Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lord of the Rings Receives Knighthood

The Lord of the Rings has received a Knighthood in the New Years' Honours List, it was reported today.

Sauron, 1432, was honoured for his 'contribution to multiculturalism' following his groundbreaking campaign to join together the disparate races in Middle Earth under a single unity government. His environmental work to reintroduce the previously-extinct Orc back to the Hobbiton region of The Shire.

Mr Sauron's publicist, S Aruman of Wizard PR, said, "the Dark Lord Sauron is delighted by the knighthood, and disappointed that he will not be there in corporeal form to accept the honour. He is gratified that his unending campaign to bring unity Government to Middle Earth has been recognised - in all honesty, he was hoping for some sort of honour this year, he's had his Eye on it for some time now."

Also honoured in this year's list were aging rockers Status Quo, who both received the OBE with 12 bars, and Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, who received a Knighthood. When asked how he would like to be addressed in future, the former Star Trek actor said, "Make it Sir".

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Government Call for Action on Home Drinking

Government: well over the recommended limit when they thought up their latest wheeze.

The Government has called for radical action to be taken over the 'worrying' trend of people to pour larger measures of spirits than those approved by Government watchdogs.

In research commissioned by Government body 'Know The Limits We Tell You, You Worthless Prole, Or We'll Have You Arrested', it was found that those drinking at home poured average measures of 38ml, against a recommended maximum of 25ml. The watchdog expressed concern that this 'irresponsible behaviour' could potentially lead to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, paedophilia, having an enjoyable time or voting Conservative.

KTLWTYYWPOWHYA spokesperson Joy Less said, "this is an extremely worrying trend. We are deeply concerned at the indications that the Proles aren't doing what we tell them to do, and at the risk they're putting themselves at. With the New Year parties happening tonight, pouring larger-than-mandated measures places people at a vastly increased risk of pulling a fat munter, with the attendant psychological problems this would cause."

Health Secretary Andy Burnham welcomed the report, saying, "as a result of this, and given the risks it poses, we are intending to introduce an immediate ban on the sale of alcohol to those intending to drink at home. This will be supported by the introduction of an 'alcohol ration card', linked to the biometric ID card, which will need to be produced at any and all places serving Government-sanctioned measures of alcohol and which will ensure that it is not possible for anyone to exceed their mandated 21 units of alcohol per week".

However, the proposed legislation was not supported by opposition groups. Conservative leader Forehead Cameron rejected the suggestion, and said, "quite frankly, the Government themselves must have been pissed when they came up with this idea. I think people should have the right to choose, in their own homes, whether or not they pour themselves a bloody large one. In fact, I would suggest the complete removal of the millilitres system for alcohol, and return to the old measures system of 'fingers'. In fact, I will be pouring myself two fingers of Scotch in response to this proposed measure".

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shock as Government Manages a Sane 24 Hours

Cabinet: all struck by a freak wave of common-sense.

Pollsters and pundits were united in shock today, after it was revealed that the UK Government had managed to go a complete day without doing anything stupid.

TV news organisations and the Press have been at a complete standstill, with some news programmes resorting to music in the absence of inane Government decisions. The shock revelation comes following what appears to be a freak wave of perspicacity struck the Government, causing the entire Cabinet all to keep their cretinous traps shut for a full day.

Sky News anchorman Eamonn Holmes said, "quite frankly, this is unprecedented. I can't remember a time ever before when the entire Government managed to go fully 24 hours without tripping over their own feet or inserting a foot into their collective mouths. Normally we would expect several 'Breaking News' pieces covering knee-jerk U-Turns, borderline-fraudulent expenses claims, ridiculous and unenforceable legislation or a rant about 'fat cats', but we've had nothing today. At the very least, we can normally rely on the PM to get embarrassingly lost in an official building, but today? Not a sausage."

Minister for Everything Lord Fondlebum denied that today's outbreak of rational was deliberate, saying, "I would like to assure the British people that this is merely a short-term blip in apparent competence.

"The Government would like to assure the British people that we will be returning to our Keystone Kops-esque levels of risibility within 24 hours, starting with the PM's New Year address at which he will spout the usual completely unbelievable economic bollocks in his usual wonky-jawed monotone, then we will be getting on with the job of nitwittedness as normal."

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Negotiations Begin between Iran and UK

Millipede: "Iran is a big girls' blouse and smells of wee".

Negotiations to resolve the growing war of words between Britain and Iran began today, after a series of increasingly acrimonious exchanges between the countries' respective Foreign Ministers.

The problems began after UK Foreign Secretary David Millipede praised the 'great courage' of Iranians who staged opposition protests on Sunday, to which Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki responded by saying, "Britain will get slapped in the mouth if it does not stop its nonsense".

This retort was met with a swift response from Foreign Office diplomats, who said, "We'll kick Iran in the nuts. We'll have them, yeah? Iran's just a big girl's blouse and smells of wee too", to which the Iranians responded by saying that Britain would 'get its head kicked in at playtime'.

The situation was exacerbated during yesterday by UN diplomats, who surrounded the two arguing nations chanting 'Fight! Fight! Fight!'.

However, in an attempt to resolve the dispute, the dads of both countries have agreed to meet for a coffee and to discuss the problems like reasonable adults. Britain and Iran are shortly expected to be told to grow up, grudgingly shake hands and be friends again.

David Millipede and Manouchehr Mottaki were not available for comment this morning - Millipede has gone home saying he's not playing with smelly girls any more, and Mottaki has been grounded.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nigeria Moves to Assuage Terror Fears

Following the revelation that the 'Underpants Bomber' was Nigerian, the Nigerian government has moved to assuage western concerns about possible links to Islamist terror groups.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a Delta Airlines flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, hails from the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria. His roots have underscored fears in western capitals that Nige ria could fall prey to al-Qaeda affiliates operating in west Africa.

However, the concerns were dismissed by Nigeria's Foreign Minister, Ojo Maduekwe, who has written to the United Nations and the heads of western governments in an attempt to assuage their concerns.

Mr Maduekwe said, "Nigeria is not a place where extremism will be tolerated. We have considerable amounts of documentary evidence that there is no serious issue with Islamic extremism in our country, which we are offering to you, the leaders of the western world, as a gesture of trust and felicitation.

"This information is currently held in a secure location, and will require the assistance of both the UN and western leaders, who we believe are good and trustworthy Christian citizens, to disseminate. We will therefore require the bank details of Mr Obama, Mr Brown and Mr Ban Ki Moon, and we will deposit 20,000,000 pieces of evidence into their bank accounts upon receipt."

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M&S Launch New Underwear Range

'Infidel By OBL': the underpant of choice for the discerning martyr.

Retail giant Marks & Spencer have confirmed that following successful trials, they are to launch Osama Bin Laden's new range of fashion lingerie from January 2010.

