Friday, 25 July 2008

Scottish Earthquake: Labour Party May Have to Come Down

People all over Britain were tumbled out of their beds late last night by the seismic shockwave caused by the sensational victory of John Mason, the Scottish Nationalist candidate, in the by-election in the former Labour bastion of Glasgow East.

Immediately after the returning officer made the announcement that Mr Mason had won 11,277 votes compared to the Labour candidate’s 10,912, a low rumble shook the building, spreading rapidly out from the epicentre. Although Labour MPs across the whole nation were reported to be badly shaken, the effects were felt most strongly in central London, with the Labour Party said to be in imminent danger of collapse.

“Many of these MPs are in a state of shock,” said a spokesman for the emergency services. “We’ve been pulling them from the wreckage all night. People have been saying for years that the whole structure was deteriorating badly, and now it looks like the whole thing is about to come crashing down.”

The Glasgow East result showed a swing of over 22% to the SNP in the former Labour heartland. If the trend were to be repeated, just one Labour MP would remain in the whole of Scotland – with both Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling losing their seats.

English nationalists - who have been complaining bitterly, ever since devolution was implemented, about the unfairness of voters in Scotland having the power to elect MPs to sit in Westminster and influence English politics - were the first to congratulate the SNP on their resounding victory, and sent them an invitation to field a candidate in every seat south of the border at the next general election.

“We don’t know what the SNP’s policies for England would be,” said one London cabbie as he tore the flag of St George from his aerial and replaced it with the cross of St Andrew, “But at least we’d have the option of voting for a party with experience of governing that isn’t infested with thieving Tory bastards."

Stop Press: Number Ten Hostage Crisis

Reports are starting to come in of a hostage situation in Downing Street.

Police say that American presidential candidate Barack Obama - just arrived in the UK as part of his European fact-finding tour - is being held at gunpoint by a desperate Prime Minister.

It appears that Barack Obama, visiting the Prime Minister on the British leg of his European tour, was standing outside Number Ten waving at the cameras when the door suddenly opened, and a haggard-looking Gordon Brown grabbed him by the neck, put a gun to his head and dragged him inside.

The police who surround the building surrounded the building immediately, and waited for Mr Brown to make his demands. Meanwhile, in the United States, President George Bush was said to be watching the unfolding drama with interest, a mug of coffee and his feet up on his desk.

Eventually, a note was pushed under the famous black door of Number Ten. According to police, it said: “I’m still Prime fucking Minister. Unless the class traitors of Glasgow apologise for their crass ingratitude, rerun the election and vote Labour within the next 24 hours, I will blow this Yank bastard to kingdom come - leaving the way clear for Hillary Clinton to become next president of the United States. I’ve got parliamentary privilege, the pigs can’t touch me for it.”

While constitutional experts debated whether there was any historical precedent in the annals of British politics for arresting a serving Prime Minister for kidnap and murder, the United States government issued a stern warning.

“While removing Senator Obama from the equation and leaving American voters with a choice between John McCain and a mad, ranting liar wouldn’t unduly worry the Republican Party,” said a White House spokesman, “The President feels that an attack upon any American citizen - even a black one, and a Democrat to boot - constitutes an attack upon the whole of America. He is therefore putting the Lakenheath Strike Wing into the air, ready to bring shock, awe and about thirty fuel-air bombs to the City of Westminster unless the terrorist Brown releases Senator Obama unharmed within the next hour.”

However, we’ve just heard that the siege came to a dramatic end a few seconds ago when Senator Obama emerged from Number Ten rubbing his knuckles, and told the world’s waiting press that his inept captor had forgotten to take the safety catch off. At that moment there was a loud bang from within, followed by a shout of, “Oh, my sodding foot! Somebody call a doctor.”

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Africans Sympathise With Britons Forced to Go Without Mineral Water

As Oxfam warns that Britain is struggling to meet the cost of necessities like bottled mineral water, 15 million consumers in East Africa are reported to be reining in their lifestyles by opting to forego luxuries such as food.

“I really don’t know how I’m going to survive the journey into the office without Highland Spring,” said local government officer Gillian Perrier, 30. “How will I replace the sandstone and basalt my body loses through my daily cycle through the traffic? And think of the kids, facing a gruelling 15-minute walk to school - it’s only flavoured Volvic that keeps them from dropping into the newsagents for sweets. I may as well give up altogether and go back to driving the Espace.”

Meanwhile, up to 7.2 million people in Somalia and Ethiopia alone are reassessing their priorities in the face of rocketing prices, drought and violent conflict.

