Google+ A Tangled Rope: 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Justice League Of Accountancy

Hollywood Historical Pictures is extremely proud to present the Latest band of superheroes in motion picture history:

The Justice League Of Accountancy!

In a remote hilltop office deep in the jungles of Wolverhampton, lives a band of superheroes who have dedicated their lives to the Secret Arts Of Accountancy! They are all ready - at a moment’s notice - to leap into action and rescue humanity from the horror of unbalanced and unaudited accounts using their

Secret Auditing Superpowers!

They are:

Double Entry Man

Calculator Boy

Wonder Auditing Woman

The Cash Book Kid

Invoice Reconciliation Girl

All are ready to battle the dreaded Evil Bankers, who The Justice League OF Accountancy vow will never again be able to bring the world to the verge edge of financial ruin in their power-lust for ever-larger bonuses!

With the Justice League of Accountancy on guard against the rapacious Hedge-fund managers the world is safe once more.

But for how long?

What financial malfeasance is now being planned on the secret island tax-shelters where the world’s evil financial barons plan and plot together to cause a collapse in world share prices, destroy interest rates and bankrupt some once-famous High Street shops.

Armed only with their secret accountancy powers, a super-human knowledge of the tax laws and several spare batteries for their calculators, The Justice League Of Accountancy go into the ultimate auditing battle, to undertake the greatest feat of accountancy the world has ever known.

Alone against the Evil Bankers, The Justice League Of Accountancy know only one side will emerge from that audit intact.

Will the world be lost forever to the rapacious greed of the Evil Bankers Cabal, or will The Justice League Of Accountancy prevail against all the odds?

Will the world be returned once more to fiscal probity through the brave intervention of these superhero accountants?

Can the ultimate audit save the world as we know it?

Watch The Justice League Of Accountancy and find out!

Coming soon to a cinema near you!


Contains some mild auditing, and explicit accountancy techniques.

Some of the overt tax avoidance techniques used in this motion picture may be unsuitable for viewing by minors.

Parental discretion is advised.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Frontiers Of Science

Now even the people most unaware of breakthroughs in modern science are growing familiar with the name of Slingback Mesopotamia, the inventor of so-called Universal Cheese Theory, the revolutionary idea that the universe is in fact made mainly of cheese.

‘I first got the idea,’ she said, in an interview with The Rope, ‘whilst studying Aardman’s thesis put forward in their seminal study A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, where they postulate that the moon is made from cheese.’

‘Of course,’ Mesopotamia added, ‘Most scientists immediately dismissed the theory. I must admit I did too. Because as we all know, such a cheese-centred universe not only contradicts Newton’s gravitational theories, it also falls foul of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, as any geometric property of space-time such as gravity would tend to play havoc with several of the softer cheeses.’

However, Mesopotamia argues, something does change if astronomers alter a few of the equations that predict the size of the universe to take more account of the ‘yellow shift’ of the universe that would occur if most of the mass in the observable universe were, in fact cheese. Then, the problem of ‘dark matter’ the hidden or lost mass in the universe that has plagued theoretical accounts of the universe would simply disappear, especially if most of the cheese in the universe is, as Mesopotamia contends, Stilton.


Some, mainly Swiss scientists contend that Emmental would maker more sense as the elementary cheese of the universe as it contains hole-like structures within itself that could make black holes possible. However, Mesopotamia contends that black holes occur when part of the cheese universe goes through what she calls ‘the cracker-event horizon’, a yet unexplained phenomenon where the fundamental cheese of the universe seems to disappear into a gaping void that suddenly tears the fabric of the universe apart and seems to swallow it up.

Universal Cheese Theory does, however, explain the formation of stars and – obviously – their yellowness, as demonstrated by our own sun. As Mesopotamia also explains the fading of stars as they grow old, from the bright yellow main sequence on down through the various later stages of a star’s life, shows how they lose their original cheesiness as the cheese particles radiate out from the star into the universe. ‘This fundamental cheesiness of everything can explain a lot,’ Mesopotamia contends, ‘especially the way things tend to smell of cheese when they decay.’

Mesopotamia believes her theory will be vindicated if the Large Cheese Collider at Gruyere in Switzerland can detect the Limburger boson when it is switched on later this year. Then the LCC will begin its long-term project of smashing cheeses together at close to the speed of light in under to understand more about the make up of fundamental cheese particles such as curds and whey as described in quantum cheese theory.

No More Bureaucracy

In the private sector too 'Big is beautiful' became old-hat and the 'lean, mean and efficient' became the new fashion.

So, now, instead of your problem with the goods, service or whatever, getting lost in a maze of bureaucracy, it gets farmed out to some know-nothing-and-care-less brain-numbed flunky at a distant call-centre who can't deviate from the script without getting a cut in wages, who can't sort out the problem because there isn't an appropriate category in the software that was written by someone with no knowledge of the business and English as a third language, and they can't deal with it in writing because the office where they could solve it all in a couple of minutes no longer exists and all the staff have been made redundant and now all work selling bland processed pre-packaged meat-flavour sandwich-type meals in the massive retail park that used to be an iron foundry, while the product itself is mass-produced in some tiny third-world country by unschooled children who work for the equivalent of 3p a day and make thousands of the things during each 16 hour shift, then the goods are transported half-way around the world in some leaky, polluting rust bucket before being dumped on some nameless dock in the middle of the night to be transported overnight by half-asleep underpaid and harried truck drivers in knackered totally lethal unroadworthy trucks and delivered to some vast out of town hyper-mega-market where the night-shift of working mothers who've been up all day with junk-food-overdosed hyper-active toddlers and bored sullen older kids who can't go to school because there is no-one insane enough to teach the un-socialised little psychopathic sadists that video-game morality is no way to cope with a complex modern society, and especially not for teachers wages that wouldn't be enough to get a mortgage on a condemned rabbit hutch, and then the hyper-mega-market opens 24 hours a day so that you can drag yourself, half-asleep after working 13 hour shifts to produce some information-rich pile of paper that you know no-one will ever want or need to read using technology that makes the job three times as difficult as it used to be while using six-times as much electricity and ten-times as many scarce trees, your brain is throbbing with commercial jingles that cause an almost Pavlovian response in your tired fingers as weary eyes fall upon each bright package that offers you financial, sexually and worldly success just by heating up its contents in a microwave - a microwave that you still are paying for on your credit card - and sitting down in front of the TV to some massive-prize giving quiz for those who seem to be able to fill their minds up with all manner of useless context and relevance-free trivia, before falling asleep on the sofa, then waking with a start because you remember that you have to call the 'free' 24 call-line because some company you've never heard off - and suspect don't really exist beyond a heading on their letter paper - are saying that they are a debt-collection agency and they are taking you to court to because you haven't paid a credit card bill, which only last week you explained to the credit card company's own 24 hour call line, you hadn't paid because in fact it was a credit, not a debit, that they themselves had cocked up when you complained a week before to someone else on the call line who had confirmed that the matter had been fed into the computer and was - therefore - rectified, but when you pick up the phone to make the call you get a pre-recorded message giving you a number to ring where a pre-recorded voice will tell you why your phone has been cut off, then seventeen phone calls later - all made on your mobile because your landline has been disconnected and even though it is not your fault the company can't re-connect you because 'the computer is down' you discover it is because the credit card company has double-debited you bank account for the outstanding debit that is really a credit - or was that a credit that was really a debit - and therefore sent your bank account into the red, but you can't sort that out because the bank only now exists as an internet site and you can't get to the web page because your phone has been disconnected, so you give up in despair and go and get a beer from the fridge only to discover it is past its sell-by date, but you no longer care and drink it anyway, only to wake up in hospital because some third-world sub-contracted brewer discovered that it was cheaper to use anti-freeze rather than hops or malt to make beer, and then hospital sends you home early because no-one is insane enough to be a nurse on the wages they pay, so you head back home with an upset stomach from the cook-chill food not being served at the correct temperature, a viral infection you didn't have before you were admitted, only to find that your house has been repossessed and the bailiffs are just leaving with your state of the art telephone in lieu of payment, leaving you with a 24 hour help-line number, so you sit down in the street only to find you mobile has a flat battery.

