Google+ A Tangled Rope: 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

World Health Organisation Warning Issued

The World Health Organisation today issued a warning about the possibility of a world pandemic of Media Flu. A spokeswoman said ‘At first a few local newspaper and TV channels in Mexico began to report flu cases in La Gloria. This was spread through media contact to the national Mexican media, and before anyone had the chance to put in place measures to contain it, it spread through the nearby US media and then out into the rest of the world’s media. It now seems that the media is most countries is infected with a very virulent strain of Media Flu.

She went on to outline the symptoms of Media Flu Hysteria (to give it it’s full medical name). ‘It starts,’ she said, ‘with highly contagious panic fuelled by high-temperature hysteria which then leads to uncontrollable speculation by the media with a constant need to issue updates, usually with a wild disregard of evidence and fact. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to the media coming to sometimes fatal conclusions.’

tissue_box [This morning’s newspaper front pages]

A research scientist, Labrat Methodology, who has studied these outbreaks of Media Flu for many years, said

the media seems inherently prone to these outbreaks of hysteria, look at what happened with Asian Bird Flu, SARS, the Credit Crunch, Javanese Housemaid's Knee, to name just a few. Also, don’t forget the media’s recent collective Obamagasm over the election of the new American president. It was almost as if the Media expected him to begin walking on water as soon as the inauguration was over. However, when he turned out to be just another politician they did eventually get over it. We can only hope that this latest media obsession is just as short lived.

The WHO issued a warning to the general public to avoid all non-essential contact with the media, especially those parts of it known to be infected with Media Flu, until the highly-contagious period of panic naturally subsides. The warning said that members of the public should try to avoid any media that may be infected with Media Flue Hysteria. The symptoms to look out for, it says, are where the media constantly issues stories and updates about the flu, mainly through articles about what the symptoms are, how many will die, how there is no cure and so on, with recycles endless panicky articles and pieces about not panicking.

The spokeswoman added: ‘the media’s constant unthinking sensationalism and its seeming need to constantly exaggerate the significance of everything it reports upon, creates an hysteria that the media itself feeds upon and amplifies again, creating a feedback loop of mounting never-ending sensationalism, unless something happens to break that loop.’

However, most experts do say that Media Flu will die down of its own accord after a few days, or weeks, at the most, when the media discovers some new bright shiny thing to occupy its attention.

Labrat Methodology concurs :

Luckily the media’s self-obsession and self-absorption mean that it believes that events only occur in the world if the media reports on them. Consequently, there are many scientists around the world; including at my own laboratory, who are busy working on a vaccine that we hope will inject several celebrity sex stories and high political scandals directly into the media’s attention. We hope this will divert the media’s attention away from hyping up its pandemic hysteria any further, and this will cause the fuss to all die down sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Full-Frontal Teenage Lesbian Sex Orgy

Full-Frontal Teenage Lesbian Sex Orgy is the latest film by the renowned documentary filmmaker Spasmodic Weaselinversion. Famed amongst documentary film cognoscenti, Weaselinversion is the man behind such classics of the documentary genre as Grimsby Lamppost his searing indictment of modern urban living where he filmed an ordinary lamppost in Grimsby for six hours without a single break or edit. 'At times the monotony of modern existence is almost palpable as you watch this film' a Guardian reviewer gushed. Of course, Weaselinversion is most famous for The Collectors his 12-part BBC2 series about a multi-racial gang of streetwise inner-city stamp collectors, which won the coveted Middle-Class Liberal Guilt award in 2007.

However, many critics have seen his latest film, Full-Frontal Teenage Lesbian Sex Orgy as quite a departure from his previous work, featuring as it does a four-hour non-stop fully-explicit teenage lesbian sex orgy, sometimes in pin-sharp extreme close-up.

I asked him - in an interview conducted recently - about his - to some - startling change of direction.

"Oh, I may win awards from the liberal establishment, the Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC and all that" he said. "But do you know what size audience I was getting for those 'worthy' documentaries?"

"No," I said.

"For the BBC series, The Collectors despite it winning the Most Pretentious Documentary Award in the Earnest Expose category at the Guardian Awards, and all the other awards it won, it had a maximum of 17 viewers. According to audience research, seven of those switched channels part way through. In fact, though, it was those very audience research figures that I discovered the answer to my audience problem."

"Why was that?"

"Apparently they all turned over to watch some soft-focus 'Victorian lesbian romp' on channel 4. In fact, that programme had the highest rating for the whole month on ALL channels. That gave me the inspiration to start work on my latest film."

"But a porn film?"

"Yes. But, of course, like everyone else I know, I thought hard-core porn was just for those desperate and sad people who don't work in the arts or the media. But apparently my new film, Full-Frontal Teenage Lesbian Sex Orgy, is so popular the DVD company has had to open a new pressing plant just to meet the demand."

Finally, I asked him if he was going to continue taking his work in this new direction.

"Yes, and not just because of the financial security it brings. My wife (the actress Essence Heartbambi), after her initial scepticism, has become very supportive of my new direction. In fact, she volunteered to research subjects for my next film exploring this fascinating area of explicit hot sex action. After several hours of in-depth research studying films, videos and DVDs, she has suggested that I next investigate the popular erotic film sub-genre of women partaking in what I believe are called 'gang-bangs' with men who possess very large penises. In fact, she is very keen to be much more involved in my work and has suggested - very strongly, ha, ha - that she would like very much to star in my next film on this particular subject matter. I think I'm going to have to agree, if only to get some peace and quiet, don't you, ha ha?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

And yet there is no sign….

And yet we still wait….

There is no sign of all the dreams we once had ever coming to fruition, especially those mainly concerning personable young ladies and/or gentlemen with a keen interest in the more exotic acts of a carnal nature who are more than eager to involve our very selves in their experiments and activities.

That urgent last-minute phone call begging us to come and play centre forward in the FA cup final, or make up the numbers in the national squad for the World Cup still hasn't happened, despite the number of times we check the answering machine.

Surprisingly enough nor has Mr Clapton made that phone call imploring us to come and help him out at his Albert Hall gigs, despite us only ever managing to never get more than 12 Pages into Bert Weedon's Play With Yourself Every Day course. Nor have we had that imploring letter from Berlin saying that Sir Simon is down with a cold and could we nip over there a bit pronto (bring your own baton).

No matter how many times we consider getting ourselves on the books of a theatrical agent - just in case - we still haven't heard from the film star of all our fantasies and late-night hand-assisted musings, informing us about their desire to have us star alongside them in their next blockbuster film. A film, apparently, featuring the most explicit sex scenes ever witnessed in a mainstream motion picture release.

The long silence from the Booker prize judges is also ominous. As is the lack of contact from the Nobel committee and those responsible for formulating the Queen's Birthday and New Year lists of those deserving honour and recognition.

Perhaps, though, it is all about to happen.

After all, the postman still hasn't been today.

Even then, there will always be a tomorrow… at least right up to the day when there isn't.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Equality, Or Else

Today, the Government Minister For Making Everyone The Same. Hetty Madwoman published a bill that will make it illegal for anyone to be different from everyone else. ‘For too long now,’ she spat ‘people have been allowed to be different to each other, and – in this modern world – that will just not do. For example, due to the breakdown of ‘Evil World Capitalism’ even Britain’s wholly fair, just and enlightened government will have to make some economies, at least until our genius of a Prime Minister saves the world again. Therefore the fewer categories we have in our essential databases which track what every person in the UK is doing every moment of the day, except when they are engaged in official government business, of course, will mean a vast saving for the government – I think.’

She then went on to outline how Britain would change under the new legislation. From now on every child will be born in a hospital that has been graded free of hospital born infections, delivered by staff which have all been certified error-free, by the highest grade of self-certifying managers. They will go to nurseries and schools, all rated as excellent by Ofsted, where they will learn that everyone is equal in every possible way, including the nursery teachers and their assistants who will – obviously be of equal status to the children they teach. This, Madwoman believes, will erode all outdated concepts of adults being of higher authority and status than the children. Furthermore, Madwoman has proposed that children from the moment of birth will have full and equal voting rights with adults. This includes being able to vote over their nursery’s, then their school’s, rules and curriculum, every child’s vote being equal in value to the votes of their ‘facilitators’. That is – of course – providing they vote for what the government wants. During the learning experience facilitators can only offer the ‘young citizens’ advice, which the children can either accept, or disregard if they feel it somehow disrespects their self-esteem, or demeans them in any way with respect to their learning facility peers. When the young citizens decide they have had enough schooling, then Madwoman proposes they will – of course - get A* grades in every subject, even the ones they didn’t bother taking. The young citizens will then go on to a compulsory university course where they will get a First-Class Honours degree in whatever they feel like doing.

In the world of work, everyone: man, woman, child, dog, or rabbit will be paid exactly the same wage – except those engaged on vital government business, of course) for working the same hours. Hetty Madwoman then said ‘To end the hideous discrimination where one job, e.g. a doctor, is given a higher status, than say, ice-cream salesperson, all jobs - outside of essential government service - will be allocated by random lottery. Marriage will be abolished and again replaced by a random lottery where partners, irrespective of sex or sexuality, will be shuffled every five years.’ This, Madwoman hopes, will help bring about the demise of the bane of heterosexuality in this country. Furthermore as women – according to Madwoman - are still discriminated against ‘being a man will be declared illegal, until such a time as all men can be phased out and replaced with women.’

