MPs are preparing for the arrival of a new piece of wearable technology that will help them navigate difficult terrain and always guide them towards the high moral ground.
The EPS, or Ethical Positioning System, operates by triangulating a person’s political standpoint via a number of morally aware ‘smart satellites’. If a politician starts to veer off course, perhaps about to break a manifesto pledge, the Sat Nav will interrupt with the message: ‘You are no longer on the agreed route, please perform a U-turn now.’
The new system replaces the old and unreliable moral compass. ‘In theory the moral compass should have worked,’ explained philosopher AC Grayling, ‘but many politicians found it confusing and were clearly unable to tell which way it was pointing. All too often they either they left it at home or held it upside down and headed off in entirely the wrong direction.’
The Ethical Sat Nav has the advantage of always being in view, attaching to every politician’s forehead via a special rubber suction pad. To convey extra moral authority the unit has a range of respected voices including those of Morgan Freeman, Dame Judi Dench and Sir David Attenborough.
To accommodate different viewpoints, MPs can choose from a selection of moralities: Kantian, Utilitarian and Neo-Aristotelian. However, some politicians have already found ways to jailbreak their Sat Nav so that it shifts into the more dubious Machiavellian mode, although on this setting they do have to put up with the voice of Peter Mandelson.
‘As an election approaches, MPs often get taken off course,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson. ‘This new moral guidance system should help to keep them on track, re-calculating their route each time they take a wrong turn and avoiding any politically costly toll roads. It also warns them if they are speeding, avoiding responsibility or lying. If they do all three it flashes up an emergency picture of Chris Huhne.’
The Ethical Sat Nav will be issued to every politician next month, although a faulty trial batch have already been recalled. ‘I had just attached it to my head when it stopped working,’ said one bemused MP. ‘I have no idea why. I was simply trying to claim for it on expenses when the unit gave an exasperated sigh and blew up in my face.’
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.’
February 9, 2011
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended plans to introduce a policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that will allow Liberal Democrats to serve in government while keeping their political persuasion private.
‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a necessary measure to maintain the morale of the Coalition forces,’ explained Mr Clegg, ‘it has been made very clear to us that if we want to stay in the Cabinet then we have to first get into the closet.’
‘Being a Lib Dem isn’t easy,’ continued Mr Clegg, ‘There’s a terrible social stigma attached and we face a lot of anger and discrimination, especially from people who once voted for us. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is the solution. Don’t ask me how many pledges I have broken and I won’t tell.’
Prime Minister David Cameron supported the move. ‘This is not about discriminating against Lib Dems,’ he said, ‘it’s just that a lot of our boys feel decidedly nervous thinking that they might be working alongside one.’
The policy follows a spate of humiliations in which some members of the government were publicly ‘outed’ for their views. ‘Yes, some of us do bat for the other side,’ confided one anonymous Lib Dem, ‘some of us even care about the students and what happens to the poor, but being open about that sort of thing will only cause problems for everyone.’
‘We are regularly under attack for who we are,’ said another, ‘people keep sidling up to us in the House of Commons toilets and suggesting that we might like to do ‘liberal’ things. But if we go along with them we find ourselves being exposed on the front page of The Daily Telegraph. For many of us, having liberal views has become the love that dare not speak its name.’
‘Of course we will find a way around these restrictions,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson, ‘in the future, whenever I refer to a Lib Dem, I shall just turn to camera and give a little wink and maybe a hand gesture. I’m sure the audience will get the idea.’
In his first week running the country Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has suffered a major blow to his confidence as everyone in Britain began emitting a low frequency hum.
‘Look, I know exactly what you are doing,’ said Mr Clegg in a televised address to the nation, ‘Just because Mr Cameron is away, you think that you can start mucking around. Well, you’ve had your fun, now get back to work.’
In a series of ‘Town Hall meetings’ Mr Clegg travelled the country pleading with people to ‘settle down’, ‘be quiet’, and to ‘get on with the assignments left for you by Mr Cameron’. However, despite threatening 60 million people with lines and a detention, Mr Clegg was continually ignored and the humming continued.
‘Look, this is just silly,’ said Mr Clegg, at yet another emergency press conference, adding ‘it’s your own time that you’re wasting.’
As tears welled up in the Deputy Prime Minister’s eyes, BBC political editor Nick Robinson jumped up from his seat and shouted, ‘Hey everyone, Clegg’s losing it!’ This was quickly followed by a trio of right wing hacks, Quentin Letts, Peter Oborne and Charles Moore, who began chanting from the back of the room, ‘Smeghead Clegg! Smeghead Clegg!’
‘Stop it! Stop it once!’ screamed Mr Clegg, his voice now cracking as he struggled to be heard over the din. By now the press conference had descended into chaos with Mr Clegg’s proposals on constitutional reform now flying round the room in the form of paper darts.
At one stage Mr Clegg turned his back and was smacked on the head by a soggy tampon. ‘Right! Who threw that?’ demanded Clegg, as the assembled journalists all looked down at their shoes. Unconfirmed reports suggest it was the work of Channel Four’s Gary Gibbon, but nobody confessed.
Discipline was briefly restored with the arrival of Business Secretary Vince Cable, who stormed into the press conference and chastised the unruly nation with a lecture on fiscal prudence. However, once Mr Cable had left, the humming quickly resumed.