(Another one of my earliest – see here for example)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exclusive! Film Star Interview

Spotweld Badgerinversion first came to the public’s attention when he starred as the third corpse from the left in the opening scene from the Hollywood Historical Pictures adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

In Hollywood Historical Pictures’ ‘re-imagining’ of Pride and Prejudice, the heroine of the novel, Elizabeth Bennet – was recast as an undercover FBI agent, played by Pumpkin Dropincentre, and Mr. Darcy (Gravelly Chinstubble) became seemingly involved in Mr. Wickham’s drug-running gang. With the action moved to the Florida coast, and with most of the film being more about car and speedboat chases, gunfights and some of the largest explosions ever seen in a major motion picture, there are some who believe that the film tended to lose some of the depth of Austen’s classic novel.

However, the film’s producers have pointed out that the film took more box office money in its first weekend than the novel has done since it was first published over 190 years ago.

As teen heartthrob Badgerinversion himself said:

You have to figure that if this Austen – I’m her greatest fan, of course, I’ve seen all the movies of her books – had put more car chases and gunfights in her novels then maybe she would have sold a few more. All this relationship stuff she seemed to like, you have to wonder just how big is the single women living alone, with a cat or two, demographic really is. A few more big explosions and she could have been working in Hollywood from the get go.

Of course, Badgerinversion has now became the world’s biggest grossing male lead, taking over from the now-aging Gravelly Chinstubble, when he signed to take the lead role in Hollywood Historical Pictures Forthcoming Oliver Twist. As the film’s pre-release publicity has it:

This is the story of one young, and ruggedly good-looking, orphan’s battle against the Florida drug gangs as they expand their evil drug and terrorist organisations into deep space.

Fagin the manager of a intergalactic boyband created on his reality show Universe Idol, makes Oliver Twist the lead singer, promising the boy he will help Oliver in his quest to find his natural mother, who was least heard of working as an undercover drug squad agent for the FBI.

However, Fagin has Oliver trapped in a watertight contract. So, it is not until the fierce gun battle between Oliver and the TV show’s lawyers that Oliver his able to make his escape and continue his quest, meeting some unlikely allies on the way.

Alone, against all the odds, Oliver Twist and his unlikely band of intergalactic freedom fighters take on the might of the galactic drug gangs

‘What I really liked about the Oliver Twist role was that it gave me the chance to pilot my own spaceship when I rescued the Galaxy Princess, Nancy, from the Evil Dark Star Lord – Bill Sykes’s - prison tower,’ said Badgerinversion. ‘That Chuck Dickens was a hell of a writer; I’ve seen all his films. Although, some of them did seem a little bit old fashioned for today’s market.’

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Shame Of The Past

Back in those days, of course, most people were blissfully unaware of the dangers of tennis. Some of them, we are led to believe, even went as far as to wear shorts whilst engaged in this sordid practice.

Nowadays, though, we know better and no-one in the civilised world (and Canada) would want to be seen holding a tennis racquet whilst stuffing their balls into their shorts. In these more enlightened days, tennis has been relegated to just one of those shameful practices that so often besmirch the childhood and adolescent of any civilisation. Just like slavery, warfare, television advertising or microwavable versions of real food, such things prevent any civilisation from regarding itself as free from the shackles of superstition, ignorance, the poking of strangers with fillets of wet haddock and other such dark practices that once so enthralled its ancestors.

However, we should not ourselves be ashamed of what has gone on before in our history. Civilisation is always an on-going process - possibly one that can never be truly complete. Rather, we ought to be proud that we have seen such barbaric - and, yes, even evil - practices such as slavery, suppression of women, over-cooking of vegetables, reality television and, now, even the horror that is tennis, consigned to the pages of history. Humanity can now, today, stand a little taller because of this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celebrity VAT Inspector

Last night Trickshot Weaselcheese, the daytime soap star, became the first ever winner of Celebrity VAT Inspector, C4’s new reality show. Blatantly stealing ideas from such programmes as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, which in themselves are basically just It’s A Knockout in business suits, where the programme makers get contenders to do various pointless things for no discernable reason, C4 then added the vital ‘Celebrity’ angle to make this a hit programme.

No doubt the heady glamour of Vat Inspection also added a certain excitement to what would otherwise be another dreary episode of otherwise tedious ‘experts’ patronising and humiliating the wide-eyed hopefuls eager for the holy justification of television to shine its empty meaning into their lives.

Of course, the rather contrived ‘tasks’ the contestants are made to perform are not often encountered by real VAT inspectors as they go about their normal business. Such ‘tasks’ as sorting out invoices whilst seated in a paddling pool filled with lukewarm custard, by way of example, is not that common an occurrence for VAT inspectors, certainly not brand new trainees anyway. Such perennial favourites of the TV programme too, such as the swimsuit round, are rarely used these days top train modern VAT Inspectors. Although, to be fair, when VAT was first introduced that method of selection was indeed used in order to fill the senior managerial positions in the nascent VAT departments of the time. However, these days professional VAT Inspectors, as civil servants, are chosen by their ability to whip up a Salmon Soufflé whilst sitting semi-naked in a jungle swamp under the constant glare of TV cameras and lights as they are mercilessly interrogated about their understanding of the politically-correct diversity requirements regarded as essential in their new career. This is a scenario that the makers of Celebrity VAT Inspector have already promised to introduce into the next series. Mainly, this is seen as a way of boosting flagging ratings whilst continuing with the illusion that the programme and reality are not the complete strangers to each other that they seem to any but the most sautéed couch potato.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The World Cheese Arrangement Finals

There were tense moments last night in the dying minutes of the World Cheese Arrangement Finals in the new Wembley Stadium, when the reigning champions the Norwich Explicators were left in possession of the Brie with only two moves left.

The daring use of the Wensleydale by the young contenders, Munich Spiegel Splatz, had made this one of the closest finals in recent history. With both sides tying at the end of the first quarter through a delightful blocking move by the German defender Hans Kneesand, which rendered the Norwich use of the Double Gloucester out of play, inches from the goal line. This meant that Munich had a clear run at the Norwich wicket with the Stilton. However, an excellent – almost instinctive blocking parry by the experienced Norwich goalkeeper, Stan Mankyvest, with the cheeseboard, meant that the second quarter began with both teams equal.

The second quarter was a much more defensive period, with both teams making full use of the cheese biscuits, with some inspired defensive cracker work from the Norwich back three on the trampolines.

So, at half time the teams were still all-square with all to play for. However, the Norwich mid-front scrum quarterback, Frig O’Tadpole, had to be stretchered off less than a minute from the end of the third quarter after a very serious head-on collision with the Camembert rendered him unconscious.

In the final quarter of the second half, the Norwich team began to show its greater experience in depth, with some expert use of the cheese oars to get the Red Leicester deep into the German team’s half. The Explicators constantly tested the German wicket keeper, Achtung Dumbkof, and forced Munich to bring on their substitutes in order to make greater use of the Cheddar cues in the dying minutes. However, Norwich were ready for this and used their defensive Edam racquets to great effect until they were left in possession of the Brie with only two moves left. This was where the young Munich team’s inexperience was cruelly exposed when Norwich’s leading try scorer, Dan (Vera) McMac easily evaded the German defence to score the winning points.

All-in-all, then, a tight match, but in the end the better team did win. However, Munich Spiegel Splatz will be a team to watch come next season.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Male Patriarchal Scientific Conspiracy

Harpi Braindrain, the leading feminist theoretician yesterday launched yet another attack on what she calls ‘the male scientific hegemony’ of the western world, saying:

It is typical of the male scientific hegemony that while the oppressed women of this world are allowed only one egg per month, men themselves produce thousands of their sperm every day. This is not only a waste of the world’s natural resources, it is also deeply unjust when many lesbian couples I know who would dearly like to have children are denied, by the oppressive male medical and scientific hegemony, the basic human reproductive right to produce their own sperm. Instead, they have to find someway of getting the necessary sperm, while men – sometimes literally - are wasting sperm by the millions, especially now that the internet has made porn so freely available to them.

Of course, as we know the male scientific hegemony is only a narrative structure created by the military-industrial complex to further men’s oppression of women. This massive unjustified and totally unfair disparity between men’s wanton and excessive sperm production and the terrine waste and environmental pollution – just think of all those tissues, for example - and women’s caring, nurturing frugal cosmically and naturally balanced production of the single egg, just goes to show how the scientific narrative is institutionally biased against women.

