Saturday, 1 August 2009

UK Begins Exporting The Unemployed

The government is to ship the jobless to the developing world, it announced today - beginning with whiny graduates whose superior intelligence and education led them to believe that millions of well-paid jobs would be conjured out of thin air the instant they left university.

Under the pilot scheme, a total of £500,000 will be made available for up to 500 graduates to take part in 'gap year'-style overseas expeditions, working on such worthwhile development projects as diamond mining in Namibia, t-shirt manufacture in Indonesia and 'private security consultancy' in Afghanistan.

Participants - who, according to Lord Mandelson, should preferably come from underprivileged backgrounds, where they will be less likely to be missed - will be expected to contribute £1000 of their own money, as well as paying for their own flights and jabs.

"But perhaps we can come to some arrangement," smiled the Business Secretary. "I'm sure the government could waive the inoculation requirements and loan participants the extra £1000 and funds for the outward flight, on condition that any survivors do not return to the UK until they repay the loan, with interest, and pay for their own return journey."

If the scheme is successful in reducing the official unemployment figures, it is likely to be extended to cover all benefit claimants - echoing a scheme in the late thirties in which the unemployed were sent to Canada with a couple of buns, an apple and the guarantee of agricultural work at $5 a day, only to find themselves dumped at dust-swept railheads in the middle of the QuebeƧois hinterland, and being laughed at in French.

US 'Tourists' Arrested After 'Accidentally' 'Hiking' into Iran

Three American 'tourists' went missing on Thursday after embarking on a 'hiking trip' along the border between Iran and Iraq, according to reports emerging today. The 'holidaymakers' were apparently 'sightseeing' in the autonomous Kurdistan territory in Northern Iraq, one of the world's most popular holiday destinations.

"Four Americans arrived in the city of Sulaimaniya on Wednesday for a walking vacation," said police colonel Anwar Haj Omar. "One of them 'fell ill' straight away and stayed behind, but the other three insisted on setting off immediately to stroll 90km to the beautiful waterfalls at the much-frequented resort of Ahmed Awa, just three kilometres from the Iranian border."

"They didn't take an interpreter with them, as one of them happened to speak Arabic," he added. "Apparently it's a popular second language, widely studied in the United States."

Iran's state-owned Al-Alam television station later announced that the three 'backpackers' had been arrested after crossing the border, making the patently ridiculous claim that they were undercover military personnel.

"We told them not to venture into the mountains, because of the proximity of the border, "sighed Col Haj Omar. "I suppose they just didn't notice that they were walking uphill for hours."

"The vacationing American who fell ill has checked out," the manager of the hotel where he was staying told reporters. "After he called the US embassy to explain that his friends had phoned to tell him they were in Iran under arrest, some large American gentlemen with cropped hair arrived and took him away, saying they knew of a local pharmacy store offering an unbeatable deal on paracetamol caplets."

"The four tourists seemed like nice people," he added, "Although my staff tell me their conversation was rather limited. Tell me, what does 'check' mean? They said it quite a lot, but we just assumed they were talking about how to settle their minibar bill."

When US reporters asked the Pentagon to confirm that it would never authorise covert missions in foreign territories, a senior official replied: "Check."

Friday, 31 July 2009

British Agent Enjoyed Morocco's Sun-Kissed Beaches, Claims Head of Secret Service

The MI5 agent who visited Morocco three times while former Guantanamo Bay inmate Binyam Mohamed was being illegally tortured there "just totally fell in love with the glorious, golden beaches of Agadir," according to his boss, M.

Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, where he was interrogated by the same agent - described in a revised High Court ruling today only as 'Witness Commander B' - before being illegally flown by the CIA to torturer-friendly Morocco under extraordinary rendition for further questioning, finally turning up at Guantanamo Bay in 2004. He was finally released without charge six months ago.

The British government's response has been to state that "the security and intelligence agencies do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment." It also denied having the slightest idea of Mr Mohamed's whereabouts between his arrest in Pakistan and his arrival at Guantanamo Bay - claiming that it simply assumed he had travelled through some sort of freakish time-warp.

