Tuesday, 31 August 2010

From the office of Guillaume de Normandie

"I know you English, you are not tres capables of listening. So, I say this only once:-

"You peoples, you have not very much moneys right now, partly because of the Anglo-Saxon shopping habits. Napoleon, he should have identify this - you are not seulement a nation of shopkeeper, but aussi of shopping-holic. Also you spend many billions on your silly war in Iraq, because you are wanting to suck up to the stupide Dubya who think that Zola is a make of cooking oil and that Voltaire is a unit of electricity. And look where it is getting you. Absolutement nowhere, but in great poverty, you stupides English.

"Et donc, so you are needing a little help once more from your French friends from across La Manche. You can no longer afford the aircraft carriers. And we are happy to help you out so that you don't feel distress because your navy, it is no longer superieure to the French navy.

"So from now on we will share the costs of the aircraft carrier, even though probablement you cannot afford the aircrafts to put on them. And we are very generous peoples to help you out comme ca. But it is necessaire you are understanding that we French, we are the senior service in this partnership. Senior service - you like our French sense of humour, n'est-ce pas? Senior service!

"Anyways, before this time we was the senior partners with the Concorde of course - which is why we are putting the 'e' on the end of it. We was the senior partners with the Trans-Manche link, because Napoleon, he think of the idea before you English. We was senior partners with the nouvelle cuisine, which you English copy (but not very well, with your silly little portion). Now we are the senior partner with the aircraft carrier, because you English lose all your money. Et donc, that mean that we French, it is us who now rules the waves, just like we did when our Guillaume, he sail over to conquer you English in 1066.

"We decide therefore that the first aircraft carrier that we are sharing with you, it will be called Concorde de Mer. We are thinking that this is very good name for the vessel, and it will be reminding you English who is boss and who will be in charge of the vessel. We are thinking that the Capitaine of the ship, he will always be French as well. And as I say earlier, you probably cannot afford the aircraft to put on the carriers, so we will also be putting all our plane on the board.

"Maybe if this is successful partnership, then you can also give us all your nuclear submarines for safe-keepings, as we are more responsables with all the things atomiques. And then perhaps you can also share your Channel Islands which should always be French all along. In fact, why not make much easier for all of us and retournez the Grand Bretagne to La France once more and then if you are lucky we will conduct another Domesday audit which was so successful the first times round!

Monday, 30 August 2010

This is the BBC

The BBC director general used the MacTaggart lecture to draw attention to the growing power of BSkyB and attacked the organisation for not putting enough money into British content. He asked the following questions: Which of the two broadcasters do viewers most value? And which best serves the public good?

After the lecture two very senior BBC executives were spotted in a bar, discussing the relative merits of the organisations. It seems they were pondering whether the Beeb can counter the growing influence of BSkyB.

Mark: Ducky, maybe we should take the battle to Sky and start encroaching upon it's territory.

Alan:  And how do we do that, ducky?

Mark:  We consider the case for advertising?

Alan:  Darling! Are you out of your mind? The BBC? advertising? That's what we've been fighting, fighting, fighting all these years.

Mark:  Oh darling, you yourself have said we need to exist "in the marketplace". Surely it's only a short hop to accepting we exist in the commercial marketplace?

Alan:  But advertising, darling? That doesn't mean advertising. Surely?

Mark:  I'm not thinking, any old advertising. (Looking pleased with himself) I'm thinking..."public service advertising".

Alan:  Public service advertising? What on earth does that mean, darling? Never encountered such a thing.

Mark:  Allow me to explain, deary. We already churn out a torrent, an absolute torrent of what is, effectively, advertising. It's just that we don't charge for it.

Alan:  I don't follow you, deary.

Mark:  Just think of all those reality television programmes we pump out under the aegis of "public service broadcasting". Think about the free plugs we give to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and to those ghastly business people like Mary Portas, Alan Sugar, The millionaire Dragons - to name but a few.

Alan:  Hmm...

Mark:  They must absolutely love it, darling. Getting all this free publicity for their businesses. It's a complete steal for them. The great unwashed know who they are and adore them, would love to be them - cannot think why, of course. And these so-called TV personalities get it all for free, gratis and for nothing. Simply a steal, darling... a steal!