‘As the country can no longer afford to pay the state pension and there have been several instances of people being discriminated against because of their age, the retirement age will be phased out and getting older will be abolished. Consequently, having birthdays will also be banned,’ Madwoman clarified.

‘Of course,’ Madwoman said, in her closing remarks, ‘this is only the start. There are many, many more things I am going to have to ban, and keep on banning and making illegal until you all learn to be equal… or else!’

The Hamsters of Doom

The possibility of a worldwide pandemic appears on the current affairs horizon once again. Consequently, the media has once again started to act like an over-excited child on Christmas morning, wetting itself in excitement at the prospect of what mass fatalities, untold horror, chaos and a world shortage of Lemsip will do to increase its audience figures. Therefore, we thought it would be worthwhile to look at the previous Worldwide Pandemic Death Horror media feeding frenzy and see what – if anything – could be learnt from it.*

There is a place - just over there, past the chip shop - where the very first Hamster of Doom was found, just after it matriculated. Of course, we were all very shocked, concerned and slightly itchy just above the left knee.

As we know the recent Asian Bird-Flu incident had failed to ignite any hysteria amongst the populace with its disappointingly-low casualty figures of a blue-tit with a bit of a cough, a chicken with a sore throat and two parrots who needed a lie down in a darkened room for a couple of hours.

The British tabloid newspaper editors were - of course - getting desperate for a new scare story to help reverse the inexorable decline in their sales figures. All of them were on the look out for something - anything - they could use to whip the unthinking hordes into a frenzy of ill-informed speculation, panic and instinctive newspaper purchase.

It all began when some hamsters, already infected with a new strain of deadly Javanese Housemaid's Knee, were imported into this country by a gang of naked pogo-stick fetishists who used hamsters in certain unnatural acts involving whipped cream, adjustable spanners and volume 4 of the Encyclopaedia of Rude and Naughty Things (G-M).

At the time, the hamsters exhibited no signs of the disease, but a few weeks later when the naked fetishist began to repeatedly fall from their pogo-sticks in mid-bounce due to sudden attacks of Javanese Housemaid's Knee, it took the medical establishment only three emergency conferences in exotic holiday locations to realise that maybe something could be going on.

This particular strain of Javanese Housemaid's Knee soon spread from the naked pogo-stick fetishists to their friends, and then on from both of them out into the general public. This brought the epidemic to the attention of the tabloid editors who - with their traditional instinct for hyperbole - soon dubbed the infected small furry mammals The Hamsters of Doom, thus causing waves of panic, hysteria and outbreaks of psychosomatic itchy-knee syndrome. Almost inevitably, this resulted in the mass slaughter of many thousands of perfectly innocent - and disease-free - hamsters.

Of course, Javanese Housemaid's Knee can be highly contagious, but only under some fairly strict circumstances. As we all now know, due to the more than extensive media coverage, to catch it you first have to engage in a duet of Country and Western standards with an already infected hamster. Then you must invite the hamster out to a sit-down meal at a traditional British Chinese restaurant where you feed it Special fried Rice before taking it back home for a 'cup of coffee'. All of which was, of course, a naked pogo-stick fetishist's typical evening. So, while not entirely unlikely, it is relatively hard to catch this particular strain of Javanese Housemaid's Knee from a hamster. However, an infected human only has to share a copy of their local Street A-Z Atlas with an uninfected person in order to spread the virus.

Luckily, the relatively few human deaths (7) so far, and the lack of reports of any new cases for several weeks, as most experts agree, must mean that the epidemic is now beginning to abate. This means, as the panic subsides, the tabloid editors can now publish several articles savagely reprimanding the British general public for panicking, the rest of the media for stoking the fires of hysteria (that is - of course -apart from their own moderate, prudent and sensible selves) and the politicians for attempting to exploit the situation for short-term electoral advantage.

However, there is some good that has come from all this as the whole episode has been a cause of greatly-increased sales and - therefore - profits to the tabloid media and, undoubtedly, a great cause of joy and celebration for all the shareholders in that fine and noble industry. A situation, I'm sure you will agree, that should prove satisfying to us all, knowing that our magnificent British tabloid media has once again come through great adversity with flying colours.

*It is – obviously – that, as usual, nothing will be learnt and we will carry on making the same or similar cock-ups as we always have done in such similar circumstances.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Glamorous Career

Astrolabe Mamaripreponderance first shot to fame as a theoretical physicist and topless model in the late 1970s. Although, as she later confessed, in a caption accompanying a photo-shoot for page 3 of New Physics Review, her ambition was always to be a car park attendant.

Back in those days, of course, a car park attendant was not the glamorous career it later became in the heady days of the immediate post-Thatcher era when Car Park Attendant became the career for the young and thrusting. In those earlier, pre-Thatcherite (and more innocent), days car park attending was still the preserve of those rather small, wizened old men with a gammy leg, flat cap and a ¾-inch stub of semi-masticated roll-up seemingly welded to their lower lip.

However, after deregulation and privatisation, car parks became no longer just bits of derelict land with only a precarious attendant's shed; containing half a roll of cheaply-printed tickets, and a seemingly stone-age electric kettle. It was now the sensational age of the multi-storey car park. These new, glamorous, locations instantly became the fashionable place to hang out, and not as a makeshift public urinal, or for quick hand-relief around the back of the concrete support pillars. Consequently, the owners of these hip new joints wanted attendants with a glamour and presence to match their new status as the hip, happening places.

During those early years of the fashionable new multi-story car park, Houndstooth Triteweasel was the multi-story car park magnate for most of the 1980s, owning several multi-story car parks in the then trendy and happening town of Tewksbury alone.

Moreover, as a keen amateur devotee of topless theoretical physicists, Triteweasel was more than aware of Mamaripreponderance's oft-stated desire to become the UK’s leading car park attendant. However, at the time Mamaripreponderance was head of research at the Uk’s leading linear small mammal particle collider in Abersoch, where they were about to perform the world’s first accelerated collision between a hamster and a kitten in order to attempt to isolate the ‘cute’ and/or ‘fluffy’ particles that Mamaripreponderance’s theoretical work predicted.

Nevertheless, Triteweasel’s offer of a job as Head Car Park Attendant at his flagship Droitwich multi-story was an offer that Mamaripreponderance just could not refuse. Therefore, turning her back on her topless scientific career, and excellent prospect of achieving a Nobel Prize for her theoretical work on the ‘fluffy’ particle, Mamaripreponderance realised her childhood dream and became – at long last – a car park attendant.

Of course, her career-change is a great loss to gratuitous scientific semi-nudity, especially in the field of theoretical physics. However, personal happiness for Mamaripreponderance came first and we can only respect that, despite our misgivings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Government Liberalises Law

In a surprise move - which many of its critics have decried as a step too far - the government announced this morning that it would no longer seek to regulate the so-called Ludo Dens.

From the stroke of midnight on 24th April 2009**, for the first time since the early days of WWI, the people of Great Britain will be able to play Ludo free from persecution or the threat of police harassment.

At first highly controversial, the number of Ludo clubs - especially in the glamour towns of London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Grimsby and Tipton - rose rapidly in the more liberal atmosphere on the early 20th century, especially following the death of Queen Victoria.

Despite disapproval from the pulpit and stern articles in the newspapers: 'even women of the fair sex could be seen brazenly shaking the 'dice' and unashamedly perambulating their counters. A display of nothing less than sheer wanton lewdness' thundered one leader in The Times of 1907, the clubs grew and prospered as the popularity of Ludo spread.

The clubs were first only slightly restricted during the early years of WWI. Later, during the later years of that war, they were closed down completely. At the time, it was said that it was because of the enormous loss of productivity in the munitions factories due to the workers skiving off to play Ludo, as well as the large number of accidents said to be caused by over-tired workers who had lost sleep through playing the then popular all-night Ludo sessions.

The revival of Ludo - like most such things - happened in the heady liberated days of the Swinging Sixties, even then in was mainly confined to underground clubs where bands like Pink Floyd, Cosmic Trousers, Nigel and The Swinging Quantity Surveyors and, of course, Lulu herself provided the musical backdrop to the revived all-night Ludo sessions. Ludo from then on became a staple of the alternative culture, outraging 'square' society.

Inevitably, though, as those - once seemingly beyond the pale - Ludo players have grown older Ludo itself has seemingly done the impossible and now grown respectable. These days it is very rare for suburban middle-class dinner parties not to end, once the children are safe in bed and the plates are cleared away, without at least one game of Ludo. With rumours that even some members of the cabinet may have played a few games of Ludo themselves in younger or student days it seems that the government was - in reality - left with little or no alternative to take this bold step towards the rehabilitation of Ludo as a pastime for consenting adults. But, only time will tell whether it is a step too far down the road of liberalisation.

The Doorhinge Badgerdangler Phenomenon

These days Doorhinge Badgerdangler is probably Britain's best-known celebrity Trilobite Fossil-Arrangement artist, certainly since the wild and heady days of Splurt Hackingcough, the leading Trilobite Fossil-Arranging guru of the late Sixties. Of course, back in the days of Hackingcough, no-one thought that Trilobite Fossil Arrangement could ever be considered a major art form again, let alone the major creative industry it has become today.