Therefore, I am calling on all women to turn their backs on the Scientific Patriarchy and to join with me in creating a new female-centred paradigm of natural balanced wholeness with the feminine wholeness of the universe.

Braindrain, claims that if women create their own ‘Non-Masculine, Non-Scientific Paradigm’, for how the universe works then it will have to become true for them as, she says, ‘truth is relative and merely a narrative structure’. Braindrain hopes that if women can believe what they want to believe then they can bring about what she calls ‘a female-centred universe at one with the inherent harmonies and peaceful heart of nature.’

In the interests of balance, The Rope, contacted a leading male scientist, but when asked for his response to Braindrain, he just burst out laughing and put the phone down.

Margaret Thatcher - A Love Story

Well, you know. It is not easy. I don't know if you have ever experienced anything like it, but it is never easy.

We first met out on the street. It was an ordinary Tuesday and it was raining. I stepped out to cross the road and the big black car seemed to appear from nowhere.

The next thing I knew I was lying in the gutter and a chauffeur was holding my bleeding face out of the wet stream. I looked up and... there she was. It was love at first sight. How I remember those first sweet words she said to me.

"Get up you malingering bastard!"

Of course, from that moment I would have gladly done anything and everything she asked of me. Love made me strong and I staggered to my feet. I stumbled towards her, but I fell to my knees. I looked up at her with desire in my eyes.

She looked down at me and almost smiled. "Are you an MP, one of ours?"

I shook my head. I took her hand in mine; she almost jerked it out of my grasp. I kissed her hand.

"Get in the car," she said to me.

Of course, it all happened the way these things usually happen. Secret meetings in number 10, where she would throw me down on the cabinet table and ride me to victory until I lost my deposit. The - supposedly - trips abroad to the European meetings. We would spend all day alone and naked together in those hotels in Paris, Brussels, Bonn, Leeds - all the great romantic cities.

The trips to America. Ronnie Ray-gun was just a cover for us - of course. I once asked my darling Maggie about him, she just laughed and held here thumb and fore-finger an inch apart.

"Why do you think he wants an arms-race," she laughed before grabbing hold of my mandate and making it the enemy within herself. Inevitably it had to end, as these things always do. She started believing all the myths and legends. She began to wear iron-lady underwear. It is not pleasant when a mature lady tries to sit on your face while wearing wrought-iron knickers.

Dennis got suspicious - eventually. I can remember him asking why her meetings with her 'special advisor' always seemed to leave the sheets damp.

As her hold over the party slipped from her grasp, so my manifesto slipped from her grasp too. No longer would she make a grab for it under the cabinet table as John Major droned on in the corner, or 'accidentally' drop her pen on the floor and ask me to crawl under the table to retrieve it for her.

She turned to drink, and started to call me Jimmy Young when we were alone. She developed a new sex-game where I had to dress up as a sheep and pretend to be Geoffrey Howe while she rode me around the number 10 bedroom, whipping me with a riding crop.

Then, in Paris, it ended. She just walked out of my life as she walked out of number 10 and everyone else's life. I would like to think that those tears were tears for me. But I know they are not, and - now - do you still have to ask why I seem obsessed?

(Another one of my earliest – see here for example)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The New Ten-Minute Rule Bill

The government announced yesterday that despite Britain being the world-leader in CCTV coverage on our streets, and their proposals to install CCTV cameras in pubs, clubs and every other public space and building that does not have camera coverage, there is still one area where they believe CCTV coverage is woefully inadequate.

A spokesdrone for the New Laborg Collective said:

Once this new act is passed, we plan the rollout of CCTV cameras for the entire domestic terrain living space of the whole populace. This will enable us to have complete coverage of what every person in the UK does for 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Asked by The Rope’s Reporter, if this was not a gross invasion of privacy, the Spokesdrone responded:

From people’s use of social media on the internet, their constant texting and photographing of each other on their phones and their willingness to share even their formerly most intimate feelings and desires on Reality TV it is clear that the old-fashioned idea of privacy, of having a private life, no longer exists. Apart, that is, for essential celebrities, VIPs and politicians who – by the very nature of their wealth and importance - need to keep the prying eyes of the hoi-polloi out of their business.

Our reporter then asked, why this new legislation had been given the name it had. The Spokesdrone replied:

We call it the Ten-Minute Rule Bill because we feel it is essential for the prevention of terrorism, to fight organised crime and to protect the children that we watch every moment of every person’s life, so that we can get a good idea of what they plan to do in the next ten minutes. Then, if it is something illegal they are planning – and we intend to make as many things illegal as possible for as long as we are in power – then the police can begin filling out all the necessary forms they need to complete in order to make an arrest. We believe it is far better to have people arrested and on the various criminal and DNA databases as fast as possible, ideally before they do anything we have made illegal, or even if they are planning to do something we haven’t - as yet - had time to make illegal.

However, the government is split between two rival factions. The one faction wants to know what we are planning to do in within the next ten minutes so that they can tax it, and the other faction in the government wants to know what we are planning to do in within the next ten minutes so that they can ban it. Rumours are circulating, though, that the PM himself favours some kind of scheme where anything we plan to do within the next ten minutes is both taxed and banned. Most in the cabinet are not sure how – or, even, if at all – this would work in practice. However, no-one in the cabinet has yet had the nerve to bring this to the PM’s attention yet, as none of them really fancy facing a barrage of ricocheting Nokias.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Celebrity Split Announced

Amplitude Wavelength, the former topless model, and star of the latest ‘celebrity’ reality TV show, Celebrities Wanking Farm Animals, yesterday announced that she was splitting with her long-time publicist, Max Headlines.

‘Max just isn’t getting me into the tabloids the way he used to,’ said a tearful Amplitude at a press conference yesterday as she manoeuvred her legendary cleavage for maximum photographic advantage. ’There was a time when I would be on the front pages two or three times a week. Now I’m lucky if he can get my story up and into the media at all. I think he may have found someone else.’

Max Headlines was adamant that there was no third person in the relationship:

With dear Amplitude’s hectic copy-producing lifestyle, I just don’t have time to represent anyone else. It’s true she isn’t getting into the papers as often as we’d both like, but there do have to be fallow periods every now and then, if only for me to get my breath back.

Max Headlines strongly denied that he had been producing media copy for the drug-troubled singer, Aimless Lighthouse, recently, saying ‘yes, we may have met a few times, socially, but I never got her any headlines, not once.’

‘It all seemed to be going so well,’ said Wavelength in an exclusive self-negotiated interview. ‘We, Max and I, decided that my celebrity story-arc needed a big event to counter Max’s sudden loss of column inches. So, we decided that it was time for my first big celebrity split and divorce from… er… whatshisname…. Y’know, short-arse… thinks he can sing…? Name always reminds you of that toilet paper…?’

Wavelength went on to say that her publicist had arranged her split from Pixie Charmi, ready for a tabloid exclusive when the couple got back together, later in the Summer, so that a TV series about their split and reconciliation would be ready just in time for the Autumn TV schedules.

However, Amplitude Wavelength, went on to say:

I’m thinking of moving up a league from a C list to a B list celebrity, and market research says I need a taller husband for that. So, I’m afraid I cannot get back with… y’know… thingy, despite what my former publicist had planned. Although, I have heard, through my US agent, that there is an American film star who is looking for a photogenic lesbian lover for the next stage of her celebrity profile arc. So, our agents are discussing whether it would work for both our demographics, or even if it would move us both into a whole new demographic without losing either one of us any core fan base.

Max Headlines, however, expressed reservations about Wavelength’s new ideas. He said:

Thing is, Wavelength is very big – as we know – amongst the more traditionally-minded audiences, those that like a footballer’s wife, or a hairdresser who makes it big on a talent show. They are not anti-gay as such, they do love an extremely camp homosexual, but I think lesbianism has still got a bit too dour an image – all dungarees and sensible shoes - for her established fan base to accept readily. Although, now could just be the time to shift that stereotype to a more marketable style. If anyone could do that, Amplitude Wavelength can. I wish her luck and I’m just too sad our relationship didn’t quite become as profitable as we’d both hoped. I just hope that her next publicist can give her the all headlines he can, she can be a very demanding woman in that respect.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stranger In Town

He was the son of an itinerant weasel defenistrator and he rode into town at high noon one spring day on a tandem built for one. Our glockenspiels glissandoed in trepidation as our knees throbbed with foreboding. Back in those days, this was a small one-marmoset town, little more than a wide spot in the road. The stranger hitched up his tandem to the hitching post and walked on into the saloon.

