the message that there was no major recession.

“As the empty plates facing my family are illusions caused by our ignorance of global market forces, I shall just tell them to imagine heaps of delicious food piled high on their plates, and to believe that their stomachs are full,” said a Brazilian peasant, on his way to deliver his crops to a Monsanto biofuel converter.

Children Ignore Rational Arguments For Salad

A survey conducted by London Metropolitan University has left nutrition experts stunned to discover that children seem to quite like junk food.

“This is a profound shock,” said Professor Cressida Broccoli of the University’s Department of Salad Studies. “When we gave kids a choice of mouth-watering bran on a rice cracker or a giant bag of Space Raiders and a Coke, most of them scoffed down the evil snack manufacturers’ toxic concoctions, then threw the All-Bran at us. What kind of creature would prefer artificially-flavoured rubbish in garishly-coloured packaging to a sensibly-sized, healthy portion of wholesome natural ingredients designed by Jamie Oliver?”

Another group of appalled researchers recently discovered to their surprise that, when asked to choose between a suite of brain-training puzzles designed by a leading Japanese education expert and stamping around a virtual battlefield in a giant walking tank, children exhibited a strange tendency to shun mental training in favour of a sickening orgy of graphic violence.

We asked a child to explain his irresponsible behaviour, but he called our researcher a rude name and ran away laughing.

Catherine Tate 'Bothered' By Lynch Mob of Cheated Dr Who Viewers

The siege of BBC Wales’ Cardiff headquarters is entering its third day, with no sign of a peaceful resolution.

Angry viewers surrounded the building on Saturday evening, shortly after the transmission of the climax of the fourth Doctor Who series.

“We’ve been cheated,” said one irate fan, armed with a hammer and a bag of nails. “For thirteen long weeks we’ve put up with Catherine Bloody Tate, and all that kept us going was the comforting thought that her irritating, rat-faced character would be killed off at the end of the season. But they bottled it. We want Tate’s cakey ginger head on a spike.”

Series creator Russell T Davies tried to appeal to reason - but as usual nothing he said made any logical sense, and the hapless writer was seized, beaten unconscious with toy TARDISes and exterminated from a nearby tree.

Tate’s present whereabouts are unknown, but reports indicate that she is extremely bothered.