“Property prices are plummeting round here”, complained one Somali villager we spoke to. “My home lost 95% of its value overnight, when the local militia roared into town and fired an anti-tank rocket at it. And my small eco-business has been struggling to survive ever since the rains stopped last year. If this goes on, I may have to let some of my hard-working family go. Still, my heart goes out to those people in Britain who can’t afford mineral water. I’ll have a rummage round and see if I can donate something I can manage without, like a kidney or a daughter maybe.”

Bale Out

The legendary Batman has been sighted leaping from rooftop to rooftop in Barcelona, where he is thought to be relentlessly pursuing his ongoing battle to rid the world of his evil nemesis, Mum, and her villainous henchdaughter. Batman was sensationally arrested by Commissioner Gordon on Tuesday - but the caped crusader is out on bail, protesting his innocence.

The rubber pretend bat was seen briefly outside a cinema by a crowd of astonished onlookers, who were amazed by his appearance.

“You’re just a brutal thug, protected by your wealth,” said a local reporter. “Don’t you feel ridiculous standing here in front of all these people?”

The masked vigilante merely smiled grimly to himself, however, and replied, “Who is this joker?”

The Lap of Luxury

In a move widely tipped to win him the next general election, David Cameron has vowed to give local communities back the power to block licensing applications for lap-dancing clubs in their neighbourhoods.

Prior to the 2003 Licensing Act, councils had to give consideration to the views of local residents. However, the act allows the clubs to apply under the same Premises License regulations as a café or pub, leaving authorities with little scope to take local opposition into account.

“This is good news for well-off people in nice neighbourhoods who are well-informed about their rights and can organise massive letter-writing campaigns,” declared Mr Cameron. “These tawdry establishments will be forced to ply their tacky trade in the run-down slums, where the scum are too ignorant or apathetic to complain.”

However, some members of the middle classes are less than enthusiastic about the Tory proposals.

“I’m damned if I’m going to entertain clients to a feast of shapely, gyrating baps if it means parking the Beemer in some run-down alley south of the river, full of widdling alkies, crazed junkies and knife-wielding hoodies,” said one City banker. “They’ll have the wheels off it before the totty gets her gloves off.”

Meanwhile, lap-dancing club owners pointed out that they were in fact providing a valuable community service.

“For many hideously-underqualified single mums without visible stretch marks, trapped in a crumbling council flat and under pressure from the Jobcentre to get some kind of job or have their benefits cut, this is a dream opportunity,” said one seedy proprietor. “Only the other day this Cameron twit was talking about offering firms a couple of grand to run apprentice schemes. We were well up for that, but now I’m not so sure. I think I’ll stick with Labour. That Jacqui Smith can have a job in my establishment any time she likes.”

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Red-Faced Serbians Admit to Arresting Archbishop of Canterbury by Mistake

The government of Serbia apologised today after discovering that the man with a beard whom they arrested yesterday, thinking he was fugitive Bosnian war criminal Radovan Karadic, was in fact the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Karadic is a master of disguise,” admitted red-faced officials. “And so, when sharp-eyed police officers saw this bizarre character with large glasses and a silly beard climbing aboard a bus, they thought they had finally tracked down Europe’s most wanted mass-murderer. However, it turns out that he is in fact Rowan Atkinson, your lovable British comedy character famous for his improbable gaffes.”

Bishops attending the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury expressed surprise at the presence of the leader of the world’s Anglican Communion in the Balkans.

“Who’s chairing our conference then?” demanded the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. After a brief scuffle on the podium, a dishevelled figure in torn vestments emerged from beneath a pile of bishops, to stand revealed as the evil terrorist mastermind Osama bin-Laden.

“Curses! Foiled again,” hissed the scheming super-villain. “I planned to bring together the disillusioned factions of the Anglican Church in the hope of uniting them into a globally-feared fundamentalist army, ready to unleash a terrifying wave of tea and biscuits around the world. Now my scheme is in tatters.”

The Archbishop of Sudan, Daniel Deng, has led calls for the Serbs to hand Rowan Williams over, to stand trial for his role in overseeing the bloody civil war that is raging within the Anglican churches.

“For many years our community lived peacefully,” he said. “High Churchmen used to co-exist side by side with the notorious Happy-Clappy Brigade, while thousands of gay clergy quietly went about their business without drawing attention to themselves. Then Dr Williams allowed the militant gay forces of Bishop Gene Robinson to rampage unchecked throughout the church, reviving our long-buried traditions of bigotry and intolerance and leading us into this terrible civil war. He should be tried by the International Ducking Stool in the Hague.”