Mr Clegg is now believed to be considering the ultimate sanction – a state of ‘national emergency’ in which the entire British population will have to queue up outside Buckingham Palace to be disciplined by the Queen.
‘Emergency Budget with The Delicious Miss Dahl has been very popular,’ said BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, ‘audiences love the way that Sophie can explain the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement by seductively licking crème fraiche off a spoon. And her announcement of changes to Capital Gains Tax by smearing her lips in chocolate sauce was remarkably instructive.’
During the show, former model Miss Dahl told viewers: ‘I am now going to slowly strip away the figures and show you some vital statistics. Watch as I crunch the numbers, pull out the growth package and do some quantitative teasing that will really make your eyes water.’ At this point, fellow presenter Huw Edwards had to leave the studio for a cold shower and a little lie down.
The BBC have strenuously denied accusations that they were trying to ‘sex-up’ the Budget with so called ‘Fiscal Totty’. ‘That is absolute nonsense,’ said Mr Thompson, ‘Sophie is a well known expert in macro-economic theory. To think that we would employ her simply to make the budget more sexy is ridiculous. And the fact that Nick Robinson and Robert Peston presented the show topless with little bow ties is neither here nor there.’
Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the new presenter: ‘It has been a real thrill to have Miss Dahl going through the contents of my red box,’ he said excitedly, ‘she has really raised my interest rates.’
Prime Minister David Cameron went further: ‘I am seriously considering making Miss Dahl the new Chancellor. The British people would much prefer to hear about savage cuts to public spending from a former glamour model who is prepared to get her kit off than George Osborne. Although George would be prepared to get his kit off if the role demanded it.’
Shadow Chancellor Alistair Darling raised a note of caution. ‘Miss Dahl is undoubtedly a very attractive young lady but certain sectors of the country may be too fragile to cope with her at this stage. A lot of middle aged men could collapse under the strain, especially if they end up seeing a double dip. Besides, I much prefer Nigella.’
In a surprise twist to the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen revealed that everyone involved was dead and only existed in a parallel dimension.
‘This may be difficult for some of you to take in,’ said the Queen, ‘but every one here in the Palace of Westminster is a ghost. You are all sinners waiting in a state of purgatory as punishment for your crimes.’
‘This a major disappointment,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson, ‘I have been watching Parliament since Season One and this ending just seems like a terrible cop out.’
Writers of the long running drama had struggled to find an exit strategy after a series of increasingly convoluted and preposterous storylines. ‘We needed to find some way of tying up all those loose ends,’ said writer, Ashley Pharoah, ‘we toyed with a nuclear bomb or a plane crash but in the end we decided that it was easiest to pretend that none of it had happened in the first place.’
Fans of the show say that the clues were there all along. ‘The House of Lords was obviously full of people who had already passed away,’ said political historian, Professor Peter Hennessy, ‘Gordon Brown had been walking around with a deathly pallor for months and many of us had already twigged that David Cameron wasn’t really human.’
‘The whole thing had been going on far too long anyway,’ said parliamentary commentator Matthew Parris, ‘and some of the recent plot twists had stretched credulity too far. A coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberals. I mean, really…’
Many fans still remain confused. ‘I realise that all the politicians are ghosts,’ said one, ‘but were they all a figment of the Queen’s imagination or is she dead too?’ Meanwhile, others are wondering whether the recent General Election had actually happened. ‘I distinctly remember voting,’ said housewife, Mrs Maureen Grebe, ‘but then I woke up and discovered a government that nobody had voted for. Was that all part of some crazy dream as well?’
‘Why did it all have to end like this?’ bemoaned the show’s newest character, Nick Clegg, as tears rolled down his face, ‘things were all going so well for me and now it turns out I don’t even exist. What a swizz.’
The complete DVD box set of Parliament is now available in the shops at a cost of £6.2 billion.
The Queen has invited the broadcaster David Dimbleby to form the next government of the United Kingdom. ‘He is the only man capable of commanding the confidence of the nation,’ said a spokesman for Buckingham Palace, ‘Her Majesty has therefore asked Mr Dimbleby to hold the reigns of power until further notice.’
‘I am proud and humbled to be selected as your next Prime Minister,’ said Dimbleby, ‘I haven’t slept for the last 72 hours but I promise to stay awake for as long as the country needs me.’
The decision was made after more than 17 million people chose the BBC Election coverage – significantly more than any of the political parties. ‘This is hugely disappointing,’ said Conservative leader David Cameron, ‘but the people of Britain have spoken and we must respect their decision.’
Gordon Brown was invited to the Palace to receive the news in person from the Queen. However, in the car home, he was clearly caught on mic saying, ‘they should never have put me with that woman’ before describing Her Majesty as ‘a bigoted monarch’.
Dimbleby has made it clear that he will appoint a cabinet of ‘all the talents’ with the role of Home Secretary going to Nick Robinson, Chancellor Stephanie Flanders and Foreign Secretary John Simpson. Remaining members of the government will be chosen using the traditional method of pointing into the crowd and saying: ‘You Sir with the long hair, sorry Madam.’
Some experts believe that Dimbleby could go on to form a permanent administration with the backing of Nick Clegg in a so-called ‘Dim-Dem Pact.’ However, such a deal will only be possible if both men can reach an agreement over who gets to wear the most lurid tie.
Dimbleby is expected to move into Number 10 later today or just as soon as a 24-hour emergency locksmith can be found to open the door.