From next year, the traditional Party Election Broadcast will be replaced by a blipvert that operates below the threshold of human conscious perception. ‘The old party political broadcasts suffered from a terrible flaw,’ explained Tory party strategist Lynton Crosby. ‘As soon as anyone realised they were watching one, they immediately switched over.’
Under the new rules, each party will be given a number of prime-time TV slots to access the nation’s subconscious by flashing up a brief image of their leader lasting less than 30 milliseconds. David Cameron might pop up in the middle of Eastenders grinning and waving some money, Ed Miliband could suddenly appear on Coronation Street looking sternly at an electricity bill, while Nick Clegg may turn up on Hollyoaks under a big neon sign flashing the word ‘Sorry’.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has also been allocated a couple of blipverts that he will use to flash-frame the image of an invading army of 485 million zombie immigrants.
Ed Miliband has welcomed the move. ‘I have been using subliminal tactics for some time,’ he said. ‘In fact I am so below the radar of public consciousness, most people have no idea they have even seen me.’ Nick Clegg also likes the idea of being able to make any future pledges subliminally, so that no-one will know for certain when he inevitably breaks them.
However, concerns have been raised after a pilot study in which viewers exposed to the ads complained of terrible flashbacks. Some people kept seeing David Cameron’s big pink face looming ominously towards them, an image so disturbing it caused a number of victims’ heads to explode.
‘Subliminal ads do carry the risk of post traumatic party political trauma,’ said psychologist Dr Raj Persaud, ‘but the modest risk of spontaneous cranial combustion is more than offset by never having to sit through a normal length broadcast.’
To ensure fair play, the ads will be regulated by the Subliminal Advertising Standards Authority, an organisation about which most people have no awareness. If a blipvert is deemed to have broken electoral guidelines it will be immediately followed by a special ‘cleansing ad’ that will automatically erase the subconscious memory of the first one.
‘Subliminal adverts are the future of political campaigning,’ said Crosby. ‘And very soon everyone will agree with me, even if they have no idea why.’
The Government has stepped up its plans to increase monitoring of people’s activities by unveiling plans to introduce into every home 24-hour surveillance telescreens that will beam out the massive face of David Cameron.
‘We were planning to monitor everyone’s phone calls, texts and emails but this system is so much simpler,’ said the all-seeing widescreen Prime Minister. ‘Telescreens are the best way for me to personally oversee the Big Society and to make sure that everyone is doing their bit.’
Under the scheme all homes will be fitted with a government-approved CCTV, or Cameron Controlled Television, a combined TV and security camera that will allow ‘Big Dave’ to keep a watchful eye on people’s behaviour at all times.
‘Every telescreen will be HD ready so people can enjoy my big fat face in all its glorious detail,’ said Cameron, ‘and very soon we hope to be rolling out the 3D version so that I can loom menacingly into your living room and tell you not to panic.’
Until recently the telescreens had been restricted to the homes of Inner and Outer party members, and were used primarily to keep an eye on Nick Clegg and make sure he was maintaining his Doublethink. This is the first time that the telescreens will be made available to the Proles, and the news has already been warmly welcomed with a celebratory ‘Two Minutes Hate’.
‘Yes, these new telescreens are fantastic,’ said one random member of the public, a Mr Winston Smith. ‘To know that Mr Cameron is watching over us at all times is very comforting. I feel so loved.’
Concerns expressed by civil liberties campaigners that the country was rapidly turning into a ‘Big Brother’ state were dismissed by newly-appointed Minister for Truth Mr O’Brien. ‘These people are adding two and two together and making four,’ he said, ‘when everyone knows that the real answer is five.’
‘People will soon get used to the telescreens,’ he assured citizens. ‘Let’s face it, most of the time they are on Facebook or Twitter telling everyone what they’re up to anyway, so I fail to see what all the fuss is about.’
The Prime Minister rejected claims that the plans were ‘Orwellian’. ‘I really don’t think that this can be said,’ he insisted, ‘especially since the term ‘Orwellian’ has now been reclassified as a thoughtcrime.’
Downing Street has confirmed that David Cameron will now be charging a fee for anyone to ask him a question in the House of Commons.
‘This is all perfectly legal and above board,’ said Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Lightning Conductor General, ‘but it’s only reasonable that Mr Cameron is fairly remunerated for his work at PMQs, especially now that he has to pay for his own dinners.’
The revelations came to light when former party treasurer Peter Cruddas was secretly filmed hanging around outside the House of Commons offering MPs a chance for a ‘quickie’ with the Prime Minister, plus the possibility that ‘Samanfa might watch’.