Back in the heyday of British Empire, Trilobite Fossil Arrangement was regarded as something only for the upper classes. Every large aristocratic household employed their own Trilobite Fossil Arranger, usually only second in importance after the butler in the household staff hierarchy.

As the Victorian middle-classes expanded there was a growing aspiration towards having what was then seen as essential for any decent household, which meant aping the manners and mores of the upper classes. But most middle-class households could only run to - at best - a housemaid, and - possibly - a cook. So, for those middle-class ladies who wanted a Trilobite Fossil Arranger, but could not afford one, several Trilobite Fossil Arrangement agencies were set up by enterprising individuals in order to meet the burgeoning need.

As industry expanded, a completely new class - the respectable working class - began to create a new demand for Trilobite Fossil arrangements for their homes. The working class could not afford the fees demanded by the Trilobite Fossil Arranging agencies, let alone - of course - have a Trilobite Fossil Arranger of their own. So, eventually a class of Street Trilobite Fossil Arrangers arose, who would wander the streets on a bicycle, calling out for people who needed their Trilobite Fossils arranged to come out onto the street to them.

However, like many similar turn of the century enterprises the whole Trilobite Fossil Arrangement industry suffered through the shock of the First World War. After the war was over, there were not enough experienced men available to revitalise the Trilobite Fossil Arrangement industry that had been allowed to grow dormant over the war years. As the post-war depression spread, not only did Trilobite Fossil arranging itself decline, many of the famous old arrangements were broken up and dispersed. Soon Trilobite Fossil Arranging was just another of the old professions that disappeared as the world left behind the old ways and entered a new age.

Trilobite Fossil Arranging continued its slow decline right up to the arrival of the new pop culture aristocracy in the 1960s. Thanks to Mick Jagger's keen interest in the art, the Rolling Stones become the first rock band to take their own Trilobite Fossil Arranger - Splurt Hackingcough himself, of course - on tour with them. Nowadays, of course, following the Stones' lead, it is now de-rigour for all bands to have their own Trilobite Fossil Arranger as a sign that they've finally made the big time.

But it took the arrival of Doorhinge Badgerdangler finally to bring Trilobite Fossil Arranging back to the masses. Her, now infamous, book 'How To Arrange Trilobite Fossils' became an enormous bestseller, spending several years in the bestseller charts - where it still remains to this day. The subsequent TV series - based on that book - is now widely regarded as being solely responsible for forcing all the major supermarket chains to run out of Trilobite Fossil arranging spatulas, tensing forks and stisking ratchets the day after the first programme was aired.

Despite spending over thirty years at the pinnacle of her profession, and rising to 17th place in the Sunday Torpor's list of Britain's wealthiest people, Badgerdangler (67) has no wish to retire from Trilobite Fossil Arranging. 'It is in my blood,' she claimed recently. 'I could no more give up Trilobite Fossil Arranging than I could give up nude hang-gliding.'

However, controversy still dogs both Badgerdangler and the art she has given her life to. A government Spokesman recently refused to confirm or deny that Badgerdangler was recently paid an estimated £200 000 for a special one-off Trilobite Fossil Arrangement used as a centre piece for the Downing Street reception to congratulate the Nuneaton Mixed-Doubles Strip Ludo team for their recent victory in the Strip Ludo World Championship finals in New Jersey.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Summoning The Plagues

We arranged the artichokes in the ancient mystical design. We chanted and made our devotions to the spirit world, calling on the Mystical Double-Glazing Salesmen of the Midnight Hour to intercede on our behalf, in order to cause undue complexities into the commuter train schedules of our most loathed and feared enemies.

We were strongly tempted to call down plagues of Social Workers, Design Consultants, Sunday Supplements, tacky television advertisements for over-priced cosmetic products of dubious worth and merit, and many, many, other forms of dire and deadly plague. However, we were thwarted in our designs by our inability to locate the necessary sacrificial virgin in time.

When we, eventually, did locate one, she expressed strong doubts and reservations about the long-term career prospects inherent in our proposal. So she promptly made herself invalid for our further consideration through a rather brief, and seemingly unsatisfactory for her, dalliance with a rather slow-witted trainee gas-fitter called Wayne she met 27 vodka shots into a routine quiet evening at her local shag-palace.

So, before the planets slipped out of their alignment with our local branch of Marks and Spencer, we were forced to sacrifice a spare coffee table leg.

We wait for satisfactory results of our endeavours with slow ever-diminishing hope.

The Mathematics Of Cupboard Space

The accurate placement of the raspberry jam is vital if you wish to fully understand the complexities of modern mathematical theory. For it wasn’t until the late 20th century, after some pioneering work by Hilbert, that mathematicians began to understand the full complexities of cupboard space.

Of course, as we all now know, cupboard space exists in more than three dimensions. That is except – and this is the fascinating part – when we are trying to put more items into the cupboard, where all space suddenly collapses down around the items in the cupboard so there is no more room for even a small refill pack of dried rosemary or a even sachet of yeast.

Another aspect of cupboard space that has puzzled both mathematicians and theoretical physicists is the relationship between cupboard space and quantum uncertainty. For cupboard space seems to be one of the few areas (see also shed space) on the everyday macro level where the principle of uncertainty seems to operate.

For, as in the quantum world where it is not possible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle, in cupboard space you cannot know that an item is in the cupboard and be able to find it at the same time. You can only find things in the cupboard you are not looking for, or if you are not looking for that particular item, then it will be the one that you will find, especially if you’ve just bought a replacement for it*.

In an addendum to his famous cat in a box thought experiment, Schrödinger also postulated that if the cat is alive when it is taken from the box the matter of whether there is any cat food in the cupboard to feed the now-hungry cat will remain unknown. That is, of course, unless you decide to look for something else, i.e. the raspberry jam, instead. This is why the placement of the raspberry jam has taken such a central role in the contemporary understanding of the complexities of cupboard space.

*Known as the Tesco Interpretation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Long Time Ago In A Chip Shop Far Away…

A long time ago, in a chip shop far away, a tall being, dressed from head to foot in rather cheap-looking plasticky body-armour and a long black cape, was ordering cod, chips and mushy peas.

A rather inebriated man, next in the queue, tapped the black-clad being on as near to the shoulder as he could reach.

The being turned, slowly. "Yes?" he muttered, angrily.

"Are you one of them Judys?" The drunk enunciated carefully.

"Fuck off," the Being in Black said, turning swiftly back towards the counter, his cloak billowing around him, to ask for - or, rather, demand - plenty of vinegar on his chips.

"I bet you are." The drunk turned unsteadily to hazily survey the other members of the queue behind him. The rest of the queue quickly found something else to look at. He tapped near the being's shoulder again. "Go on, admit it. You're a Judy, aren't you?"

The Being in Black turned once more to face the drunk. He exuded menace, as well as having some sort of slight breathing difficulty. The other members of the queue, as one, took a step back away from him and the drunk.

"What if I am a Judy?" The being hissed.

"Are you a Judy, though?" The drunk repeated, grinning.

"Yes…." the exasperated being replied. "Yes, I am a Knight of the Judy. What of it?"

"'Cos I was just about to say…" the drunk had difficulty containing his laugher as he grinned up at the Being in Black." What, with you ordering the mushy peas…."

"Listen," The Being in Black thundered with even greater menace than before. "If you are about to say what I think you are… some sort of feeble inane 'witticism' like 'may the farts be with you', then I strongly recommend you think again, or I'll beat you to a pulp."

"Oh, yeah? You and whose Dark Side, pal?" The drunk waved his fists in the general direction of the Being in Black.

"Beware my wrath," The being said, turning back to pay for his chips.

"Oh, yeah?" the drunk replied belligerently, suddenly emboldened by the way the rest of the queue was drawing around him.

"We don't like them from the Dark Side around these parts," someone muttered at the back of the queue.

It was just loud enough to make the Being in Black stiffen as he gathered his fish and chips from the counter. "What!" he roared, turning to face the queue. "Beware, or I will be forced to draw my light sabre." His free hand fumbled around his waist.

"Really?" a young woman from the middle of the queue called out. "Not that thing you wanted me to touch back in the pub? Talk about 'feel the force' - I couldn't feel a thing." She glanced around the queue in triumph as they all grinned back at her. "Not unless you've got a mouse in your armour… and a dead mouse at that…. At least, that's what it felt like to me."

"Right! Right! That's It!" The being roared, in one fluid movement turning to place his chips back on the counter and then draw his light sabre. He flicked the switch. A short brief light spluttered from the light sabre and then with a half-hearted, defeated buzz disappeared again. The Being in Black looked down at his hand. "Oh, bugger," he said as the rest of the queue closed in on him.

MP’s Expenses – Solution Found

Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced he – and he alone – had found a solution to the problem of MP’s expenses, which has been causing a great deal of bad press for politicians in recent weeks. The current system, where MPs pay themselves as much as they think they can get away with, and then add on an almost infinite quantity of ‘expenses’, has been bought into disrepute by people outside the system finding out about it.