The range, produced by Bin Laden's design house in Detroit, is a new step for the global terrorist's 'JihadCo' holding company and, according to the promotional literature, offers 'the perfect combination of style, comfort and detonation for the discerning suicide bomber'.

M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland said, "the new 'Infidel By OBL' range brings a new explosive dimension to menswear, and we are proud to be the UK's first stockists. The first line to be launched will be the OBS Bombxer Shorts, which are a unique blend of cotton, lycra and semtex offering unparalleled comfort and fit right up to the moment they explode. We're currently planning to introduce further items in the range as the year progresses."

However, the 'Infidel By OBL' designs have not met with universal approval. While most Islamic fashion critics have applauded the new range, fashion guru Gok Wan described them as 'lacking impact except at the point of detonation', and terrorist style writer Abu Hamza derided the range, saying, "it's hardly the height of sense, is it? What's the point of 72 virgins, if you've blown your bollocks off?"

*Image kindly doctored by Grumpy Old Twat.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yuletide Felicitations

I'm off to marinate my spleen in whisky and brandy butter. There may be presents involved too.

Blogging will be intermittent between now and the New Year, though please do watch this space.

A very Merry Christmas to you all, whatever your political persuasion. Thanks for reading in 2009, and I'll be back with more satire, sarcasm and general vitriol in 2010.

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Motoring Groups Issue Winter Driving Advice

With as many as four million people expected to be heading on their Christmas holidays today, safety organisations have issued stern warnings about travelling as concern about the weather conditions continues.

A spokesman for the AA pleaded with travellers not to commit to their journey unless it was life-or-death, which it probably would be.

The spokesman said, "in the name of all that's holy, don't do it. I mean, it's been minus seven degrees out there. The human body can't cope with that sort of cold*. I mean, seriously, that's like the end of the world. We would recommend that you not undertake any journey unless it's absolutely necessary.

"Don't drive. Don't even leave your house. If you get in your car, we guarantee you'll crash before you reach the end of your drive, and even if you survive the accident you'll probably be eaten by polar bears or submerged in an avalanche".

In a related development, motorists group the Society of Twattish Drivers has released their Top Tips for those forced to drive in the Arctic conditions today. Their Press Release suggests the following precautions**:
  • When approaching a hill in a chavved-up Vauxhall Corsa with dustbin exhausts, with other vehicles struggling to climb the hill, do ensure that you try and drive up, attempting to overtake them with six inches of clearance on the way. After all, your car must be much more capable than the Range Rover that's sliding back downhill, right?
  • When driving in snow and ice, ensure that you are nice and close to the car in front. That way you get help stopping in an emergency - and having a Transit van forcibly inserted into their bottom will be a nice Christmas present for the driver in front.
  • If driving a BMW, ensure that you rev as hard as possible when starting in icy conditions. Nothing entertains other drivers more than watching your barely-controlled back end slithering ominously towards their car.
  • Overtaking is fine, especially at speeds in excess of the limit. We're sure that the untouched snow in the middle of the road won't have any ice underneath it, honest.
  • It's only a bit of early-morning freezing fog. Why on earth would you need to put your lights on? We're sure you can see perfectly well through the three-inch-diameter circle of unmisted windscreen anyway, why waste amps on pointless external visibility?
  • Cyclists: now is the perfect time to ride your bike on ice, after 4:30pm, on a national speed limit road, without lights or reflective gear. Especially if there's a perfectly-serviceable cycle path six feet away. Motorists love the added entertainment of having to handle your wobbly, slippy presence on top of snow flurries and black ice.
*For DEITY'S sake, stop referring to it as 'Arctic' etc. I've asked you before. It's a bit parky, that's all. Wear a coat.

**yes, these are all examples I've seen in the last few days.

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Nostradungeekin's 2010 Predictions

As the end of both year and decade approaches apace, it's time to look at the evidence of what's gone before and make some predictions about what 2010 holds for us here in Britain.

As I am a bit of a Nostradungeekin, here are my prophecies and predictions for the next year. I'm sure they'll all come true.


  • In the runup to the General Election, Gordon Brown will be the target of a leadership challenge fronted by Frank Field. Brown will lock himself into his bunker, and a combined team of SAS and Broadmoor staff will assault No. 10 and take him into protective custody - to protect the country.
  • Led by new Leader Tom Harris and by dint of artifice, skullduggery and some carefully-faked photos of David Cameron in flagrante with Ann Widdicombe, the Labour Party will win the next General Election with an increased majority.
  • In the weeks before Parliament is dissolved for the election, David Cameron will finally lose patience with the Prime Minister in PMQs and launch a four-letter tirade before leaping across the Dispatch Box and attempting to strangle Brown with David Millipede.
  • Nick Clegg will claim a massive victory for the Liberal Democrats after the election, after exit polls will indicate that almost 5% of the British electorate had actually heard of him.
  • Osama Bin Laden will stand as an Independent candidate against Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth in Coventry North-East, campaigning on an anti-war platform.
  • Speaker John Bercow will stand down, having accepted a six-figure Hollywood deal to play a Smurf.
  • The SNP's Alec Salmond will finally lose his mind and attempt physical devolution for Scotland by chiselling, by hand, through the Earth's crust just north of Gretna.
  • The complete collapse of the UK economy, leading to the potato becoming the primary form of currency, will lead to Britain being expelled from the EU, the Commonwealth, the G7 and the G20. Bono announces a charity concert in aid of starving British children, prompting a flood of emigrations and the UN to announce a humanitarian crisis.
  • The UK will be plunged into a constitutional crisis following the death of Her Majesty the Queen in a freak halibut incident, and the announcement that Prince William is to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
  • US President Barack Obama will actually DO something, prompting celebrations and a slew of awards including the first-ever second Consecutive Nobel Peace prize.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud CanIdoaJihadyet will be stoned to death on live TV, after referring to a ceremonial dinner he'd just eaten as 'good enough for Allah'.
  • The effects of Climate Change will become more pronounced across the globe. Polar bears are seen hunting on glaciers in Texas, Australia is submerged under three feet of water and Alaska becomes the latest sunshine holiday destination. The effects are felt in the UK, where London suffers fourteen hours of continuous drizzle and temperatures rise to 54 Degrees F.
  • Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty will be appointed UN Ambassador to Afghanistan, after research indicates he's one of their biggest customers.
  • After delivering a particularly scathing review on 'Britain's Got Talent', Simon Cowell will be brutally attacked by a disgruntled contestant. It takes a crack team of proctologists several hours to surgically remove both And and Dec from Mr Cowell.
  • Michael Schumacher will have an unsuccessful return to Formula One, after other drivers complain about his tendency to drive everywhere at 32mph with his foglight on and his indicators going.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twats of the Week: Mercedes-Benz

C-Class clearly refers to quality of service.

I wasn't expecting to do a TOTW this week. After all, it's Christmas - the time of cheer, comfort and joy, peace on Earth and goodwill to all men.

