Angry constituents force honest man into politics

A Bromsgrove man has been forced to stand as MP for the Midlands town following a meeting with constituents furious at the recent Julie Kirkbride expenses scandal.  Self-employed builder’s labourer Trevor Moult, 46, faced a series of probing questions about his financial history before being unanimously voted as Bromsgrove’s favourite candidate for the next election. 

A red-faced Moult admitted to constituents that he fastidiously logged all of his earnings, be they by cheque or ‘cash-in-hand’ and declared every single one in his annual tax self-assessment form.  He also scandalously revealed how he had never claimed for expenses of any kind during his time as an unskilled worker, and that he had never claimed any benefits, despite living alone and earning a minimum wage. 

Would-be voter pressed Moult on this issue, surmising that the middle-aged bachelor at least claimed a disability allowance, as evidenced by his slight limp.  Moult defended himself against this allegation by claiming that his limp was caused by a case of gout, before further stating that ‘The government don’t owe me anything, an’ I don’t owe them anything.’

Impressed by his transparent, no-nonsense honesty, the crowd at a packed Bromsgrove town hall unanimously voted for Moult to represent their constituency at the next election – effectively nominating him as the sole candidate for the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove and refusing to take no for an answer.  Faced with such intransigence, Trevor had no option but to bow to the wishes of the public and agreed to launch an election campaign ‘Just as soon as I’ve finished digging the footings on the new estate.’

Swept up in an outpouring of popular support, Moult then went further, promising to adhere to his anti-sleaze policy of direct honesty.  ‘I won’t be claiming for no second home in London ‘cos I’ll stay here in Bromsgrove and use one of them webcams to talk to the other MPs.’ he declared.  ‘That way I’ll do my bit for the planet, as I imagine a moped trip to Westminster wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly.’

Moult is now facing calls to step down from his post amid allegations that his refusal to travel to and live in the capital means that he will be unable to represent his constituents effectively.  He will answer these charges at a further public meeting at the town hall tomorrow.

(Written 29 May 2009)

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jennie Bond issues Great British Menu ultimatum

Great British Menu presenter Jennie Bond has sensationally threatened to quit the long-running cookery show unless the program’s format is radically altered so that contestants are forced to face each other in gladiatorial combat. 

Sources have revealed that the former royal correspondent lambasted producers of the show, where Britain’s top professional chefs compete against each other to produce the best dish for certain high-profile events, complaining of the lack of tension and antagonism between the participants. 

According to one BBC insider, Bond is fed up with having to hype up the slightest disagreement between chefs in order to ferment a small degree of strife.  ‘For example, when one of them casually mentioned that the other one’s crème anglaise was in danger of boiling over, Jenny had to say something like ‘ooh, it looks like Sat Baines is about to reach boiling point over that remark.’ She finds it far too tame and inoffensive.’

Bond is reportedly pressuring program makers into introducing a special endurance round in between the starter and fish course, where chefs are forced into an arena with cattle prods and made to fight each other with ‘the same sort of weapons the Vulcans use in that Star Trek episode.’

Other ideas include a five-minute ‘buzzer round’, where random sections of the stainless steel kitchen work surface are electrified; the ‘pressure cooker’, where contestants are given thirty seconds to plate up their culinary creations before a troupe of rabid baboons is released into the studio and the ‘taster’, where the competing chefs are allowed to taste their rivals dishes and suggest ways of improving the balance of tastes and textures, before attacking each other with meat tenderisers.  ‘That’ll really get the juices flowing!’ Bond is alleged to have remarked.

(Written 26 May 2009)

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pupil ‘sexed up’ school report, claims teacher

The parents and teacher of 10 year-old schoolboy Tyler Cullen are at loggerheads today following claims that he ‘sexed up’ his last end-of-term school report.  Mrs Sue Moult, teacher of Class 4a at Frampton Abbot County Primary School, Hampshire, first made the allegations after Cullen’s parents began to boast of their son’s astounding performance at a PTA meeting. 

When Moult countered with ‘That’s not what I wrote about the little bugger’, Mr and Mrs Cullen produced a copy of Tyler’s school report, which apparently praised the pupil’s helpful attitude after he volunteered to forgo morning assembly to rescue a drowning surfer from a nearby brook.  However Mrs.  Moult disputes these facts, pointing out that the report originally censured Tyler for ‘bunking off’ that morning, after being found knee-deep in water, trying to catch sticklebacks with a jam jar. 

Tyler’s parents refuse to countenance that their son, described by them as ‘our little angel’, may have doctored his report, despite the fact that, according to this document, his teacher later took Tyler out of his maths lesson and asked him to climb onto the bike shed roof and act as lookout against a possible Dalek invasion.  ‘Rubbish!’ counters Moult, reading the report.  ‘The dirty sod had been caught on the roof trying to get a look into the girl’s changing room.  And look at this bit – who in their right mind would let anyone under the age of 18 join a rag-tag group of Vietnam veterans in fighting off a group of Hell’s Angels?’