Alan:  Suppose you do have a point, there, deary.

Mark:  Of course I do, dear. They must be laughing... laughing all the way to the bank.

Alan:  Maybe you're right. But what exactly were you suggesting? Charging them money?

Mark:  That's precisely what I was thinking, darling. Why don't we ask these celebrities to pay for their free exposure? You could even extend the franchise, come up with oodles of new "public service advertisements". What about your friends Charles and Nigella, for example?

Alan:  My dear, dear, dearest friends Charles and Nigella? What about them, darling?

Mark:  You sent them a beautiful love letter, did you not, in one of your Imagine documentaries? You know, all that stuff about their being fabulous patrons of the arts - and of course, beautiful, beautiful people.

Alan:  Well, yes, I did. But they simply are beautiful, beautiful people, darling. And generous benefactors to boot.

Mark:  There we go, darling. And why not come up with some more plugs, I mean, art documentaries? How about featuring artistic treasures such as Tracey and Damien.

Alan:  I think we've already done them, darling.

Mark:  No doubt we have. And did they pay a penny?

Alan:  Darling! We were talking documentaries. One could simply never charge when it came to documentaries.

Mark:  But it's always the same people who feature in your documentaries, is it not?

Alan:  How do you mean, darling?

Mark:  It's aways the successful artists - the ones who least need the free plug. Never the ones who are still struggling.

Alan:  That's what the punters are most interested in, dear - those who've achieved success - naturellement.

Mark:  Rather a lot of them seem to be companions of yours, do they not?

Alan:  Really! That's simply not fair, darling

Mark:  All I'm saying, deary, is, why don't you charge these beautiful people? Let's face it, is an Andrew Lloyd Webber talent show really public service broadcasting... or is it Andrew Lloyd Webber service broadcasting?

Alan:  Hmmm... I do suppose you've a point. Maybe I will give it some more thought. Let me see what I come up with.

Mark:  Thank you, darling.

Alan:  Don't mention it, darling.

(There is a long pause as they sit and reflect. Then Alan pipes up).

             Of course, you know what some impertinent scoundrels in the media say?

Mark:  What do they say, darling?

Alan:  They say the Beeb only really exists these days to serve the interests of national treasures such as tu et moi. They suggest it has become our own private fiefdom.

Mark:  (Outraged) Darling!. Please! That's simply disgraceful! Perish the thought!

Alan: (Perturbed, quickly correcting himself) Yes, yes. So, so sorry, darling. Perish the thought!

Mark:  How could anyone even suggest such a thing?

Alan:  Of course, darling. How silly I am! Indeed, how on earth could they suggest such a thing?

Friday, 27 August 2010

Everyone's A star, nobody's a winner

"We had a dream. We hoped, in the years following the accession, every child in Britain could achieve A at A-level, could go to University and graduate with degrees in football management and equestrian psychology. The party knew how to make this happen, indeed it did. All you had to do was lower standards all round, make exams easy, and then everyone - dummies and no-hopers alike - could be  winners, could be A-star, could be graduates of the University of Donald Duck

"We wanted to extend our formidable educational solutions to life in general. We presided over a dumbing-down of  society, the deterioration of everything from modern art to television. On our watch, British culture, the BBC included, plumbed the depths with non-stop cookery, reality TV, celebrity, and property programmes. Pretty girls (and boys)  from nowheresville rose to become pop stars, yeah, real celebs. Charlatans, low-life, morons became millionaires and gave piles of money to the party in return for honours. It was all going so well, so swimmingly... until ordinary men and  women grew cynical, grew critical, negative.

"That's when the dream started to fade. People didn't realise - if you ceased believing, then what you'd believed in all  along would cease too. If you didn't have faith in the economic miracle, then the economic miracle would lose faith  in you. If you didn't believe in endless riches then you could kiss goodbye to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

"That's precisely what occurred. Ordinary men and women lost faith in the miracle. Perhaps they lost all sense of reason too. For sure, they lost the chance to get somewhere in life, to be players.

"Tell you something, though: We... we   never stopped believing. No! We never lost our faith. We remained and always will remain - to this day - believers. Yeah, that's what they say... we are the believers.