"I appreciate that this all looks more than a little dodgy," said M, in a series of postings appended to his wife's Facebook status, "But you have to realise that the shores of Morocco are lapped by the stunning blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and can boast luxurious hotels, charming old-world souks, world-class seafood restaurants and scenic excursions to the Atlas Mountains. I once happened to show Witness Commander B my holiday snaps on Facebook, and told him he simply had to go there for a spot of R and R - and when he took up my suggestion, he found the country and people so charming that he spent all of his annual leave for the next eighteen months going back there."

When asked why Witness Commander B's holiday luggage included thumbscrews, a Black & Decker power drill and a small folding rack, M coolly explained that these were merely the ingeniously-designed components of a revolutionary new self-assembly deck chair which Q Branch had asked him to field-test.

Witness Commander B was unavailable for comment, explained M, as he is currently on undercover assignment in Finsbury Park, searching for a secret terrorist training camp hidden inside a volcano, the like of which the world has never seen.

Thoughtful Motorists Carefully Weigh Pros and Cons of Parking Charge Plans

Millions of enraged motorists sitting alone in their cars punched their steering wheels, dashboards and windscreens until their fists bled today as they sat in traffic jams this afternoon on the way home from work, on hearing the news that the government intends to charge their town-centre employers £250 for every member of staff who drives into work.

The levy is to be trialled in Nottingham in 2012, with councils in Milton Keynes, Oxford and Cambridge also expressing an interest. The scheme is designed to raise funds for local councils to spend on public transport infrastructure.

"How dare the government interfere in my God-given right to drive my beautiful car wherever I bloody like, whenever I bloody please?" thundered a red-faced Nottingham motorist who had just popped into town to get a pint of milk. "Fuck it - as soon as I get home I'm to fill my car with explosives, then I'll be right back to drive it straight into the front of the Guildhall. That'll teach the greedy, thieving bastards to fuck with my human rights."

"'Course, with all this bleeding traffic that could take an hour," he added furiously, "And I only live a mile away, would you believe?"

"Everyone knows that public transport is just a sort of mobile drop-in centre for mentals and coffin-dodgers," shouted a fuming woman in a cute red Mini she called Horace for some reason only known to herself. "I'd rather kill myself now than be gang-raped by a busload of perverts while the ape-like retard at the wheel jumps up and down on the pedals in some kind of voyeuristic frenzy."

"Now we really are living in Nazi Germany," yelled a man in a white van at a set of traffic lights. Dozens of other road users cheered their agreement, then screamed, "Fucking wake up and get a fucking move on, you dozy fucking twat."

Jeremy Clarkson is reportedly under heavy sedation in hospital, after swearing his lips to shreds when he heard of the plans.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Iraq Inquiry Will Be In-Depth, Promises Chairman

The long-awaited Iraq Inquiry was finally launched today, with chairman Sir John Chilout announcing that he would not shirk from asking the most important questions, such as "Where is it?", "What is the food like?" and "What is the capital of Iraq? Is it a) Tel Aviv? b) Baghdad? c) Mexico City? or d) Weston-super-Mare? Call 09016 161609. Calls should cost no more than 35p from a landline. Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more."

Sir John said the hearings would be "as open as possible", but some hearings would be held in private, in case Tony Blair accidentally let slip that British troops were dying in a never-ending war they cannot hope to win because he was too gutless to stand up to George W Bush - which could well lead to the total collapse of civil authority in Britain if it became known, and would probably lead in short order to the nation being invaded and subjugated by crazy bearded mullahs wearing explosive belts and forcing surviving Britons to learn the Koran by heart or have their hands cut off.

While the inquiry would mainly cover the last eight years, added Sir John, it would also be put into an historical context.

"We will be investigating reports that the problems stem from the ambitions of Babylon, which seems to have been founded in ancient Mesopotamia - roughly corresponding to modern Iraq - by Sargon of Akkad, about 35 centuries ago," he explained. "When his successor, Hammurabi, created the first code of laws, things appeared to calm down a bit. However, revolts during the reign of Sennacherib of Assyria swiftly led to the destruction of Babylon. Although the city was rebuilt, its subsequent part in the revolt against Ashurbanipal led to its 'purification'."