Drinks Industry Criticised For Selling Drinks

Ministers have told Britain’s drinks industry that they are ready to introduce tough new laws if it does not do more to stop its customers from buying its products.

“The evidence clearly makes this the right time to consult on a far tougher approach to the drinks industry,” said health minister Dawn Primarolo. “Obviously individuals have to take responsibility for their drinking, but we’re afraid of being seen to criticise the great drunken British public – so instead we’ve decided to blame everything on the industry.”

Alcohol manufacturers and retailers began introducing a voluntary code of conduct as long ago as 1998. However, the government claims not nearly enough is being done to display the amount of units in drinks or to encourage sensible drinking.

“When will the evil retailers print a useful guide on every bottle or glass?” demanded Ms Primarolo. “I envisage some kind of line going from top to bottom, with the degrees of intoxication clearly marked.”

She then unveiled a graphic depicting the sort of markings that she had in mind, beginning with:

- Pleasant feeling of good-natured disposition toward world;

- Sudden discovery of exact nature of all defects inherent in modern society, accompanied by philanthropic desire to communicate findings to anyone within reach;

- Heartfelt need to repeat precise nature and degree of friendship to nearest drinking-companion, licensee or bystander;

- Irresistible urge to kindly offer sexual favours sequentially to all members of opposite sex in line of sight;

- Strong desire to demonstrate personal diet regime to bystanders by interactive display of contents of digestive system;

- Complete reversal of previous feelings towards drinking companions, licensees and bystanders, followed by exciting demonstrations of newly-invented martial arts technique culminating in assault of pavement with face;

- Overriding wish to be reunited with violent, recently-jailed thug Blake Fielder-Civil.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Inept Death Junkie Hailed As Best Cackling Actor in Make-Up in Dramatic History

The Dark Knight - the best film ever made, or that ever will be made - had its European premiere in London last night, with reviewers hailing the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the best acting anyone will ever be privileged to witness.

The stunning visual feast - in which an obsessive billionaire confronts a grinning, pasty-faced lunatic while dressed up as a rubber bat - demonstrates conclusively that every other so-called masterpiece in cinematic history was in fact vastly over-rated by hysterical, easily-pleased dolts.

Michael Caine, who delivers the performance of his life as minor character Alfred the Butler, told reporters: “Heath Ledger has single-handedly redefined acting. I am retiring in shame to a monastery in Greece. Please forgive me for boring you all for years with my laughably wooden travesties of acting. Goodbye, and I’m sorry.”

Christian Bale, who just about passes muster as the rubber Batman, hung his head in shame as he paid tribute to his co-star. “People were wrong to hail me for my commitment when I dropped three stone in weight to depict a skeletally-thin, sleep-deprived borderline psychotic in The Machinist,” he said. “To tell the truth, I was just feeling a bit porky. Heath, though, has taken putting on make-up and cackling to unprecedented levels of realism. I shall humbly strive to follow his glorious example, apart from the fatally-pumping-myself-full-of-drugs bit, maybe.”

The Nev Filter’s resident film critic says: “I spent the first twenty minutes thinking the projector was broken before I realised the entire film was shot in pitch darkness, which is of course a stroke of genius. And making a film so utterly devoid of humour and levity takes real vision, especially when you have a main antagonist called the Joker. The director, whatever his name is, is assured of his place among the great auteurs of cinema. The nail-biting climax, in which Batman is arrested by Scotland Yard detectives investigating several Fathers4Justice protests on Harriet Harman’s roof, is real edge-of-the-seat stuff. But for me, the real star is the Bat-bike made out of two wheelbarrows and a gatling gun. I hope it gets an Oscar.”

Karavan Radovic Arrested for War Crimes In Hersnia-Bozegovina

The most evil man in recent history (prior to the appearance of Osama bin-Laden) has been arrested in Serbia, and will be taken to the Hague to stand trial for genocide.

Karavan Radovic, formerly a psychologist and poet, led the breakaway Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, backed by Slobovic Milobovic’s Serbia, into a blood-soaked civil war against the Muslim population, back in the mid-1990s before people decided that Muslims were probably all fanatical terrorists. Karavan and his evil henchman Ratty the Rat were responsible for the siege of Sarajevo and other war crimes, and the fugitive Karamel has been hunted, without success, by NATO-led troops for 13 years. He was finally arrested by the Serbians themselves – coincidentally, not long after the former staunchly-nationalist government lost power to the pro-European faction.

Mr Radiohead eluded capture for so long thanks to a succession of disguises, with peacekeepers daily walking past Uncle Sam, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ronald Macdonald, Johnny Depp, Jesus, Madonna, Godzilla, the Grim Reaper, Mickey Mouse, Homer Simpson, a Dalek and the front half of a pantomime horse, unaware that they were within inches of the most notorious mass-murderer since Hitler.