"And look at us now. We're as happy as Larry, as rich as Midas... although, we might add, the Midas before he acquired those dreadful asses ears. Yeah, no asses ears for us. We've been in politics too long for that kind of thing. And we don't like them - the asses ears - one tiny bit!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Auto-Society

The amateur is dead, long live the crap professional!

Anybody can sing these days and sing in tune. The makers of ITV's X-Factor have allegedly "auto-tuned" the voices of their favorite contestants. This'll give them the edge over contestants they intend to drop. The news has been greeted with dismay in some quarters but weary resignation elsewhere. For some time the pop industry has been considered generally low on talent. Scantily dressed fashion models knock out formulaic jingles that producers then manipulate to give them cred. None, apart from the gullible masses, are taken in. But who cares? The producers make a packet and poor wannabes from the provinces believe they too can be rich and famous.

But it is not only the record industry that is "painting by numbers", airbrushing society. This digital miasma is more widespread then we realise. It enhances our spelling, but not our syntax. It allows us to "Google" rather than read books. The modern car mechanic wouldn't have a clue how to fix your old Morris Minor or Citroen DS. It's all done by computer these days.

Sometimes it's just downright sad: What's the point of a forty something actress or model doing the cover of Vogue or Style Magazine if digital enhancement simply makes her look like a waxwork dummy? And what is the point, really, of buying an album that is effectively created by a computer - and a pretty bland and talentless one at that?

So, where next for the robot society? Well sadly, the publishing industry is already in the advanced stages of terminal decline. And it ain't the computers that caused it. Commercial demands have narrowed the horizons of most authors. You are more likely to get into Waterstones with a big bust than a big idea. And those "literary novelists" that do make it usually conform to a narrow set of socio-economic values. So we can't simply blame it all on computers. Big business has always needed robots. Entrepreneurs need to press the right buttons if they are (numerically) to enhance their bank balances.

Let us pray this miasma doesn't spread to the saintly Westminster! What if politicians started behaving like robots... looking and dressing the same, making absurd promises, breaking them once in power, pretending to care for the opinions of the electorate yet always more in touch with the demands of the City, with corporate greed... always strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage... full of sound and fury... signifying nothing?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bureaucratic correctness gone mad

It's a dinosaur, but some still cherish political correctness. Invidious legislation cooked up by the last government has yet to be binned. It's still an offence for example to hurt the feelings, criticise the beliefs of certain individuals - especially those of a religious persuasion. Also, London remains the libel capital of the world and many journalists think twice about attacking powerful, wealthy men and women for fear of being taken to the cleaners. The coalition government clearly still has some way to go when it comes to re-establishing the right to speak out.

But there's a more discrete, more subtle form of correct-speak still plaguing the nation. It's experienced by anyone having to communicate with public sector employees or call centre robots. We know it's a big mistake to "lose it" when disputing parking tickets or fines for exceeding overdraft limits. The blood may boil, the head may swim, but it's essential to remain calm and sweet when addressing the faceless beings on the other end of the line. For they are in control of everything you hold dear and, rather like computer software, they can "freeze" at any moment."

So here is a guide to bureaucratic correctness. First we demonstrate the way ordinary people would really like to deal with council or call centre operatives - but cannot, because it'll get them nowhere. This is followed by the correct way - because you want them to act - as indeed they should - in your interests:-

Wrong way:-

Caller: (Fuming) I went over my overdraft limit for one day and you've slapped four £30 fines on my account.

Robot: This was because four transactions happened to go out on the same day that you exceeded your overdraft limit.

Caller: It was one bloody day. My account was back in credit the next day, for God's sake.

Robot: Please will you refrain from using offensive language, caller? According to our terms and conditions, we are entitled to charge for every transaction during the time at which you are over your limit.

Caller: But why? It doesn't cost you £120 if I go over my limit.

Robot: Sorry, but those are our terms and conditions

Caller: Well, I'd love to come round to your office and slap my own particular terms and conditions on your fat, stupid, ugly, boring little arse, Honey.

Robot: Sorry, but I can have you arrested for harassment for that suggestion. I'm closing your account forthwith, pending your arrest and imprisonment for your non-payment of the fines and your use of inappropriate language.

