Saturday, 2 August 2008

Fulhamian Rhapsody (with apologies to Freddie Mercury)

(Scene 1: An Old Bailey courtroom.)

Barry George: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a fit-up, no-one believes I’m not guilty. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see, I'm just a daft sod, I’ll get no sympathy, because I'm creepy scum, as you know, staring eyes, little slow. Anything the press knows doesn't really help much for me, for me.

DCI Slaughter: (reading from hastily-written interview transcript notes) Barry just killed a woman. Put a gun against her head, pulled his trigger, now she's dead. Barry, your woe’s just begun - ’cos now we’re going to pause the tape, OK? ... Barry, ooh, didn't mean to make you cry! If you’re not saying “I’ll do time” tomorrow, we’ll carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.

(Scene 2: Seven years later. A prison shower.)

Barry George: Oh great, my time has come. Sends shivers down my spine, bottom's aching all the time. Goodbye everybody, I've got to go, gotta leave you all behind ‘cos there’s no proof. Big Ron, ooh, I’m not going to lie - I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.

Big Ron: I see a little silly weirdo, not a man. Barry George? Barry George couldn’t murder Jill Dando.

(Scene 3: The Old Bailey courtroom.)

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Tabloid hacks, get writing - very, very slightingly.

Barry George: Didn’t do it, didn’t do it, didn’t do it, blimey no.

Daily Mail Court Reporter: Magnifico!

Barry George: I'm just a loony, nobody loves me.

William Clegg QC: He's just a loony from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity.

Barry George: Easy come, easy go. Will you let me go?

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Bulsara! No, we will not let you go.

William Clegg QC: Let him go!

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Bulsara! We will not let you go.

William Clegg QC: Let him go!

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Bulsara! We will not let you go.

William Clegg QC: Let him go!

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Bulsara! Will not let you go.

William Clegg QC: Let him go!

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Will not let you go.

William Clegg QC: Let him go!

Metropolitan Police Chorus: No, no, no, no, no, no, no…

(Scene 4: A few minutes later. On the steps outside the Old Bailey.)

Barry George: Seven years – seven years! Took their time to let me go! (To scowling journo hacks.) The Met Police had to put some mug inside - it’s me, it’s me, I'm free! So you think you can frame me and spit in my eye? So you think you can frame me and leave me to die? Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby. Just got a get-out, just gotta get compensation here.

Metropolitan Police Chorus: Nothing legal matters, anyone can see. Nothing legal matters, nothing legal matters to me.

Barry George: Who killed Dando? Fuck knows.

(Gong. Finis.)

Friday, 1 August 2008

Labour Party Decapitated by Madman

David Miliband is being held in police custody, amid reports that he stabbed and decapitated the Labour Party on a bus.

Many fellow-travellers have been speaking of the horrific moment when Miliband suddenly, and for no apparent reason, pulled out a pen and ruthlessly stabbed the hapless Gordon Brown in the Guardian, then waved his victim’s head around at the terrified MPs.

Very little is known about Miliband, except that he is a clone who boarded the Labour Party bus at some point for reasons known only to himself. Reporters were busily trying to track down his only known relative, a brother called Miliband Two, but nobody seemed to know where he was or what he did.

“As soon as this pen-wielding maniac climbed onto our bandwagon, I knew there was something creepy about him,” said one passenger, Bob Marshall-Andrews. “Though, to be honest, I could say the same about quite a few the other passengers too. I’m not sure I even want to be on this bus, really. I just want to go back to where we came from.”

The shaken passengers later re-boarded the Labour bus, which continued on its journey towards the cliffs despite a few wheels falling off along the way.

Beijing Olympics Promise Breathtaking Performances

Olympic athletes are still facing serious health risks in Beijing, despite Chinese authorities spending $16bn on reducing pollution for the forthcoming games, according to Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at Kings College London.

The UN has already reported that pollution levels are more than three times higher than the World Health Organisation’s safe limits, and are unlikely to fall much before the games begin.