Serbian security forces say they spotted the elusive Radish when his false beard fell off.

“On closer inspection, we realised that his nose was a different colour from the rest of his face and was attached to a pair of rubber glasses,” said police inspector Chetnik. “We radioed the prime minister for instructions, and he told us to arrest Kalamari right away, as it might get us into the EU.”

Kardigan has, however, composed a moving poem protesting his innocence.

“There once was a Serbian man
Whose ambitions went right down the pan.
Although sheltered for years
Amid nationalist cheers
Now it’s curtains for poor Radovan.

"I thank you! I’ve been Radovan Karadic - you’ve been great accomplices - don’t miss my show trial in Holland - goodnight!” yelled the butcher of Srebrenica as he was dragged off to jail.

Monday, 21 July 2008

MPs Unite to Condemn Greedy Idle Bastards

The government will force the long-term unemployed to clear up litter and graffiti, according to a leaked draft of the Welfare Green Paper.

Under the proposals, anyone out of work for two years will be forced to work full-time on community service programmes – unlike criminals, who tend to only get from 28 days to six months.

“Unemployed people are great,” said Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell. “Unlike pensioners - who have the unquestioning support of the media and organisations to speak up in their defence - nobody in Britain gives a stuff about the jobless. In fact, the general perception is that Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants are all heroin-addicted shoplifters, and everyone on Incapacity Benefit is perfectly healthy and living in the lap of luxury - and that’s certainly not something I’m going out of my way to correct.”

Mr Purnell went on to say that private companies would be encouraged to browbeat and cajole the unemployed into hideously low-paid, stressful and soul-destroying McJobs, in return for which the firms would receive nice bonuses out of funds previously paid to claimants. He also stressed that, unlike the current Incapacity Benefit, the new measures would offer people assistance.

“No help is currently available to those who cannot work through illness - well, apart from occupational therapy, sympathy and understanding,” said Mr Purnell. “But, in future, clinically-depressed clients on the verge of suicide can look forward to receiving a good slap from Jobcentre staff and being told: ‘Snap out of it, get a grip and stop whining – after all, it could be worse, you could have MS or something.’ Meanwhile, people who do have MS or something will be told there’s no reason why they can’t stack the bottom shelves in Tesco, or perhaps drive tired or lazy shoppers around the aisles on their laps.”

The Conservatives have given their wholehearted support to the proposals. David Cameron said, “Thank God for the unemployed. If there’s one thing that MPs of all shades are united on, it’s that there’s nothing more revolting than the sight of hordes of greedy, good-for-nothing wasters cynically helping themselves to vast quantities of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.”

City Fat Cats Lost for Explanation as Central London Retail Figures Continue to Buck Downward Trend

Britain’s economic future has been described as a “horror movie” in a report from analysts at Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club.

The group’s chief economist, Peter Spencer, said the indications were that the government would miss its inflation targets for the next 12 months, unemployment would increase substantially, and consumer spending would come to a standstill thanks to a sharp downturn in the housing market and lower credit availability.

“This will only end when some plucky and resourceful survivor manages to escape the clutches of the football-crazed, Sun-reading zombie army rampaging in the streets, and emerges from the sewers to face down the evil vampire overlord in his Downing Street chamber of horrors,” said Mr Spencer.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium reported that, although retail sales across the country fell by 0.4% last month compared to a year ago, in Central London the figure actually rose by nearly 9%.

“We’re at a loss to explain this unique blip in the sales figures,” said the organisation’s Director-General, Stephen Robertson. “I emailed all my friends in the City on my £1500 Nokia 8800 Gold Edition phone, and we all went to the Ivy for a two-grand-a-head brainstorming session. After a very agreeable luncheon we hopped into our Maseratis, Bugattis and Maybachs and continued our deliberations over £50-a-throw cocktails at Annabel’s. When I looked at my £20,000 Breitling, it was 4am and we still hadn’t discovered why Central London is the only place in Britain where retail sales are booming. So, to cut a long story short, Binky Carruthers whistled up his bank’s corporate jet, and we’ve all agreed that we won’t be leaving our exclusive Necker Island hideaway until we’ve cracked it. Oddly enough, it appears that, since we left, the figures for Central London seem to be coming down. Don’t know what that’s all about, but we’ll try to factor it in.”

Meanwhile, Tesco announced that it would be doing its bit to help bankrupt Britons by generously reducing a few of the food prices it’s been steadily hiking up for months.