The music stopped suddenly and the conversations all died as everyone turned to watch the stranger as he strode across the wooden floor towards the bar, his tandem spurs chinking with every step. He wore the long coat and wide brimmed hat of the professional naughty person and his eyes looked straight ahead with the look of a man who has seen the darkest secrets of everyone’s erotic underwear catalogues and still lives with that horror etched deep within his soul.

He stopped at the bar, hooking one dusty tandem boot into the rail.

‘Barman,’ he said with a voice hoarse and gruff from days spent in the saddle. ‘…give me four fingers of Dandelion and Burdock. Quick!’

The barman’s hands shook as he made haste to serve the stranger, spilling some of the precious Dandelion and Burdock on the bar. The barman glanced up nervously into the eyes of the stranger as he quickly wiped up the spilt liquid.

Every person there gasped as they watched the stranger down his drink in one and slam the now empty glass on the bar. There was a sharp intake of breath when they all heard him order another one. Surely, they all thought as one, there was no-one capable of drinking two full glasses of that concoction straight off?

However, the stranger did just that.

A few moments later, he dropped a few coins on the bar and turned to walk out without a single glance at anyone in the saloon. Everyone sat still, listening intently until the squeak of his tandem could no longer be heard.

“Y’know,” one of the saloon regulars said as the piano started up again. “To my mind that had all the makings of the start of quite a story.”

“Yep, it sure did,” said another regular as the hum of conversation resumed around them.

TV Licence Fee To Be Shared

Last night, Gordon Brown, the current Prime Minister, announced that in future the BBC could be made to share part of the TV licence fee with some of its commercial rivals.

The PM said:

Many executives within commercial television are in danger of losing their jobs. These people are –as with most in the sector – in the main arts and media studies graduates who like to see themselves as part of the trendy left ‘intelligentsia’, mainly because they get to hang around with the media luvvies who they sometimes allow to make programmes. Naturally, as these people are a part of the new tribal Labour voters we must do all we can to bribe encourage them into exercising their democratic rights. We in the Labour party are therefore committed to keeping the kind of people who vote for us in their jobs, with massive bailouts of public money, if necessary.

The PM made it clear that the money will be used to – in the main – keep the media executives in the kind of luxury they are used to, as long as they commission several programmes about what would happen to essential services like the NHS and Education under a ‘Tory cuts’ regime. The PM reminded many of the media executives in the audience at his speech, that, in the past, many in the Conservative party had called for the licence fee to be abolished, and that they should remember that when considering any future in-depth TV documentary exposés.

The PM also announced a ‘commitment to establishing a universal broadband service for every home and business by 2012’, saying:

Also, in order to try and drum up some support for the Labour party from the work-shy chavs we’ve been lavishing loads of money and support on, with very little in the way of reciprocation at the ballot box, we are going to have one last try to get them to vote for us.

Consequently, we are going to introduce universal broadband, so the hard-lounging couch potatoes of this land can have all the porn I the world piped to their home computers at a very respectable speed. All we ask is that when they are having a quick one off the wrist to Sasha Grey’s latest magnum opus, they remember which other bunch of wankers made it possible for them to be able to do it, and mark their ballot papers accordingly. Hopefully, remembering to wash their hands first, of course.

The Pm also expressed concern about the amount of so-called ‘illegal downloading’ that takes place on the internet. Mr Brown concluded his speech with the following:

Naturally, with this government’s massive list of splendid IT successes, the film and music industries have looked to us to bring to an end the illegal downloading which these industries lack the imagination to counteract on their own. After seeing the figures the media industries have made up about the scale of their imaginary losses we have promised to do all we can to enable them to continue supporting this Labour government – quite possibly through the use of illegal subliminal adverts in their products urging people to vote Labour.

In return, this Labour government has promised to imprison every single person who sends a file of any kind from one computer to another. We believe that not only will this end the alleged scourge of illegal downloading, it will also free up massive amounts of bandwidth to enable us to feed all my vital YouTube appearances directly to every voter in the country in record time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Death By Chat Show

Yesterday, Trite ‘Halfpenny’ Hatchback, the former Keeper of the Queen’s Weasels was found guilty of ‘keeping an unlicensed and un-lubricated weasel with intent to cause severe embarrassment and undue soreness to a member of the Queen’s household’. He was later sentenced to Death by Chat Show.

Hatchback was caught in possession of the unlicensed, un-lubricated weasel in a dawn raid by Scotland Yard’s crack anti-weasel squad on his cottage near the Balmoral royal estate in early April last year, just as he was attaching the weasel to the sporran on a - yet unnamed - Royal’s kilt. Causing undue soreness to a member of royalty is the only crime on the Scottish statute books still punishable by death. Even though the death penalty for this offence was repealed in England and Wales in 1972, an administrative oversight meant that it remains a capital crime north of the border.

Death by Chat Show is a form of punishment where the convicted felon is forced to watch guest after guest on Chat Show after Chat Show for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are forced to continue watching until they can no longer cope with the thought of sitting through yet another ‘amusing’ anecdote concocted in a thinly-veiled attempt to flog yet more product to the half-mashed couch potatoes still seemingly enthralled by this form of schedule filling pap. They are then strangled to death by the tattered remnants of their own brain when it seeps out through the ears and down the neck in a doomed attempt to escape the horror of yet more inane wibble.

However, Death by Chat Show has been condemned as ‘cruel and barbaric’ by Amnesty International, as well as other interfering busybody organisations staffed by people with far too much time on their hands and a hopelessly naïve view of humankind.

A Government spokesman stated that:

The British Government is committed to keeping the Chat Show as a deterrent against rogue states, unfriendly governments, the French and, of course, terrorists. It is an essential weapon for the defence of this country and we have no plans to disarm unilaterally, unless the Americans tell us to, of course.

However, we are committed to the ‘No First Use Chat Show Treaty, where we declare that we will not deploy our Chat Shows against another country unless that country attempts to inflict its Chat Shows on us first.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Sexual Peccadillo

Well, as most people know the great crested peccadillo was a large flightless bird (only slightly smaller than the average Welsh canteen manageress) which lived on the island of Feebletrouzers in the Southern Pacific. Unfortunately, the 16th Century sailors who discovered the island of Feebletrouzers eventually hunted the great crested peccadillo to extinction. This was mainly because of the peccadillo’s method of evading predators, which was to engage in an elaborate mime where it pretended to be a door-to-door salesman. Obviously, this subterfuge was totally lost on the seamen, who in that day and age were of a more literal rather than romantic cast of mind. In short, the only thing that interested the sailors about anything was whether they could shag it or eat it. Since the peccadillo was covered in long dense feathers, this made the first option problematical to those of short attention span such as the average 16th Century sailor. This also accounted for the relatively scarce numbers of the great crested peccadillo [a fact that initially puzzled zoologists as they well knew that the peccadillo main predator - the feebletrouser python - is known as a rapt fan of any form of mime].

Anyway, few people beyond the cognoscenti now know of the distant relative of the greater crested peccadillo - the frankly not very well crested at all (or sexual) peccadillo.

This bird is much smaller than the greater crested peccadillo being, on average, the size of a settee cushion resting on a roller skate. It got its name - the sexual peccadillo - mainly because it was not very choosy over whom it mated with, at all. As it was not so well-feathered as its larger cousin, it was - of course - much more popular with 16th century sailors. Although, the legend that Francis Drake married a sexual peccadillo has been soundly disproved by recent historical scholarship.

So, unlike its unfortunate cousin, the sexual peccadillo thrived. In fact, many were bought back to this country by very happy sailors and the birds thrived here too, despite the very different climate to their natural habitat. Soon there were reports that the birds had begun breeding with the indigenous population and there were stories of crosses between sexual peccadilloes and chickens, peccadilloes and blackbirds, peccadilloes and sheep and - of course - peccadilloes and cost accountants.

Unfortunately, it was the overtly sexual nature of these beasts that - inevitably - brought them to the attention of the church. Although the church kept rather quiet about what its monks and nuns got up to with their own poultry flocks, the dalliances of the laity with their peccadilloes was roundly condemned from the pulpit.