Right way:-

Caller: I'm dreadfully sorry (smarm smarm). I am such an idiot and I have fallen foul of your rather fair and decent terms

Robot: I see that you have, caller

Caller: Would it be in any way possible for you, oh great one, to show some mercy and to forgive my little indiscretion.

Robot: Well, according to our terms and conditions you are as guilty as hell

Caller: I know, I am, oh supreme being. And I am on my hands and knees and I beg you to help me out here.

Robot: Well, in view of your supine manner, I might be able to cancel one of the four charges. That means that you'll still incur charges of £90. Do you understand that you snivelling little pig?

Caller: Yes, oh yes, oh great one. I am in awe of your kindness. And I will forever be in your debt.

Robot: Damn right you little creep. Now see you don't do it again!

And finally, here's the way it's already heading... Digital correctness gone mad...

Caller: I wish to dispute these unauthorised overdraft charges

Robot: Please press one to be transferred to a robot, press two to be transferred to a different robot, or press three to be transferred to someone who sounds human but is actually a robot - and who will tell you to take a hike.

Caller: ....

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Trouble at Milburn

Senior Labour figures have criticised Alan Milburn for joining the coalition as David Cameron's social mobility Tsar. The former Labour minister will consider how to narrow the gap between rich and poor that widened dramatically under Labour.

Some, including the ex-Deputy PM John, now Lord Prescott, have accused Milburn of political cross dressing. If this is true, then the coalition has clearly stolen a very New Labour idea, since it invented "big tent" politics in the late nineties. Prescott, deemed by most to be a party tribalist was so incensed by Milburn's defection that, when interviewed on Newsnight, he offered to renounce his peerage. Here's what he said:-

"Speaking as a peer of the realm who has expended his hard-earned efforts down in the grass roots (fighting day and night for the common man), I now view the contemplation of this turncoat Milburn joining the Clegg / Cameron Pact as an utterly despicable act and one perpetrated for entirely selfish motivations. In the first place, Alan tried his very damnedest to undermine the government of Gordon Brown that was so successful that it almost won the election in 2010. And now he wants to betray all that Labour politics stands for by cynically donning the vestments of the other side."

"This kind of cross dressing is totally what I consider to be a treacherous betrayal of a forward thinking party such as our own dear Labour party. We are a people which has fought its very hardest for the rights of ordinary men and women to have as much opportunity to get to the top of the scrap heap and indeed don the ermine of the House of Lords if as needs be.

"Yes, it has long been an acceptable practice that a lad from the grass roots of the social scale can accept the reward of the ermine and take his rightful place in the Lords after a long career of trade union activities or other socialist-leaning pursuits, which after all are done solely for the benefit of the working man. Think of Lord Gormley, Lord Chappell and soon to be Lord Scargill, all of whom passionately believe that Parliament is a rightful place for a working class lad to end up nowadays. Indeed I remember my old friend Lord Andropov once saying to me that the great thing about being a socialist in Britain is that you get to drive three jaguars all at once and wear the ermine of Lords, whereas they have only got to make do with Zils and bearskins - I kid you not.

"Now I know that there are those amongst your sneering reactionary elites who might suggest that an elevation such as mine - to the Lords, that is - does indeed smack of hypocrisy. But can I re-iterate and confirm for once and for all that I have as much right to said title as any conservative? Anyhow it's not as if myself and my good wife Pauline have taken on the mantle of royalty and ascended to the throne of England where they wear a different kind of cloth altogether I can tell you. Although God forbid anyone should suggest such an idea to Pauline as I fear that if they did suggest as much, I would hear no end of entreaties towards your humble Lord to accept said royal title.

Dear old Pauline, she's a good lass she is, with a heart of gold and would only ever want the best for yours truly. But I could not accept that it would be in any way progressive to go around with an hoity-toity title such as Prince John of Prescott. No, at least not in today's progressive Labour party at least it wouldn't be.

"Anyway, notwithstanding Pauline's said social aspirations, one thing you can say about her is that at least she's no flaming turncoat like that collaborator and traitor to the working classes, Alan Milburn, who I consider to be beyond repair."

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Tomorrow and tomorrow and... whatever

Educational standards have dropped considerably over the past thirteen years. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the  teaching of English Literature, where a tick-box culture has replaced the intelligent, imaginative interpretation of texts.  The actress Imogen Stubbs claims in today's Sunday Times: "A-levels were recalibrated in 2000 to make the exams fairer...  Many pupils confessed to me that they never even read the full "texts" for English A-level. They just read websites."

