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Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page

Prime Minister says he ‘didn’t want to go to a New Year party anyway’

In Culture, News, Politics on December 30, 2009 at 23:40

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has announced that he ‘hates New Year’ and that he is ‘glad’ that he isn’t going to a New Year’s Eve party this year, because he ‘didn’t want to go to one anyway’.

Speaking this afternoon at a hastily assembled news conference at Downing Street, the Prime Minister confirmed that he would not be attending any New Year celebrations this year, on the basis that they were all ‘rubbish’.

“New Year is stupid,” the Prime Minister said. “I mean, think about it – here we are getting all worked up about the New Year, when in 12 short months we’ll be back here again glad to see the back of it. It’s pointless.

Just one of the many hundreds of New Year's parties that the Prime Minister has not been invited to

“And anyway, even if I did go to a party, it would probably be a massive disappointment – it always is.  It always gets built up as the best night of the year, but you’re left with no booze, and your best mate ends up snogging the bird you’ve had your one good eye on all night.  How is that fun?”

Mr. Brown has faced a difficult year in 2009 ahead of next year’s General Election with many backbenchers looking to force him out of office, while his personal approval level has sunk to an all-time low.  All of which has lead to increased speculation that the Prime Minister’s hard line on New Year celebrations comes as a direct consequence of not being invited anywhere.

“That’s b*llocks,” Mr. Brown said earlier, to refute these allegations. “I’ve been invited to loads of parties. What’s that? How many? Four.  No, wait – nine. Yes, nine parties.  I just think they’ll all be rubbish.

“Let Sarah and the family go out and find out for themselves how rubbish they are. I’ll stay indoors with a bottle of gin and shout obscenities at that gurning idiot Jools Holland on the telly in my vest and pants.”

The Prime Minister’s comments have brought a mixed reaction from the voting public, and although some have preferred to label him a “boring t*at” others have shown their support for his sentiments.

“I agree with Brown – New Year’s Eve is always rubbish.  Why do we fall for it every year?” said one anonymous man.  “I’m going to follow the PM’s example and get my own gin, vest and pants and just stay in .”

Labour party spokesperson was quick to laugh off Mr. Brown’s comments as “a seasonal practical joke, which has got out of hand” although added in hushed, urgent tones: “You didn’t let on where the big Labour party New Year’s Eve party is happening, did you?”

Nation vows never to eat turkey again

In Culture, News on December 27, 2009 at 11:19

Uuuuurghh

The entire nation has vowed never to so much as go near any turkey ever again according to reports. The sudden move follows three days of  sustained binge eating of the bird in a variety of different ways over the festive period, and comes in the wake of a sustained bout of stomach cramps, pains and aches brought about by stuffing it into people’s every orifice as quickly as humanly possible.

Angela Wilkinson and her husband Ken, from Stoke-on-Trent are one such couple who have been forcing turkey down their necks in recent days.

“On Christmas Day, Angela cooked up a lovely meal for us, and the rest of the family – we had seven of us over in total, so we got a larger turkey than usual,” Ken explains.

“Although, if I’m completely honest, all this really meant was that was we had more left over. I’ve had turkey in every single meal since Christmas lunch, and if I so much as see another piece, I swear, I’ll go completely f*****g postal.”

“It’s true,” says Angela. “We had so much leftover turkey that I had to start slipping it in with Ken’s Corn Flakes in the morning so that I could use it all up. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey surprise – that’s turkey with extra turkey – and my favourite, turkey trifle. We’ve still got half a turkey left – what are we going to do?”

The Wilkinsons are far from alone with their dilemma, as a recent survey showed that by the 27th December every year, almost 92% of all Britons would rather hack off their limbs with a rusty spoon than take another mouthful of turkey.

Even senior politicians are not immune to the effects of too much turkey, as Michael Heseltine recalls: “I remember one year in the late 1980s after too much turkey and quite a lot of gin, we had to physically restrain Mrs. Thatcher from giving the order to declare war on Turkey – in fairness, there had been a bit of a misunderstanding.”

To combat the escalating turkey issue, the government have proposed widespread boycotting of the Christmas meal in 2010, unveiling their campaign yesterday under the slogan: ‘Why not have a pizza instead?’