That goodwill does not, as of today, extend unto Mercedes-Benz UK.

The Darling G ordered her new company car - a C-Class estate with a few tweaks - back at the beginning of November. "There are a couple of parts on back-order", said the dealer. "But you'll be on the build list, so you should have it by the end of February. We'll keep you updated".

No updates were forthcoming, of course.

A call at the end of November intimated, but didn't confirm, that the delivery date might be pushed back to March 2010 - which is bad enough for a mass-produced fleet car, but still we kept our peace. Cue today's update call.

The dealer was advised on 5 December that the earliest delivery date for our New Shiny Car would be June. June! Eight months from the point of order to the point of delivery?

What form of fucking insanity is this? You're building a car, not painting the Sistine Fucking Chapel! You claim to be waiting for engine parts - quite frankly, you could hand-tool the parts from purest Unobtanium using nothing but stone-age flint tools in eight months, yet clearly you prefer to sit idly on your Germanic backsides expecting your buyers to show the patience of fucking Ghandi while they wait for you to get around to sticking another fucking order in for widgets.

Did I miss the memo? When was Mercedes-Benz taken over by fucking British Leyland? Are you waiting to rebuild Longbridge before building another fucking car? And don't even get me started on the laissez-faire attitude of a dealer network that thinks it's OK not to bother to keep customers informed of the delay to their order.

So, Mercedes-Benz? Stick your order where the sun shineth not - it's become painfully clear that the name C-Class defines your quality of service. You should be impaled on your own three-pointed star. And then set on fire, though it would probably take you eight months to wait for the matches.

Mercedes-Benz. Teutonic Twats.

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Greenpeace Demand Santa Flight Ban

'Claus the Climate Criminal' in flight.

Environmental pressure group Greenpeace have called for an immediate moratorium on global flights by Father Christmas, citing concerns over emissions.

Scientists for Greenpeace claim that Saint Nicholas, whose annual flight takes him around the earth's 40,000km circumference several times, poses a 'clear and present risk' of 'climate change' and is 'criminally irresponsible'.

Greenpeace spokesman Rob Guerterbock said, "the profligate expense of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by Father Christmas is totally unacceptable in a modern, climate-conscious society.

"Using reindeer as a propulsion system is particularly damaging. Our research already shows that ruminants produce large quantities of methane, which is even more damaging than CO2. When one considers Dasher, Dancer Prancer, Vixen, Comet Cupid, Donner and Blitzen all under a stop-start load for several million kilometres, it is easy to see the vast environmental impact, all done in a single night. Consideration must also be given to the inebriated state of Mr Claus, and the inevitable increase in gaseous emissions caused by his unhealthy consumption of mince pies and sherry".

Mr Guertebock called on all nations currently signed to the Kyoto Treaty to ban overflights by Santa's sleigh under environmental legislation, and added that countries should be prepared to 'shoot down Claus the Climate Criminal' if necessary.

In a separate development, Greenpeace have announced their own environmentally-sound winter festival, Gaiamas, with a responsible 'Saint Gaia', who travels to children's homes in a G-Wiz charged from renewable sources delivering low-carbon recycled toys to children, and lengthy climate-change tracts to parents. However, they have admitted that given the top speed of the G-Wiz in comparison to Santa's sleigh, they will need to increase the duration of the 'Gaiamas' holiday season to approximately 14 months.

Saint Nicholas's spokesdeer Ruud Oorlf vehemently denied that Saint Nicholas was damaging the climate, and added, "they're on The List, all of them. And not the good kids' list, if you know what I mean. There's a few envirowonks getting coal in their recycled-hemp stockings this year".

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A Cheery Christmas Song

My thanks to Man Widdicombe for doing an excellent job of taking yesterday's article and setting it to music and images.

He's buggered it up,
He's bled us all dry,
The debt for us all is terribly high,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown,

You'd have to be pissed,
To think that he's nice,
For all that he's done we're paying the price,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown,

His speeches leave us sleeping,
We really need a break,
His leadership has been no good,
Gordon GO for goodness' sake!

He's buggered it up,
He's bled us all dry,
The debt for us all is terribly high,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A New Labour Carol Service

Hello, and welcome to this special service of celebration of a modern, New Labour British Christmas Winterval. It's so lovely to see so many people here in the congregation - obviously withholding Tax Credits from non-attendees was a good method of increasing attendance.

I'm Gordon, and I'll be your onanist humanist Leader for this Celebration. Let's just take a moment to recognise our other volunteer helpers today - Mr Woollas is managing the guest list, Mr Donaldson is looking after the bar and, as you might expect, Mr Mandelson will be playing the organ.

So, without further ado, please stand and let's have our first Modern British Carol.


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head,
And then Social Services saw where he lay,
And they claimed child neglect and they took him away.

Please be seated. There, wasn't that lovely? Now, the New Labour Christmas is, as you know, a time for children - and by that, of course, we mean that we've borrowed the money for the hall, the decorations and the food and your kids are going to be paying for it for the next thirty years.

Now, you'll see that there are some differences between the New Labour Christmas and the traditional Tory Toff christmas. Obviously the Nativity Scene doesn't have any Wise Men, because we discovered the one bearing Gold was actually an investment banker so we taxed him, and the other two are locked up in Belmarsh under terror legislation.

There's no star because of regulations on light pollution, and you'll also note that there are no cattle in the Nativity scene due to an unfortunate outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. Oh, and there aren't any Shepherds as their Enhanced CRB checks haven't come through yet. Finally, Mary and Joseph are currently in Campsfield House Detention Centre pending deportation back to Nazareth.

So instead, the New Labour Nativity scene is a photograph of the true Saviour of the World - me - being attended by my adoring Cabinet. Lovely. Let's have another Carol.


Gord rest ye Commons Gentlemen, for nothing will you pay,
Just know that your Expenses claims will cover costs today,
The system means you have the power your outlays to defray,
Oh trough, claim for all that you enjoy,
All you enjoy,
Ohhhh trough and claim for all that you enjoy.

Wasn't that wonderful, everybody? A hymn to your leaders, who will be thinking of you over their John Lewis-expensed Yuletide tables this holiday season. Honest.

Anyway, let us all celebrate the fact that we're getting on with the job of bringing you, the voters, the Christmas celebration we think you deserve. I hope that you all enjoy the festive season with your low-carbon tree, low fat/low salt Christmas dinner, your presents funded on what little credit you have remaining, and the hope that your bank will have sufficient goodwill not to repossess your house after your business collapses in the double-dip next year. Time for another Carol.


Hark the Credit Agents sing,
Britain's ripe for downgrading,
Public spending has gone wild,
Their debt can't be reconciled,

Interest rates are bound to rise,
With our debts that's no surprise,
Though New Labour do proclaim,
None of this is down to them,
Hark the Credit Agents sing,
Britain's ripe for downgrading!