“Athletes breathe in ten times as much air into their lungs as spectators,” explained Professor Kelly. “They are pushing their bodies to their limits, so pollution will have serious consequences.”

The Chinese authorities took time out from their busy schedule of rounding up dissidents and putting restrictions on journalists to say they were stepping up last-minute measures to improve air quality in their smog-blanketed capital.

“The people of Beijing are eager to make the games a success,” said President Hu Jintao, “And they have all volunteered to breathe in deeply just before the opening ceremony, and hold their breath until after the games have finished and everyone has gone home.”

Sceptical International Olympic Committee chiefs have been busy making contingency plans. New events have been added to the roster - including the 200m marathon, spitball, the 25m sprint to the lavatory, hurling, the deca-Savlon and throwing the breakfast. Swimmers may be allowed to wear aqualungs, as indeed may all the other competitors.

Some athletes have spoken out, saying that the debilitating effects of pollution mean they will not be fit enough to break any records. They were immediately arrested by the Chinese authorities, put on trial for five minutes and hauled off to labour camps.

In a separate development, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the competition, citing a nerve problem.

“I haven’t got the nerve to go to Beijing and risk breathing the lethal cocktail of toxins that passes for air there,” she told reporters.


There were celebrations in the motoring world today as Nanking Automotive Company restarted production at the Longbridge factory in the Midlands, which was shut down in 2005 with the loss of 6,000 jobs. The first production models of the snappily-named MG TF LE500 sports car are expected in showrooms in September.

“There’s never been a better time to launch a fuel-guzzling, £16,000 two-seater sports car,” enthused corporate optimist Eleanor De La Haye.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Think Of A Number

British Gas owners Centrica have posted a £992m half-year profit, a day after telling domestic gas customers that their bills were to rise by 35%.

Although 20% down on previous figures, Centrica’s profit figures still exceeded City forecasts by £100m; and shareholders will see their dividend increased to 3.9p a share.

“Haven’t we done well?” beamed managing director Phil Pockets. “Fortunately our prices were so high in the first place that we had a splendid safety net to keep things ticking along nicely. And by caning the punters with a 35% increase, we’ll be in clover for the next couple of months too. Then we can whack the prices up even more and blame the ever-popular ‘world energy market’ again. Nobody knows what the hell that actually means, which is great.”

When asked whether it was fair to make long-suffering British Gas customers subsidise the shareholders’ profits, Mr Pockets looked blank and asked what ‘fair’ meant, as it was a word he hadn’t come across before. When referred to a dictionary, he fell about laughing.

“Let me give you a simple lesson in market economics,” he explained, when he got up. “Shareholders give us lots of money. They matter, because at any time they can take their money and invest it anywhere else they choose. Customers also give us lots of money - but they don’t matter. They can only take their custom to a couple of other energy providers, who are all as ravenously greedy as us. Although some of our victims – sorry, customers - will switch suppliers, sooner or later the competition hikes their prices even higher and people come back to us. So as far as we’re concerned it’s a captive market - which is jolly nice, if you can swing it.”

“Anyway, don’t blame us,” added Mr Pockets. “Blame Carol Vorderman. We heard she was available, so we made her an offer and she came up with some nice big numbers for us. We’re quite keen on 35 at the moment, but we’re hoping to pull a few more numbers out and see what she can do with them.”

Meanwhile, hard-pressed customers hoping in vain to the government to intervene on their behalf are coming up with plenty of four-letter words.

X Marks The Spot - Or So They Want You To Think

Conspiracy theorists turned out in force yesterday in London for the UK premiere of the latest X-Files movie, I Want To Believe, hoping to catch a glimpse of stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

The film is the second big-screen spin-off from the TV drama-documentary series, which ran from 1993 to 2002 chronicling every paranormal incident that took place in America during that period.

“Everything in the X-Files is 100% true,” insisted 45-year-old fan Justin Geek. “Of course, they had to pretend it was fiction, or THEY would never have allowed it to be shown. It’s all part of the big mind-control experiment that the governments of the world use to keep the truth from us. You can Google it, if you don’t believe me. Check it out.”