Turkey magnate Bernard Matthews, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment,  as most people seem have assumed that he died after he stopped doing the ads for frozen turkey burgers on the telly, so we didn’t bother.

Britain preparing to use snow as excuse for not buying enough presents

In News on December 23, 2009 at 13:08

The entire population of the UK was said last night to be preparing to use the recent cold snap as an excuse for not having bought enough Christmas presents for friends and family. Temperatures have plummeted to as low as -10C in parts of the country, with between 5cm and 10cm of snow predicted to fall in eastern Scotland over the next few days, causing havoc on the roads, and disrupting many Christmas deliveries in the process.

A Royal Mail statement assured customers that they are doing “everything possible” to ensure that deliveries arrive on time, but added that they would “like to take issue with the number of people who are already trying to blame us for their own laziness when it’s clear that they simply can’t be arsed getting up off the sofa and buying gifts.”

The perfect crime

However, Daniel Swanson, 21, an Estate Agent from Gateshead gave his own view on the situation: “All this snow is great, isn’t it?” he commented. “Basically, all I’ve done this year is buy a couple of loo rolls, wrapped them up, and put them under the tree, and told the family that the rest is on order from Amazon, and that it must have been delayed by the snow.

“As the days have gone on, and it’s got increasingly snowy, I’ve done a great job of looking increasingly agitated and exasperated about the whole thing. The other day, I even pretended to phone Amazon up and give them a b*llocking in full view of my family. I think they bought it – this lovely snowy weather has saved me an absolute fortune on Christmas shopping this year.”

However, not everyone has been so fortunate. Jennifer Stevens, 34, from South London, was one of the thousands who had been depending on the snow to relieve the strains of her festive bank balance.

“The problem is,” she explains, “That here in London, we’ve hardly had any snow compared to the rest of the country. If anything, it’s just been a bit icy. Although that’s not ideal for the transportation of Christmas parcels, it’s hardly realistic to expect that it was responsible for delaying all of my deliveries by about ten days, is it?

“I think I’m going to have to face the music on this one, and admit that I was too busy sitting on the sofa, watching Jeremy Kyle to actually go out and get anybody anything. This could be uncomfortable.”

Queen to deliver Christmas message via medium of interpretive dance

In Entertainment, News on December 22, 2009 at 11:39

The Queen, delivering her thoughts on the MP's expenses row

The Queen will deliver this year’s Christmas message via the medium of interpretive dance, sources at Buckingham Palace confirmed last night.  The Royal Christmas message to the Commonwealth is a tradition first established in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V on the BBC Empire Service.

Today, the message is broadcast all over the world via television, radio, satellite and the internet, and it is thought that the Royal family are keen to explore new ways of ensuring that the message is relevant to its ever-changing audience.

“We’ve been looking at ways of jazzing the whole thing up for a while now,” a Palace spokesperson said.  “The Queen’s done loads of these things now and recently she’s made it abundantly clear that she’s sick and tired of the same old tired format.  If we didn’t shake things up this year, she threatened to turn up on the day without a script, wearing some tracksuit bottoms, a dirty old t-shirt and with her curlers in.”

Palace officials soon got to work in order to appease the Sovereign, and put together a ten minute routine for Her Royal Highness that will encapsulate her high and low points of 2009, while outlining her hopes for 2010.

“I think we’ve put together a routine of interpretive dance that Her Majesty can be rightly proud of,” said Darcy Blake, lead coreographer for the Queen’s 2009 Christmas message.  “Without wanting to give too much away, we’ve tried to put in a little bit of something for everyone.

“From Her Majesty miming the snatching of money from her pocket in grand flourishes in order to describe the credit crunch to pretending to danc with a machine gun, signalling the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, this performance really has it all.  The two-minute moon walk, to signify the death of Michael Jackson has to be seen to be believed.”

This is not the first time that the monarchy has attempted to take the Christmas message in a new, radical direction.  In 1990, inspired by the John Barnes’ famous rap in England’s World Cup record World in Motion the Queen attempted to put her message into rap form, only for the plug to be pulled at the last minute when it emerged that she wanted to refer to the Commonwealth as “one’s bitches.”

If this year’s experiment is successful, if could open the way for future Christmas messages to be delivered through other genres.  Bookmakers William Hill are already offering odds of 3/1 that the 2010 Christmas message will be delivered by means of a underground rave in the heart of Essex.