Thank you ladies, gentlemen and kiddies, and I hope you enjoyed our Modern New Labour Carol Service. Our last song - probably for many years - will be playing as you make your way out, and there's a small collection going on at the door. Please give what you can, otherwise we'll just add another couple of percentage points to National Insurance next year.

Oh, and Happy Christmas.


He's buggered it up,
He's bled us all dry,
The debt for us all is terribly high,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown,

You'd have to be pissed,
To think that he's nice,
For all that he's done we're paying the price,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown,

His speeches leave us sleeping,
We really need a break,
His leadership has been no good,
Gordon GO for goodness' sake!

He's buggered it up,
He's bled us all dry,
The debt for us all is terribly high,
Christmas has been buggered by Brown.

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Happy Birthday, Dad

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Spare a Thought for the Poor Piggy

Due to my Ebola of the Face, which continues unabated, I'm really not feeling like trawling the news for new and interesting Governmental cockups*.
So instead, I'd like to present the above - an absolutely excellent piece of work by G.O.T, who has taken my words and given them much more impact than I ever could.
Well done, sir, from the bottom of my infected sinuses.
*Which shows you just how rough I'm feeling.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dystopia: Introductions and Explanations

Introduction to 'Dystopia', written 17 December 2019.

Since the early years of the the 21st Century, bloggers and journalists had been ever more frequently referring to Britain as 'Orwellian'. Given some of the restrictions placed on civil liberties, it was easy to see why.

But the fact is, it wasn't like 1984 at all. We weren't At War With Another Nation State, nor were we part of a larger conglomerate of nations. The Crash and the Nationalisation had seen to that, with our expulsion from the EU, and our subsequent marginalisation in the UN had ensured it.

We weren't monitored 24/7 by telescreens or by the Thought Police. We still (technically) had freedom of speech. We still (technically) had free elections and opposition parties. There were no labour camps, no death sentences, no Ministry of Love, no Newspeak.

We weren't slaving under the yoke of a totalitarian oppressor. Everything - every single indignity we suffered - was, paradoxically, done to us in the Name Of Fairness And Social Justice.


The Labour Party were swept to power in 1997, and immediately set about their goal of making Britain more fair. This meant, first of all, they wanted to set right all the iniquities they believed were in the system, all the elements of discrimination.

But for every new act of fairness introduced, they found another. And another. Pressure group followed lobbyist followed activist, each with their own agenda, each claiming discrimination against their interest group was unfair. And each one had a new law put in place. Race, religion, creed, sexuality, height, weight, hair colour - one by one, a new law was implemented to create a truly non-discriminatory society.

Intellect was the next target. It was unfair, they thought, that some people were more 'advantaged' than others by the quality of the education received, or their intellect. So the education system was revamped, root and branch, in the relentless pursuit of fairness. The papers of the day called it 'dumbing down'. The result, of course, was intellectual mediocrity.

The pursuit of fairness in education also led to our withdrawal from the Olympics. With winning and losing deemed discriminatory and thus unfair, children were not taught competitive sport in schools. Sports clubs lost their funding as they were promoting unfairness, and those that did retain their funding folded under the weight of child safety legislation.

Safety legislation and fairness also led to the death of the Internet and personal computers in the UK. The 'Information Gap', between those who had access to the Web and those who didn't, was believed to be widening and thus Unfair. Taxation was therefore introduced, first on internet connections and subsequently on computer hardware, smartphones and any device which could connect to the Internet, and in an attempt to control the Information Gap the tax rose steadily to punitive levels. Even if you were able to afford the hardware and the connection, Child Safety Legislation meant so many controls, and so much monitoring, the Web had slowed to a largely-unusable crawl.

The criminal justice system couldn't cope either. With Enforcement Officers issuing fines, penalties and prosecutions for so many new offences, they were so inundated with paperwork that serious crime went uninvestigated, as it took too long and wasn't targeted by Fairness legislation - and anyway, prison was largely a thing of the past as it had been deemed that imprisonment was a violation of Human Rights and thus unfair.

It was obvious as a result of this that the electoral process would suffer. While no political party was outlawed, and there were still Opposition candidates, they struggled to make their voices heard, much less win seats. The retention of a 'First Past the Post' system which historically gave advantage to the sitting Government, allied with boundary revisions in the 2010 elections, meant that the party in power could maintain a majority with less than 5% of the vote. This was combined with the BBC, as a Public Sector employer, being staffed purely by Labour Party members and thus, for the sake of their jobs, denying opposition candidates airtime. All this had led to a complete sense of electoral apathy. Turnout had fallen to less than 20%, the vast majority of these being Party activists. Government succession was, therefore, almost completely secure with no need to rig elections or impose totalitarianism.


The second plank of the Labour Party's Fairness Plan was investment. They invested,invested, and invested, spending far above their means even during the good times. Of course, when the inevitable cyclical came, we were ill-prepared for it, our economy already teetering on a precipice of debt.

The Government paid and paid more, trying to get a fairer health service. Consultants and targets, surveys and minutae. Layer upon layer of management, testing and targeting and generating reports on how fair the system was. Medical staff were drawn further and further from patient care and into paperwork. Of course, this led to the surprise conclusion that the system was, indeed, becoming fair - everyone who went into hospital had an equally high chance of dying.

By the time the Crash came, the tax burden was already too high. Printing money just made the debt problem worse. The additional money in circulation led to rampant inflation, and the only option remaining to the Government was to raise more tax. As the tax cost to both people and companies spiralled out of control, more and more companies folded or went offshore, raising unemployment and increasing the drain on the welfare system while further reducing the tax take.

The benefits system provided the financial coup de grace to a nation already on the brink. In their relentless pursuit of social justice, it was deemed unfair that benefits should leave claimants with less than a comfortable living wage. It was unfair, the activists screamed, that benefits claimants couldn't have the same luxuries as those who worked. So, inevitably, benefits were increased in the name of fairness. They increased until it became, for many people, more worthwhile to sit at home watching their Government-funded television and eating their government-funded food than go to work.

Of course, as the number of businesses folded, the number of claimants increased as the tax take fell. Like a runaway train, the imbalance between income and expenditure accelerated to its inevitable conclusion. The Crash.

By the time the Crash was fully understood in late 2012, there were very few Private Sector companies remaining, and they were struggling. This was, of course, unfair, so to give those companies remaining parity with the Public Sector, the Government nationalised all those still standing. There became only two types of Briton - those who were unemployed, and those who worked in the Public Sector. Job security meant that everyone who could work wanted a job in the Public Sector, and demand was such that the Government restricted applications in the only way they had left - by opening vacancies only to Labour Party members. It was deemed the fairest way.


By 2010, there were only two strands of security remaining - Terrorism and Child Safety.