‘Of course, we had hoped to continue with the current system well into the foreseeable future, but now ordinary members of the public have found out about it, it is – sadly – no longer possible. So, now is the time to pretend to take decisive action,’ the PM stated. ‘Although, personally, I’m completely innocent, and everything, and as it is obviously clear now that it is a system of expense claming that began in America, I feel it is my duty as saviour of the world to fix this problem too. Although. Lord knows why, no-one ever bothers to thank me, or even say how brilliant I am.’

The PM then outlined a scheme to pay MPs a daily allowance to stay away from House of Parliament. ‘In order’ he said, ‘to prevent them buggering up every plan I have to save the world even more than they already have done. It’s all their fault, anyway, not mine.’

Immediately some MPs dismissed the PM’s idea. ‘What we ought to do,’ a member of the influential Greedy Money-Grabbing Bastards committee said, ‘is to turn the whole of London into a real-life game of Monopoly where each MP buys up all the houses and hotels in a particular street, and then we could charge everyone who lands on that street rent. Then anyone who doesn’t pay us would be sent directly to jail without passing Go.’

The leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron, issued a response on YouTube and his Facebook page, saying that, ‘Paying MPs not to attend parliament sends out completely the wrong message, especially when we in the Conservative Party are on the verge of having our turn in government. If people realise how well the country could run without Members of Parliament constantly buggering things up, then we’ll never get our go, and that wouldn’t be fair. Frankly, if he is not careful he will remind people that Belgium proved it was quite possible for a country to get by without a government. We don’t want that to happen here.’

‘It is typical of this Prime Minister,’ Cameron continued, ‘to want to take his ball home when he doesn’t like the way the game is going. This sort of short-sighted knee-jerk – and any other dismissive cliché I could use – reaction just shows how desperate he is to cling to power.‘

In order to pad this article out with some quotes, we asked some stereotypical party MPs to give us some clichéd responses.

A Conservative MP dismissed the idea, saying ‘Money? Isn’t that all rather vulgar? I’m sure my valet deals with all that kind of thing, anyway. Now run along you horrid little oik, or I’ll have the hounds set on you.’

A Liberal Democrat added, ‘I’m sure we could all, like y’know make some sort of community area on Parliament Square and weave our own yurts and things to live in, it would be like groovy and far out, y’know?’

A Labour member of the government said: ‘I only claim the maximum expenses in order to furnish my seven homes, because seven homes ought to be the birthright of every worker in this country. And as a representative of the exploited, down-trodden workers of this great country, it only seems right that I equip all my essential homes with the vital gold taps, gold toilet cistern handles and ermine-covered dog beds that should be in the home of every British worker. Only with me working tirelessly nearly two or three whole days a week in Parliament on the worker’s behalf, will they - one day - all have such essential items in all their seven homes to help them do their jobs too… possibly.’

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Government Education Reforms

In a press conference earlier today the Prime Minister elaborated on his ideas for educational reform.

'For far too long now,' he said, 'far too many of our children have - through no fault of their own - learnt things at school, despite all our efforts to prevent it.

'People have to remember that the whole point of the education system is to make sure that people like us - middle-class people such as politicians, lawyers, doctors… even - in some cases - journalists like you, stay at the top of society where we belong. It is vital that we do not let those lower class oiks come along and spoil it.

'Frankly working class kids are our biggest worry. Despite us pretending to be the political party that represents them, the ungrateful little sods have the nasty habit of doing all sorts of things we don't like as they grow up. They do such as drinking too much, smoking, eating the wrong sort of food, wearing awful clothes, being loud, getting into fights and just generally disrupting the lives of all the nice well-mannered middle class people like us. It has to stop. Far too many of them are living on benefits and not bothering to vote for us. If we can get them working - even if we have to force them into those dreadful dead-end jobs - then the more benefit money we can save and there will be even more taxes we can spend on flattering our own egos.

'So we need the schools to teach them how to be good little wage slaves, turning up on time, being sober, reasonably dressed, not surly or argumentative and so on. And – of course – knowing which political party to vote for. THAT should be the job of schools. Frankly, so long as they can almost read and nearly add up, that is all we want. Filling their heads with facts just confuses them.

'Such things as maths and science are dangerous, because they teach pupils to look for evidence and proof and to use logic. All of which have no place in a modern society. As for the arts, all they do is encourage such absurd notions as freedom of thought and expression. All that does is upset our major donors and puts doubts into the minds of our core voters.

'Faith schools, however, are vital because they teach their pupils unquestioning obedience and to continue to believe in what they are told by authority figures no matter what evidence they find to the contrary. As politicians, those are just the sort of people we want more of in this country. So, we are going to do all we can to promote the promulgation of such beacons of unquestioning obedience, even if it does mean fiddling the figures.'

Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunting

Now it seems that the days of Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunting are - at long last - coming to an end. Not before time many people have said. But, as usual, little attention has been paid to the social and economic consequences of such a ban.

We are all no doubt familiar with the traditionally painted scenes of Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunting by such masters of the genre as Hardcastle Splodge and Dysentery Daub, from the 18th and 19th century, respectively. Each produced many paintings showing the massed splendour of up to seven people mounted on their taunting steeds, dressed in their finest taunting 'yellows' of purple underwired bra and orange waders with the specially-bred and trained packs of taunting hamsters 'showing' and baying, eager to be off taunting. Such scenes do evoke a form of romantic reverie for a bygone age, but they show little of the trauma suffered by poultry that has had its political allegiances and beliefs subjected to savage - and, often, blatantly sarcastic - scrutiny.

Opponents of Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunting have revealed the consequences of what its supporters say is 'a great rural tradition', 'just a bit of fun,' and other such excuses. Sometimes - it seems - the poultry are so deeply traumatised by the experience they give up on politics altogether, even finding a response of 'don't know' to an opinion pollster is enough to bring on flashbacks and nightmares.

We all remember the harrowing TV documentary shown just last year, where Benjie the mallard duck felt no longer able to publicly express his preferred view supporting the Liberal Democrats on greater EU expansion, due solely to his repeated taunting by the Wednesbury Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunters.

Conversely, the argument put forward by the taunters, is that left to their own devices whole flocks of poultry could begin to express a preference for extreme political views and parties. This is borne out by the scandal of the turkey flock from Sunnyvale Farm (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkey-Flavoured Rendered Meat-style Eating Products PLC) coming out in public support of the BNP, and, recently, a small flock of ducks on a pond near Tewksbury were found openly distributing the Socialist Worker ‘newspaper’.

However, only time will tell whether this country will see an outbreak of extreme politically-motivated poultry running amok through its farmyards, or whether it will see a growth into full democratic politically-mature debate amongst the many diverse political views held by the poultry flocks of this country, free from interference by Unbridled Politically-Motivated Poultry Taunters.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Protestor Complains

Yesterday, yet another protester at the recent Whinging Attention Seekers Demo Against Something Nebulous protest march, made an official complaint against the police.

‘I did all I could to severely get on their tits’ said nice middle-class Beansprout Veggieburger, about the Metropolitan Police, at a press conference hastily arranged by her publicist before any bruising could fade completely. ‘I threw plastic bottles of piss at them, shouted obscenities, thumped and kicked out at them and then dared them to hit me back ‘cos I’m a woman in glasses.’ Veggieburger continued, before breaking down in tears. ‘But it was all a waste of time, because despite everything I did not one of them hit me, not even a slight slap across the cheek. I feel so humiliated and discriminated against.’

Leaving off counting his share of the newspaper story fee for a moment, her PR said, ‘Obviously poor Beansprout is very distraught, but still very photogenic. She has been a member of several groups protesting against more or less everything for several years now. She even goes to their tediously dull meetings regularly. She has every right to have been cruelly beaten by the fascist pigs, just like all the others I happen to represent. It is quite simply a matter of sheer discrimination. I demand some sort of internal investigation is undertaken immediately. I do suspect after all the adverse publicity I generate the compensation should be quite considerable. After all, the Chief Constable is a very good friend of mine, and I do all his wife’s company PR too. Here, buy my card.’

Veggieburger added. ‘However, I did very slightly bruise quite a photogenic – but tasteful - part of my body, coming out of the pub later that same evening. Therefore, I feel it is the failure of the police to hospitalize me that led directly to my being in that pub at that time, and me having to drink quite so much. Therefore, I will expect full compensation from the police for my unbearable trauma.’

He PR then said. ‘Those cameramen who have paid in advance can now take photos of the bruised area – once my makeup artist has touched it up a bit, of course. The rest of you, if you would just make your cheques out to my company. Credit cards are accepted. Thank you.’

A Spokesman for the Metropolitan Police’s elite Give ‘Em A Good Thumpin’ squad later acknowledged the police must take at least some of the blame. ’Obviously, we would like to give everyone at a demo a damn good walloping. However, there are just far too many demonstrators at these demos these days for the personal touch. Obviously, if we had more policemen, or the finance to buy longer truncheons, or even some rubber bullets, CS gas and water cannon, then we could satisfy far more of our customers, both those that come for the ruck and those who enjoy seeing the hippie dole-scroungers getting the pasting they deserve. In this particular case, however, we do feel we have let the public we serve down. Consequently, I have issued Veggieburger’s photo to all my officers. So if they do come across her in the next few weeks and months she can be guaranteed a damn good kicking… on the house, as it were. Thank you. Mind how you go.’