But Mr and Mrs Cullen are still not convinced, claiming.  ‘We simply cannot countenance that our son would do this.  Tyler is a brilliant and well-behaved child who deserves an A+ for every lesson he attends.  We know he has an active imagination and maybe watches too much TV, but what child could possibly have the adult knowledge necessary to claim that he was pressured into skiving off his RE lesson to buy 20 Benson and Hedges and a copy of Men’s Fitness for his teacher?’

However Moult does not agree.  ‘The report has obviously been tampered with – the handwriting is even worse than my own and there are splodges of Tippex everywhere.  If there’s one thing this useless little git is good at, it’s writing stories…  and besides, I smoke Rothmans.’

(Written 15 May 2009)

Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ex-CIA agent blows whistle on secret holiday camps

A former CIA operative has blown the lid off a global network of secret US government holiday camps.  Speaking anonymously to newspaper reporters, the former agent revealed that these camps are scattered throughout the globe, in countries allied to America’s war on terror and other participating nations. 

Suspects are said to be flown to a number of exotic locations where they are holed up in luxury hotels, fenced off from the local population and deprived of any contact with the outside world except for ludicrously priced coach excursions, where they are forced to buy poorly-made trinkets at grossly inflated prices. 

Scandalously, ‘Agent Ex’, as the whistle-bower is known, has also alleged that the United Kingdom is a willing partner in this scheme and that the British government has given its full support by building a compound at a top-secret location somewhere between Rhyl and Prestatyn. 

‘At this camp, internees are subjected to an array of humiliating and disorientating practices, such as knobbly knees competitions and glamorous granny pageants.  Their children are herded together by a sinister figure dressed in a badly fitting animal suit called the ‘childminder’, who compels them to build small castle-like structures out of sand as some kind of forced labour.’

He also maintains that other European countries are in on the act, with people between the ages of 18 and 30 being spirited off to Spain, Greece and Southern Cyprus, where they are tortured by sunburn, alcohol poisoning and sexually transmitted diseases – a revelation that has prompted thousands of British would-be terrorists to hand themselves in at local police stations. 

(Written 22 Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 26, 2009 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Church of England unveils new relics range

The Church of England has hit upon a recession-beating method of fundraising by reviving the craze for holy relics that once held medieval Europe in its thrall.  As of today, modern ‘relics’ from well-known Christians will be up for auction on the Anglican Church’s eBay store. 

The sale of these relics will raise much-needed funds for the cash-strapped religious organisation according to the Right Reverend Dr.  Stephen Davies, the Church of England’s Director of Online Multimedia Sales.  ‘Every truly devout Christian will want a piece of holiness in these troubled Godless times, especially when we’re offering free P&P for multiple purchases.’ he declared. 

The Church of England is offering a wide range of relics for sale, including holy objects from church leaders.  ‘Robert Runcie’s toenail clippings, John Sentamu’s nasal hair, smudges from George Carey’s glasses – everything for the discerning worshipper – even Rowan Williams’ beard trimmings!’ said Dr.  Davies. 

Money raised from the sale will go towards a number of vital projects, including an ambitious program of nationwide church roof repairs, better quality communion wafers and a fund to secure the services of Hollywood stars to open village fetes and jumble sales across the country.  ‘Speaking of stars, if body parts from senior church leaders doesn’t grab your attention, the perhaps our relics from world-famous Christians will whet your appetite for spiritual wellbeing.’ Dr.  Davies announced. 

‘Strings from Sir Cliff Richard’s tennis racket, bits of machinery from Dame Thora Hird’s stairlift and snippets of Jonathan Edwards’s trademark grey hair are all up for sale.’ The eBay store will also list relics from those popular ambassadors of the faith, the presenters of television’s Songs of Praise – a range that Dr.  Davies is particularly excited about.  ‘Customers will be given the opportunity to buy wool from Aled Jones’ jumpers or phials of spittle from one of Harry Seacombe’s comedy raspberries – a must for churchgoers and Goon Show fans alike. 

One collection of relics that is reportedly generating considerable interest, with thousands of bids already registered before they even go on sale, is the contents of Diane Louise Jordan’s underwear drawer.  ‘Such is the miraculous holy potency of this range, that we have even received interest from non-Christians.’ said Dr.  Davies.  ‘Well, I can only assume they aren’t Christians; looking at their purchase histories…’

(Written 22 Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Furore as PM admits he doesn’t do his own stunts

Gordon Brown faces fresh criticism today after admitting on BBC Radio 4’s Today program that he doesn’t actually perform his own stunts.  The Prime Minister was being quizzed by John Humphrys about the number of controversial and politically dangerous moves he has made during his parliamentary career, when he admitted that most of them had been carried out by professional stuntmen from Patterson Danger Management Ltd. 

