Saturday, 7 March 2009

Nothing Sinister in Keeping Records of Law-Abiding Citizens Who Happen To Disagree With Government, Says Friendly Smiling Bobby With Taser

Britain's police forces have set up a database which stores images and personal details of thousands of political activists, demonstrators and journalists for up to seven years, according to the Guardian.

Civil liberties campaigners argue that the database may be in breach of the Data Protection Act and Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police - which pioneered the surveillance of protests - told a press conference that he knew where they all lived, before assuring them that the database was merely intended to improve community relations.

"Picture this everyday scenario," he said. "You've left your house in a bit of a rush, and you find yourself without a watch, mobile phone, laptop or Blackberry. The clock in your car's dashboard is flashing a row of zeroes at you, the radio only picks up stations in foreign languages and you live in a county where there are no public clocks.

"You see a Police Community Support Officer further along the road, merrily joshing with some local ragamuffins, so you pull up and ask him for the time. Wouldn't it add that personal touch if he told you, 'Certainly, Mr Smith of 12 Acacia Avenue, it's 0837 hours - and if you turn left at the lights and take the B302 route you'll be just in time for your interview with the green-custard inventor, Leila Deen. She's running a bit late herself actually, so you've got a bit of time to spare. Drive safely now, sir, you wouldn't want to crash into a lorry from Mugabe Removals now, would you?'"

"Of course, you might have every reason to worry about this," he added, "If you had the misfortune to live in some ramshackle third-world country run by an unelected control freak who was obsessed with secrecy, where everyone was treated as a potential criminal and the police were incompetent, swaggering thugs who knew they'd never be prosecuted for slaughtering innocent people."

US Intelligence Codebreakers Still Struggling To Crack Russian Alphabet

In a gesture intended to heal the political gulf between America and Russia which opened up during the Bush administration, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has presented her Russian counterpart with a pointless but insulting toy.

The toy consists of a big red button mounted on a bright yellow box, labelled 'RESET' and 'PEREGRUZKA'.

"'Perezagruzka' is the Russian word for 'reset', actually," said Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister. "This, however, says 'overload'. Are you daring to suggest that our esteemed prime minister, Vladimir Putin, is in some way not up to the job of running our motherland? And why are there three clockwise arrows on this big button? Is this your unsubtle way of calling him a knob? Perhaps the smirk will be wiped off your shiny plastic face if I remind you that we still have a big red button of our own, and Mr Putin's finger is hovering over it even as we speak."

"Oh, and by the way, in Russia we use the Cyrillic alphabet," he added. "I don't expect you to have heard of it, even if it is older than your stupid country."

"The things you learn," said a sheepish Mrs Clinton, pausing briefly from frantically kissing the angry Russian minister's hairy arse. "In all my incredible overseas exploits - heroically dodging bullets, bombs and DNA-seeking missiles in Serbia, single-handedly liberating our POWs in Vietnam armed only with an M-16 and a bandana, and demolishing the entire Berlin Wall with a single blow from my mighty hammer - it somehow contrived to escape my attention that millions of people around the world are not only forced to live in tragic ignorance of the democratic American language, but they are even denied the basic freedom to use honest, hardworking American letters like J and W. Looks like our plan for cultural world domination still has some way to go, I guess."

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Brown Delivers Historic Meaningless Speech on Capitol Hill

Gordon Brown has delivered an historic address to Washington's political elite, mouthing a tedious sequence of vague platitudes to a rare joint meeting of both Houses of Congress.

"Blah blah your friend Europe," he began, to rapturous yawns from senators and congressmen. "Blah blah blah confidence... opportunities ahead... blah blah blah make the future work for us."

As America's movers and shakers began adjusting their cushions, Mr Brown warmed to his hollow theme, saying: "Blah blah blah, economy will double in size, blah blah... opportunities for business... prosperity... expansion of middle-class incomes blah-de-blah-de-blah... Seize the moment... O Captain, my Captain... Believe The Unbelievable... Prepare For The Fantastic... Let's Go To Work... A Little Pig Goes A Long Way... What Does It Take To Find A Lost Love?"