Carole Thatcher Causes More Offence

Yesterday Carole Thatcher, the daughter of the infamous Trendy Left’s favourite hate-figure Margaret Thatcher, yet again caused controversy by describing someone using a word many now find deeply offensive.

During an interview on The Andrew Marr show, she described fellow guest Neil Kinnock as ‘A Labour Party Member’. A member of the programme’s production staff later remarked, ‘as soon as she said it, there were audible gasps all around the studio. Andrew Marr had to be revived with smelling salts and Neil Kinnock was so embarrassed he went even redder than his hair used to be.’

Seeing the looks of shock and horror on the faces of those around her in the studio, Ms Thatcher said ‘Well, what’s wrong with saying that? He is a Labour party member, isn’t he?’

Once he got his breath back, Andrew Marr tried to explain. ‘It’s just that these days, what with all that has happened recently, people no longer think it is polite to point out that someone may be… well…. I can’t really explain without mentioning that awful world…. It is considered tactful, to - at least - avoid mentioning that someone may have anything to do with the… the… L….‘ He turned to face the camera. ‘I apologise to anyone of a sensitive disposition who may be watching - or indeed if anyone is actually watching this programme at all – but I’m going to have to say it. It is considered extremely bad taste these days to say that someone is a member of the L… La… Labour Party. There, I’ve said it, and I can only apologise again. Now, I’m going to have to end the programme here and go for a lie down in a darkened room. Thank you and good-bye.’

Neil Kinnock later said. ‘I may be a member of… of t… that party whose name we no longer mention in company. It may even be true that I was once its leader, but those were very, very different times indeed. Even then, though I did my damnedest to make sure that the party never won an election. I wouldn’t have wanted something like that on my conscience for the rest of my life.’

Thatcher’s original heinous offence caused numerous complaints when it caused many people’s Politicallycorrectomometers to shatter their dials through massive overloading.

As a spokesperson for White Middle-Class Guilt, the organisation which officially decides what words or phrases are or aren’t classed as racist explained: ‘Saying a black person may slightly resemble a golliwog is offensive in exactly the same way that saying a blonde white woman may look like a Barbie doll isn’t’

Friday, April 17, 2009

Film News

Splendiferious Mammaries, the famous Hollywood actress, has recently completed work on her latest film, her first since the dismal flop The Return of the Thing That You Thought Had Died at the End of The Previous Episode of This Seemingly Endless Series of Films VII. She is therefore once again gracing the chat show circuit in order to drum up enough publicity for her new film.

However, the relatively poor showing of Mammaries previous film has damaged the superstar reputation she built up with her first staring role Gratuitous Jokey Sexual Reference IV, where she played a politically-involved librarian fighting for the right for all women everywhere to use men’s urinals. This film showed our feisty © heroine leading the fight against the blatant misogynistic male hegemony that has faced women throughout history to use ordinary toilets with a blatantly sexist male-designed seating arrangement, a situation that forces women to suffer the horror and indignity of having to put the seat back down whenever they wish to use it. For this role, of course, she won an Oscar.

However, to avoid becoming typecast, Mammaries felt that she ought to make a break from these stereotypical – but feisty © – roles and adopt in her own words ‘a much more sexy – but still feisty © persona for a movie’. She decided she wanted ‘to create a character who can empower women to feel much more positive about their own sexuality and to show sexist men that, although I’m a – very slightly - older woman, I can still be seen as an active sexual being prepared to reveal myself full-frontally, but only as and when the script really demands it.’ This – of course – led to her new film Some Very Slightly Older Women Go Shopping For Expensive Handbags… And A Husband, where she plays Betty Kneetrembler, a daffy - but feisty © - top-ranking corporate lawyer, who feels that now is the time for her to become America’s first sexy female president. However, to do that she realises that she must first get an expensive handbag and, also, a husband with - as the press release puts it - ‘hilarious consequences’.

Little Red Riding Hood

[Friday bonus post – from here]


Once upon a time, there was a sweet and helpful little girl called Little Red Riding Hood. One fine summer's morning her mother asked Little Red Riding Hood to take a basket of food to her grandmother who lived in the woods, as the grandmother was not feeling very well. Gladly, Little Red Riding Hood did what her mother had told her. She also kept to the path in the woods because she had heard, and believed, all those stories about what happens to good little girls if they step off the path.

Halfway along the path to her Granny's house Little Red Riding Hood met a wolf.

"Where are you going, little girl?" asked the wolf. Not being too surprised by the fact of meeting a talking wolf, after all she knew how fairy stories were supposed to work, Little Red Riding Hood replied: "Mind your own fuckin' business, dog-breath!" and walked on, musing on the notion that understanding the conventions of a narrative formula doesn't mean that one cannot subvert those conventions in order to frustrate expectation and the conventional form.

The wolf, being a more conventional - if not conservative - fairy tale character, decided that he could not let Little Red Riding Hood frustrate traditional folk-tale forms in such an arbitrary manner. "I'm buggered if I'm going to let some mere slip of a girl indulge in post-modern textual games with this mode of discourse," he muttered as he took the short-cut to Granny's house.

He knocked on the door of Granny's house.

"Who is it?" said a voice from inside.

"It's me, the wolf. Come on Granny open up, you've read the script."

The door opened slowly. "Pah, not much of a part for me, is it?" Granny said. "Hardly a speaking part. When I first started in this fairy-tale business I was promised all the big parts: Wicked Queen, Evil Witch, Wicked Step-Mother, the lot." She smiled at the wolf. "Couldn't we... y'know... maybe... improvise something. Perhaps bring in some kind of sub-text... perhaps hinting at society's disregard for the elderly, man (as symbolised by the wolf) and his callous disregard for womanhood once she has outgrown the societally-constructed notions of feminine beauty, the advertising and fashion world's valuation of femininity as being only one of youth and beauty, the denial of the mature woman as a complete thinki... aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhh!"

A bit tough, but still the wolf regarded it as one of the better meals in his life. However, he had always regarded the next part as a bit problematical. As an embodiment of the macho, the aggressive, the wild, the untamed and untameable he always found the idea of dressing up in the old-ladies night clothes as a bit... a bit... well... He heard a few sniggers from the undergrowth at the edge of the forest.

"Hey, you squirrels! I heard that," he growled, and grinned as he saw the grey and red blurs fleeing towards the tree-tops. "I've still got it, though," he said to himself.

Now he was wearing the nightdress it didn't feel quite as bad as he had feared. In fact.... Guiltily, but quickly, he entered the cottage, drew the curtain and slipped into the bed. It still felt slightly warm and the room smelt of old ladies, lavender and moth balls. Maybe, just maybe he would have the time, before Little red Riding Hood arrived, for a quick....

Little Red Riding Hood rapped firmly on the door. This time, she hoped, perhaps there would be a chance of introducing some variation in what was now, frankly, a tired and tedious genre. This was the modern, urban world for christsake! What was the point of these rural and, mostly, medieval tales at the end of the second millennium?

"Come in." said the voice from inside.

No, still the same old shit: Little Red Riding Hood thought as she sighed and opened the door. "Why Granny what big eyes you have," She said without enthusiasm.

"All the better to..."

"Oh, fuck it!" Little Red Riding Hood said and pulled the pump-action shotgun from her basket. "You bastard! You killed Granny!" She pulled the trigger. "Bye bye, dogbreath" She grinned at the bright bloody splatter all over the rose-patterned wallpaper. The wolf's headless corpse fell over pumping blood all over the pink sheets.

The door burst open and the wood-cutter ran in with his chopper in his hand. He stared at the girl, blushed, and ran out again. He came back in a moment latter with his trousers zipped up and an axe in his hand.

"Sorry, I thought we were doing the continental version," he said. "Shit! What happened to the wolf? I was supposed to...."

"I just thought I would strike a blow for the feminist cause," Little Red Riding Hood said. "Personally, I'm getting tired of the way how these tales always seem to end with the women, girl, princess or whatever getting rescued by some sort of stereotypical male protector figure." She casually reloaded the still smoking shotgun. "Have you got a problem with that?"

"No, not at all," the woodcutter said, nervously eyeing the shotgun. "But won't this damage the traditional image of the fairy story as a mode of reassurance to children that the world can be restored to order and safety?"

"Bugger that," Little Red Riding Hood replied. "Think of what Hollywood will pay, strong-chick flicks are big box-office these days... then there are the computer-game spin-offs...." She took the woodcutter by the arm and led him from the room. "We could do sequels; Little Red Riding Hood II, Dragon Wars, or something... the possibilities are endless...."

"Yes," the woodcutter replied as they took the path back through the woods.

"Stick with me and you could end up a rich man," Little Red Riding Hood said. "No more getting your chopper out in tacky low-budget XXX-rated videos.... I was thinking, maybe 10%?"

The wood cutter eyed the shotgun; she seemed to have a finger resting on the trigger. He swallowed. "Deal," he said.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

EXCLUSIVE - Gordon Brown - An Apology

Early this morning, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued the following statement.

Over the last few weeks and months, it seems there have been a number of events, which, in retrospect seem to have all shared a similar cause. Therefore, it seems that some sort of apology is called for so that we – as a country - can begin to move forward again.