"All of this seems highly relevant to recent events, and I shall be calling all of these persons to testify before the committee in due course," said Sir John. "I am, of course, determined to avoid a long drawn-out inquiry, and fully expect to publish my findings in my lifetime."

One in 20 Italians Living in Poverty, Funding One Italian and One German Living In Luxury

Five per cent of Italy's population are living in absolute poverty, unable to afford even a basic basket of goods required for a minimum standard of living, according to figures published today by the country's national statistics agency.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was unavailable for comment, as he was too busy hoovering up Italy's remaining wealth to pay for a hovering palace made entirely out of diamonds, staffed by thousands of nubile teenagers with big knockers. A spokesman said that Mr Berlusconi was thinking of importing several wagonloads of the finest seashells to distribute to his poverty-stricken plebeians as currency.

However, Pope Benedict XVI did take time out from eating his sumptuous breakfast off a platter of purest Inca gold in the luxurious heart of his personal city-state to deliver a message to his faithful flock.

"There is no shame in poverty," said the 83-year-old pontiff. "Our Lord Himself went around in rags, sitting on his ass. So that's all right then."

"I don't like this old Tintoretto you've brought for me to wipe my hands on this morning," he told one of his attendant Cardinals. "Go back down to the vaults and bring me one of those paintings with tits."

"Please help yourself to my last few coins, Holy Father, so the church can do even more good works," implored a smelly southern peasant at the window, before being kicked out of St Peter's Basilica by a jackbooted Monsignor.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

New Met Office Supercomputer Dies Laughing

The Met Office has revised its forecast for the rest of the summer, after its brand new supercomputer exploded whilst laughing at its predecessor's previous prediction of a "barbecue summer'".

The new supercomputer, which was the size of two football pitches and capable of 750 trillion calculations per second, was reduced to a smoking heap of electronic junk. The smouldering wreckage is being hosed down by Exeter firefighters.

Moments before its unfortunate mirth-fuelled demise, the supercomputer revised August's earlier forecast from "barbecue summer" to "great weather for ducks".

Chief technology officer, Steve Forecast told reporters that the old computer system - a Commodore 16 wired up to a piece of seaweed - had been reactivated as an emergency backup, and was predicting dry weather with temperatures in excess of 35 degrees for the next six months.

"And snow," he added confidently.

Cameron Apologises For Swearing Like A Bastard

Conservative leader David Cameron has apologised profusely, after turning the air blue in a live interview on Absolute Radio this morning.

"When I said 'twat' and 'pissed off' on daytime radio, I was mistakenly trying to connect with millions of chav voters on a level they could understand," explained a red-faced Mr Cameron said later in a live interview on the BBC lunchtime news. "It has since been explained to me by my advisors that chavs don't vote - or, for that matter, listen to Absolute Radio with its challenging mix of cutting-edge and retro alt-rock that isn't in this week's top five."

"I feel a bit of a dick, actually," admitted the prospective future prime minister, adding: "Shit, shit, shit."

However, he went on to say that he was "fucking well up for it" regarding Lord Mandelson's suggestion of a live pre-election TV debate between Gordon Brown and himself.

"Put me in a studio with that fuck-faced shithead and I'll piss all over him," enthused the Leader of Her Majesty's Bastard Opposition. "I can rip that cock-sucking Jock wanker's bollocks clean off in a debate and feed them to his bitch Mandelson, any fucking day. Innit."

Depp Seeks 'Normal' Life For Children at Private School

Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Depp is reported to be looking at private schools in England for his two children Lily-Rose, 10, and Jack, 7.

The 46-year-old star of Public Enemies and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is said to have purchased a mansion in Bath, after recently revealing his desire to secure a more normal life for his children.

"We haven't actually seen or heard from him ourselves of course, you understand," said Mr Nigel Farquhar JP, a mortar-boarded headmaster in a black gown. "I'm told he's contacted one or two of our less highly-regarded competitors, so no doubt he's working his way through the list."

If Mr Depp's children are enrolled in an exclusive private school, they can expect their education to feature such everyday British schoolday experiences as boarding, corporal punishment, fagging, sporting activities on an onsite playing field, a cadet force, intense academic pressure to pass the International Baccalaureat, a fast-track route to Oxbridge and a highly over-inflated sense of their own worth.