Under the scheme MPs can choose from a range of packages. The entry level Toady Club offers members a chance to ask sycophantic questions such as, ‘Wouldn’t the Prime Minister agree with me that he is doing a simply marvellous job?’ Meanwhile, The Wannabe Leader’s Group offers the opportunity to ask Mr Cameron questions about his record or personal integrity, with prices starting at only £10,000 each. Questions by Dennis ‘Beast of Bolsover’ Skinner have been set at a modest £250,000.
‘I shouldn’t have to pay good money to hold the Prime Minister to account,’ said Opposition leader Ed Miliband. ‘Given my performance, if anything, he should be paying me.’
However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he thought the charges were quite reasonable. ‘If I had known it was this cheap to get access to Mr Cameron I wouldn’t have needed to sell my soul.’
People watching PMQs at home will now also be subject to charges. Under the new Prime Ministerial Paywall, subscribers to the basic package will get access to all of PMQs plus repeats of classic Cameron on Dave Ja Vu.
Meanwhile an adult channel, Cameron Blue, will offer viewers the chance to see the Prime Minister in his Downing Street flat performing a sexy pole dance and talking dirty about tax cuts. This service is expected to be very popular among merchant bankers.
Mr Maude denied that Cash for Prime Ministerial Questions would undermine the democratic process. ‘While people will be paying for the chance to ask Mr Cameron questions he won’t be providing any answers,’ he promised, ‘and there is absolutely no way we would ever allow a question at PMQs to actually influence government policy.’
March 18, 2012
The Prime Minister has vowed to tackle ‘absurd barriers to mixed-party adoption’ as he sets out proposals to fast-track Nick Clegg into the Conservative household.
‘Nick has been with us now for almost two years and it’s high time he became a full family member,’ said Mr Cameron. ‘In an ideal world he should be with his biological party, but it seems unlikely they will ever have him back.’
The new cross-party adoption plan will help speed up the process of adopting Clegg into the Tory family by removing unnecessary ‘red tape’ such as adhering to any tiresome manifesto pledges. Clegg will also undergo a modest surgical procedure to remove any remaining traces of social conscience.
‘Nick has already made great progress integrating into his new Conservative foster home,’ said a Westminster Council social worker. ‘He has quickly learned how to break promises, sacrifice principles and make shameless political u-turns. Although he still has a few minor health complaints, he’s almost one of them.’
But critics of cross-party adoption are not happy with plans to take in Little Orphan Cleggie. ‘While everyone feels sorry for Nick, he really needs to be placed with a party that wants him,’ said backbencher Nadine Dorries. ‘He’s a cuckoo in the nest and should be housed with his own kind.’
Psychologists warn that unless Clegg finds a home soon he could suffer a serious identity crisis. ‘Nick needs to know that people love him,’ said Dr Raj Persaud, ‘and he certainly can’t get that from the opinion polls. But wherever he ends up, he still needs to be reminded about where he came from, especially since he appears to have forgotten most of his liberal heritage.’
‘We realise that Nick is a problem child,’ said Mr Cameron, ‘but the important thing is that he feels loved. Nick should know that there is always a place for him with us here, in the cupboard under the stairs.’
The Prime Minister today surprised political and musical commentators alike by appointing 75-year-old singer Englebert Humperdinck as his new director of strategy at No.10. ‘Englebert is a valued addition to the team,’ said Mr Cameron. ‘He has sold over 150 million albums which is far more than Steve Hilton ever managed, and he is just the man to help me appeal to the ladies.’
‘My first task is help sex up Mr Cameron’s image,’ explained the septuagenarian pop sensation. ‘To appeal to that all-important female demographic, David is growing a nice pair of mutton chop side burns. He is also making good progress on his gyrating hip thrust, which should make all the difference at PMQs.’
‘Englebert will also be helping me to relaunch the Big Society,’ said an already crooning Cameron. ‘This time round we are planning to set up a range of community choirs who will sing the Humperdinck back catalogue while they gleefully sweep the streets and pick up litter.’
Humperdinck is already a firm favourite in government circles. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is well known for his version of ‘A Man Without Love’, while Business Secretary Vince Cable is regularly to be seen wandering the corridors of Westminster singing ‘Please Release Me, Let Me Go’.
Not to be outdone, Labour leader Ed Miliband has approached Tom Jones for advice. ‘Tom recommended I don a pair of tight leather trousers,’ said Miliband. ‘They chafe a bit and I’m not too sure about the frilly shirt, but I will do whatever it takes to help me connect with the voters.’
The appointment of Humperdinck to such a high profile position has seen a rapid response from other European nations. France has already called in octogenarian Charles Aznavour, Ireland has appointed the double headed think-tank Jedward, and Greece is currently contemplating the tactical deployment of Demis Roussos.