So, therefore I am calling on ALL the people of this great country of ours to apologise to me, personally, for them not realising what a truly great Prime Minister I am. There have been a number of lies, smear and misinformation about what a nice bloke I really am and how I am doing my best to get this stupid, shortsighted, lazy and half-arsed country back on its feet.

So, I have decided that I want a full written apology from every person in this country, saying how wrong they were about me, how they now recognise my brilliant genius and how I have been right all along. Then they should all promise not to ever doubt me again.

Mr Brown then went on to add that the Labour party should apologise to him too. Adding:

Not only that, each individual member of the Labour party should apologise to me – in writing - for saving them all from that evil dictator - Tony Blair, and returning the Labour party back to its democratic and comradely roots, instead of the malevolent spinning, lying and dirty tricks of the Blair cadre era. Not only that, despite promising to sort it out, I have enabled them to continue grabbing wheelbarrows full of expenses for doing basically fuck all, and doing it badly.

They should also be grateful for me for picking several of them - no matter what their level of incompetence - to cock up all the great offices of government. Without me, not a single one of them would have been ever promoted way beyond their level of competence, when in any other walk of life their only claim to fame would’ve been when they were allowed to run their local church jumble sale for a few minutes while the competent ones went for a tea break.

Gordon Brown said that David Cameron should apologise to him too, for not being an evil Tory caricature, as it said in the script. He continued:

Actually, I feel that the entire Tory party should apologise to me too, for not being a bunch of elitist, out of touch toffs in top hats and tails who callously hunt down the decent hard-working people of this country with foxes.

The Liberal Democrats ought to apologise too for confusing people by saying I’ve been doing everything wrong, when deep down they too must realise that it is me – and only me – who is right all the time.

Finally, it seems only fair that the entire world should apologise to me too, for not realising that I am the one chosen by the gods to lead the world out of this great economic crisis, which - as everyone knows - was caused by America, and had nothing to do with me at all, in the slightest.

When an aide pointed out that some Americans, who knew where abroad was, might be listening, the Prime Minister clarified:

Oh, if there are any Americans listening to this obviously it wasn’t their fault at all. Oh, no, no. I have since discovered, using my secret super powers that the economic crisis did not start in America at all. It was… a…. an… an alien invasion… by… by… the Evil Property Speculators of Zarg, who came down to Earth - landing in America, as it happens - where they bought up many thousands of Buy To Let properties with the fiendish intention of defaulting on the mortgage payments. But I, the Mighty Flash Gordon had seen through their evil plan and I…. I leapt into action and I…. I…?

At this point, the Prime Minister’s press secretary led him away from the podium, telling the PM that it was now time for his medication.

Gordon Brown then said, to his assembled aides, ‘Listen I’ve got another new plan to save the world using only CCTV and enormous databases!’

An aide replied that if he was good and swallowed all his pills, including the nice shiny blue ones, then, and - only then - he could play with his clever new plan. Beaming his famous broad smile then Prime Minister waved good-bye to the assembled media representatives and allowed himself to be led from the room.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


The sad death was announced today of the British Labour Party. Aged 108 there was increasing concern expressed recently about the seeming growing senility of this once proud organisation.

The Labour party was born in 1900, as a way for middle-class Romantics to expunge their guilt at being not of the working class by pretending that they really would like to live in a state at least nominally ruled by the workers. Of course, this was only a convenient fiction. What the people who invented the Labour party wanted was for themselves to rule on behalf of the working people, in order to bring to the workers what the sympathetic members of the middle-classes thought would be suitable for those workers.

‘Frankly,’ a spokesman said, ‘we’ve always had our doubts about its mental health. For a time it was claiming to be the saviour of the working classes, but that turned out not to be true. To be honest I don’t think it ever got over the way the working classes decided they’d be better off without socialism holding them down.’

The Labour party eventually realised that where it maintained or gained power it was through creating a vast welfare state structure inculcated with and steeped in its own mythology, which claimed to be mainly for the benefit of those at the lower ends of the social strata. Instead, however, in reality, its main concern was with solely maintaining and expanding itself in order to inveigle itself into every nook and cranny of society it could, legitimately or otherwise.

A political journalist who got to know the party well in its latter years added, ‘Once its romance with the working classes was over it tried many things on the rebound, women’s rights, nuclear disarmament, championing of minorities and so forth. But it was never really truly happy. That is until its handsome Prince Tony came along.’

‘Prince Tony promised the country that his New Shiny, Sparkly Labour Party would lead everyone to a land of milk and honey. But as usual with con-men it was all lies,’ said a bewildered party worker. ‘He lied to the country, and he lied to the party. He screwed us all and then he left us.’

Heartbroken, the Labour party, again on the rebound, took up with the first person as unlike Handsome Prince Tony as it could find. That too, though, turned out to be a disaster. ‘His jealousy is tearing the poor party apart,’ opined a close friend of the party when the whirlwind romance began. ‘He’s been madly in love with the party – or rather his romanticised ideal of the party - since he was a teenager. He’s just obsessed, and his obsession is going to destroy the party.’ How prescient those words seem now, when it is too late to save the party.

Although, it remains unclear just how the Labour party died, unconfirmed sources maintain that it seems to have stabbed itself in the back whilst the balance of what remained of its mind was disturbed. The person nominally left in charge of the party whilst it was in this state, Gordon Brown, claims he was out of the room when it happened and so it could not be his fault, or – indeed – have anything at all to do with him. In fact, Mr Brown has vowed to carry on doing whatever it is he thinks he is doing, claiming ‘it is what the Labour Party would have wanted.’

A former close companion of the Labour Party, one Tony Blair (once a fee had been agreed), said, whilst holding a raw onion up against his left eye, ‘It was truly the People’s party.’ *


*No, we don’t know what it means either.

Government Seeks New Anti-Nuisance Powers

Yesterday, the Government Minister for Minding Other People's Business, Trigonometry Punkbuster, announced that the government would be seeking new powers under new legislation to be brought forward in the next Queen's speech.

Punkbuster said, 'for too long now the ordinary people of this country have had to suffer all manner of petty inconvenience, nuisance and irritation from a few, and they are only a minority, of their fellow citizens. Under the proposed new legislation we want to enable government inspectors - with police backup if necessary - to enter people's homes and examine the arrangement of their cutlery drawers.'

The government - it seems - is responding to recent research - splashed in lurid headlines over the front pages of the middlebrow tabloids - that strongly implied that people with disordered, unarranged and untidy cutlery drawers are those most responsible for many of the crimes committed in this country.

The University of Camberwick Green Sociology and Theme Park studies Department carried out the research for the government. The head of the department, Professor Sprinkle Hoodihugga, said, 'Those from the middle-class, or even more privileged backgrounds, would regard with something approaching horror the chaos that exists in some cutlery drawers. Especially the cutlery drawers of those who - through no fault of their own - are dispossessed, marginalised, alienated, excluded and on the fringes of society. Some of our student researchers, who themselves come from reasonably privileged backgrounds were aghast to discover that some of these poor dispossessed people had no cutlery trays at all in their cutlery drawers. One of our students had to be taken to hospital suffering from shock when she opened the cutlery drawer belonging to a teenage single-mother on a London estate and discovered that the spoons, knifes and forks were all just dumped into the drawer together… without even any attempt whatsoever to keep them separate.'

A spokesbeing for the Conservative party opined’ this is yet another attempt by this cynical government to distract attention from their failures. Why my butler knew someone who grew up in a working class household and he assures me their cutlery drawer was immaculate. Instead, I blame whatever it is we are blaming this week for this malaise.’

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Terrorist Weapons Cache Discovered

Since the Business Secretary Lord ‘Mandy’ Mandelson was viciously attacked with a small quantity of custard, police have been on high alert for any other food-based threat to members of the government.

Earlier today it emerged that police are treating as 'quite interesting' the so-far unconfirmed reports that a large quantity of high-octane Three Fruit Marmalade has been discovered buried in a field just outside Rudgley.

Chief Inspector Marmoset SnotgobblerTT01 of the Rudgley and Cannock Constabulary Anti-Fruit Conserves, Jams and Related Preserves squad, when interviewed, stated clearly, "A suspiciously large quantity amount of a certain item has been discovered in the vicinity of the place that is now officially an area of investigation. I am not at liberty at the present moment in time as of now to fully discuss the nature, apparent or otherwise, of the material substance in question. I hope that clarifies the situation for you as of now at this time, at the end of the day." He added. "We must ask the people that are members of the general public to support us in these difficult times and report any suspicious concerns they have about suspicious people acting in a suspicious manner, especially where suspicious jam or marmalade is concerned, at the end of the day, going forward."

After the attack two months ago when activists connected to The People's Preserve Army managed to evade the tight security long enough to infiltrate the House of Commons and smear the leader of the Liberal Democrats with lemon curd, police are right to be so concerned.

The internet has been rife with rumours that an attack - quite possibly using marmalade - is immanent. Of course, the anti-jam detectors and other jam-proofing measures the police have introduced to protect Britain's great and important buildings are not quite so effective when faced with an onslaught of marmalade, especially those (such as three-fruit) that are many-times stronger than conventional marmalade. Therefore, the authorities have been extremely concerned that any of the great buildings of this country such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Heathrow Airport, Raunchy Sue's House of Pleasure or – even, if the worst comes to the worst - the Our Plaice Fish and Chip shop, Nuneaton, could be venerable to a high-profile marmalade smearing.