Trevor Patterson, managing director of Patterson Danger Management Ltd, was first contacted by Gordon Brown shortly after he took office as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  ‘He was planning a major reform of Britain’s monetary policy by transferring the power to set interest rates to the Bank of England.’ Patterson explains.  ‘Such a risky stunt can only be carried out by professionals, so I put my best man on it – Dustin ‘Dusty’ Cochrane.’ Impressed by this work, the PM went on to use Dusty’s services to abolish Advance Corporation Tax relief, wiping out final salary pension schemes throughout the UK without the aid of a safety net. 

Patterson and his team were given further jobs after Gordon Brown’s accession to Prime Minister, with mixed results.  ‘Any stuntman will tell you that stunts can sometimes go wrong, just like in October 2007 when Gordon used us to spread speculation of a snap election.’ recalls Patterson.  To be a stunt professional you need to be part safety expert, but also part showman, so it’s really disappointing when a stunt goes off like a damp squib like that.’

Despite the furore caused by Gordon Brown’s interview, Patterson agrees with a government spokesman, who defended the use of stuntmen for ministerial initiatives by poining out that the practice had been going on for decades.  ‘Anthony Eden made extensive use of Pinewood’s stunt co-ordinator during the Suez crisis, whilst back in the 1840’s the Repeal of the Corn Laws was enacted by a circus troupe of tumbling dwarves.’ he says, ‘And another thing, do you really think it was Norman Tebbit on that bike in the 80’s?’

Patterson claims that George W Bush regularly used the services of Hollywood stuntmen, and contracted the services of television’s Jackass team during the invasion of Iraq.  He also points an accusing finger at former Labour stalwart Alice Mahon, who resigned in disgust from the party recently.  ‘Who is she trying to kid? We all know that that was Dusty in a floral dress, wig and safety harness.’

(Written 20 Apr)

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Open invitation on Facebook to wreck house turns into enjoyable party

A Berkshire humanities student has been left counting the cost after her open invitation to wreck her parent’s 5 bedroom house on a well-known social networking site degenerated into an enjoyable party full of light music, urbane banter and nibbles. 

19 year old Sara Bridges first hit upon the idea to invite hoards of destructive youths into her parent’s house, an extensive property on the outskirts of the small village of Caniston St.  Xerxes, after similar instances hit the headlines in recent months.  ‘Mummy and daddy had booked to go on an Indian Ocean cruise, but wouldn’t let me go along as I had coursework to finish.’ She explained to reporters.  ‘I was determined to show them what a mistake it was to think I could look after myself, so I let it be known on my Facebook wall that it would be open-house on Saturday night.’

‘When a group of drunken lads turned up at the front door I thought my plan was working.’ she continued, ‘but instead of kicking off in a booze-laden orgy of destruction, they simply stood in a corner, talking among themselves and inspecting daddies record collection.’ Soon other revellers appeared, carrying not the expected cans of White Lightning and pocketfuls of ready-rolled cannabis joints, but, much to her chagrin, bottles of Pinot Grigio and a Mediterranean dip selection. 

‘Rather than trashing the place, these so-called gatecrashers wandered around the house commentating on how tastefully decorated it was.  I thought things might turn a little nastier when some teenage girl from the council estate dropped a mini Kiev on the carpet, but she quickly apologised and cleared it up with a wet wipe.’ Sara’s hopes were further dashed when the neighbours came round, not to complain, but to offer to help with the washing up. 

‘It was a complete disaster – nobody even had the courtesy to stick a slice of pizza on the wall behind a curtain so that we wouldn’t find it until 6 months later!’ she lamented, ‘at one stage I thought I’d caught a couple shagging in my parent’s bedroom, but it turned out they’d only gone up there for a lie down as they both suffered from migraines.’ Miss Bridges was unable to comment further however, as she was due to negotiate a ransom for her parents after their drug-fuelled swinging cruise was hijacked by Somali pirates.

(Written Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Middle manager tells of anguish after office fire destroys pen collection

A mid-level productivity manager has spoken of his anguish after the stockpile of pens, pencils and dry wipe-board markers that he had painstakingly collected over a period of 15 years was lost in a fire that ravaged the Reading branch of his employer, Quality Assurance Ltd. 

By the time fire fighters had the blaze under control a large part of the building had been gutted, including the small first floor office of Gary Wetherall.  ‘The first thing I thought of was my pen collection.’ said the visibly shaken manager.  ‘I had at least thirty Biros of various colours, including one of those multicoloured ones where you click a button on the top to choose what colour you want.  Sadly they’re all gone now.’