We considered the implications of this "recalibration" and wondered whether it might simply be easier to  "recalibrate" the texts themselves. We looked at some of the most notable lines penned by the bard Will Shakespeare and considered how they might be re-worked in this era of declining educational standards.

From the Scottish Play: "Is this a dagger what I see before me? Damn right, bro. Fucking dagger innit? Now it's my fuckin' dagger."

From Hamlet: "To be or fucking what? Fucking stupid question, innit? Is I gonna be 'appier putting up with all this shit? Or should I get out there, bladd, with my A-K and fucking end it, like?"

Julius Caesar: "Friends, Romans, tossers. Fucking listen, right. I've come here to bury this geyser, not wank off about him like some batty man."

Romeo and Juliet: "Romeo, Romeo, where are you, you toe-rag."

and finally:

"Gary, what part of "fuck off" dontchyer un'erstand? Dontchyer ge' it? It's all over between us. You an' me is finished!"  (Not strictly Shakespeare, but who cares?)

We believe that, were these changes made to A-level texts, they might obviate the need for the tick-box culture. After all, pupils  would hardly get "narked off" studying texts that are no more challenging than the latest edition of Eastenders, would they? Surely not. This must be the way forward.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Pop calling the kettle black

Music lovers everywhere are outraged that flagrant product placement is creeping into pop videos. In the latest example, a famous Italian sports car takes centre stage in a number produced by the so-called "Indie" band "Faith". Now, some in the music business have long considered modern pop videos to be little more than commercial tripe, engineered by cynical impresarios and starring well-connected fashion models, footballers' wives and third-rate porn stars. So perhaps everybody should simply "calm down".

Quite where this trend will lead however is anybody's guess. Can things really get any worse? We asked a famous film director and maker of various critically acclaimed car insurance ads to gaze into his crystal ball and to tell us what he thought the future might hold.

"Hello, a lot of people view me as one of the greatest film directors since Eisenstein, and I have to say I thoroughly agree with them. As a maker of such wonderful films as Battleship PotemKill, Citizen Maim, Deathwish in Venice and Gun with the Wind, I understand the commercial pressures major studios put upon artists such as myself. When I made Deathwish 9, I was asked to cast Larry Olivier as a gun-toting, Marlboro smoking vigilante who killed and maimed criminals purely for kicks. Instead I asked Charlie Bronson, a much respected Shakespearean actor sensitively to play the part of a tortured soul who mutilated New York's grimiest for none other than moral reasons.

"I have of course moved on since then and have made a string of successful car insurance advertisements entitled "Calm Down Dear", "Calm Down Dear 2 - The Sequel" and "Calm Down Dear 3 - The Prequel". The critics have appreciated the clever way I deal with the day to day tragedy of dented bonnets and pranged bumpers, and I have been asked to develop the series - even though I feel I should perhaps quit whilst I'm ahead.

"Still, were I to continue my e-sure franchise, I might take my ads into the realm of what I know best, namely the horrors of street crime and the punks that perpetrate those crimes. The best way to do this, I believe, wouldn't be to make more Oscar worthy commercials - brilliant though they are. Nor indeed would I want simply to direct a film that offered endless e-sure product placement. No, instead I would want an amalgam of the two.

"So, here's what I suggest for my next movie: The film, that will have a major cinema release will be called, "Calm the fuck down, you sonofabitch (dear). It's only a muthafukking commercial." I would love to cast Charlie Bronson but sadly he is no longer with us. So I would probably hire De Caprio or De Niro or possibly Brucey Willis.

"What happens is that Willis, or whomsoever I cast, accidentally drives his Pontiac into the Range Rover Discovery owned by a major drug dealer, played by someone like Snoop Dogg. The dealer beats the crap out of Willis' grandfather, played by an ageing thespian such as Ralphie Richardson, assuming he is still available. Then said dealer pulls a 9mm on Willis and says, "You gonna fuckin' pay for ma pranged bumper and ma injured pride, you sonofabitch?" And here's the great part: Instead of Willis doing the "Calm Down" routine, the camera cuts to me in my director's chair. I put down my cigar, I sigh and say: "Calm down, you utterly muthafukking street hoodlum. It's only a wretched fucking commercial." Whereupon everyone falls about in hysterics and is gripped by the compulsive need to buy e-sure motor car insurance."