The attack on the US in 2001, the London bombings of 2005 and the failed attempts in 2007 had left the Government in terror of terrorism. It would be unfair, they felt, to allow a single British citizen to die at the hand of terrorists. This single approach to security led to some of the most drastic diminutions in Civil Liberties the country had ever seen. This included ID cards, a national DNA database, and a nationwide network of CCTV cameras, all to prevent terrorism.

The second strand was the protection of children. In the name of child protection, the UK had seen the introduction of licensing for breeding (subject to CRB checks), and CRB checks for anyone who ever came into contact with children in any manner, at any time. This included everyone from teachers to lollipop ladies to grandparents. Smoking had finally been outlawed completely in homes that had children, and the same law was applied to alcohol in 2016. Children were routinely taught their rights from primary school age, and in the interests of fairness new evidentiary standards had been introduced for children making complaints of any kind against adults. Even shouting at your own child was a criminal offence, and the Naughty Step had been added to the False Imprisonment statute.


The Pursuit of Fairness, from 1997 to 2019, had resulted in the complete breakdown of the British system of Government, and in its place was a system that monitored and restricted its people not harshly, but totally. Everything and everyone was regulated and homogenised in the name of social justice.

The system was not Orwellian. It did not seek power for the sake of power. Rather, it started with laudable intent and, in its increasing desperation to be fair and inclusive for all, created something horrendous, dictatorial and destructive.

It was simply a logical progression of the pursuit of fairness.

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Parents giving children alcohol 'fuels binge drinking'

Binge drinking: Purely middle-class, nothing to do with unengaged parents and chavs with White Lightning.

The Government's chief medical adviser has called for new legislation to be introduced to protect middle-class children from the dangers of binge drinking.

Sir Liam Donaldson said that 'the middle-class obsession' of allowing children to taste alcohol from an early age was leading children toward dangerous activities in adulthood.

Sir Liam said, "our interpretation of scientific evidence* indicates that children under the age of 15, in middle-class families, who are given watered-down alcohol with a meal, are at increased risk of binge drinking. This middle-class obsession can, and does, lead to alcoholism, drug addiction and, worst of all, an increased risk of voting Tory. Obviously this is something that we cannot accept for children.

"We are therefore seeking to implement legislation ensuring that middle-class children under the age of 15 are not exposed to alcohol in any way. This includes a ban on sales of alcohol to parents, legislation to make it illegal to drink in front of a minor and further legislation imposing severe penalties on any parent taking a child to what could be classed as a 'drink-fuelled event'. This class-based and reprehensible attempt by middle-class parents to prepare their children for adulthood must stop."

Sir Liam said that the Department of Health was 'liaising closely' with the Children's Minister to assess the likelihood of new legislation requiring middle-class children to be wrapped in cotton wool and hermetically sealed in an oxygen tent until their majority, but added that the planned legislation would not affect the provision of alcohol to the usual gangs of feral council-estate chavs or to core Labour voters.

However, the Chief Medical Officer's comments were attacked by middle-class families. The Diary spoke to one parent, who simply said, "tasting alcohol promotes binge-drinking, does it? Explain France and Italy, then.".

*That is, the scientists said one thing and the Government said something completely different while putting the scientists under NDA.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dystopia: Chapter Three

As I freewheeled lazily down Cumnor Hill, the prospect of another day of leafletting didn't bother me anywhere near as much as normal.

Winterval* had been a nice relaxing time - a few brief days away from the pressures of unemployment and propaganda. Our saved Credit Vouchers had even meant a few luxuries - we'd even been able to afford a bottle of wine. My computing misdeeds of two weeks before had faded into a distant memory,

*(I preferred the archaic term 'Christmas', but this had fallen into disuse after complaints from other religious groups.)

I wandered into the Volunteer Centre and found a vacant seat, trying to summon up the enthusiasm for another day of distributing Toynbee Tracts. I'd thought up a great idea for speeding up my 'round' by going through the outskirts of Retail City. Soft paper would doubtless be well appreciated there.


I jumped from my seat as if I'd parked my backside on a barbequeue, and spun to face the Harpy.

"What on earth are you doing here?", she asked, as if whatever misdeed I'd committed was done solely to infuriate her.

"Er...leaflet delivery, I expect".

"Don't be fatuous", she snapped. "You're due at the Job Centre at nine!".

I looked at my watch. 8:58. The Job Centre was three hundred yards away.

I flew up the street, covering three hundred yards in a time that would have qualified me for the Olympic relay team*, making it through the Job Centre doors absolutely on the stroke of nine.

*(Or at least it would have done if we still took part in the Olympic Games. But we'd withdrawn from 2016, as winning, losing and competing were considered Unfair and thus against Policy.)

Another becardiganed Co-Ordinator led me to a hard plastic chair outside the office of the Employment Assessment And Placement Facilitator. I waited. And waited.

And waited some more. And some more.

Just as the pressure of my bladder was overcoming my willpower, the door opened and I was face-to-face with the Facilitator - perhaps thirty, small, slim and wearing an expression and suit that spoke of a career spent enmeshed in Diversity training and Public Sector buzzwords.

"Ah yes, Geoghan", he said. "Have a seat.". There was no apology, no indication that he was even aware I had been waiting almost an hour.

He shuffled the papers on his desk and gave his mouse a few desultory clicks. Read something, and made a small, disapproving sound in the back of his throat that sounded to me like a Victorian judge donning the black cap.

"You've been selected for, and approved for, Labour Party Membership, and as such approved for a Public Sector position", he said, sounding about as congratulatory as an undertaker. "I see that you were a writer before the Nationalisation. What do you believe you are fitted for now?"

"Yes, I was. But in all honesty I'll take anything. I'll be Assistant Bagger to the Canine Excrement Hygiene Enforcement Officer if it gets me out of the Volunteer Centre", I replied. Then immediately regretted it.

The Facilitator appeared to notice me properly for the first time. He regarded me coolly. The appraising stare extended past uncomfortable, through unnerving and well into bowel-loosening terror. My bladder warned me that I had only minutes remaining, and if being a smartarse was going to cause delays would I please shut the fuck up?

"Tell me, Mr Geoghan. Do you consider yourself...", he paused, as if savouring the use of a word that had largely passed from British lexicon, "...humorous?"

"I used to. But I'm better now".

"Good!", he said, seeming to brighten at my answer. "The Public Sector is no place for frivolity, you know. Now, anyway, the Assistant Bagger position has actually been filled, but I think we can do something for someone of your apparent intellect and skills".

He turned to his Terminal, his mouse clicking with renewed vigour. I waited, not daring to open my mouth in case it overran my brain again, and trying desperately to ignore the increasingly urgent messages from my bladder.

"Ah! Here we are", the Facilitator said, bureaucratic triumph manifest in his voice. "It's a little more senior than we would normally consider applicable for such a new registrant, but it's available and you're adequately skilled.

"I'm posting you to Information as a Satisfaction Survey Design Co-Ordinator", he said."You can start tomorrow - here's the address".

