Saturday, 2 May 2009

Rats Desert Sinking Ship For Long-Submerged Wreck, Claims Ashdown

Senior Labour MPs are planning to cling onto their lavish salaries and expenses at the next general election by joining the Liberal Democrats, according to claims made by a confused pensioner.

Smelling of wee, the doddering Lord Ashdown stood in a street in rural Somerset and shouted his theories at passing motorists - many of whom honked their horns and waved their fingers at him in agreement.

Lord Ashdown's young carer, Nick Clegg, eventually found the former soldier and persuaded him to come and have a nice cup of tea at a nearby café.

"Poor old Paddy gets funny ideas into his head sometimes," explained an embarrassed Mr Clegg. "For years he thought he was one step away from being Prime Minister, despite being the leader of the Lib Dems. That's never going to happen in a million years, obviously, and it's also why no Labour MPs have been in touch with us. Frankly they'd be better off joining the Conservatives - they're the ones who win elections, after all. And, of course, they'd fit right in with - oh, God almighty, what's that awful stench?"

"I've produced another volume of my memoirs!" shouted Lord Ashdown.

"Come on, Paddy, let's get you cleaned up," sighed Mr Clegg, leading the soiled elder statesman off to the toilets.

All Steamed Up Over Rail Disruption

Thanks to engineering works by Network Rail, the only train running this bank holiday weekend is a steam-hauled enthusiasts' excursion from London Victoria to Swanage in Dorset.

The one-off service celebrates the reopening of the Purbeck branch line, where volunteers on the Swanage Railway have spent years re-laying seven miles of track after the line was closed in 1972.

As the mighty Battle of Britain-class locomotive Tangmere thundered majestically westward, teams of Network Rail contractors feverishly ripped up the mainline track bed behind it as part of the traditional bank holiday plan to fuck up your weekend.

"It is essential that we rip up railway lines all over Britain on bank holiday weekends, check the rails for woodworm and put them back again," said a spokesman for publicly-owned Network Rail. "That way we can give the maximum amount of taxpayers' money to our subcontractors, to cover all the overtime we like to think they're paying their army of temps."

The train operating companies said they would be running rail replacement buses - their own rail replacement buses - over the weekend, enabling them to charge train fares for cramped, slow bus journeys. They would then be presenting Network Rail - i.e. the taxpayer - with the usual massive compensation claim for disruption to services, as their directors hadn't been to the Bahamas for nearly a month.

"If you want to enjoy trouble-free travel in Britain this weekend, come to Swanage," said a soot-covered spokesman for the heritage line. "But only if you happen to live pretty close to Norden Park & Ride, Corfe Castle, Harmans Cross or Herston Halt, obviously."

NATO Fears Over Australian Rearmament

Australia today unveiled disturbing plans to conquer the world, with the announcement that it would be acquiring a hundred F-35 fighters, twelve hunter-killer submarines, eight frigates and 24 combat helicopters to replace its current defences - currently consisting of a leaky balloon and a bloke on a surfboard with a pointy stick.

"This massive expansion of our armed forces poses absolutely no threat to our inscrutable, slitty-eyed neighbours, The Yellow Peril," explained Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. "And we harbour no designs whatsoever against the savage Wog Islands of the Pacific Rim, whose surplus abos are undermining our cherished Aryan way of life with their degenerate voodoo rituals."

NATO chiefs, however, have held an emergency meeting in Strasbourg about the threat to world peace posed by Australia's sudden belligerence. After a luxury seven-course dinner, the generals urged the organisation's member states to dig deep into their citizens' pockets to fund a massive military spending programme involving thousands of F-35 fighters, hunter-killer submarines, frigates and combat helicopters.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin, who are still trying to get the much-delayed F-35 to work, fainted with delight at the news.

"Now all we need is for China to fall for this clunker too, and we're home and dry for decades to come," he said when he came round. "Hell, maybe we'll even throw in a giant catapult to get the bastard airborne."