And I sincerely believe that this is what the future holds. This is the way it will be from now on - I kid you not - for advertising... and for cinema... and for television... and music... and sport... and literature... and the newspapers... And you might be up in arms that our film industry, our music business, even our culture is going this way. But when it comes to culture in general, all I can say is: Calm down, dear... It's always been commercial."

"After all, it wouldn't see the light of day otherwise."

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Print and be damned

(So... how do we avoid the double-dip recession everyone's talking about? Our reporter (Ned) asked a distinguished British Professor Blanche des Fleurs (PBF) - currently working in New Hampshire, USA, and therefore paid in US Dollars - what he considered best for the UK economy.)

Ned:  Professor des Fleurs, you think stimulation is needed? Right?

PBF:  Most definitely, Ned. Stimulation is precisely what the UK economy needs right now.

Ned:  And you would expect the government to provide this stimulation?

PBF:  Yes, the only way in which this stimulation can occur is if the government prints loads and loads of lovely stimulus, I mean, money, I mean, pounds.

Ned:  You're talking about quantitative easing?

PBF:  Don't say those words. They get me all stimulated.

Ned:  What? Quantitative easing?

PBF: (Squirming) Please don't. Please... don't...

Ned:  Quantitative easing!

PBF: Gosh, that's so good.

Ned:  What? Quantitative easing?

PBF:  Please... I can't take it any more.

Ned:  But, do you think that the British people can take it any more, this quantitative easing, when it means printing more pound notes, thereby devaluing their savings?

PBF:  Who cares? It's so stimulating - for the economy, I mean. It's the kind of thing we need if we are to, you know, to re-inflate, the... you know...

Ned:  The, you-know?

PBF:  Yes, you know, to get it up again.

Ned:   Get what up again?

PBF:   The bubble, I mean the economy. We need to make it full and tumescent again, just like it was before the 2008 crash.

Ned:  But why can't wealthy individuals who made a stack of money out of the British economy - and who then parked it in off-shore bank accounts - provide this stimulus by re-investing their money in the British economy? Why should ordinary hard-pressed British taxpayers and savers have to foot the bill through quantitative easing? Why should the onus be upon them to "get it up again"? It's pretty rough, don't you think?

PBF:  These things take time, Ned. Rich and poor alike want to return to the happy days of 2007. But in the meantime, I think you'll find we're all having to cut our cloth according to our means... if you know what I mean.

Ned:  (Nodding) Yes, I know what you mean all right... By the way, is that an Armani suit you're wearing?

PBF:  Paul Smith, you fool!

to be continued...

Monday, 9 August 2010

My vuvuzela... my vuvuzela... I want you to play with my vuvuzela.

Charles Taylor Trial

(Defence calls a witness known only as Ms. Woody-Allen (W-A). She attended the same dinner - in honour of Nelson Mandela - as the dictator Charles Taylor and the supermodel known as Model C. According to her testimony, Model C told Ms Woody-Allen that Charles Taylor's men entered her room in the middle of the night and gave her a massive piece of "uncut".)

Defence:  Good morning, Ms. W-A

W-A:  Er, hi. And, er, can I say that I've never been in a court of law packed with, er,  so many distinguished gentiles?

Defence:  That is very kind, I am sure. Now can I put it to you, Ms. Woody-Allen, that on the night of September the 26th, you were extremely jealous of Model C and the attention she was getting from the dictator, Mr. Charles Taylor?

W-A:  Er, no, I happen to suffer pathological discomfort whilst I'm, er, in the company of dictators.

Defence:  I see. And have you talked to anyone about this?

W-A:  Yes, I've, er, talked to my therapist. And my therapist also comes from a long line of people who suffer pathological discomfort whilst in the company of dictators.

Defence:  Very good. And did your therapist cure you of this discomfort as you so put it? And did she show you that Model C., as I suggest, is simply much better looking and more famous than you? And did she thus conclude that you were angry because Mr. Charles Taylor - who is considered a saint by some people - didn't offer you the lovely, dirty diamond - or diamonds?