Meanwhile, in other news, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been confirmed as Britain’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, where he will be performing his heartfelt rendition of ‘Puppet on a String’.
July 17, 2011
In yet another twist to the phone hacking scandal, former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has announced her unresignation from the company.
‘It is totally inconceivable that I could have known anything about my resignation,’ said Ms Brooks, speaking to a small crowd of remaining News International staff. ‘Clearly I cannot be held responsible for any decision to resign because when I made it I was only in charge,’ adding, ‘and anyway I was probably on holiday at the time.’
The unresignation has been welcomed by News Corp chairman James Murdoch. ‘It’s great to have her back on board. Over the past few weeks Rebekah has played an invaluable role in detracting attention away from me and my dad and our honest endeavours to make the whole thing go away.’
Ms Brooks has now signed a new contract with News Corp in which she agrees to resign and unresign on a daily basis. ‘This new firewall contract is the perfect solution,’ explained Ms Brooks, ‘It allows me to take decisions one day while evading responsibility for them the next.’
The decision to unresign follows outrage after Ms Brooks’ original resignation was deemed ‘insensitive’, coming as it did while BBC journalists were holding a one day strike and unable to cover the story in full. ‘This is so typical of Rebekah,’ complained BBC political editor Nick Robinson. ‘She deliberately waited until I wasn’t there before resigning. She should now do the decent thing: unresign, then resign again for not resigning well enough the first time.’
Politicians have also welcomed the move. ‘I have been calling for her resignation for ages,’ said MP Chris Bryant, ‘but now that she has actually resigned it leaves a massive gap in my diary. I think I speak for everyone when I say, welcome back Rebekah. Now we can all get back to the important business of demanding that she resign.’
In a rare interview Mr Murdoch senior welcomed the development. ‘Yes, we have made a few minor mistakes’, he confessed, ‘but now that everyone at News Corp has been forced to sign our new employment-unemployment contract in which they resign every day, nobody can ever be held accountable for their actions. We have finally achieved my lifelong dream: power without responsibility, the prerogative of the Rupert throughout the ages.’
June 15, 2011
David Cameron has confirmed that the government’s NHS bill will have its life ended by physician-assisted suicide. ‘We tried everything to save it,’ said Mr Cameron, ‘but the condition is terminal. We have therefore decided that the time has come to put it out of its misery.’
Although killing a parliamentary bill is still illegal under British law, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been given special dispensation to fly it out to Switzerland where it will be terminated by doctors at the Dignitas Clinic.
‘Personally I would have preferred to put the bill into a hospice,’ said Lansley, ‘but the conditions in the House of Lords leave a lot to be desired. Of course we all hoped that during the 10-week listening exercise the bill might show some signs of remission, but every time I spoke to the doctors they told me there was no hope of recovery.’
The BMA has welcomed the decision. ‘While we do not normally approve of physician-assisted suicide, in this case we are prepared to make an exception,’ said a representative. ‘Sometimes the prognosis is so bad that the best option is a quick, painless death, followed by cheering and a street party.’
Various attempts to save the bill had been unsuccessful leaving it with only weeks to live. ‘We knew things had become serious,’ said a tearful Lansley, ‘because the last time I looked at the bill someone had left a sign by its bed reading “Do Not Resuscitate”.’
However, there is concern that some politicians have been placing undue pressure on the bill to have it killed off, purely for their own personal gain. ‘There was no undue pressure,’ insisted Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. ‘I saw the charts and the figures spoke for themselves – it was going to die, and so were we. All I want is for the bill to be given a peaceful, dignified death – personally that is something I would also like for myself but I guess you can’t have everything.’
The prime minister has denied accusations that the decision represents yet another humiliating U-turn. ‘I prefer not to think of this as a U-Turn,’ said Mr Cameron. ‘As politicians we abide by a code of ethics that says that when things get awkward we change our minds to save our skins. It’s called the Hypocritic Oath.’
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has announced that plans to reduce prison sentences by up to 50% will be abandoned in favour of a new system of HMP Nectar points.
Under the scheme, those who immediately plead guilty to their crime will have their Nectar card swiped with 1,000 introductory points that they can use to buy fags, phone credit or pornography. Alternatively they can save up their rewards for bigger treats such as a set of glass tumblers or a day trip to Legoland.
‘The Nectar points scheme represents a major re-think in sentencing policy,’ explained Mr Clarke. ‘Previously I was trying to reduce the number of prisoners, but following a chat with David Cameron I now understand that government policy is to get as many of them through the doors as possible. We need to increase our customer base, and a loyalty card scheme is the best way of achieving that.’