The Prime Minister's speech moved both Republicans and Democrats to pins and needles, and many were visibly stunned as they staggered out afterwards.

"That Gordon Brown guy sure is some character," said one Congressman, rubbing the circulation back into his legs. "He Knows No Fear. He Knows No Danger. He Knows Nothing."

Earlier, during a photo-opportunity, President Obama - who had kindly offered Mr Brown the services of his personal tailor, allowing him to finally burn the suit he found in a Sue Ryder shop in 1996 - was asked what he and Mr Brown had in common.

After sucking his teeth hard for a few minutes, the President told the world's press that he and his staunch British ally both had beautiful wives, lovely children and a similar number of fingers and toes.

The Prime Minister then blurted out, "And - ho, ho - we're both Brown!" - leaving Mr Obama to break the embarrassed silence which followed, as a solitary tumbleweed blew slowly past.

"I firmly believe that, incredible as it may seem, the dactyl connection of which I spoke may indicate that our two species - the human race and trollkind - may once, in the distant past, have evolved from a common ancestor," suggested the President, as Mr Brown stamped away in a huff, looking for a bridge to lurk beneath.

Immigration Minister Warns Of Facts, Damned Facts and Statistics

The Immigration Minister, Phil Dumbas, has hit out at the National Audit Office for releasing figures indicating that one in nine of the UK's population was born overseas.

Branding the publication of facts as "at best naïve or, at worst, sinister", the minister accused the independent auditors of "playing politics" with the statistics.

"By publishing these vicious, misleading facts, the so-called National Audit Office has nailed its political colours firmly to the mast for all to see," screamed Mr Dumbas. "And those colours are blue! And - er - another shade of blue."

"Just because the figure quoted happens to be entirely accurate, there was no justification for drawing attention to it by releasing it to the press," continued the Immigration Minister, in rising tones of hysteria. "Decent British racists need to know that there are good foreigners as well as bad ones. Good foreigners include those children of our brave British squaddies who suffer the indignity of being born overseas, international students who have the decency to bugger off back home, and dodgy Russian billionaires who buy football teams or newspapers. The rest are all bad foreigners, obviously, like Poles and Muslims and whatnot."

"This important distinction was missed by the media," he added, "Because it was deliberately hidden away where no journalist would ever see it - on page 2 of the press release."

Nobody from the NAO was available for comment, as the nation's statisticians were all too busy playing with Excel. Mysteriously prominent on every desk, however, were calculators displaying one of two numbers, 717 or 8008.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Britain To Give Crisp New Fiver to Afghanistan

The British government has pledged a further £5 in aid to Afghanistan, announced the International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander during a flying visit to the country.

Speaking from the safety of an armoured personnel carrier, Mr Alexander said: "This four-year promise to contribute a massive total of £50 to the reconstruction of Afghanistan reaffirms our long-term commitment to helping this once-proud country recover from 30 years of war - including eight years, so far, at war with us."

Major infrastructure projects to be funded by Britain include putting up a signpost outside the British Embassy telling would-be suicide bombers that the US Embassy is 400m up the road, and planting an impressive flower bed outside President Karzai's bunker.

"We wish the people of Afghanistan well for the future and are happy to play a part in their development," continued Mr Alexander, "Just as we have been happy to play our part in reducing them to a lawless, feudal wasteland."

He then closed the hatch and was driven back to his waiting attack helicopter, before flying off to Helmand province to fire some missiles at a shed.

Eddie Izzard Pokes BNP With Spoons

Eddie Izzard has been visiting Manchester to launch a campaign against the British National Party in the run-up to the European parliamentary elections, amid growing concerns that far-right is seeking to capitalise on people's fears about immigration.

"What? Yes! Right. Jam," the well-known comic and actor told the assembled journalists. "Jam, that's what I've brought you all here to talk about. Racists don't make jam, do they? No! Or do they? Golliwogs! What's going on there? 'Achtung, mein fuhrer! Ve haf come up viz ze vunderbar scheme to undermine ze famous Blitz spirit of ze hated Englanders viz zis cute liddle cartoon character.' 'Why are you speaking like that, Goering? How many times must I tell you not to speak with your mouth full?'"