W-A:  Well I'm not sure how to answer that. My therapist suggested that the dictator Mr. Taylor probably wanted something in return for these diamonds. From Ms. C., that is.

Defence:  I see, and can I ask you, what do you think Mr. Taylor wanted in return for these diamonds?

W-A:  Er, the way I kind of understand it, Mr. Taylor thought he might have the opportunity to play with Ms. C.'s vuvuzela.

Defence:  Her vuvuzela?

W-A:  Er, yes. Er, Mr. Taylor was apparently aware that Ms. C., whilst she was in Africa, was in possession of a vuvuzela. And he wanted to play with it.

Defence:  And that was your belief?

W-A:  Er, my belief was whatever my therapist said I should believe.

Defence:   I see. And do you always believe everything your therapist tells you?

W-A:  Only in the case of dictators and supermodels.

Defence:  And has your therapist been in touch with Ms C.'s therapist?

W-A:  Er, no. I understand that Ms. C. has killed or mutilated most of her therapists.

Defence:  So, can I put it to you that your therapist doesn't have a leg to stand on with these suggestions?

W-A:  (Smirking) Can I, er, suggest that Charles Taylor's victims generally don't have a leg to stand on? Or arms... or eyeballs... or ears...

Defence:  Objection!

Judge:  Overruled!

W-A:  (Still smirking) Can I, er, add, that's the kind of thing Charles Taylor might say?

Defence:  Objection!

Judge:  Objection sustained! Court dismissed!

(Court descends into chaos and Ms. W-A is manhandled out of court by security guards.)

W-A:  (Trying to suppress a grin) Can you big guys, like, keep your hands to yourself? This is the kind of thing I'd expect from Charles Taylor's men.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Dirty little pebbles are a girl's best friend

The witness, known only as Model C., enters the court room and trips over her twelve inch heels. She is helped up by a court attendant. She composes herself then proceeds to beat the crap out of the attendant before finally taking the stand.

Prosecutor:  Ms C, I put it to you that on the night of September 26th, you did attend a dinner in honour of one Mr. Mandela

Model C:   Mr. what?

Prosecutor:  The political leader, Mr Mandela.

Model C:  I have never ever met Mr Mandelson, although I like his style. Unlike yours you ugly mama. You dress like some kind of a clown.

Prosecutor:  No, Ms C., I am referring to Mr. Nelson Mandela, the ex-President of South Africa

Model C:  Oh! Nelson, my lovely Nelson. Isn't he just wonderful with all his liberationism and freedom-loving and all? I'm a dedicated supporter of Admiral Nelson. Every girl should have one.

Prosecutor:  Quite, Ms C. But I put it to you that on the night of the 26th, after dining with Mr. Mandela, you did receive a big fuck-off diamond the size of a testicle from none other than the dictator Mr. Charles Taylor.

Model C:  Listen Honey, for all I know, I might have done. But a gal like me is always receiving diamonds from dictators, whatever "dictators" means.

Prosecutor:  But, I put it to you that these were blood diamonds, no less, Ms. C.

Model C:  Hey, diamonds may be two a penny for a gal like me, but I'd never refer to them like that.

Prosecutor: Not, bloody diamonds, Ms. C. Blood diamonds from Liberia that were used to fund the brutal insurrection in Sierra Leone.

Model C:   Sorry, you kinda lost me there. I don't speak French

Prosecutor:  This is not French, Ms. C. We are talking about a very hot commodity

Model C:   Hey, you ugly mama, I'm the only hot commodity around here. And if you've like finished, I've some important shoes to try on.

Prosecutor:  No I have not finished. You said that you gave these diamonds to a charity worker friend and that he sold them and spent the money on cup cakes and a new Corvette Stingray for his mother.

Model C:  So?

Prosecutor:  Well, does this not sound a bit fishy, Ms. C? The thought that a charity worker would do such a thing?

Model C:  Yeah, well you'll have to ask him, Honey. I'm already late for my Vogue shoot.

Prosecutor: We did ask him, Ms. C. And he denies ever receiving them.

Model C:  Well, there you go. It's too far back for him to remember as well. Now time is money, Honey. I gotta hop. Boy you ain't half ugly, you know that?