Friday, 1 May 2009

Nation Celebrates VI-Day

After six long years of hostilities, streets all over Britain witnessed chaotic scenes of revelry as the nation kicked up its heels today in a nationwide VI-Day celebration of the end of hostilities in Iraq.

As the last British troops formally pulled out of the defeated Middle Eastern nation, the cheering multitudes congregated outside Buckingham Palace. Eventually, to riotous cheers, a beaming Prime Minister Gordon Brown appeared on the balcony, acknowledged the gratitude of the entire country and declared the war against Iraq officially over.

"When I was asked to take over the reins of this great nation after my predecessor made a bit of a balls of it, I told you that all I had to offer was the blood, toil, tears and sweat of our armed forces," said Mr Brown. "I may be drunk, but in the morning I will be sober and our financial position will still be ugly."

For one day, boisterous revellers briefly forgot that the war against Afghanistan was yet to be won, with many observers fearing that the ferocity of the Afghan people could cost upwards of a million casualties. Mr Brown went on the radio to tell street parties up and down the country that he hoped to persuade the Americans that the best exit strategy might be to drop a couple of nuclear weapons on it and call it a resounding victory for the forces of freedom and democracy.

"But I don't want to put a damper on your big day," he continued. "Remember this: never has so much been owed by so many, and you'll be paying it back for generations."

The people showed their appreciation for the PM's inspired management of Britain's war effort by calling for elections in which they could unceremoniously dump him in a landslide.

"Actually, we don't even need an election," said one reveller in Trafalgar Square. "Find us a landslide, and we'll happily dump him in it."

"Sorry, yesterday was my last payday after being laid off, and I'm still drinking," he added. "I meant landfill."

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Shock Government Defeat: PM Granted Permanent Residence In Nepal

Gordon Brown suffered a shock defeat in the House of Commons today, as MPs voted to let former Gurkha soldiers live out their days in the UK in exchange for Mr Brown living out his in a remote, mountainous corner of Nepal.

The motion, proposed by the Liberal Democrats, was passed by 267 votes to 241 - with many on the government benches abstaining, despite Mr Brown furiously jabbing at a hand-held remote. Labour MPs twitched and groaned in their seats, with wisps of blue smoke curling up from their ears, as opposition MPs filed into the lobbies to overturn the government's unpopular decision to only grant residence rights to Gurkhas who could explain the LBW rule, take 'Britain's Got Talent' seriously and say "Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie" whilst performing a morris dance.

After the result was declared, Immigration Minister Phil Dumbas staggered to his feet with his hair on fire, and told the cheering chamber through gritted teeth, "Nngg the government respects the will of the House of Commonnnzz," before his head exploded.

The vote is not binding, but a large crate - addressed to Nepal and containing a shiny £2 coin attached to a tripwire - has nevertheless been delivered to Downing Street. The Prime Minister is still inside Number Ten at the time of writing, but experienced political commentators expect him to rush into the crate within the next few hours.

Twenty Thousand Western Men Quite Angry About Something Or Other

Cornwall has declared war on its neighbour, after a pasty made by Chunk of Devon beat its Cornish rivals to win the British Pie Awards.

A crack team of Cornish pirates swiftly seized control of the Torpoint Ferry and attempted to sail their prize down the coast to Falmouth, while the crew tried - unsuccessfully - to explain the limited navigability of chain ferries to their captors.

Another guerrilla unit took heavy casualties on Brunel's iconic Royal Albert Bridge as it tried to order the 0730 through service from Paddington to stand and deliver.

The bitter dispute is being fought over where to crimp the famous pastry bag full of leftovers the dog wouldn't eat. Traditional Cornish manufacturers insist that the crimp must be placed along the side of the pasty, not at the top, and nobody else cares.

"Tent furr," said a spokesman for the paramilitary wing of the Cornish Pasty Association. "Eym bugrz inna propurr paasty inum mianzum." Teams of expert linguists have so far been unsuccessful in their efforts to decode the message.