A limp hand was extended across the desk. I shook it, half expecting it to detach in my hand. It was slick with some sort of moisturiser - the sort of thing never used by anyone who'd delivered Toynbee Tracts to the Jericho Gated Community, that's for certain.

I headed for the door, the call of nature now insistent to the point of pain, and pulled it open.

"Oh, and Geoghan?"

I stopped and turned, wondering whether emptying my bladder on this oleaginous idiot would result in the withdrawal of my Party membership and job offer. I decided that it probably would.

"I would suggest ensuring your mouth doesn't outrun your brain in future."

I nodded, not daring to speak.

"And put on a suit."

I shut the door gently, and as fast as dignity allowed headed for the Gents in Reception. I made it just in time. And the ensuing relief was almost as good as being employed again.

But only just.

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I am hugely ill - quite possibly the illest man still alive on the planet right now. In fact, it's only down to the grace of {insert your deity of choice here} and my skill at tiddlywinks that I wasn't carried off this very morning by the Grim Reaper himself.

But as I'm a man, I'm not wallowing in my near-death experience. Oh no. Instead, I took myself to the doctor, who's diagnosed sinusitis. Which shows that he's clearly a poorly-trained, halfwitted fool. Anyone can tell that I have some xenomorph-esque parasitical creature lurking in the back of my head, ready to burst out through my nose in a gruesome splash of blood, brain matter and snot. Or I have Ebola of the Face. Google is undecided.

Anyway. Blogging may be a little intermittent while I'm waiting to shuffle off this mortal coil - not that there's any less rage, but that my horrendous and tragic illness makes looking at a screen painfully uncomfortable and rather nauseating*.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

*Imagine watching Gordon Brown speeches on infinite loop and you get the idea.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Government Announces Massive Defence Changes

Airfix Chinooks: the only helicopters we've enough cash left to afford.

The Government has announced swingeing cuts to the UK Defence budget alongside a beefing-up of unit strength in Afghanistan, in an attempt to reduce debt levels and control a budget overrun estimated to be as high as £36bn.

The strategic changes, announced by Defence Mincer Blakey Ainsworth, are aimed to provide a stronger front-line presence in the Afghanistan conflict, while reducing operational costs elsewhere within the MoD.

Mr Ainsworth said, "it is right that we focus our energies and what little cash we have left on the immediate situation we've got ourselves into, and leave all other operational considerations aside. This package of changes will create a modern Armed Forces in the true image of Labour, ready to take on any threat as long as it doesn't take too long, cost too much or have too much sophisticated weaponry".

Under the new proposals, the MoD are to order 22 new 1:12 scale Chinook helicopters from Airfix, at a cost of £24.99 each, to bolster the existing fleet of barely-airworthy crocks. This will be paid for by the closure of all RAF airbases, the sale of any remaining aircraft and the reduction of the Royal Navy to two Trident submarines and a a converted fishing trawler.

Mr Ainsworth added that the existing ground force in Hellmand Province was to be enhanced by the creation of a new Battalion to the Army, which he described as 'the Labour equivalent of the Ghurkas'. This new Battalion, tentatively to be named The Queen's Own Taliban Rifles, will be comprised of locally-sourced personnel.

The Minister said, "this is the perfect cost-effective solution to our manpower needs in Afghanistan. The Taliban are cheap to hire, they come with their own weapons which saves costs on Defence procurement, and we're sure they'll be loyal. We've made them promise not to blow themselves up at the Passing-Out Parade and everything".

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Dystopia: Chapter Two

It hadn't really been a bad day, I thought, as I reached the doors of the Volunteer Centre. It hadn't rained, I'd avoided the gangs of semi-feral undergraduates outside St Jade's College of Reality Arts, and I'd even had a cup of tea with one of the Multicultural Diversity Co-Ordinators at the Mandelson Institute For Russo-Brazilian Studies.

As I entered the Centre, I could see the Co-Ordinator in her office, engaged in what seemed to be a somewhat vocal debate with one of the immigrants I'd seen earlier. Her face was flushed with anger and shock at the disrespect being shown to her position, her hands wrapping the cardigan around herself as if the cheap grey wool were body armour protecting her from the angry words clearly heading her way.

I sat in the chair next to the Terminal and, as I shrugged the messenger bag from my tired shoulders, the edge of it just clipped the computer mouse. The screen instantly flashed to life - only it wasn't displaying the usual BBC News page.

I looked closer. Looked again, struck with disbelief at what I was seeing. What was on that screen was something I'd never seen, never even dreamed of seeing. It was the Registration Page. Access was permitted only to those Public Sector officials authorised to grant Labour Party Membership.

My eyes flicked right, to the computer itself. The Co-Ordinator's ID card was wedged in the reader, where she'd left it* in order to become embroiled in her current argument. I looked to the left, back toward the office. The row showed no sign of abating. My eyes returned to the screen. The Registration Page. A cursor in the 'NAME' box, winking at me in the knowledge of what I could do.

*(In contravention of the Data Protection [Terror Regulations] Act of 2014, in case you were wondering.)

The Registration Page. Salvation.

There was no conscious decision. My hands, unbidden, caressed the keys and, with no apparent action on my part, there I was in the NAME box. I'd already entered my Number in the second field when what I was doing hit me. But I couldn't stop. I might only have a few brief moments. An eternity of microseconds later, the Registration Page was completed.

I hit the 'Enter' key, bracing myself for all sorts of alarms. None came. Just a final dialog box on the screen, saying:


I hadn't been any of these things. I clicked 'yes' anyway.

Bureaucracy is like nuclear fission. Once you reach a certain amount of it, it tends to be self-sustaining. It reaches critical mass, and takes on a life of its own - paperwork surmounting paperwork, database on database, the creation of bureaucracy becoming both the end and the cause. And there's an upside to this incredibly convoluted paperchase - it becomes so complex that auditing and cross-checking becomes largely impossible.

I had to trust that the bureaucracy was so weighed-down with the burden of its own creation that it would take as gospel the word of one of its own bureaucrats. I was sure - at least, I hoped - that I wouldn't be verified or cross-checked. But the potential reward of Labour Party Membership was too great NOT to take the risk.

I'd pushed my luck far enough. A glance to my left showed the argument still going on, but the Co-Ordinator seemed now to be winning as she drew herself up to her full girth** and met the eyes of her accuser directly. I clicked 'NEW', and the Registration Page returned, the cursor once again winking expectantly in an empty box.

**(This was, trust me, not a joke one would make in polite company, or in any public place. The Harman Act of 2012 had made any form of humour aimed at another person a Hate Crime. The Walliams Two were still doing six months for implying that a fictional Welsh character was gay.)