"Hitler farted all the time, he was famous for it - vegetarian diet, yes, hmm," continued Mr Izzard to himself. "'Ah, Benito, my old friend, welcome to Germany - look up there! Seagull! - parp - dammit! Another brilliant gag ruined! Kesselring! Invade Greece! What? Yes, take a factor-30 sunscreen. Heil me.' So, yes, I do wear women's clothes, but in an empowering kind of way. Good link, eh?"

Monday, 2 March 2009

Harman Thrusts Britain Into Exciting New Era of Popular Democracy

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman QC has told Britain's youngest pensioner, black hole expert Sir Fred Hugewin, that he "should not count on being £650,000 better off", arguing on yesterday's Andrew Marr Plays Guitar Show that his enormous payout was unacceptable in "the court of public opinion".

The court formally convened this morning, after the formal swearing-in of a jury of 46,317,369 adult citizens took place throughout the night. However, Sir Fred's barrister immediately called for a mistrial to be declared, saying he had good reason to believe that the jury would be unfairly biased against his client as they had all either lost savings, jobs or all hope for the future as a result of Sir Fred's undisputed financial incompetence. The judge concurred, the case was thrown out and the court adjourned for the rest of the day.

Further cases due to be brought before Ms Harman's exciting new court of public opinion this week include:

- the right to string up Gordon Brown from the nearest tree;

- the replacement of useless, greedy politicians with a state of amicable anarchy;

- the immediate sacking of all civil servants and local government officers;

- telling the bloody Yanks to fight their own stupid wars;

- calling on our trusted American allies to support us in declaring war upon the European Union;

- protecting our hard-won British civil rights;

- the abolition of stupid European human rights;

- forcing foreigners and Moslems to wear a yellow badge at all times;

- the inalienable right of all parents to bring up their children as they see fit, free from any interference from nosey social workers;

- the execution of all social workers who fail to immediately remove all at-risk children from their incompetent, murderous parents;

- the freedom to sort out that skiving cow down the road and her annoying bastard kids good and proper;

- cutting the goolies off suspected sex offenders without the use of anaesthetics;

- the abolition of taxation on fuel, alcohol, income, Ugg boots and everything else;

- more government spending on schools, hospitals, pensions, defence, crime reduction, job creation, roads and whatever;

- the return of decent programmes on the telly;

-the abolition of the TV licence, and a free Sky box in every home;

- an end to this ridiculous media circus surrounding all those so-called celebrities;

- the elevation of Jade Goody to the House of Lords before she pops her clogs.

The court of public opinion is expected to either deliver the resounding triumph of good old British common sense or bring about the complete breakdown of society by Friday.

Spiritualist Receives Message

David Chenery-Wickens, a spiritualist minister, has been found guilty and jailed for life for murdering his make-up artist wife Diane last year, after she confronted him over his extra-marital affairs and lies about their finances.

In the course of the trial, Mr Chenery-Wickens movingly summoned the spirit of his departed wife from the great hereafter to the witness box, and explained to the court that she was telling them that he definitely wasn't her killer, although if he was then she had forgiven him and was hoping that the jury would do the same.

"My late lady wife may have been a make-up artist," said Mr Chenery-Wickens, kicking the witness stand as he spoke, "But the Great Spirit who dwells above assures you that I am not - and as character witnesses I would like to call Wendy Richard, Tony Hart, Harold Pinter, Heath Ledger, Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley, Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, William Shakespeare, the Emperor Augustus and King Solomon."

"Is there anyone present in this courtroom who is wearing blue pants and has recently lost a loved one whose name contains the letter A?" he continued, pulling a white net curtain from his left nostril. "They have a special message for you. They're saying that they're really ever so happy in heaven although of course they miss you very much, and by the way God asked them to pass on a message saying that the bloke in the dock didn't do it."

However, the jury foreman told the judge, Mr Justice Cooke, that he and his fellow jurors had spent the trial in constant communion with the spirit of justice via ouija board - which, he said, kept frantically spelling out the same word, B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S, every time the defendant opened his mouth.