The organisation wants the Cornish pasty to be awarded Protected Geographic Indication as a food unique to the area. Non-Cornish producers agree that pasties made in their native county should have a special name, but suggest that a more appropriate designation for Cornwall's efforts would be 'inferior'.

Devon County Council, meanwhile, was taking a relaxed attitude to the outbreak of hostilities.

"We've got a naval dockyard, several Royal Marine barracks and the UK's commando training centre," explained council leader Brian Greenslade, calmly sipping a cream tea in the sunshine outside the Coaver Club at County Hall. "What have they got? Flambards Aero Park."

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Look Out, A Pig! Warn Newspapers as World Forgets About Recession, Global Warming, War on Terror, MPs' Expenses, Hell's Kitchen

Britain is now officially a dictatorship, after Prime Minister - now Glorious Leader - Gordon Brown rang the newspapers late yesterday evening and screamed: "Look behind you! It's a pig!"

With every available journalist feverishly predicting a mass extinction event for humanity under reassuring banner headlines telling readers 'DON'T PANIC', Mr Brown swiftly cleared the House of Commons by coughing through a paper mask, before single-handedly pushing through a raft of emergency legislation abolishing democracy, proclaiming himself Prime Minister in perpetuity, outlawing all opposition parties, arming the police with wire-guided missiles and declaring an immediate curfew on the streets of Britain.

Seizing control of the airwaves, the Father of the Nation appeared on all channels to announce that his lifelong seizure of total power was, regrettably, the only way in which the country could tackle the unprecedented doomsday threat of lethal swine flu.

"As a precaution, all incoming flights from Mexico have been shot down," he reassured terrified viewers. "Furthermore, acting on the advice of the intelligence services - of which I am now in direct command - your friendly neighbourhood bobbies are now conducting door-to-door executions of the evil terrorist masterminds who are undoubtedly behind the greatest threat that mankind has ever known - namely non-whites, Eastern Europeans, Tories, Lib Dems, climate change protesters and any neighbours you don't happen to like. I urge all loyal servants of the state to stay in your homes until a work schedule is assigned to you. Centre right will prevail!"

Similar anti-flu precautions were reported to be taking place all over the world, before the internet suddenly went dark.

Something Happens In Cumbria

The Pope flew into the Lake District this afternoon to offer comfort and a small flask of magic oil to victims of the earthquake which devastated pot plants and brought mantelpiece knick-knacks crashing down all over North West England this morning.

Terrified residents reported hearing a terrible dull thud as the magnitude 3.7 earthquake struck without warning at 11.20am, just as the largely-unemployed population was getting out of bed.

"I really thought a window had blown shut, or summat," wept a relieved survivor in Ulverston, at the very epicentre of the tremor.

Other shocked, tear-streaked witnesses presented a pathetic sight to the watching world as a massive clear-up operation swung into action, with literally dozens of carpets soaked with water from fallen vases, while shattered plant pots left mute trails of soil on kitchen floors as far away as Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

Meanwhile, Italians living in tents in Umbria, moved by the plight of the Northerners, were reported to be sending emergency supplies of J-cloths and JML stain removers to the region top help with the rescue operation.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Government Snooping Bad, Corporate Snooping Good

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has announced the scrapping of controversial plans to store a copy of your entire life in a government database.

Instead - she revealed - every last detail of everything you do, say and think will be recorded by private companies and used for marketing purposes, in the unlikely event that it fails to prove that you are a subversive terrorist bent on the extermination of the human race.

"We in the National Socialist British Labour Party decided some time ago that the only way to protect your traditional, hard-won freedom was to sweep away your traditional, hard-won freedom," explained the Reichsminister. "But then a few troublemakers started wailing about 1984-style totalitarian government, which presented the Department for Community Singing, Fat Reduction and Propaganda with a bit of a ticklish problem - at least, until we can come up with a plausible-sounding reason to abolish voting, in the interests of national security."