I pushed my chair back, and with the nonchalance of the truly guilty I started for the door. Ten steps away I heard her door opening. Footsteps behind me. Nine, eight, seven, six. The hand on my shoulder and the questions were coming, I could hear the footsteps. Five. Four. Three. Close behind now, ten beats of my racing heart. Two. The immigrant who had been arguing barged past, bumping me to one side and slamming through ahead of me. One. Door.

I rode home, the dusk gathering around me, thoughts flying as fast as the pedals. What I'd done wasn't an offence, really*** - but if I was caught, it would definitely make it more difficult to get the Membership that I needed. But the system was so slow, so mired in minutae, that to get that Membership might take years. And I needed a job. I wanted a life. Membership meant exactly that. The chance was worthwhile, even as I found myself nearly crashing from riding with my neck craned to look behind for Community Rule Enforcement Officers. It was worth it.

<***(Well, technically it was an offence under the archaic Computer Misuse Act. But since almost nobody had a computer any more, it was just one of those 'laws' that sat on the Statute Book gathering dust, like the right to drive hedgehogs down the High Street on Midsummer Eve.)

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Twats of the Week: CarData

For Sale - but NOT through Cardata, who are Twats.

TOTW is coming early this week, brought to you by the numbers:

020 8216 1550, 020 8216 1552, 020 8216 1560, 020 8216 1567, 020 8216 1575 and 020 8216 1588; and by the letters C A R D A T A.

This earnest and very determined company have called me at least twice a day, every single day, since we put The Silver Beast on the market. They tell me that they have many, many buyers for the car* and that for a small consideration of just £99.50, they will send me buyers. Guaranteed. Honest.

Oh, really?

So, Cardata, which is more likely? That you really do have hundreds of buyers who, on your say-so, will make their way en masse to Oxfordshire and stampede my house in their rabid clamour to hand over their money for a 2002 Saab estate - or that you're rather keen to divest me of MY cash for which, in return, I will receive almost precisely fuck-all except a few sleepless nights in fear of impending credit-card fraud?

If you were genuine, you would have happily accepted my offer of payment upon a successful sale, don't you think? But no. You demanded, quite rudely, for payment in advance and, when I refused and told you not to call again, you called again. And again. And again.

I've tried being reasonable, even amiable, in my requests for your calls to cease. Even telling you the car's been sold hasn't been enough to stop your incessant calls. You seem dead-set on disregarding my disinterest, ignoring my rejections, braving my warnings and continuing to call me. Daily. Well, fair enough. You've clearly been too stupid to listen to reason, so now it's time to face The Wrath Of Dungeekin instead.

By the time you read this**, your details will have been passed to the Nuisance Call departments of both O2 and BT, and a written letter of complaint sent to Trading Standards. That's on top of posts on scammer forums where you are already largely featured.

Your little ploy might work on someone who is a) desperate to sell, b) either unable or unwilling to use Google and c) the owner of a single-figure IQ, but it is unlikely to work on somebody with even the barest modicum of intellect or common sense. It simply beggars fucking belief that you cold-calling cretins can't conceive, after 15 increasingly-abrupt refusals from the same fucking person, that your pointless scam has been rumbled and your putative mark is not fucking interested.

Take me off your database. Now. I can no longer guarantee even the minimum of civility towards you when you call - the next time you disturb my reverie, you will be met with the sort of response I normally reserve for BNP members, followed by the sort of retribution that will leave you needing at least counselling, if not long-term medical care. And it'll fucking smart a bit when the A&E department remove your telephone headset, I can promise you. And then I'll set you on fire.

CarData. Twats.

*Said 'buyers' clearly being those people too stupid to read Autotrader and dial a telephone number.

**For values of 'read', obviously. If you're too fucking stupid to understand plain English, and my repeated requests to be left alone, it's unlikely your literacy skills extend much past the pack of lies you have passing for a sales pitch.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

US 'Hikers' To Face Further Charges

Bauer: Just taking an innocent walk in the countryside.

Iran has announced that three American citizens, arrested in July, are shortly to face further charges relating to their illegal entry to the country.

Sarah Shourd, 31, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both aged 27, were jailed for illegally entering the country in July while trekking in mountains on the border with Iraq. Iran's foreign minister told reporters the Americans were still in custody and would face charges.

"We are continuing to interrogate the three infid...sorry, Americans, and we expect to charge them shortly with Possession of a Shit Excuse", Manouchehr Mottaki said.

"I mean, seriously, does the Great Satan think we fell off the back of a camel yesterday? They just happened to be 'hiking' in a war-torn country, and just happened to 'stray' over the border into a nation hardly renowned for its positive interactions with theirs?" he added, making exaggerated quotation-marks with his fingers.

Mr Mottaki refused to be drawn on what other additional charges may be brought against the three Americans, but did add that the fact that one of them was called Bauer was grounds for additional suspicion.

The US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have denied any knowledge of, or involvement with, the three hikers. Which is to be expected.

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Dystopia: Chapter 1

The insistent screaming of the alarm clock dragged me from my dream.

It was a good dream, too - warm and comfortable, interspersed with hazy memories of good food, good wine and our trips abroad back in '08.

The sheets were gritty against my skin, embedded dirt that repeated washing in cold water simply couldn't shift. With the energy shortages, possession of a washing machine was frowned-upon - and anyway, wasting energy could lead to a prison term.

The electricity wouldn't be switched on for another hour, so I washed as best I could in the trickle from the shower, and, dressed in the cleanest clothes I could find, headed downstairs. The thermos had kept last night's coffee lukewarm enough to be drinkable - for values of drinkable, of course.

My bicycle was ready to go, and as always I looked longingly at our cars and my motorbike, sitting untouched and unloved, tyres flat, cobwebby and with weeds growing up against the wheels as if the land was reclaiming them.

(I remember driving, back before the fuel taxes made it unaffordable. Then the oil wars added insult to injury, and the Government's energy policy finally made driving a car financially impossible. Of course, you were still allowed to OWN a car - you just weren't allowed to drive it during normal working hours, and even if you could you wouldn't be able to afford to fuel it. You still paid tax on it though, even if it was sitting in your drive becoming a wildlife sanctuary.)

Heavy-legged, I turned the pedals and started on the 10-mile ride to the Volunteer Centre in Oxford. The Credit Collapse of '09 had resulted in the complete destruction of the private sector, and those of us who had been employed were now required to attend the Volunteer Centre every day in return for our Credit Vouchers.

Another day loomed of walking the streets, canvassing for the Labour Party, handing out leaflets explaining how The Leader was steering us through these troubled times, how they were just 'getting on with the job'.

Pedalling through the streets, joining the throngs heading in the same direction, my mind again wandered. Was this really what everyone, across the world, was going through? The BBC certainly told us it was - but with the Web now censored and access limited to only what you could get on the terminal at the Volunteer Centre, who could tell?

(I remember information. Back before the BBC were funded by the Labour Party, back when you could turn on your own PC and check the facts. Cross-reference. Back then, you could read and learn, and make your own judgements. Before the Terrorism Act made personal computers illegal.)