If it is confirmed - as seems likely - that this discovery is indeed three-fruit marmalade then the police will have scored a major victory in the ongoing War Against Preserves.

The Political Playground

So, really, what does it matter – out here in the real world – if politicians and their acolytes play silly little games sending each other rather childishly ‘outrageous’ emails? It does all seem rather adolescent, or even pre-adolescent, the electronic equivalent of playground taunting.

We are meant to be shocked, even ‘outraged’ and since people get ‘outraged’ by the most insignificant, petty and unimportant of things these days then maybe outrage ought to be easy to do. But, this time, it isn’t.

It was easy to get outraged by the expenses fiddles so recently uncovered – much to the surprise to the political circus who thought it was all just one of the perks of the job – because that was about our money being wasted and abused by people who we know – deep down – don’t deserve it.

Why don’t we think they deserve it, no matter how ‘important’ they like to think their job is (or ought to be)?

Quite simply, because of this latest ‘scandal’ of the intemperate emails. This is what we expect of politicians and their hangers-on, the other shadowy members of their little gangs and entourages. This rather pathetic, tawdry, snipping at, and belittling, of the other gang(s) in the playground is what we expect of politicians these days. We are not surprised and so we are not ‘outraged’. Not even in the current sense in which ‘outrage’ is now used to mean almost mildly peeved (in the same way that ‘brilliant’ is now used to mean more or less mediocre and a ‘genius’ is anyone who knows how to tie their own shoelaces without the aid of a lifestyle coach).

Partly, of course, it is the fault of the media – and TV in the main – that reduces politics, politicians and their antics to the level of soap opera. Soap opera too, is - when you stop to think about it – merely playground spats writ, if not large, then only slightly larger. Soap opera world is that magical land where ordinary day-to-day events and incidents are blown up to the proportion of great heroic tragedy and minor spats between relations, neighbours and acquaintances are given the gravitas and ponderous portentousness of a major natural disaster or the outbreak of a world war.

It is also partly because the age of ideologies is over – the Left philosophy from mild socialism to outright communism (and – arguably – fascism*) failed utterly, and the right never really found an ideology in the first place, which is why they ended up alone on the battlefield when their enemy just faded away.

However, one of the really dangerous legacies of the now philosophically bankrupt - and soon to be defunct - Left is the lunatic notion that politics is all about changing things for the better, rather than the much more pragmatic – if unglamorous – and far more important task of managing things to try to avoid the worst.

As I have pointed out before, it should be the duty of everyone of us to keep an eye on what the politicians are doing, and try our very best to stop them from doing it whenever, and however, we can.

*Some argue that fascism – or National Socialism - was a Left-Wing ideology. Not that it really matters, it was at the point, round the back in the dark, where Left and Right (insofar as those terms have any real meaning outside the political playground) meet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Price Of Freedom

Now that we have all seen the wisdom of allowing lavish expenses to provide for the relief in hand of parliamentary and governmental spouses whilst their partners are away, then maybe it is time to see how else we can increase the rewards given to these great servant of our state. For we must accept, must we not, that these people go to a great deal of trouble to lord it over us, patronize and belittle us, and make our lives as awkward, miserable and as expensive as their seemingly almost limitless powers allow. So, it would make a great deal of sense to make sure they are too busy working out how to wangle more expenses out of the system, and then on spending those ill-gotten (if vastly deserved only in their own minds) monies rather than creating more useless, pointless and self-defeating legislation.

Just think, by way of example, wouldn’t you much prefer your local MP spent his time splashing out a few hundred quid on the oiled inner-thighs of some bored lap dancer rather than producing more egregious nonsense like this.

There has been some discussion recently of politicians jollies fact-finding trips to exotic foreign locales, but it should be regarded as money well-spent, for when the politicians are out of the country, then they are out of our lives and not making more useless, pointless legislation.

In the past, we always used to keep our politicians in the Houses of Parliament as we knew where they were and could stop them getting into trouble. However, with modern surveillance techniques this may be no longer necessary. So, perhaps instead of an Attendance Allowance, perhaps a Non-Attendance Allowance would make more sense these days. In addition, a bonus for NOT voting on legislation could possibly be introduced as a way of - if not stopping outright - then certainly reducing the scourge of politics that now so severely blights our once green and pleasant land.

In the past, it was always assumed that it was the primary function of civil servants to prevent the government of the day, and of whatever political stripe, from making legislation. However, with the advent of both Thatcherism (from the Right) and New Labour (from the Left, the real smug self-justifying middle class social-engineering left, not the pretending to be lovers of the working class pseudo-left) has destroyed this traditional function of the civil service. Consequently, it is now in need of urgent repair. Perhaps it should even be reconstituted on the continental (French) model where they learn to ignore legislation that emanates from the EU, as well as preventing our own national politicians from screwing things up even further by making new laws.

Therefore it must now seem obvious that every penny spent preventing politicians from screwing up our lives even more is a penny well spent.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Digitalis Happenstance – An Obituary

Digitalis Happenstance was, until the tragic accident that claimed his life almost twenty-seven and a half minutes ago, this country’s leading cattle grid impersonator. It is an irony that will not be lost on his many thousands of fans and admirers around the world that it was his uncanny abilities at cattle grid impersonation that led to the tragic misunderstanding between him and the articulated cattle transporter that took his life at the unbelievably young age of 97.

It must be said that despite the glamour and celebrity attached to it, cattle grid impersonation is not without its risks. Although, it could be argued that in these safety-conscious and risk adverse days it is that very real sense of danger, and the risks of a life lived on the very edge, that gives cattle grid impersonators such a glamour. Happenstance was unusual in this day and age; for the celebrity status of today’s cattle grid impersonators carries with it a sense of actually being deserved rather than merely alighted on by a constantly shifting capricious media spotlight.

Despite the dangers of his chosen way of life, Happenstance was never one to get too portentous about his vocation. He saw it as a way of engaging a seemingly so-often disillusioned younger generation and taking them beyond the patina of celebrity and glamour that initially attracted them to cattle grid impersonation. He believed in showing them some of the deeper meanings inherent in the long, long history of the art form, and always emphasised the commitment, discipline and long hours of practice and training necessary for perfection of the art, rather than the concomitant life of hedonistic celebrity fluff and trivia that came with it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Shopping Tiger and its Advantages

A shopping tiger is a very useful addition to your shopping expeditions and can often add a completely new dimension to the retail experience. It is remarkable how queues just seem to melt away once you join them with your shopping tiger in tow. Just a simple low growl from the shopping tiger is enough to remind the other members of the queue of that urgent appointment they are in danger of missing if they tarry any longer.

A well-trained shopping tiger will - of course - almost instinctively know to bare its teeth and lunge forward as soon as it hears the phrase 'Can I help you?' Conversely, for those situations when you actually need a shop-droid to perform some task and they are - inevitably - nowhere in sight, the shopping tiger can be sent to hunt one down and drag it back to you (with most limbs in reasonable working order) in a matter of moments, even from those previously inaccessible STAFF ONLY areas.

However, I know that my choice of a nuclear-powered shopping tiger may have raised a few eyebrows amongst those who consider themselves environmentally-aware. I don't think there are many people left who deny that there is such a thing as environmental damage, or climate change. So, such aids to shopping as the coal-driven lion pride, or the gas-turbine leopard are sadly, in this day and age, too environmentally unfriendly for even the shortest shopping expedition beyond buying a morning paper, or maybe a bottle of milk, from the corner shop.

Some environmentalists do advocate the use of, for example, the solar-powered wolf pack, the wind turbine-driven weasel horde, or even the water-wheel-powered hyena (with integral battery-backup) - which has, unfortunately, a very limited range indeed, where even a trip to the off-licence can exhaust its power reserve.

Personally, I strongly believe nuclear powered shopping beasts the only really viable option for a more environmentally-friendly future. This is where, I believe, the nuclear-powered Bengal shopping tiger really comes into its own because the nuclear-powered tiger will - as it is a cat, of course - bury its own waste.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Government Guidelines Announced

This morning a government spokesperson, Hetty Busybody, announced that ‘Following our splendid successes in education, the NHS, the police service and in the provision of local and national government initiatives, the government has now decided that there is another area of people’s lives that we have left unregulated for far too long.’

Busybody went on to say ‘Although we have made some inroads into regulating the way people behave, we feel we have not gone far enough into what in the old-fashioned evil Tory days, people use to cal their ‘private lives’. As we have said before, people have no business having private lives, free from the benevolent intervention of the government. We know people want to be good little voters and do everything in the proper way, but how can they know if they are doing rude things to each other in a proper, equal, ethnically diverse and multicultural way that does not transgress the Rude and Naughty guidelines set out in recent legislation by the government.’

The government has already set out rules for people to follow to make sure that a woman has given her full consent to a putative ‘sexual experience or event’, and have now issued a checklist and consent for both – or more – partners to an incipient sexual experience to complete and mutually countersign before engaging in any such acts. These forms will be available in bars, clubs, any remaining pubs, supermarkets, chip shops, museums, local parks and many other places where people may expect to meet other people.