Soon, in those times when the notion of witchcraft had taken such a powerful hold on the minds of the general populace, stories abounded about witches using peccadilloes as their familiars, and riding on their backs across the night sky. When some brave souls pointed out that the peccadillo was a notoriously flightless bird they were hung, drawn and hacked up into bite-sized portions as a precaution.

So, in those hectic and dangerous times - it is reported - that several thousand peccadilloes were burnt at the stake (and served with orange sauce later while the main attraction on the programme - the witches - were put to death in various entertainingly-painful ways).

Peccadilloes therefore became an endangered species. They were still kept - in the greatest secrecy - by travellers, itinerants, strolling players and - interestingly - musicians for those lonely times that all such solitary travellers suffer from every now and then. Of course, rumours abounded especially about those musicians widely regarded as the most accursed: 'The Playeres of the Base'. Stories were told about how the Guild of Base Playeres kept a secret flock of peccadilloes somewhere in the depths of Gloucestershire. These stories told of how, when a player had reached that special level of incompetence that is the jealously regarded preserve of the well-inebriated Bass player, he (or, on occasion, she) is presented with his (or her) own special flock of sexual peccadilloes. Hence all the stories about musicians – especially bass-players and their weird sexual peccadilloes.

(Another one of my earliest – see here for example)

Tax And Spending Row - Latest

Last night, the chief secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne accused shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley of deliberately promising that people would be allowed to keep more of their own money under a Conservative government.

Mr Byrne said:

This is the sort of irresponsible attitude we have come to expect from the Tory party. Time and time again this Labour Government has shown that the only responsible thing to do is to take as much money off ordinary working people as possible. After all, they’d only end up buying things for themselves, rather than on things that we hope will make a Labour Government look good, if only in the statistics.

In response, Andrew Lansley denied he had said any such thing:

All I said was that it may be a good idea to cut public spending a bit, and stop pissing away other people’s money on things that don’t work and are a waste of time, money and effort. Anyway, I used the magic political word ‘aspiration’ and had my fingers crossed behind my back, so everybody knows it doesn’t count.

The Conservative leader, David Cameron, directly after a private meeting with Mr Lansley, denied that his colleague had made a gaffe. As he wiped the bloodstains from his baseball bat, Mr Cameron said:

Frankly, we don’t much like the idea of allowing people to keep their own money almost as much as the Labour party. Think of what would happen to our poll ratings if we did actually make some spending cuts in one area, and a few weeks - or even months later - something goes horribly wrong in that same area. The press would crucify us. Despite most of the press that supports us calling on us to cut public spending, as soon as something goes tit-up they demand we do something about it and blame it on us for cutting spending. Quite simply, actually making any cuts at all just too much of a pain in the arse, though we will always promise to do it if it increases our opinion poll ratings, of course.

Sources close to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said he was too busy, doing his YouTube dance in glee at the news of the apparent Tory gaffe, to speak to our reporter. However, the PM’s office did issue the following statement:

This – the most long lasting Labour Government in history - has long held the view that allowing people to keep their own money is a weak and ineffective way of making sure it remains in power. It has been shown time and time again that the promise to spend more on things like Education and the NHS is always electorally popular, despite the obvious fact that massively increasing the amount spent in these areas has the seemingly paradoxical effect of only making things worse. However, the Labour government is still firmly committed to throwing increasing amounts of taxpayer’s hard-earned money at all areas of public spending in the hope that somehow it will magically make all the problems go away.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Purpose Of Government

It has often been suggested that governments exist to make a country work better and more efficiently. When the people who hear this have – eventually – stopped laughing for long enough, they can easily point out how this notion is simply untrue merely by glancing at that day’s media. For, as far as it can be ascertained, that governments do have any purpose at all - and some scholars do doubt this - it seems to be that the only real purpose of governments is to perpetuate governments.

Some say that governments exist to pass laws, and indeed when government is allowed to happen it will happily wile away its time making laws, some of which may even turn out to be useful, although most are – of course – unnecessary, pointless, corrosive, damaging and absurd. In fact, it has been said that the only law governments can ever have any success with, is the law of unintended consequences, where the new laws they are allowed to pass end up causing far more problems than the original problem those laws were devised to resolve. From this, we can deduce than governments are not there to make laws, except as a way of keeping the politicians who end up in government out of the way of the rest of us, so we can go about our lives in peace. However, as far as it can be reliably ascertained, it seems that politicians see their main role as preventing the rest us from going about our lives in peace.

Therefore, it seems that the aims and interests of governments and the people they are purported to represent are – more often than not – in direct conflict with each other, with the one trying to mind their own business and the other trying to mind everyone else’s business. This is why elections were developed, so that once a government becomes far more trouble than it is worth, it can be disposed of in a rather easy and straightforward a manner as possible. However, by their very nature all governments will do their utmost to cling to power long after they have outworn what limited usefulness they once had.

People do wonder, if it is – as it seems to be – that governments by their very nature must be inept, then why do we bother with them?

Intriguingly, though, there are scholars who say that governments only exist to take the blame for when things go wrong. There is some merit in this, of course. However, there are many other things invented by mankind which can also serve this purpose, Gods, for instance. In fact, it often makes far more sense to blame a god or gods for any misfortunes, as the gods can quite easily be made responsible for lots of things that even governments would have difficulty buggering up, such as the weather, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Although, it has often been shown that allowing governments any role after such a natural disaster only makes things even worse. So, there would be a legitimate role for the government as scapegoat in such situations where it would be reasonable to blame them for whatever befalls us through their inherent incompetence, lunacy and mendacity.

So, in the end, government - and the political circus that surrounds it - boils down to little more than a rather dull and tedious reality show that every few years allows us – the populace – to vote out whichever of the mendacious troglodytes we least like the look of. However, whilst we do this we should always bear in mind that governments are like a baby’s nappies, in that they should both be changed frequently, and for the same reason.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Legal Battle Over Government ‘Control Orders’

The several government departments whose freedom to operate is restricted by the so-called ‘Control Orders’, today lost their case in the House of Lords to have those orders lifted.

The Control Orders force each government department to be placed under the control of politicians from the majority party in the Houses of Parliament.

However, the government departments argued that this was unfair to them, because – in most cases – the politicians put in control of these departments were completely ignorant of what the department was for, and often with no experience whatsoever of what that department actually does.

A spokeswoman for one government department said, ‘We see it as one of our primary duties to the people of this country to keep them safe from the destructive interfering antics of these politicians. This judgement makes it almost impossible for us to do that.’

A political journalist added, ‘These self-styled ‘politicians’ all seem to want to change the way this country is run, and believe they can do this most successfully by infiltrating the government and becoming ministers in the various government departments, and then completely buggering up the country from there.’

Many of the current crop of active politicians inside the government are followers of one or other factions of the ‘Labour’ terrorist organisation, a loose – often very loose – confederation of terrorists cells, some of whom once subscribed to the teachings of OhSome Bung Blair. Blair dedicated his followers to ‘destroying the forces of competence in government’, a position taken to the extremes under the new leadership of the current Labour terror cell operating within the UK government.

The current leader of the cell, a shadowy figure, with what some say is a suspicious foreign accent, is feared throughout the whole of the government for the level of his inept incompetence. ‘He could have – and probably already has – destroyed the whole government single-handedly,’ said one Downing Street civil-servant. ‘We’ve tried to stop him with a Control Order, but he is master of the ancient oriental martial art of Nokia-Chucking, so none of us can get near enough to serve it on him.’

‘The trouble is,’ said a civil servant from the Home Office, ‘there are just so many of them in this terrorist cell, as soon as we stop one of them from buggering up the department, their leader just sends another one of them in, each one more destructive than the last.’

‘Some of them are suicide bombers,’ said a seasoned political reporter. ‘they are so determined to fuck the whole country up that they are quite prepared to go down with it, knowing full well they’ll never get back into government ever again.’

Crucifixes Found Offensive

A being who claims to be God, yesterday complained about what he called ‘the deeply offensive behaviour of the ‘so-called Christian religion.’

Speaking from his retirement bungalow, just outside Bournemouth, He said:

How would you feel constantly seeing people parading about with images of your only son being tortured to death hanging around their necks? Insensitive isn’t the word for it. I’ve tried keeping quiet about it, hoping they’d notice my disapproving silence, and in the hope they’d realise just how deeply upsetting it is, not only to me and the wife, but to the boy himself. As far as I can tell though, not one of them has paid a blind bit of attention to me, as usual. Bloody typical.