Riding past Retail City at Botley, seeing the rubbish and human detritus spread across what had been a thriving business park and was now a shanty-town for the homeless. The barbed-wire fencing and police made sure that we were kept a good distance away - doubly important since the rumoured Typhus outbreak - but still the smell hit hard. Thousands of people with no sanitation, no fresh water, no Credit Vouchers, no help and no hope.

This is England. December 14, 2019.

As always, the cycle racks outside the Volunteer Centre were already full. Still gritty-eyed from fatigue, I made the mistake of leaning my bike against the railings of the next-door Labour Party Re-Education Centre, and turned to head inside the Volunteer Centre.

"Excuse me, sir - is this your vehicle?".

I turned to look straight into the eyes of a Community Cycle-Parking Support Officer. Perhaps twenty years old, drunk on the power of his civic responsibility. Barcode scanner already in hand, the red light on his bodycam showing that I was the star of my own personal CCTV movie.

"Yes, Officer. Sorry, Officer", I replied, trying for humility and hoping against hope that this supercilious child had already reached his penalty-allocation targets for the week.

"Your ID card, please".

I handed the worn piece of white plastic over. He took his time perusing it, comparing the ten-year-old photograph of a smiling, well-fed, employed individual against the careworn, grubby and sweaty citizen in front of him.

(I remember the days of trust. When a man was who he said he was, before the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Revised) 2010. The days when you didn't have to carry your biometric ID card everywhere, where not having identity papers didn't mean you were a terrorist. The days before you could be detained for up to 120 days without charge simply for not proving who you are.)

There was a 'beep' as the CCPSO scanned my ID card. It sounded like the clang of a cell door.

"I'm fining you 80 Credit Vouchers for parking a vehicle in a proscribed zone, in contravention of Section 14 of the Vehicles In Terrorism Act 2011", he said. "Now move it, or the bike will be destroyed and you'll be arrested on suspicion of aiding terrorism.".

"Yes, Officer. Sorry, Officer". Keeping my expression humble, grabbing my handlebars. Trying to avoid eye contact. 80 bloody Credit Vouchers. Half a week's 'salary'. Not that it actually buys much, but it would have put some food on the table.

Leaving the bike leaned against the racks as best I could, I rushed into the Volunteer Centre. After that fine, I couldn't afford to be late - I'd be fined again for lateness, and a second note on The Database in a single day would attract the attention of the Police.

The main hall of the Centre was already thronged with people awaiting their assignment for the day. I grabbed a copy of the newspaper - the Labour News - found a chair, and settled down to read the headlines before the 'working' day started.

As usual, LabourBank were trumpeting that they had brought inflation down to just 0.1%. Strange, though, that they never explained why a litre of milk was doubling in price every week.

An Army spokesman was quoted as saying that they were close to catching William and Harry Wales, who were both wanted by the Government for embezzlement and misappropriation of funds. Following the death of King Charles III in a helicopter crash, and the dissolution of the Monarchy under anti-corruption law in '14, these two had been on the run. The Army believed that they were somewhere in Zimbabwe, and alleged that they were being protected by President Tsvangirai and the UN.

There was some sporadic coverage of the trial of someone called George Osborne, who had been a politician but was subsequently arrested and charged with sedition and terror offences. His co-defendant, David Cameron, had apparently died in custody while resisting arrest.

(I remember reading. I remember lazy Sundays with four different newspapers, each with their own spin on the news. I remember reading about the world, not just England. I remember 'all the news that's fit to print', not 'all the news that the Labour Party says is fit to print'.)

Around me, the hubbub and clamour of 300 people was starting to die. Our Community Volunteer Centre Co-Ordinator stood in front of us, glaring expectantly over the rims of her glasses, regulation cardigan wrapped around her corpulent frame, prissily buttoned to the neck. I put down my paper and tried to look as attentive as I could.

"Good morning, Volunteers" she said brightly. As always, her voice was fingernails down the blackboard of my soul. She could *afford* to be bright and cheerful. She was a Public Sector Worker, with automatic Labour Party membership and all the benefits that entailed.

"Today, you will be distributing copies of the latest announcement from the Information Minister, Mz Toynbee", she said, waving a handful of the despised missives in one pudgy fist. "And this week, the five most successful Volunteers will be rewarded with.....", she said, her harpy's screech rising to a new level, "....Membership of the Labour Party!".

There was a collective intake of breath, a moment of shock and awe at her pronouncement. Labour Party membership meant the chance of a Public Sector job. Real work. A real income, the chance for us to provide for our families again! A pension. Rumour had it that Public Sector Workers these days were even allowed to own their own homes!

As we filed out of the Centre clutching our messenger bags, each heavy with the latest lies on recycled paper, I looked back to see our Co-Ordinator. She was chatting with five younger people, all of whom were showing her what were clearly foreign ID Cards. I knew what that meant - they would be the Chosen Five, the Reverse Discrimination Act of 2010 ensured that no white English person was permitted to interview for an available role if there was an immigrant available to fill it, regardless of skillset.

(I remember working. I remember the alarm going off for worthwhile reasons, the joy of using my intellect, the pleasure of a paycheque for a job well done. Before the drudgery, before Credit Vouchers. Before now.)

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Simon Cowell to be Nationalised

McElderry: Voice of an angel, teeth of a Grand National winner.

The Treasury Select Committee has called for the immediate nationalisation of Simon Cowell, after studies indicated that he now owns almost 97% of the UK's money.

Chancellor Alistair Darling, attempting to regain the initiative after a less-than-positive reaction to last week's Pre-Budget Report, welcomed the recommendation, saying it was a necessary initiative to reduce the national Debt and increase available funds for frontline services.

A Committee spokesman said, "our research indicates that Simon Cowell's stable of programmes including X-Factor, Xtra-Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Britain's Got More Talent and the upcoming 'Britain's Got No Talent Left But Simon Still Wants The Prime-Time Saturday Slot', Mr Cowell has total dominance over the segment of the market known as banality TV. With 20 million viewers, over 10 million phone votes last Saturday alone and the advertising revenue, Simon Cowell has generated enough revenue to run the entire NHS for a year.

"We have also calculated that with his chart success including the current No. 1 album, several other artists in the album chart, numerous other No. 1s and the guarantee that the Geordie sprog with Shergar's teeth is going to get the Christmas No. 1, Simon Cowell now holds 96.78% of Britain's cash. It is therefore right that he be nationalised with immediate effect, and his net worth used to reduce the current net deficit".

Mr Darling refused to be drawn on whether the new nationalised Simon Cowell would be forced to change his name to British Leyland, and declined to comment on whether Ant & Dec would also be subsumed into the new organisation.

A spokesman for Simon Cowell said that he strongly resented the planned nationalisation, and that his lawyers were looking into a hostile takeover of the UK Government in response.

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