"Then our great friends in the private sector came up with a brilliant wheeze," she went on. "They said: 'Look, we already know everybody's details, from dietary preferences to inside-leg measurements, and they seem reasonably OK with that. How about you let us spy on their emails and phone calls too? Then you can quietly buy the info off us, and cover up the transaction with the usual guff about commercial confidentiality.' It's beautiful - the government's hands are clean, for very little effort our pals at BT, Serco and EDS make a handsome profit out of the very taxpayers they're grassing up, and I get my claws into everyone's private affairs. Everybody wins!"

Ms Smith was, however, keen to emphasise that the scheme was only a temporary measure. "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," she smiled. "Once we've done away with all you terrorists, you perverts, you criminals, you protesters, you free thinkers, you unemployed, you disabled, you non-Party members and you dissidents - only then will you be truly free at last."

"I heard that," she added.

MoD Guilty Of Nuclear Safety Breaches In Plymouth Too, If Anybody At The Guardian Gives A Shit

An article not published in today's Guardian has not caused widespread concern about repeated radioactive leaks at Devonport Dockyard, a nuclear submarine base which is not in a sparsely-populated part of Scotland but right on the doorstep of a quarter of a million people.

Environmental protection bodies with responsibility for Plymouth have not said that the facility has such a bad record that they would close it if they had the legal power to do so, and the local MP, Alison Seabeck, has not asked questions about nuclear safety in the wake of the shocking non-revelations.

Not responding to the undisturbing non-story, the Ministry of Defence did not say that it takes its safety duties very seriously.

"As far as Plymouth is concerned, the MoD is not a responsible nuclear operator and immediately kept the regulatory authorities in the dark for three days," said no spokesman. "We did not commission an independent study into the facilities and practice at HM Naval Base Devonport, and an improvement plan is currently non-existent to ensure modern standards and best practice at the base."

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Banned On The Run

The London Marathon has been detained by riot police, who have once more unleashed their controversial 'kettling' tactics against the 35,000 runners. The entire field is reported to be confined in a hundred-metre section of the Embankment.

"A large body of people, representing a variety of dubious causes, was running in a disorderly fashion in the direction of the Houses of Parliament," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Jong-Stephenson told a hastily-convened press conference. "Obviously these people are highly organised, and have been disrupting traffic all over London. We also have reason to believe that they were intending to mount a mass charge in the direction of Buckingham Palace itself."

"Some of the participants are well-known to us, thanks to top-notch intelligence work," he revealed. "For instance, the notorious Paula Radcliffe has a history of urinating in public places and, in an operation carefully planned by Bob Slow prior to his tragic decision to spend more time with his pension, an undercover officer took her out before the event with a well-aimed truncheon blow to the toe."

"We have also observed several likely terrorists attempting to disguise their identities," added Sir Paul. "Let me assure the British public that capturing the Mr Men, Spongebob Squarepants and a large rubber chicken is our top priority."

The press conference then broke up in confusion, as specially-trained riot teams moved in to arrest everybody with a camera for the crime of photographing a police officer.

The Hatred Of An Orange

Several Jewish oranges are still feared to be on the loose in Tehran, despite the best efforts of the Iranian authorities to put the squeeze on them.

Ordinary Iranians screamed and ran from city markets at the sight of the dreaded Jaffa labels, marking the oranges as Zionist infiltrators.

"I warn the devout people of Iran that eating these evil Israeli fruits will render them forever unclean in the eyes of God," said deputy customs chief Mohammed Reza Nadiri. "The prophet is very clear on this. It is clearly a plot hatched by devious agents of Mossad to mock Islam in front of the entire world. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, it seems to be succeeding."

The oranges were imported from Dubai in Chinese-labelled boxes, but 'Jaffa Sweetie' labels identified the individual fruits as Jewish. China has been swift to deny allegations that the oranges are cheap counterfeits made by children in a Shanghai sweat shop.

Faithful Tehran residents were told to be vigilant and report any sightings of fugitive fruit to their nearest imam.

"These Jewish oranges are easy to identify," advised President Ahmedinejad in a televised appeal to the nation. "Their skins have already been removed."