The government is to set up a special new government department to distribute these forms and to operate advice bureaus in secluded night spots where people about to consider engaging in any act of a sexual nature can get their forms countersigned by a government-trained legal representative in return for a modest fee.

The new Government Sexual Activity Consent Co-ordinator or ‘Sex Tsar’, Rosa Klebb, said that ‘When ID cards have been introduced they will be merged with the data from the Sexual Consent forms and collated in the latest government database. Then we will have full and complete knowledge of the time, duration, location and - using CCTV technology – the positions used in every act of sexual activity that takes place throughout the UK. That way we can make sure that every person in the UK is having equal amounts of sex, and that they are having it in a fully multicultural, sexually and ethnically diverse way, without demonstration any prejudice against any recognised official minority grouping. For example, we will be able to ensure that people who believe themselves to be purely heterosexual have sexual experiences with others of their own sex, and with other minority groupings too. This will ensure that the UK reaches full compliance with the many EU sexual activity equality directives we seem to have signed up to at some point.’

Of course, because of national security considerations, MPs and other members of the governing classes, high-ranking civil servants and the many celebrity friends - or those celebrities wishing to become close personal friends – of government ministers will have to be exempted from all these rules and regulations to ensure the smooth running of their expense claims the country.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

UK Upgrades Terrorist Alert Status

The UK government yesterday upgraded its Terrorist Alert status from Unnecessarily Panicking The Populace With Vague Warnings In Order To Increase Government Powers to OH… SHITTT!!!, as it announce it had ‘acquired certain intelligence’ that the terrorist organisation Al-Ikea was about to launch another of its deadly Spring Sales upon the UK.

’Not only do they case great panic and extreme behaviour amongst the populace when one of its cells open their ‘shop’ for the so-called sale,’ a spokesmech for the intelligence services said yesterday, ‘they also manage to spread a certain number of their IFD devices throughout the country, purchased by unsuspecting patrons at the organisation’s ‘shops’.’

These IFDs, or Improvised Furniture Devices can cause many causalities do to the fiendish way Al-Ikea have designed them to suddenly explosively collapse just as the unsuspecting customer is about to insert the last screw into them. The terrorist group have also made several fiendish adaptations to these devices.

‘Back in the old days, it was a lot more straightforward,’ a former army unexploded furniture expert said. ‘Back in the days of the MFI, these items of furniture were often crude and simplistic. Their doors would fall off, the back panel would be out of true and so on. But these Al-Ikea johnnies have take it to a whole new level with their totally incomprehensible instructions, their stupid names for the items so you do not dare ring up and complain, the way they will replace one item in the box with two pieces from the opposite side.’ He expanded upon the terrorist group’s fiendish new tactics. ‘They often include two pieces of an item that are the same, instead of two roughly similar pieces. These pieces are almost identical, so you do not notice you have say, two upper left hand panels instead of a right upper left hand panel and a matching left hand panel. So, you are left with a half completed wardrobe – potentially lethally unstable – while you have to trudge all the way back to the terrorist cell to get a replacement correct part…. Fiendishly deadly.’

The government has issued a statement warning the population to be very cautious, especially when furniture store Spring Sales are announced in the media. ‘As we have seen in the past,’ an expert on furniture terrorism warned. ‘these so-called sales are nothing of the sort. They are just a ruse to make unsuspecting member of the public spend large sums on what can often be very shoddy goods indeed, falling apart destructively not long after they are delivered to the home. I would advise anyone considering visiting a furniture store over the forthcoming Bank Holiday period to think again, and – maybe – go for a walk in the country instead.’ He added, ‘It could just save your life.’

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Philosophical Investigations

Ah, now. As you know, I'm a bit of a bibliophile. I thought I could handle it at first, you know how it is; a couple of paperback novels every now and then, just for the kicks really. Then you find that you start hanging around bookshops, trying a bit of history, a bit of poetry. Of course, you keep away from the Philosophy books - you've heard all the stories about what a bit of Nietzsche can do to the mind and how an old school-friend OD'd on Wittgenstein.

Then one day you find that SF and spy thrillers just don't get you there any longer and so you sidle up to the philosophy shelves and score a bit of Russell, just to try it - promising yourself that it will be just the once and that wouldn't hurt you - you can handle it. After all you've read Joyce, AJP Taylor and all those other heavyweights; philosophy can't be that different can it?

But one fix is never enough: Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Plato and then one day you wake up on a park bench with a copy of The Critique of Pure Reason open on your bony chest. You know then it is all over - a Kant addict.

You become just another of those dishevelled bearded figures that haunt the second-hand bookshops and the charity stores feverishly picking your way through every new consignment of books, looking for those discarded by failed philosophy students; some Ethics essays, a critical examination of Descartes, anything to keep away those withdrawal symptoms.

You hear of courses, aversion therapy three solid weeks of daytime TV that destroys every philosophy receptor in the brain and you promise yourself that one day… one day. But not today as your second-hand bookshop dealer has promised you that today, finally, the consignment from the recently-deceased Philosophy professor's library is due in, promising a whole shelf-full of Platonic dialogues, Existential treatises and a monograph on J. S. Mill.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Uttabollux Creation Myth

In the beginning, the world was without form or chip shops. Then the semi-omnipotent Skhighhibhoss said ‘let there be stoats’ and lo, only 28 days later the stoats were delivered – but to the wrong address.

After another week of increasingly frantic phone calls to various places in the delivery chain, Skhighhibhoss finally received his crate of stoats, and a credit note for £1.75 by way of compensation for his inconvenience.

Of course, it goes without saying that the stoats were the wrong colour, matt instead of gloss and – most significantly - metric instead of the Imperial He had specified.

Sighing majestically, Skhighhibhoss slumped down on the deckchair in his shed and created a nice cup of tea out of the form and void. At this rate, He thought to himself, His creation would not be ready for several months. Seven days – well, six - it said in the advert (with the seventh – as far as he could tell – to be used in mainly sitting back and admiring your handiwork, maybe even getting a grunt of acknowledgement from the wife that all the time he spent down in his shed was not a waste of time after all). He had said to her though, that every being – no matter how (almost) Omnipotent needs a hobby, and that was the trouble with living… er… existing outside of time, Sunday afternoons especially did have a habit of dragging on a bit after the first untold eons.

Maybe, He thought to himself, maybe this being a God was not all it was cracked up to be… After all Old Whatshisname a few doors down had no end of trouble with his creation. A terrible infestation of humans, apparently. He’d tried sending his apprentice down to sort it out, but the boy couldn’t get the parts to fix it. In the end he’d has to have the whole of his creation fumigated, just to get rid of the humans. ‘Global Warming’, he’d called it, or something like that…. And, he’d never really managed to get it working right, he’d made a real bodge of getting the gravity to work properly alongside the quantum forces, or so he said down the pub the other night. In the end, he said, he’d had to tie it all up with string, or something.

Skhighhibhoss sighed again; he gave his creation a kick and light flickered into being, before spluttering out again. “Oh, sod it,” He said, getting the box of assorted animals down from the shelf and desultorily sprinkled them all over the surface. Then he picked up the pair of humans he’d bought off that bloke down the pub and dropped them into a green bit. “You two sort it out” He boomed mightily from the clouds above them. “I’m off to watch the football on the telly.”

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Blame The Parents

Parents are to blame for the problems in British schools, teachers claim

Some parents have hit back angrily against teachers who claim that parents are to blame for disruptive problem behaviour by children in British schools. One parent told this reporter ‘We send our children – we have three… or four…, I think – to school each morning, but only a few hours later, in the middle of the afternoon they send them back again. Sometimes we happen to have been banned from the pub again and are back home when the kids arrive back from school, expecting us to acknowledge their existence. Luckily, most days we have some spare packets of crisps we can give them before we send them out on the street again. Sometimes they treat this place as if it is their home.’

‘Some parents have a really hard time,’ said a spokeswoman for the charity that helps out these lower class parents, GMCG (Gullible Middle-Class Guilt). She explained: ‘Sometimes these parents have had to look after these children for nearly four or five years, subsisting on only the maximum benefits they can claim, which is barely enough to pay for a 42” plasma TV in every room of the house. It is no wonder some of them are so worn out they can hardly make it back from the pub or betting shop to be at home at school closing time. Some of these parents have busy lives watching porn on the internet or the shopping channels on TV, they can’t be expected to be pandering to the whims of these children, who by the age of 16 should be beginning to think about being able to dress themselves and to go to the toilet unassisted.’

‘They don’t teach ‘em nuffin’ at school, anyway,’ said one mother slumped outside the school gates. ‘My littlest, Sony Bravia, came home from her nursery, and not one of the so-called teachers had bothered to open her vodka bottle for her during break time. Disgustin’ I call it.’ She added ‘And they wouldn’t let her smoke in lessons, either. It weren’t like that when I was at school, I tell ya…. Well, I think I went to school…. Once, for a day, when I was about 7.’

‘I am very concerned about this,’ said the minister for schools. ‘As soon as I’ve worked out my expenses for this week I’ll set up a committee to see if we can’t tax it, or ban it… or pretend to do something about whatever it was that you said.’