Some fans, however, were not convinced by the stars’ red-carpet appearance.

“That’s not Gillian Anderson,” said a disappointed and fearful Robert Anorak, 45. “Scully is a babe. This lookalike is old enough to be my girlfriend, if I ever had one. Sure, there’s some resemblance I suppose, but is that they best THEY could do? I think we should dissect her, in case she’s an alien.”

Another fan, Julie Plain, aged 45, waved her autograph book in rage.

“David Duchovny signed my autograph book at the opening of the last movie in 1998,” she complained. “But look at this signature I got five minutes ago. The D’s are bigger, and there’s a longer tail on the Y. It’s a good forgery – of course, it would be - but what happened to the real David? Why are THEY doing this? I’m going to start a forum thread when I get home – if I get home, of course, because now THEY’ve seen me speaking to you my life is in danger.”

After the premiere, the fans’ elderly parents arrived in a fleet of little Daihatsus to pick them up and take them home.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Miliband: 'We (Meaning I) Can Still Win The Next Election'

David Miliband is being hailed in the media for throwing down the gauntlet to embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown in an incendiary article he penned in today’s Guardian.

In the most scathing attack ever launched against a serving leader by a Cabinet member, Miliband One declares open war on Mr Brown, with such inflammatory phrases as “New Labour won three elections by offering real change, not just in policy but in the way we do politics” being interpreted as “Brown is a reactionary dictator whose crass insensitivity to human suffering would make even Stalin blush.”

“You have to understand parliamentary language,” explained the Mirror’s 3am Girls. “When Miliband says, ‘Let's stop feeling sorry for ourselves, enjoy a break, and then find the confidence to make our case afresh’, we seize on the word ‘break’ as a coded call to the Labour Party to administer the coup de grĂ¢ce to a fatally-wounded PM.”

“It’s all in what Miliband doesn’t say,“added the Sun’s Deirdre. “For example, nowhere in the article does he say, ‘The sulking madman Brown will kill us all in a fit of unhinged sadism, let’s put him in a sack and drown him before it’s too late.’ He doesn’t have to. It’s implicit in the phrase ‘I still believe we can win the next election.’ And when he writes: ‘I agree with Jack Straw that we don’t need a summer of introspection’, the message couldn’t be plainer. He means, quite simply, that Straw is a bumbling chancer who could no more lead the Labour Party than a blowfish could fly a helicopter.”

Supporters of Miliband One point to his unrivalled experience of being young and having a fine set of teeth. A clone brother is also seen as a big advantage.

“If Prime Minister Miliband should accidentally step in front of a bus,” said one backbench Labour MP, “We’d just go to the cryogenic lab where his clone brother Ed is stored, defrost him and nobody would ever notice the difference. Meanwhile we’d make a few more backup copies, giving us an unstoppable army of Miliband that could go on indefinitely. And - unlike Tony Blair - Miliband would never have to age, or show visible signs of strain. As soon as any blemishes appear, we can just decommission the imperfect Miliband and activate a fresh clone. Result: a happy, smiling leader every day, tomorrow and for the rest of your lives.”

Latest Californian Earthquake 'Not as Good As The Last One'

News agencies were distraught today as they discovered the extent of the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck 29 miles south-east of Los Angeles.

Buildings trembled slightly in LA and San Diego and millions of people survived without a scratch as the eastern seaboard of the United States failed to slide into the Pacific Ocean.

“It’s a news disaster,” said one crying reporter. “First we had the hurricane that fizzled out before it had a chance to hurl large swathes of America into the stratosphere. Then that 747 brushed off what should have been a catastrophic explosion, leaving us with nothing but a handful of moany passengers whingeing that the oxygen masks didn’t quite fulfil their expectations. Weston-super-Mare’s pier goes up in smoke, and there’s not even a smouldering, carbonised tramp to show for it. Now this. What won’t go horrifically wrong next?”