Now, though, with everybody else complaining about how unfair and offensive everything is, I thought I’d have my say too. I mean, it’s had quite an effect on the boy. He used to be quite a cocky lad, walking on the water, raising the dead, that thing with the loaves and fishes and all that. Well… yes, I mean he was showing off a bit, but if the son of God can’t do a few party tricks to impress his mates and show off to the girls, well, who can, eh?

But now, I mean he’s just spent the last few millennia sulking in his bedroom, listening to Cliff Richard records and moaning about those holes in his hands and how the girls won’t fancy him any more. Unhealthy I call it.

After all, he did promise his mates he’d pop back sometime, have a few beers with the lads and that bird he used to fancy, see how they were all doing and that. But the poor lad daren’t show his face back down there in case they decide to do it to him all over again.

The wife’s talking about compensation, so maybe we ought to get the lawyers involved. I mean – after all – the churches don’t seem short of a few bob, do they? To be fair though, it’s not really about the money. When alls said and done, I used to have high hopes for the boy, but now he seems to have lost all his confidence through the unthinking arrogance of these people who have the temerity to claim they look up to the boy whilst mostly going around doing the exact opposite of all he said.

Asked why he’d waited until now to make his views known, God said:

Well, that’s the problem with immortality. I just nipped off down the shops with the wife, then came back and had a cup of tea. I suppose I must have dozed off in front of the telly for a few centuries too, because when I woke up a millennium or two had slipped by. Then I had to find my glasses and my keys and… well, y’know….

I did have a PR company a while back, but they made such a balls up of it – tablets of stone and burning bushes…. I mean come on… I ask you, just who would fall for tacky gimmicks like that, eh?

So, now I’m getting the boy to put me up on Facebook, if he can stop sulking about whether the girls will fancy a boy with holes in his feet long enough for him to get around to it. I’m thinking about getting myself up on Twitter too. If I can get myself a few followers, I can tell them what I really think, not what those so-called ‘religions’ say I think. Not that they should pay attention to an old geezer like me anyway, that Richard Dawkins bloke knows far more about it than I ever did. I did think that once humanity had got the hang of this scientific method I could go and have myself a nice quiet retirement, out of the public eye. But, even now, people keep on dragging me back into all sorts of arguments that ought to have been settled ages ago, and claiming all sorts of things in my name without even bothering to find out what I really think….

Ah, well….

Anyway… thanks for listening. Bye.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Twitter To Protect Celebrities With Verification Service


Yesterday, the founders of Twitter, the micro-inanity site, announced that it is going to introduce a verification service in order that people who feel the need to follow the vacuous brain-dribbles of so-called ‘celebrities’, are not being cheated by impostors pretending to be those celebrities.

As, one or other, of the co-founders of Twitter told The Rope:

There is the very real danger that, instead of the empty-headed drivel one would expect from a celebrity, one of these impersonators may actually say something worth reading, insightful, or even interesting. Of course, Twitter is deliberately designed to make such a thing almost impossible, but the danger is always there. So, in order to make certain that the celebrity is who they claim to be, Twitter will – in future – make sure that each celebrity solemnly swears on their latest Tabloid Expose, that they are who they claim to be.

At first glance, it hardly seems to matter whether the inane wibble that fans follow actually comes from the purported celebrity or not. However, the PR guru, Max Cashupfront, explained why it is essential to know that a celebrity is who they claim to be:

What if one of these impersonators accidentally, or even deliberately, endorses a product in direct competition with a product the real celebrity actually advertises or endorses? For example, a popular use of Twitter is to tell everyone following you what you are having for breakfast, so if that fake celebrity mentions, say, the wrong brand of Cornflakes, the consequences could be catastrophic. Potentially, such actions could have a severe effect on that real celebrity’s market potential, and even – in extreme cases – their future earnings, which – in turn – could seriously affect the bank accounts of people like me, who represent them.

Cashupfront also pointed out that a fake celebrity could even direct followers to sites selling unauthorised merchandising, from which the real celebrity would receive no percentage whatsoever.

‘You must remember,’ Max Cashupfront said. ‘Most celebrities have only a brief period in the public spotlight, before they are forgotten or the fame drives them into unmarketable forms of mental breakdown. So, we – I mean, they - must make as much money as they can in that period, and anything like this that diverts money away from my percentage of their potential earnings should be stamped on immediately.’

Monday, June 08, 2009

BBC in Crisis

Last night the BBC chairman issued the following statement.

Here at the BBC we are beginning to get very concerned about our future. The current moral bankruptcy of the Labour Party could have serious repercussions for us at the BBC, and – quite possibly - at several other media organisations such as the Guardian, Daily Mirror and Independent newspapers.

If the current deepening slide of the Labour Party into its own slough of despond is not halted soon, it could have very serious repercussions for those of us still on the fashionable Left. If the Trendy Left worldview does go out of fashion amongst the chattering classes that make up the core recruitment pool - and social circle - of all of us in these areas of the media, then… I don’t know what we’ll do.

We may – if the worst comes to the worst - have to start admitting that our comfortable received opinions, stock responses to the world and trite hackneyed answers put forward as solutions to every problem or difficulty have been shown to be utter failures when actually tried in reality.

There is also the very real danger that this crisis of the Left could get so severe we may even have to stop sneering at Americans. We may even have to stop deriding the very economic system that gives us our comfortable middle-class existences, and – even- if the worst comes to the worst, we will have to stop fawning over right-on rock stars and movie actors when they desire to use us as the medium for their banal, idealistic pontificating to the world.

A senior BBC News Editor agreed with the Chairman’s analysis, adding:

It could be worse than even the chairman has said. Our reporters, on our several news outlets, will have to begin to question their own assumptions about the nature of the world they are meant to be reporting on, and confront their own inherent biases. They may even have to discard their highly-cherished PC attitudes that perpetuate and exacerbate the very problems they are meant to avoid by creating no-go areas in place of debate and questioning. We may even have to go so far as to examine our routine championing of victim groups that condemn the people who end up classed as such inside a virtual ghetto where everything about them is limited by the rigid definitions of what it means to be in that group. It could all end up completely altering all BBC news output as we now know it, so these are very worrying times indeed.

Senior executives within the BBC’s entertainment departments were also very concerned, with one of them saying:

If it is true that the Left has had it, then we may have to stop commissioning programmes featuring some of our favourite Lefty ‘comedians’. It will be difficult because we have come to depend on them, and their superannuated student politics humour. We’d have to find replacements for people like Mark Steel, Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstocke and all those others that are regurgitated with wearying regularity on radio 4 comedy programmes, such as The Now Show and The News Quiz, but are then flogged even further past their death, post mortem and cremation in TV spin-offs.

I suppose what none of us has seemed to realise is what was anti-establishment, vibrant and new back in the 1960s (our most holy decade and the font of all we believe to be true about the world) is now the establishment worldview and conventional wisdom. What was once edgy and dangerous is now safe and predictable.

Being as the BBC does play an important role, if not the central one it likes to imagine, in the lives of many people in the UK, whatever changes do come from this soul-searching and re-evaluation of all the corporation’s mindset holds dear could have profound consequences for us all.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Big Commons

As the latest series of Big Commons, the TV ‘Reality’ show, struggles through towards the end of its latest series, more and more of the audience are demanding that they be allowed to vote out many of the contestants.

Big Commons, the Channel 22/7 'Reality' show, is set in a building the fans of the show call 'The Houses of Parliament'.

The participants in the show are first 'voted' into the Big Commons House their so-called 'constituents' in order for the ‘Members of Parliament’ (as the contestants are called) to - as the show’s production team put it - 'to represent those constituents’. The Big Commons production team has often claimed that 'entering the Big Commons House gives these ‘MPs’ some say in how this country is run.'

However, those journalists, and other political commentators, who have witnessed the televised antics of these self-styled 'Honourable Members' of the Big Commons House, have dismissed the show’s production team’s claims that it is ‘a serious social and governmental experiment’ as 'ridiculous' and 'farcical'. Credulous Lobby-Fodder, the Political Editor at The Tymes newspaper, said, 'Anyone who thinks being a so-called ‘Member’ of the Big Commons house makes them anything more than a laughing stock for media-savvy urban pseudo-sophisticates like me is just fooling themselves, and as for 'running the country'… well, you have to admire their wide-eyed naivety, if nothing else.'