(Model C. gets up to leave the court room. The judge is about to remonstrate but she thumps him in the face, causing his nose to explode. Then she calmly glides out of the court room.)

Prosecutor:  (Calling after her) Too far back to remember, Ms. C? Too far back?

Judge: (Trying to compose himself) And to think, they used to say diamonds are forever.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Health Warning: Cloned politician entered food chain at least 20 years ago!

As the Food Standards Agency (FSA) claims beef from a cloned bull has entered the food-chain, an even greater threat may actually be facing people: The cloned politician.

Political commentators say large numbers of genetically identical politicians may have been allowed to roam freely within the "Westminster Village" for perhaps the past two decades or more. These claims come amid recent concerns that politicians are displaying alarmingly similar character traits from generation to generation, both before and after office. The commentators have cited the following examples:-

- ALL politicians claim before an election they will clean up the political process.

- ALL politicians claim they will make Westminster more accountable to ordinary voters, will diminish the power of the lobbyists, the interest groups, and the other small cliques of wealthy or powerful individuals who wish to bend the political process to their own pernicious ends

- Once in power, ALL politicians vacillate for a while before accepting they should take the easy option and line themselves up for cushy jobs after leaving office.

- ALL politicians leave office talking about how they had to make "tough decisions", when in actual fact they've found themselves considerably richer than before they took office.

This is evidence, were it needed, that for the past twenty years, perhaps longer, ALL politicians who wish to get ANYWHERE in this political farmyard we call "The Westminster Village", must live a life of, must be full of, and, most important of all, must be capable of regurgitating a diet of CLONED BULL!

Monday, 2 August 2010

The Church of Twitter

In the beginning was the word, then there was another word and another and another and soon there were loads and loads of words, then there were loads of books and plays and documentaries and shit, and we all know the rest was history, but then along came this new thing, this new way of doing words, as in a new way of writing them words, and everyone knows it was what we was all waiting for all along, okay? It was something people especially Stephen Fry and geysers like him were wanting, were needing all along, and that was what they were calling micro-blogging, and it was like, after the sixties and stuff when the author was dead and shit, after these geysers Joyce and Beckett and Derrida and these De-constructivists and what have you said the author don't exist no more and stuff, then the writer had to be re-invented, had to be re-constructed, and the only way to do that, bro', was, like for the real serious writers like Stephen Fry and other blokes like him to do it all (this words biz) by doing the micro-blogging way of doing it, cos, it was like the new stuff, you see where I'm going? And you 'ad no choice but to get ahead of the game and like you had to do all this new shit, especially new shit when it was meaning words and stuff that people really want to listen to - you see where I'm going with this? And like people thought it was time writers got down with the ordinary people like Paris Hilton and Martha Stewart and Lord Prescott and ordinary people like that... you know just as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst and geysers like that got down with all the ordinary arty people like Charles Saatchi and other people who didn't want to go and pay money to see all this impressionist shit and this Rembrandt and stuff, and it was then liked proved, actually by statistics in actual fact (no less) that this micro-blogging was more important than anything else known to man as a means of communicating, bro', cos everybody listened to it, and there was actual statistics they did that actually proved this fact - I kid you not, and it was, like, they proved that:-

513% of all people, like, thought Twitter was better than sex

1412% of all people, like, would give up sex and drugs and beating the shit out of people more than giving up Twitter

12346% of all people, like, thought that Twitter was more important to them than all the important writers ever known to man, like that Shakespeare and that Proust and tossers like that

223842.345% of all people, like, wanted to see the Bible and all the important books what no-one reads never no more micro-blogged in front of a live audience from a major venue like Wembley and to be filmed and distributed all over the world, cos then they might read them, but they probably wouldn't.

11123477% of all people, like, thought people should be forced to communicate with their loved ones and all the important people in the world like their doctors and their prime ministers and really important people using just Twitter and only ever Twitter, and no other way, otherwise they be arrested and shit.

And those statistics, bruv, those statistics, well you gotta admit they is like really important and shows how important Twitter is in everyone's life. And also the other thing is, right, is, its also a really good way of getting free publicity from gullible people as well - which is probably why they do it anyway in the first place... like, don't ya think?