"And a splendid receipt every term for our five-figure fees, payable in advance," added Mr Farquhar. "Suitable for framing."

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

'Don't Panic, But Soft Toys Mean Instant Death', Warns Government

New swine flu guidelines, issued to childminders and nurseries by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, suggest that cuddly toys, pencils, crayons and musical instruments are almost certain to result in immediate piggy death for any child who touches them.

"Clean hard toys by hosing them down with pure ammonia every five minutes," is the official government advice to the childcare sector. "Try to avoid children sharing soft toys, as these are difficult to clean adequately unless they are small enough to be roasted for an hour inside a pressure cooker full of nitric acid. The toys, that is - not the children. Although that would work too."

"Actually, your best bet is to fit all children with scuba tanks as soon as they're dropped off, then seal them into polythene bags and shut them inside individual lockers until their parents come to collect them," concludes the guide.

Families have responded angrily to the news that their children may become carriers of the dreaded piggy death disease which is wiping out millions. Many concerned parents are already abandoning their potentially unclean offspring on the doorsteps of council offices and hospitals, or just turning them out of their homes with a Nintendo DS, a bag of crisps and a bottle of Sunny Delight, with a bell tied round their necks warning others not to approach them under any circumstances.

MPs Call For Intermediaries To Stand Between Police And Protesters And Get Hit

The influential parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has criticised the police handling of the G20 protests, and is calling for intermediaries to be introduced as a means of enhancing communication between police and protesters at future demonstrations.

"There were obvious problems with this policing operation," said chair Andrew Dismal. "It did not help that communication was so poor between police and protesters. Obviously, introducing an extra layer of communication in the heat of the moment will alleviate this problem completely."

Under the committee's proposals, any police officer wishing to strike a protester to the ground with his baton - or fire a baton round, or simply kill them - must attract the attention of an authorised intermediary, who will then struggle through the turbulent crowd towards the flashpoint. When they arrive, the police officer will then apply restraining, vindictive or lethal force directly to the intermediary, who will then make every effort to let the protester know what is taking place.

"The protester will then say 'Ow' - or some such similar expression of pain and shock - to the intermediary, who will pass the message on to the police officer," explained Mr Dismal. "The officer in question will acknowledge the exchange by jotting it down in his notebook, before moving on to deal with the next incident."

The Association of Chief Police Officers has said it will examine the committee's proposals.

"As long as our officers get some sort of outlet for their aggression, there shouldn't be a problem," said a spokesman. "We're not particular. We'll cheerfully twat anyone, as Ian Tomlinson's family will be only too happy to tell you."

Obama Was Born To Be Alive, Insists White House

Exasperated White House aides have reiterated the message that President Obama is indeed a citizen of the United States by birth, in the face of persistent conspiracy theories claiming that he was in fact not born in Hawaii at all, but assembled in some factory in the Far East, or possibly space.

The so-called 'birthers' have not been dissuaded by the posting online of Mr Obama's birth certificate, nor by assurances from the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania that the original certificate is genuine, with right-wing talk-show hosts claiming that, as a machine politician assembled in a factory by other machines, the President in ineligible to hold the highest office in the land.

"The fact that he's an uppity nigger-boy with ideas above his station has nothing to do with it," screamed shock-jock Cletus Himmler, a senior crypto-rantist at popular extremist propaganda station K-NAZ. "Some of my best friends are black. Not on the surface, admittedly - but deep in their hearts, where it counts."

The president himself has so far declined to enter the debate, as he is currently being retrofitted with a hardware update which will enable him to stun opponents up to two miles away with a subsonic audio-pulse.

"Is there anything you can say which will make the birthers go away?" mused White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "Probably not, as it seems there are now more hysterical Nazis in the United States today than in the whole of Greater Germany in 1939."

Monday, 27 July 2009

Alcohol-Sodden Joanna Lumley Finding Nepal 'Absolutely Fabulous'

A sloshed Joanna Lumley has been seen tottering around Kathmandu with a bottle of whisky in one hand and her Jimmy Choos in the other, to the bemusement the Nepalese people.