Christmas no.1 is song nobody even likes

In Entertainment, Media, Music on December 21, 2009 at 09:17

The 2009 Christmas no.1 is, for the first time, a song that nobody even likes, it has been revealed.  Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name was a song that relatively few people purchased upon the first release of the single during November 1992, and few eyebrows were raised when it reached a high point of 25 – a position that in no small way reflected the ambivalence of the record-buying public toward the band.

However, a spokesperson for Rage Against the Machine, insisted that the band’s festive top spot should in no way be devalued by the recent media campaign. Speaking at the launch of a new Facebook group to make sure their 1999 album The Battle of Los Angeles is top of the first album chart of 2010, he said:

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."

“Come on guys. Do you really think people are so stupid that they’ll just go out and buy whatever people tell them to? Although I suppose that would go some way to explaining the mystifying popularity of S Club 7.”

Ethel Carraway, 83, was one of the many who downloaded Killing in the Name and explains: “I can’t stand this song – it’s just a load of loud, unbearable noise, not like the lovely tunes they used to have in my day. I’ll certainly never listen to it again.

Ethel continued: “To be honest, I’ve never heard of this X Factor business and don’t even know who this Simon Cowell chap is as I don’t own a TV here in the retirement home. All I heard was that by doing this it would be f*****g up the establishment, and I’m all for that.  Fight the power!”

Plans are already underway to strike against the X Factor‘s plans for domination of next year’s Christmas no.1 spot, as Tracey and John Morter, founders of the Facebook group which led to this year’s chart rebellion, explained:

“This just goes to show that people are willing to buy a single they completely hated the first time around, in order that another single they completely hate this time around doesn’t sell more records.  It’s really just that simple, and shows that, if nothing else, people will not be told by Simon Cowell – or anyone else for that matter – what music they should buy.”

John Morter then added: “Having said that, next year, we’re going to tell everyone to buy a new song we’ve made up called: We Hate Simon Cowell and His Songs are Really Rubbish – the song won’t be any good, and will have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas, but if this year has proven anything it’s that none of these factors are in any way important.  We are already quietly confident.”

Nobody really sure what Google Wave actually does

In Technology on December 16, 2009 at 09:25

Is THIS a Google Wave?

Despite a blaze of publicity and a huge clamour to receive an ‘invite’ enabling users to make use of the application, it emerged last night that nobody is really sure what Google Wave is or what it does.

Google Wave was launched earlier this year, with Google insiders claiming that it was “what e-mail might look like if it were launched today.”

“What the hell does that mean?” said 28 year-old trainee accountant Colin Steeple – one of hundreds of people around the country attempting to fathom the intricacies of the service. “E-mail has already been launched, so if it’s a similar offering, then it’s probably a bit redundant, isn’t it?”

45 year-old computer programmer Dave Harper has been equally confused by the promise of great things from Google Wave.

“I read about it months ago and heard how it was going to revolutionise the way we communicate with each other by sending ‘waves’,” he explained. “But I’m still no clearer on what that actually means. “I had imagined a gigantic wave of binary information soaring high above my head as soon as I type something, but there seems to be no option for that – only lots of different panes and tabs. Perhaps mine is broken?”

Colin agrees: “I’m not really sure what the whole ‘wave’ thing means. Does it mean I have to wave at people more? I mean, sure, I could watch the three hour tutorial video and find out about it that way, but you know – I’ve got a life.”

When approached for some clarification as to what Google Wave did, Google issued the following statement: “Google Wave is a personal communication and collaboration tool.  It is a web-based service, computing platftorm and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.”

The statement continued: “Google Wave provides federation by using an extension of XMPP, the open Wave Federation Protocal. Being an open protocol, anyone can use it to build a custom Wave system and become a wave provider. The use of an open protocol is intended to parallel the openness and ease of adoption of the e-mail protocol and, like e-mail, allow communication regardless of provider. Google hopes that waves may replace e-mail as the dominant form of Internet communication.”

“What was the first bit?” said Dave Harper upon being informed of the statement.  “Look, I may not understand a word of what that statement says, or have the first idea about how Google Wave works, but if there’s one thing I do know it’s that if it’s produced by Google, then it must be amazing.  Woo!  Go Google Wave!”