Legendary Welsh Sense of Humour Still Not Discovered

An unholy row is brewing in Aberystwyth, with a vicar vehemently opposing the mayor’s attempts to overturn a 29-year-old ban on Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Mayor Sue Jones-Davies, who played the non-messiah Brian’s girlfriend in the 1979 movie, was amazed that the once-controversial comedy was still the subject of a ban by Ceredigion council originally recommended by a council of local church leaders.

“I did a nude scene with Graham Chapman,” said Ms Jones-Davies, “And I think the people of Aberystwyth should have the opportunity to see for themselves that their new mayor has quite an impressive pair on her.”

Hatchet-faced pulpit-basher Reverend Canon Stuart Bell, however, is adamant that the ban should stay.

“Perhaps in 1979 the mayor’s puppies were quite appealing,” he said grimly. “But the idea that an ordinary man might appear on screen in bed with a woman is a terrible affront to our wrathful and entirely humourless God, who will surely smite Wales from the face of the Earth should our dour, repressed vigilance falter.”

The mayor has vowed to fight on, and said that if the ban was not revoked she would take her controversial baps to the streets of Aberystwyth.

Locals churchgoers were not impressed, however. “Sue’s charlies might have been a serious threat to public morals back in 1979,” said one, “But we really don’t want them shoved in our faces now.”

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Thrills, Pills and Bellyaches

Amy Troubled-Whinehouse has been released from University College Hospital, after being admitted last night suffering from what is being described as a “reaction to medication.”

Ms Troubled-Whinehouse - who apparently sang a song once, thereby qualifying as a bona fide celebrity and one of the most massively talented performers in the world in space - is said to have accidentally consumed all the medication in London.

“I don’t know how it happened,” said her father last night. “All of a sudden I heard a burp and a thud, and when I looked round Amy had slumped to the floor looking like a syringe pincushion, surrounded by pills of all the colours of the spectrum and with a plastic spoon sticking out of her mouth. I think that one was Benylin.”

A spokesman for University College Hospital last night confirmed that the leading drug-taker of her generation was recovering in a private room, with a hosepipe connected to each end.

“Ms Whinehouse is recovering well, and is sitting up and swearing normally,” said the consultant. “But I’m more concerned about all the people who will have to suffer because of her using up all our pharmaceutical stocks. I’ve just had to tell little Timmy that, thanks to Amy Whinehouse’s misdirected greed, he’s going to die. OK, so she signed a photo for him and he went away happy - but that’s hardly the point, is it?”

It is unclear how Ms Troubled-Whinehouse came to be in possession of all the medical supplies in London - but her friend Pete Doherty had been seen earlier running away from several hospitals and branches of Boots, carrying a large hessian sack.

Virgin Territory

Richard Branson has unveiled the ‘mothership’ that will launch the pretend spacecraft which he hopes will briefly whisk obnoxious, selfish nerds with far too much money through the upper atmosphere so that they can kid themselves that they have really been in space.

The so-called mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, is made out of a pair of gliders stuck together with glue, but with four massive jet engines dangling off it.

Speaking at the roll-out, Branson told the onlookers – two reporters from the National Enquirer and the Daily Sport, and a stray dog with a limp – that he wanted the world to “wake up” and realise the fragility of the planet and the importance of protecting Earth.

“There are lots of hostile aliens out there whose sole desire is to destroy our beautiful planet,” said the bearded businessman. “I hope that my rich friends will queue up to pay £100,000 a time for the privilege of manning the front line in space. SpaceShipTwo is currently undergoing last-minute modifications to fit an unfeasibly large missile to its nose, and I plan to put an enormous, slow-talking robot UFO detector into orbit to complete the jigsaw of Earth’s defences. It will also broadcast my rotten TV channels to the whole planet so everyone will know the times of incoming UFOs, which already appear to be more reliable than my trains.”

“Eventually, I hope that my customers will raise enough money to send me to the moon,” said Branson, “Where I look forward to living out my twilight years, looked after by a highly-trained cohort of women in purple wigs.”