Serving prisoners will also be able to earn Nectar points, with 500 points awarded for good behaviour, 1,000 points for grassing up a mate and a whopping 3,000 points for confessing to a string of crimes that they didn’t commit. Every few months prisoners will also get sent promotional vouchers including offers such as ‘250 extra points with your next burglary’ and ‘1,500 points when you spend 3 years or more inside’.
However, the scheme is already facing harsh criticism. ‘Prisoner Nectar points might sound like a good idea,’ said Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, ‘but the end result will be higher re-offending rates as newly-released prisoners simply go out and commit more crimes in order to get enough points for a six-month subscription to Golf Monthly Magazine.’
Early problems with the scheme have already emerged with prisoners trading in contraband loyalty cards, many of them doubling up with Tesco Clubcard points, while white-collar criminals are refusing to participate altogether and are getting their deliveries smuggled in by Ocado. The government also faces calls for a full-scale public inquiry after one group of prisoners secretly stockpiled their Nectar points and tried to escape by converting them into an easyJet flight to Alicante.
‘Like all new policies there will be some teething troubles,’ said Mr Clarke. ‘But the great thing about this scheme is that it rewards loyalty. Even if a few prisoners do escape they’ll have to come back to redeem their points.’
David Cameron has rejected claims that the coalition is fixed and that he signed Nick Clegg to his party years before last May’s public vote.
The allegations were made by an anonymous internet blogger who claims that a young and innocent Clegg was secretly auditioned by Tory talent scouts before being signed to their label and cynically groomed for office.
The blogger also claims that Clegg was deliberately ‘gayed up’ by Cameron in an attempt to make him appear more sensitive and caring than he actually is.
‘This is a outrageous smear campaign,’ said Mr Cameron. ‘Until the 2010 election I had never met Nick and, like most people, had absolutely no idea who he was. He entered the coalition of his own accord and at no stage did I groom him for office. Ok, so I might have asked him to wear the Lady Diana wig, but that was an entirely private matter.’
The allegations, posted by a blogger who claims to have worked for the Tories, says that Clegg was targeted by them at a very young age, first at public school and later at university. He was then given a job working for former Conservative minister Leon Brittan before going on to become a so-called ‘sleeper Tory’ as leader of the Lib Dems.
‘He was clearly being groomed from the start,’ claims the blogger, ‘I know for a fact that before the election Clegg was given voice coaching, a shiny new suit and clear instructions to say anything and sign any pledge that might endear him to the public. The whole thing is obviously a put-up-job.’
Police say that they have traced the blogger to an address in Downing Street, leading many to suspect that the whole story was leaked by Cameron himself, in a desperate attempt to generate interest in a flagging format.
‘Coalition’s Got Talent remains a solid brand,’ insisted Cameron. ‘Yes, most of the performers are second-rate and some are clearly nut-jobs but I am only giving the public what they want.’
New election rules mean that all political manifestos will be required by law to be displayed inside plain white packets with a prominent health warning. Politicians will no longer be able to publicly advertise their manifestos and shops will be expected to keep them hidden away from view under the counter.
‘This is about protecting the public from being attracted to something that is clearly bad for them,’ explained Mrs Maureen Grebe of APH, Action on Political Health. ‘All the clinical evidence shows that people who buy into manifesto pledges are taking a serious risk. It may seem harmless at the time but long term exposure to manifestos will result in anger, a sense of betrayal and ultimately the death of people’s hopes and dreams.’
Under the new rules all party manifestos will be legally required to dispense with any political branding and instead feature a clear warning about the dangers of believing what politicians say. Typical warnings will include: ‘Politics Kills,’ ‘Politicians may seriously damage your health service,’ and ‘This manifesto will create false hopes, crippling disillusionment and cause impotence.’
In addition, all manifestos will be legally obliged to have a disclaimer at the end that reads, ‘The value of pledges may go down as well as up. In the event of a coalition none of this actually counts.’
Politicians claim that the new rules are unfair. ‘This is a question of civil liberties,’ said one anonymous MP, who wished only to be known as Nick Clegg. ‘The public have a right to be taken in by what we say. Anyone attracted to our product already knows the risks.’
However, campaigners say the rules are designed to protect a generation of idealistic young people from being attracted to shiny, branded politicians who have been deliberately marketed to appear ‘cool’, ‘radical’ or ‘trendy’. In the last election it is estimated that many thousands of young people took up politics, not realising the long term dangers of being repeatedly let down.
MPs insist that political branding is necessary to help distinguish between the different parties. However, recent studies have shown that in blind tests the electorate found it almost impossible to tell any of them apart.
The new rules come into force next year although campaigners say they don’t go far enough. ‘This is just the start,’ said Mrs Grebe, ‘in future we want to see an outright ban on politicians making pledges in public. If they really must engage in that sort of thing then they should do it behind closed doors, in smoke filled rooms, where they can only harm each other.’