Giggs wins £20 on scratchcard as winning run continues

In Sport on December 15, 2009 at 09:26

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has revealed that his incredible winning run which has seen him pick up prize after prize during 2009 continued yesterday after he won £20 on a National Lottery ‘Merry Millions’ scratchcard.

Giggs, 36, has enjoyed a stellar year, which caps more than 20 years playing football the highest level. During the calendar year he has managed to win the Premier League, Carling Cup, PFA Player of the Year as well as the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The ultimate prize

“To be fair, this scratchcard win is the best prize of them all,” a jubilant Giggs told reporters this morning. “I’d never even done one before, but needed to pick some milk up on my way home from training when I just saw it there next to the till at the corner shop. Well, with the way my luck’s been running, I thought it would be rude not to get one. The rest is history.”

Asked if there had been any other examples of Giggs’ extraordinary capacity to win absolutely everything in sight, the United man confirmed that he had already turned down two British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA on the basis that he “hadn’t actually done anything to merit either award” – reopening the debate as to the validity of his Footballer of the Year award in the process.

Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand insists that Giggs deserves every award he recieves. “Ryan’s a great talent, and has worked for everything he achieved, including this scratchcard, which will mean the world to him.

“The lads have been winding him up in training by saying they voted for him in the X Factor final on Sunday. In all seriousness, all the others are just lucky Giggsy hasn’t entered it yet – he’d win it hands down.”

Asked how he’d spend his £20 winnings, Giggs was in defiant mood. “Spend it? Are you joking? Do you think I melted down all of my medals and sold them? Do you think I put my 1999 Goal of the Season Award on e-bay? No, this will take pride of place alongside all of my other trophies.”

Giggs will place the crisp £20 note in a special, fortified trophy cabinet containing medals from his glittering career, including his 64 caps for Wales, 11 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, and 2 European Cups.

“Every time I look at that glistening £20, it just makes me so emotional,” said Giggs. “I always think ‘what if I hadn’t needed any milk?’ Thankfully I did, and in many ways it’s made me the man I am today.”

Kid wins karaoke contest, ruins Christmas

In Entertainment, Music on December 14, 2009 at 09:19

Rage Against the Machine's newest member

A young man who triumphed by winning a karaoke competition this weekend is expected to demonstrate his gratitude by openly urinating into the dying embers of one of the great Christmas traditions, it has been confirmed.

Joe McElderry, 18, ‘won’ last night’s televised popularity contest and is expected to go on to achieve this year’s Christmas no.1 in just over 10 days, following in the footsteps of all the other stars before him who were able to learn the words to other people’s songs then belt them out in barely passable fashion.

Bookmakers have already stated that McElderry is now the red-hot favourite to secure Christmas number one, with Ladbrokes cutting his odds of earning the top spot to 1/8.

NME journalist Chris Cavendish said: “For years now we’ve had to put up with this crap filling our charts at this time of the year. You would have thought that after Alexandra Burke got smacked in the face they would have got the message about what these records are doing to people. Apparently not.”

Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley agreed: “I see that Joe’s single is out on Wednesday. Now, call me cynical, but that’s a quick bit of writing on his part. Did he knock something together between the ad breaks during Sunday’s final show? What’s that? He DIDN’T write it? Well blow me down.”

However, Cheryl Cole, who mentored Joe throughout the karaoke competition, disagreed that his record would devalue the Christmas no.1.

“People who say that a manufactured single getting the Christmas no.1 year after year after year devalues the achievement don’t know what they are talking about.  I mean, obviously I’m only saying that because I don’t have a record out this Christmas and stand to profit considerably from this one,” she said, before adding: “It’s in the shops on Wednesday! Buy it!”

The concept of the traditional battle for the Christmas no.1 top spot has been the cause of much controversy this year, with a Facebook group set up to implore the public to buy Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name as a protest against Simon Cowell and the idea of manufactured hits ruining the once-great tradition.

Cowell hit back after last night’s karaoke final, insisting: “I don’t know why everyone’s falling for this trick.  Rage Against the Machine have just been signed up by Pete Waterman and the record they are releasing is simply a re-mixed version of their old track, with Rick Astley singing backing vocals.  You’ll never beat me Waterman….mwah ha ha ha ha.”