Prostitute Wins Libel Payout

Finally, we’ve just heard that a prostitute has won a substantial libel payout over allegations in the Sunday Mirror that she was formerly a member of Atomic Kitten.

“My client has been very hurt and embarrassed by the utterly false claim that she used to be Kerry Katona,” said the prostitute’s solicitor, “And now I’m looking forward to collecting my fee.”

Monday, 28 July 2008

747 No-Crash Disaster Hits Newspapers

Speculation continues in the media as to why a ten-foot hole in the side of a Qantas 747 failed to cause a nice, juicy death toll in the hundreds on Friday.

“This is a disaster,” said a sub-editor on the Sun. “We immediately cleared eight pages when the story started to come in. Then we got to the end of the sentence, and we were gutted to see that the plane had landed safely in the Philippines. In all the chaos, nobody hit the ‘save’ button - and twelve stories and Kelli’s fantastic knockers were wiped out in an instant.”

“I was mid-way through ordering tickets to Australia for half the news department when we learned that nobody was even seriously hurt,” said one BBC reporter. “Fortunately, I put the phone down halfway through the transaction, and disaster was narrowly averted.”

Initial press hopes that Muslim fundamentalists could be blamed were cruelly dashed, when accident investigators pointed to the complete absence of flash burns in the damaged section.

The frenzied search for an instant scapegoat has now become fixated on a missing oxygen bottle. Hacks under pressure from their editors to come up with a scare story in time for the Sunday editions announced that the cylinder had obviously exploded, despite no such incident having ever happened before in the entire history of passenger flight.

Meanwhile, journalists continue to downplay the cool bravery of the pilots in bringing the stricken airliner safely down to earth, and the enviable safety record of the 747 was swiftly dismissed as a possible angle.

“Everyone is heading for the airports to get away from this miserable country for a week or two of relaxation,” said one editor. “Where’s the fun in telling them their flights aren’t going to end in horror as they plummet five miles straight down before being squashed to a bloody pulp?”

“’Hey, thanks Boeing, for making one tough old bird that can take a hit like this in its stride and keep on flying.’ Funny, I haven’t read that in any British papers,” said one disgruntled aviation engineer. “Remind me – why is it so many airlines fly our jets? Could it be because the British effort tended to burst apart in mid-air, and the Boeing didn’t? Fuck you, pal.”

Who's Your Fat Friend?

Having fat friends makes you fat, according to an international research team of health Nazis who argue that having fat people in your social circle can fool you into thinking that it is permissible to be fat yourself.

The strutting, jackbooted researchers presented their findings at a huge, stage-managed rally in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Striding to the podium, leading researcher Professor Andrew Hitler screamed: “For too long we have tolerated the insidious spread of fat in society! Fuel poverty - the credit crunch - global warming - Islamic fundamentalism - superhero movies - all of these crises have been deliberately engineered by a secret worldwide conspiracy of porkers. You may think your fat mate Dave from IT is a good laugh on a Friday night – but, in reality, his sole aim in life is to make you have that kebab before you pile into the taxi home.”

Thumping the rostrum, the ranting scientist continued: “Now is the time to round up these evil lard-arses, before society collapses under their weight! I envisage some kind of camp, where they can be shovelled into big ovens to burn off all that unsightly fat. Meanwhile, I urge you all to cut yourselves off completely from the wicked fatties. Refuse to buy goods in shops run by fat people! Keep your children home from school until the teachers agree to remove fat kids from the classrooms! Spray ‘Gutbucket’ on their doors and windows! Beat them up in the street! That should be easy - they’re too fat to run away.”

However, some people are beginning to question the claims of the food-ban fuhrers.

“My mate Trace ‘ere is like a size ten, right?” said one young stick insect we spoke to in a downtown bar. “But if I din’ ‘ave ‘er wiv me when I goes art on the pull, blokes might cast a more critical eye over me, yeah? And then they might twig that I’m just a gobby little bag of bones wiv ‘air art of a bottle and skin like I’ve been tangoed. So good on yer, Trace love - you jus’ keep eatin’ them crisps, girl.”