Gary is also mourning the loss of his extensive assortment of highlighters.  ‘As productivity manager I’d use these to chart the efficiency of the staff; blue for those who are meeting the requisite standards – in other words working late for no extra pay, yellow for those who work late but have the nerve to claim time off in lieu, and bright pink to highlight poor performers – staff who insist on restricting their working hours to those stipulated within their contracts.’

The loss that Wetherall feels most keenly is that of the showpiece of his collection, his Executive Platinum Easigrip 2000 ball-point pen.  ‘It came in a little case with refills and everything.’ he recalls.  ‘It was personally awarded to me by the CEO last year, in recognition of my services to the company after I volunteered to select possible candidates for redundancy as part of a cost-cutting project.  Ironically the permanent marker that I used to cross off the names has also been lost in the fire.’

Fire investigators are currently examining several possibilities for the cause of the inferno, but are said to be concentrating on the suspected faulty wiring of a small illuminated display cabinet.  They are also investigating why the office’s smoke detection system did not raise the alarm before the fire took hold throughout the building.  ‘It’s a mystery to me.’ says Gary.  ‘and we can’t ask the company’s fire prevention officer because we laid him off in December.’

(Written 17 Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Motorist in the dock after honking when not horny

Michael Jenkins, a 36 year old car salesman from Surrey, is due to appear before a magistrate after admitting to honking his horn whilst not feeling particularly horny.  ‘I was stuck in traffic on the way back from work,’ explains the shamed motorist, ‘when I noticed a van in the next lane with a ‘honk if you’re horny’ sticker, so I though it’d be a laugh to pap my horn.’

However Mr.  Jenkins later admitted that he wasn’t actually feeling sexually aroused at the time.  ‘I was still knackered from going out with the lads the night before.  Plus I’d had a hard day at work – car sales are down and I hadn’t shifted a single vehicle all week – and I was feeling drained.  Queuing for ages in traffic and knowing that all I had to come home to was an earful off my wife for not getting my bonus again didn’t help much either.  I guess that the policeman on patrol must’ve noticed that I wasn’t looking randy enough when I tooted, ‘cos within minutes I was being pulled over.’

Jenkins must now answer to charges of endangering lives by dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention and failure to obey road signage – charges that are disproportionate for his misdemeanour he believes, although he does admit that falling asleep at the wheel half an hour previously and seriously injuring several pedestrians as he veered onto the pavement might also have something to do with it.

(Written Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Campaigner calls for kebab eating to be recognised as an extreme sport

The X Games, that annual ‘living on the edge’ tournament of extreme sports, is an Olympic celebration of all that is dangerous and thrilling – skateboarding, BMX biking, snowboarding and, if an IT worker from Aberystwyth gets his way, kebab eating.  For Barry Evans is campaigning for his favourite pastime, the consumption of doner kebabs, to be added to the extreme sports pantheon. 

By the very nature of their pursuits, extreme sports enthusiasts must ideally be young, fit and healthy – a stereotype that Barry, 42, hopes to overturn with his campaign.  ‘I used to love watching the X Games on telly, but despaired at all those lean and tanned adrenaline junkies taking part.  What about all the middle-aged, overweight and physically inactive extreme sports fans such as myself?’

Determined not to let this seemingly prejudicial attitude prevail any longer, Barry began to think about how people of his ‘comfortable lifestyle’ could participate in the dangerous world of X competitions.  It wasn’t long before he had a revelation: ‘I was tucking into a particularly spicy chicken tikka lunchtime kebab special when it hit me – why not make that an extreme sport? I’d have shouted ‘eureka’ if I didn’t have a mouthful of pickled chillies at the time.’

Since then Barry has emailed the organisers of the X Games with his suggestion several times, but has yet to receive a reply, apart from an out of office message over Christmas, but he remains undeterred.  ‘Kebab eating would open up the world of extreme sports to millions of less-than-active enthusiasts, and just think of the sponsorship deals – Pizza Hut, KFC, Ali’s Takeaway Bazaar – the possibilities are endless.’

Barry’s defiance in the face of his critics is also worthy of an endurance event, as time and time again he defends his campaign against those who say that eating kebabs doesn’t hold a candle to the edge-of-your-seat peril of bungee jumping, hang gliding or mountain boarding.  But Barry is defiant: ‘What do they know about danger? Have they ever been a diabetic who spends most of their time sat in front of a screen munching on sweets? Does BMX champ Shanaze Reade take little or no exercise except walking down the pub every lunchtime against their doctor’s firm and emphatic orders? Does skateboarding star Tony Hawk subsist on a diet of junk food whilst having a family history of heart disease? Let me tell you, if that’s not living on the edge I don’t know what is!’

(Written 15 Apr 2009)

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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