Apparently, the contestants, or 'Members' of the Big Commons House just lounge around on upholstered green benches under constant scrutiny by television cameras all day long. Most of the Members’ days are spent in exchanging gossip and insults with each other, backstabbing alleged comrades and working out elaborately convoluted expense claims. The Members also seem to spend an inordinate amount of their time engaged in blatant arse-licking of those of higher status in what those in the House call ‘Parties’, certain self-contained groupings that seem to bear no relationship to the world beyond the house, but – for some obscure reason – these party allegiances are vitally important to those within the house.

However, there are some 'Members' of the house, those belonging to the self-styled 'government' party, who engage in a protracted pantomime farce where some of their numbers pretend to run the country. At the same time, the remaining 'Members' from the other smaller, antagonistic, teams, or ‘Parties’ on the 'Other side' of the house, hurl gratuitous insults and unhelpful - and often contradictory - suggestions on how they could do it all so much better, given half a chance.

Nominally in charge* of the ‘Government Party’ in the Big Commons house is a character they like to call The Prime Minister (or ‘PM’). Although the PM himself is often not actually seen in the house, occasionally he will give some of the members of his team pointless, absurd or completely impossible tasks to perform, such as sorting out things like: the UK benefits system, crime, ID cards, the education system or pensions. The sheer impossibility of implementing the PM’s latest wheeze often forces 'Members' of the Government to quit of their own accord, if they have not by then run afoul of one of the myriad of bizarre rules and regulations that are implemented - seemingly at random – in the Big Commons House and been forced to stand down.

Bizarrely enough, it is not the breaking of the rule that matters to the Members, it only matters if the member is discovered breaking the rules by someone outside of the house, and the offending Member will then have to stand down, usually only for a short while.

So, all in all, it will be interesting to see just how many of the current crop of ‘Members’ are made of the stuff that will enable them to survive, if not prosper in such an unnatural, hostile and often perverse environment. Or, if they, like so many previous incumbents, will find themselves unceremoniously expelled from the Big Commons house in the next round of voting.


*Although this may change before the official time comes for the viewers get a chance to vote on whether they want him to stay , or not.

PM Still Refusing To Resign

Despite the recent resignations from the Cabinet, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has steadfastly refused to countenance his own resignation. As the crisis within the Labour party deepened, an unrepentant Gordon Brown said, in an exclusive interview with The Rope last night, ‘La la la la, I’m not listening.’ He then walked off back into 10 Downing Street, locking and bolting the door behind him.

‘We tried to talk him into quitting at the last cabinet meeting,’ said an exasperated Cabinet member, one of the two or three still remaining in the cabinet, ‘but he just sat there with his hands over his ears, singing traditional Scottish folk tunes to himself.’

A civil servant from the cabinet office said, ‘Mr Brown is going around Number 10 writing his name on everything, muttering, “It’s mine. It’s mine. It’s all mine and they’re not going to take it away from me.”’

It has long been known by many political commentators that, even in the days of Tony Blair’s premiership, Gordon Brown labelled all the food in the Downing Street fridge as his own.

Late last night, in a further development to the story, Mr Brown appeared at an upper story window in Number 10, while Nick Robinson, the BBC’s Political Editor was doing a live piece to camera. Gordon Brown opened the window and shouted down to Robison, ‘You can just piss off! I’m not leaving, not now, not ever!’ He then threw a mobile phone at Nick Robinson, which bounced off the reporter’s shoulder as the BBC crew ran for the Downing Street gates.

A constitutional expert admitted he was baffled. ‘Usually, a Prime Minister will know when the game is up. They still – despite being politicians – do seem to have a, admittedly somewhat hazy, connection to reality and do realise when they have run out of options. Consequently, there is no real constitutional way of removing a PM who just won’t go, short of Her Majesty the Queen going around there with the ceremonial Crown Crowbar and prying his fingers off the doorframe one by one. As you can imagine, that could possibly raise a few more constitutional questions than it answers, though. I think the best idea is to wait until Gordon Brown leaves Downing Street for some reason, and then nip in and change the locks while he’s out. It’s really our only option.’

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Labour MPs – Another Secret Email Leaked

Yesterday, an email that has been secretly circulating amongst Labour MPs was leaked to The Rope. The email, similar to the one which calls on Gordon Brown to finally admit he is rubbish and to sod off now, calls on Labour MPs to finally own up and admit that Left-wing policies, ideas and even its very philosophical underpinnings just simply do not work.

The email states that:

It is now time for us all, as Labour MPs, to admit finally – as much to ourselves as the electorate – that the Left is now completely discredited and intellectually bankrupt.

We saw in the late 1970s that Left-wing economic ideas simply did not work, and even then it took us several years of struggle as a party for the majority of us to realise this, and then to build up the courage to drop most of our old economic nostrums.

Recently, there has been a growing realisation by some of us that Left-wing social policy does more harm than good too.

It is now time, therefore, for us to admit that always favouring equality over liberty is a big mistake as it just leads to increasingly draconian legislation that, in turn, leads to increasing hostility and distrust between the people and the state, which leads to even more draconian measures… and so on.

We’ve also found that increasing the size of the client state through the use of benefits and so forth, just leads to a population of state dependents who lose all their self-motivation. It doesn’t even seem to result in any reciprocal benefit to us as a Left-wing party either, as the benefits culture makes them too half-arsed to vote for us out of gratitude.

While some of us obviously don’t really care about this as long as we can keep on sucking at the state’s teat ourselves, it has become increasingly clear that the general population is beginning to wise up to just how badly we’ve screwed it all up. Even some of the dimmest amongst them are beginning to notice that several state-run institutions are on the point of collapse: the Police, the NHS, the armed forces, the justice system, education and so on.

Therefore, if we want to keep this cushy job and the expenses that go with it on serving our constituents, we will need to admit that it had all gone tits-up… yet again.

If we do wish to go on calling each other ‘honourable’ members without our irony meters overloading, then we have no choice but to all resign now.

The sudden appearance of this email has caused consternation in certain sections of the media with journalists at both the BBC and The Guardian working overtime to try to understand what the email actually says.

‘It must be written in some kind of code,’ said Polly Toynbee, the noted Guardian crackpot columnist. ‘I just can’t seem to make any sense of it All of us on the regres… I mean the ‘progressive’ side of politics, know that the state is the answer to everything.’

A BBC insider said:

If I understand this correctly, and it does indeed signal a collapse in left-wing thinking then it could be a massive disaster for the BBC. I mean, how can we continue to be so patronising in a glib condescending manner as we tell the people of Britain what they should be thinking? Indeed, if the Left does collapse where are we going to get our staff from? After all we are all from the liberal arts degree mainstream, all comfortable in our middle-class trendy-left conventional wisdom. If we start to introduce even more people who think for themselves, like that horrid Jeremy Clarkson [shudder] then where will it end?

From the other end of the political spectrum media opinion was not so confused. The Daily Mail’s political editor, Ranter Bilefoaming, said, ‘Oh No! This could be a disaster for us. What, with rapidly declining sales, we rely on the things like the outrageous lunacies of the left to create the headlines that make our readers apoplectic enough to keep on buying our newspaper, in order to feed their outrage and their conviction that the whole country has gone to the dogs.’

A senior Daily Telegraph columnist, Braindeath Berkshire-Hunt, said ‘Damned Bolsheviks! A good horsewhipping, that’s what they need. If I see one on my estate I’ll have my gamekeeper give him a damn good thrashing, what.’

However, Titsout Forthelads, a political columnist on the Sun said, ‘Frankly we don’t know what to say. Mr Murdoch hasn’t told us what we think yet.’

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Home Secretary Resigns

Yesterday the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, took time off from filling out her latest expense claims to say that she would stand down from her ministerial position at the next cabinet reshuffle.

‘Obviously,’ she said. ‘I have been forced out from my position by the media because I am incompetent and dishonest. Ever since Gordon Brown took over his rightful place as Prime Minister, he has done his utmost to end this hideous institutional prejudice against the useless.’

