The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has warned that a devastating terrorist attack on Britain - probably involving deadly radioactive GM chemicals like Bifidus Actiregularis or Elastin - is "an absolute dead cert" before the week is out, and is taking bold steps to counter its devastating effect on the nation by training shop managers to deal effectively with the threat.
Unveiling the government's latest counter-terrorism strategy, entitled 'I'm Strictly An Idol Dragon's Apprentice Who Wants To Be On Ice, Brother 2', Ms Smith announced plans to enlist the "widest range" of gullible members of the public and convince them that everyone they meet is probably a terrorist plotting to kill them.
"I don't think tackling terrorism is something we can solely depend on the police and our security and intelligence agencies to do," she told the press. "After all, if your car goes wrong you don't have to go to a service centre to fix it. Armed with an old Haynes manual and a box of spanners, you're just as capable of reprogramming its electronic engine management suite all by yourself."
Shop staff selected to attend Ms Smith's comprehensive three-hour anti-terrorism courses will learn to identify the following giveaway signs that the shopper at their till is a crazed desperado on a mission to maim:
- has beard;
- asks for directions to the halal section;
- never purchases six-packs of beer, not even in amazing buy-one-get-one-free deals;
- debit card shows the tell-tale name 'Mohammed' is in there somewhere;
- speaks with Brazilian accent.
According to the Home Office, any murderous terrorists uncovered by these simple-but-foolproof guidelines are to be detained in the ice-lolly freezer, which should be upended to prevent their escape. The thermostat should be adjusted to its lowest setting, as the drastic reduction in temperature might very well freeze the detonator of the massive cobalt bomb that is almost certainly concealed somewhere about their person.
Finally, Ms Smith concluded, in order to increase public awareness of the ever-present dual threats of terrorism and smoking, counter staff will also be urged to demand conclusive proof that each and every customer is not a terrorist before selling them 20 B&H.