Lumley is revered as a heroine in the tiny mountainous state, having glamorously fronted a successful campaign to shame the government into granting Gurkha soldiers the right to settle in the UK, after they were deemed by tabloid editors to be too insufficiently pretty to be featured on their front pages.

"I am very happy to be here in India, darlings," slurred the actress, whose father used to order his Gurkha troops into certain death against the Japanese. "But they really should get some muscle-bound beefcake in to resurface these streets - because, you know, I seem to be falling rather over a lot."

Ms Lumley has already mistaken President Dr Ram Baran Yav for a waiter and asked him if he wouldn't mind topping up her glass, and told Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal what a darling he is for living at number 42 with his batty grandmother.

She later staggered into the British Embassy, spoke condescendingly to the receptionist and went to great lengths to impress upon the red-faced ambassador, Dr Andrew Hall, just how "fabulously spiritual" she felt, before wandering off to trip over a nearby war memorial.

"We are very happy that the great Joanna Lumley has graced our country with her divine presence, after fighting for our right to settle in the UK," said a retired Gurkha soldier. "But I must admit that this timely reminder of everyday British behaviour is giving me second thoughts."

Railways May Not Be Run Solely For Benefit of Passengers, Suspect MPs

Only sixteen years after British Rail was split up into over a hundred franchises and flogged off to anyone in a suit with a pocketful of fivers, the Commons transport committee is beginning to suspect that Britain's rail network may not be operating in the best interests of the travelling public.

Citing the example of "prohibitive" charges for seat reservations - which used to be free - as just one example of back-door fares rises, the committee wondered aloud whether the private companies which had carved the railways up between them might even be motivated by a strong desire to grab huge piles of cash while they can, rather than by the simple, child-like joy of playing with a real-life train set.

The MPs spent much of the thirteen years trying in vain to understand the hundreds of different ticket types on offer, only for the train operators to 'simplify' the fares structure by scrapping the lot and bringing in a completely different set of unfathomable fares just as they thought they might be starting to get the hang of it.

They also suspected that the country might not be getting the best possible value out of a system which extracted massive profits from long-suffering passengers when things were going well, and eye-watering subsidies out of the government when they weren't - despite the fact that, in its final years, publicly-owned British Rail was managing to provide a safe, efficient service with no state handouts.

The transport committee, however, decided that the best option for Britain's trains was to give them to greedy businesses like Stagecoach and FirstGroup for even longer periods - unless of course they weren't very profitable, in which case they could be sold back to the government after extracting suitably large subsidies before finally admitting they had fucked up and asking for a more rewarding part of the network.

"I'm thinking of renting myself a helicopter," commented one long-suffering cattle, with his face pressed up against the window of the 08:27 from Newbury. "It'll soon be cheaper than a sodding season ticket."

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Brown Invites Britain to Thank God For War

The nation is to thank God for the First World War in a national service of glorification, announced Gordon Brown in the small hours of the morning.

In a service to be held at Westminster Abbey, the tragic, senseless waste of life which lasted for four harrowing years is to be creatively reimagined as a noble and glorious cause, the dressing-gowned prime minister told the duty reporter on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street at half past midnight.

"With the passing of my close personal friends Henry Patch and Harry Allingham, there is nobody left alive in Britain who can contradict me when I say that it is a sweet and fitting thing to die for one's country," said an uncharacteristically cheerful Mr Brown. "I hope the service will concentrate on the uplifting lessons which the British public can learn from the first war in history to be justifiably called Great - namely, a blind faith in the wisdom of the nation's leaders, a sheep-like willingness to follow orders without question, and a stoic tolerance of appalling conditions with no hope of improvement, ever."

Reactions to the prime minister's announcement have so far been mixed, with many people desperately calling on Jesus to make him stop.

Meanwhile, the BBC was much vexed this morning by the passing of the last man in Britain with personal experience of the trenches, with presenter Chris Muggins asking an historian how the experiences of millions who fought and suffered in World War One can possibly be remembered, now that there is nobody to point a camera at. When it was suggested that people could always try reading a fucking book, the clearly confused TV presenter looked blankly at his autocue for a second before handing over to a nerd who was slightly too excited about the availability of a 256Gb memory stick for £550.