As a serial inadequate himself, Gordon Brown has made a point of promoting the pathetically incompetent to positions of power in the government way beyond what little abilities they possess. Some cynics have said that he has done this merely to strengthen his own position by showing how useless all the other members of the government are, even compared to him. However, others do seem to believe that Gordon Brown does seriously think that the useless and incompetent deserve to be allowed their chance to attain positions of power and influence. Supporters of this view point to the banking regulations Brown introduced when he was chancellor as proof that he was serious about letting the useless and incompetent even have a go at running the UK’s banks.

‘While he was chancellor, it did seem to the casual observer to be a great success,’ said an economics journalist. ‘The bankers seemed to be making shedloads of money without any of them having any real clue about what they were doing. But as soon as the credit system went tits-up, they were revealed for the hopeless bunch of bankers they really are.’

‘It is a shame that I’m far too hopeless to carry on a minute longer,’ said the Home Secretary. ‘I had hoped to stay to finish our plan to make Great Britain the most modern, up-to-date, repressive regime in the world, and to continue with our project to make everything that people like to do illegal.’

Harriet Harman was quick to heap praise on Ms Smith, saying: ‘We must all thank Gordon Brown for making Jacqui Smith the first female Home Secretary. It was a great step forward for feminism, proving, once and for all, that women can be just as useless, incompetent, mendacious and venal as men.’

With his leaked plan to bring Ed Balls into the post of Chancellor, Many observers believe Gordon Brown is still determined to promote the incompetent and useless to the highest offices of the government, despite all the recent setbacks to the policy.

This policy of bringing increasing numbers of incompetent loons into government really took off under the premiership of Tony Blair, especially in the post of Home Secretary, where Blair tried out a selection of hopeless twats for that position, with each one seemingly more pathetically out of their depth than the previous incumbent. In response, the Conservative Party has seemingly reverted to its traditional policy of scouring the public schools, such as Eton, to repopulate its parliamentary benches with a wide selection of Upper-Class twits such as Cameron, Osborne and so on.

[Above: Conservative Party Front Bench Selection Procedure]

However, some commentators believe the policy may have backfired when the old Etonian, Boris Johnson, ended up as Mayor of London and has – contrary to most political pundit’s expectations– not entirely buggered it all up… yet.

However, there are some who dispute the Home Secretary’s claim that the UK has an institutional prejudice against the inadequate and hopeless.

‘To claim that there is institutional prejudice against the incompetent in this country is just sheer nonsense,’ said a leading academic. ‘By way of example, just look at or so-called leading sportspeople and all our national sports teams. For that matter, just look at the massive incompetence on display in any national infrastructure project. If anything, this country could possibly be a world leader, just behind the USA, in the sheer amount of top-level incompetence it produces.’

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New Directions In Social Media

In response to the burgeoning number of social media sites and applications on the web, today SodOffMedia present GetOutOfMyFaceSpace. This is the new anti-social media site where you can tell anyone who tries to befriend you to Bugger Off And Mind Their Own Bloody Business! In addition, the site will show people what you are doing without the facility for them to add any smart-arsed or sarky comments about it.

In beta, at the moment, is a add-on facility for GetOutOfMyFaceSpace, which will give each user a chance to Photoshop all their (ex-)friends in their photos, adding excess weight, skin diseases and other grossly offensive distortions of the human form to the photographs before then republishing them with optional derogatory comments attached.

Also still in beta is a self-generating Events Diary. This tells the world about all the exciting parties, drug and drink binges, hot clubs, swinger orgies and flower-arranging classes you have purportedly attended in the last week, whilst in reality you were sitting there alone in front of your computer watching clown porn in your pants, whilst eating dry cornflakes straight from the packet.

Also about to be released is TwatOff, the micro-blogging update site where you can tell the world just how much you hate it and want it to leave you alone. Rather than waiting for you to update it, TwatOff, automatically generates random updates, in 140 characters and under, in order to save you the bother of telling the world which way you like to butter your toast and other such fascinating insights into your dreary existential stumble through your dull days.

TwatOff also adds random abuse to its messages, so that your ‘followers’ can believe that you have not forgotten all about them, despite you only adding them to you list because their fake avatar picture made them look vaguely fanciable.

TwatOff also has a semi-public message system so you can let the world know just exactly why you find a particular loser to be such an utter pain in the arse. Or, for more personal abuse, it enables you to privately insult someone, with the optional ability to included other members of their family who are also on TwatOff in your abusive tirade at the same time.

TwatOff also allows you to set an Obscurity Rating for the songs it pretends you are listening to, in order to impress people with the depth and breadth of your musical taste. The producers of TwatOff, IhAtEyOuAlL Inc, say that all the imaginary music tracks in TwatOff’s database have all been carefully checked and are guaranteed to be esoterically-correct so there is no danger of, say, Simply Red accidentally appearing in your playlist.

Many IT commentators have praised this new direction in (anti-)social media, with one, Nerdy Mousejockey, summing it all up ‘These new anti-social sites are really way cool. Now all us true computer nerds can all go back to our true natures of being weird anti-social loners, without having to face the daily trauma of trying to be interested in people we only vaguely know from their web profiles.’

Monday, June 01, 2009

Britain’s Got Politics - Latest

Last night it emerged that one of the finalists in the latest series of Britain’s Got Politics – the self-styled Golden Gordon Economic Juggler Extraordinaire And Saviour Of The Universe – had been checked into The Priory, the clinic for ‘over-tired’ celebrities, said to be suffering from delusions of adequacy.

In recent weeks, Golden Gordon, the one-time favourite of some of the audience for his claims to have restored seriousness to Britain’s Got Politics, seems to have fallen off the rails. His economic sleight of hand was seen by some political commentators as a welcome change of pace after the comedic turn, Tony ‘Del-Boy’ Blair, had won all the last three series of the programme with his famous skits on ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’, ‘Being A Straight Kinda Guy’, ‘Roll Up, Roll Up, Get Your Peerages Here!’ and many, many more.

However, it seems that Golden Gordon can no longer keep any of his balls in the air, with even his glamorous assistant, ‘Mandy’ Mandelson – former drama queen of the EU - seemingly beginning to despair of him too.

Consequently, Gordon’s audience ratings have plummeted and it now seems inevitable that he will lose most – if not all – of the audience vote when the final comes around sometime in the next year. Most Britain’s Got Politics pundits confidently expect the eventual winner will most likely be Dancing Dave, the former PR man turned song and dance act, who has been wowing audiences with his ‘all your old favourites with a brand new soft-shoe shuffle!’ routine.

Gordon Brown To Reform British Politics

Yesterday the PM, Gordon Brown, admitted that British politics is in a mess and he came up with what he regards as a solution to these problems.

Mr Brown claimed that his Presbyterian conscience had led him to believe that there should be one, and only one, strong God-like figure that everyone else in the country should worship and obey without question. As the PM pointed out, he has already saved the world from the worst of the financial crisis, so it stands to reason that he must be such a god-like figure, therefore he should remain as PM, at least until the presidency of the world becomes available.

The PM also said it was therefore obvious there should be no false gods, and as opposition parties only promote blasphemy against the one true Gordon, which only confused people. Therefore, he said, all the other political parties would need eradicating.

‘So, from now on, there will be no need for the opposition parties,’ he said, laying out plans to make all other political parties illegal. 'Consequently, as there will be no more political parties, any further elections would be a complete waste of time and money, so I’ve decided they will no longer be necessary.'

Gordon Brown also pointed out that he would end MP expenses scams at a stroke because MPs are also no longer necessary. For, as the PM is now omnipotent, he can do everything that those MPs would have done, on his own and without claiming a penny of expenses for it.

‘Not only that,’ he added. ‘There is now no real need for the rest of the cabinet, as they are all a useless bunch of tossers, as we all now know.’ Mr Brown then claimed he could easily do all their jobs in his spare time, even while saving the planet (again).

Being as the PM is now all-wise and all-knowing, he said: ‘It seems a waste to let people spend their own money, especially as I, the all-wise Gordon, knows they only waste their money on things they do not really need. So I will set income tax at 98.5% and I – personally – will decide what each and every person in the country really needs and buy it for them.’

Mt Brown then faced the assembled political journalists and said: ‘Obviously, there will no be no questions as I’ve already thought of anything you could possibly ask me and decided it would just be a waste of my massive intellect to even consider answering it. Good-bye.’