Climate change summit debates whether or not to turn on central heating for 6 hours

In World News on December 10, 2009 at 09:18

Environmentalists around the world have been shocked by the news that more than six hours of one of yesterday’s sessions at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen was spent debating whether or not they should switch on the central heating.

The summit is aimed at gathering representatives from leading nations around the world to make decisive action towards halting climate change.

“The trouble is,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “These talks are taking place in Denmark in mid bloody December and it’s freezing inside the building. I’m all for halting climate change, as long as the climate isn’t ridiculously cold to start with.”

The key to global climate change

The Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations in New York, Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping agreed: “What you have to understand is that I’ve come here from the Sudan to sit in a room in sub-zero temperatures to hear a load of people waffling on. Why they didn’t have this in Sydney like I suggested, I’ll never know.”

The lone dissenting voice, and cause of the six hour debate was President and chairwomen of the summit, Connie Hedegaard, who argued: “Look, you lot all need to grow a pair. The air temperature is perfectly fine in here. Go and get a jumper. Don’t they have jumpers in the Sudan, Lumumba?”

Eventually, after six hours of, ironically, heated exchanges on the issue, the US’s special envoy for climate chance, Todd Stern, decided to intervene and broke up the debate by offering to fetch everyone a warm drink.

“I don’t care what it is,” he is reported to have said.  “Hot chocolate, tea, coffee….hell, I’ll even go out and get each of you a hot toddy if you think it’ll make things better.”

At present it is not known whether or not Stern’s offer will be enough to broker a lasting peace in the talks, although experts have hailed it as a masterstroke.  Dan Findlay, environmental correspondent for the Wall Street Journal said:

“Todd Stern has used all the experience and nous that he’s gained over the course of his career here.  Not many people know this, but he used exactly the same trick in his role as White House negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol, only this time he suggested a round of Mojitos for everyone – that did the trick, and I expect this to do the same.”

Government to get massive bonus from banks, says Darling

In Finance, Politics on December 9, 2009 at 09:13

BONUS!!!

The government will be the latest to benefit from the recent trend of substantial bonuses for bankers when the chancellor announces new measures today outlining a new ‘non-banker bonus’ for government workers.

The bonus will be awarded in the form of a tax on banks with ‘excessive bonus pools’ and will see government officials and civil servants  rewarded for their hard work in bailing out ailing financial institutions in the form of a big, fat meaty cheque.

“At first, we thought about using this money and pumping it back into our failing economy,” said chancellor Alistair Darling. “But then we laughed at the idea, called it ridiculous and decided that, to be honest, we’d had enough of working our nuts off bailing out the likes of Northern Rock and it was time we got some payback.”

Although it is understood that the bonus or ‘tax’ – set to be announced ahead of the chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report today – will be a one-off arrangement, Mr. Darling winked at reporters, nodded and smiled, saying, “You never know! It’s an awful lot of cash, but I bet I can blow the lot on cheap booze before Christmas.”

Asked what he would be spending his bonus on, George Ashby, 27, a civil servant from Pimlico said: “A yacht! Two yachts! As many drugs as I can get my hands on! WAHEY!”

Bernard St. Ledger, Chairman of HSBC, said: “We think this  tax is absolutely preposterous.  Bonuses are meant as a fair reflection of the work our employees put in over a calendar year, and we don’t think it’s right that some government pen-pushers come in and nick all of our hard-earned cash.

“Our people are highly talented and they’re in global demand. They deserve their fois gras, their Ferraris and their small South Pacific islands.  People in government deserve nothing more than a sharp slap in the face.”

Mr. Darling denied that this morning’s announcement was designed to line his own pockets and those of his fellow government workers, arguing that he was attempting to force a permanent shift in the culture of the City, with the ultimate aim of a creating a Utopian society where a state of free love exists amongst all men.

“Imagine there’s no heaven,” said the chancellor last night, “it’s easy if you try,” before continuing to outline how much better off we would be with no pain, hunger or possessions.

“You may say I’m a dreamer,” Mr. Darling continued, “but I’m not the only one.  I hope one day you will join us.  And the world will be as one.  Does anyone fancy a pint?”