The guilty wife-slaughtering fraud was then led away to begin his sentence in prison, where Big Ron is said to be looking forward to giving Mr Chenery-Wickens an unforgettable ectoplasmic experience in the showers.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Blair Discovers Gaza

The Middle East peace envoy, Tony Blair, triumphantly announced that 62 years of bitter conflict were now at an end, after he finally found out where and what Gaza was and spent five minutes there.

The former Prime Minister - who has spent almost two frustrating years peering at an AA map and asking directions from passers-by - stepped gingerly across the border at an armed Israeli checkpoint yesterday.

For the first three minutes he kept jumping nervously back into Israeli territory within a few seconds - but he finally summoned up the courage to take a few hesitant steps into Gaza itself. Encouraged by the cheerful laughter of the Israeli border guards, he tried shouting, "Hello, I'm Tony Blair and I've brought you some peace!" to a Palestinian youth who was spraying graffiti on the massive concrete wall which seals off the Palestinian territory from the outside world - but the youngster immediately dropped his can of paint and ran away.

Mr Blair then said hello to a scrawny goat, which looked up apathetically and wandered off to look for more weeds. Somewhere in the distance a lorry backfired, and the Middle East peace envoy hurriedly leapt back into the safety of Israel, his historic peace mission fulfilled at last.

"I have reached out to the Palestinian community, and held talks at all levels," Mr Blair later told a press conference, after a change of trousers. "Apart from Hamas, of course, who I am told are very bad people. I can now confirm, having been there and seen for myself, that Gaza is a very peaceful place indeed and I didn't see a single Palestinian blow themselves up, or be blown up by the peace-loving armed forces of Israel, in all the time I spent there."

An Israeli general sitting next to Mr Blair then whispered something in his ear.

"Oh. Apparently I had talks with a representative of Hamas, too," he went on. "Well done, me. Er... was that the street artist or the goat?"

Mr Blair concluded the press conference by saying that he looked forward to being appointed peace envoy to Great Britain, which he thought was the next most likely trouble-spot to kick off.

"Apparently the people of that far-off, benighted land are in the grip of some appalling power-crazed madman with no mandate to govern, who is threatening to unleash his murderous police forces at any moment upon the long-suffering population of his bankrupt country," he told the world's press. "How on earth do such tyrants arise? Surely somebody ought to have stopped him years ago, when they had the chance."

'This Town Is Coming Like A Ghost Town,' Warn Councils

The Local Government Association has warned that many urban centres are turning into blighted 'ghost towns', as the recession forces more and more businesses to close their doors.

"All the clubs have been closed down," said LGA chairman Margaret Eaton. "Bands won't play no more."

Councils fear that the run-down streets of their once-prosperous shopping centres - now rapidly degenerating into dispiriting vistas of boarded-up shops - will become a focus for anti-social behaviour.

"Too much fighting on the dance floor," she explained. "Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang and the music played inna de boom town. Why must the youth fight against themselves?"

The LGA is calling on the government to relax planning regulations, allowing councils to open community centres and one-stop centres where disaffected young people can while away a pleasant hour or two searching for mythical jobs.

"Government leaving the youth on the shelves," claimed the LGA. "No job to be found in this country. Can't go on no more, the people getting angry."

The Nev Filter tracked down the youth and his shelf, and asked for his opinion. He suggested that perhaps the councils might have given some thought to the dangers of urban blight while they were cheerfully banking the huge fees which accompanied planning applications for the vast, characterless shopping malls which have sprung up all over the country.

The youth might also be slightly less angry, he went on to say, if the councils had not been quite so keen to dispose of school playing fields in the midst of residential estates of their towns and cities, just so Tesco and Sainsbury's could vomit forth yet more hideous, soul-destroying sheds in their unrelenting efforts to force every other retailer out of business.

(with apologies to The Specials)

Childhood Colds Not Actually Curable By Colourful Sugary Goo, Warn Experts

Patent children's medicines bought over the counter are of absolutely no use whatsoever in the treatment of coughs and colds, according to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

"Tell us something we don't know," replied children.