The thought police are all in your mind

Plans to monitor the contents of everyone’s head came a step closer today with a proposed amendment to the government’s draft Data Communications Bill. Under the proposals all beliefs, intentions and ideas will be gathered using the very latest brain imaging satellites and then stored for 12 months in a vast government database at GCHQ, Cheltenham.

‘There is absolutely nothing sinister about monitoring people’s thoughts,’ said Home Secretary Theresa May. ‘If people aren’t thinking anything wrong then they have nothing to hide.’

The proposed Data Communications Bill already requires service providers to store people’s activity on social network sites, webmail, internet phone calls and online gaming. ‘This is all very well,’ said Mrs May, ‘ but it still leaves open the possibility that people may be secretly storing information inside their heads. All we want to do is close this loophole.’

The proposal already has the support of Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer. ‘Research shows that the vast majority of crimes start off life in somebody’s head,’ he explained. ‘Of course defendants will still have the right to remain silent, but in future anything they think may be taken down and used in evidence against them.’

Civil liberties campaigners are outraged by the proposals. ‘This is a gross infringement of people’s privacy,’ said director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti. ‘Monitoring the contents of people’s minds is totally mental.’

‘Yes, we know these people are outraged,’ said Mrs May. ‘They don’t need to tell us. We’ve already seen what they have to think.’

Responding to criticisms, Mrs May insisted that all proper safeguards will be put in place. ‘Access to people’s thoughts will be restricted to official government agencies,’ she assured, ‘The Police, the intelligence services, HMRC and, to save time, anyone working for News International.’

However, there still remain security concerns following a pilot study of the system in which a civil servant accidentally left the entire thoughts of Nantwich on a train. ‘These are just teething troubles,’ said a Home Office official. ‘We checked the records and nobody in Nantwich had thought anything interesting for a year.’

Mrs May rejected claims that the proposals would end up creating a ‘Thought Police’. ‘This is typical paranoid scaremongering,’ she said. ‘The important thing for people to remember is that the Thought Police are all in their minds.’

 

 

 

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.’

A pair of cloned Kray twins is to be released into the East End of London as part of a new conservation project aimed at restoring law and order.

‘The locals are always saying how things were better when the Krays were in charge,’ said Home Secretary Theresa May, ‘well now we have an opportunity to test that theory.’

This is the first time that Krays will have been released into the wild since the last pair was taken into captivity in 1969. ‘We are hoping that reintroducing Ronnie and Reggie into the area will put an end to petty crime,’ said the Home Secretary, ‘of course there will be a price to pay, but that’s how protection rackets work.’

The clones, created from DNA extracted from the original Kray twins, have been nurtured at a secret gangland conservation park, cared for by surrogate mother Barbara Windsor and raised on a diet on Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie’s biscuits.

‘I can’t wait to see these wonderful creatures back in their natural habitat,’ said conservationist Bill Oddie, ‘what a privilege it will be to watch them as they follow their natural instincts towards arson, armed robbery and pub-based murder. I have already set up a hide, and I suspect many others will be doing the same.’

‘Things will be just like the good old days,’ said one delighted Bethnal Green resident, ‘you always knew where you were with the Krays, even it was pinned up against a wall with a knife to your throat.’

However, some experts believe that the arrival of the twins could upset London’s delicate gangland ecosystem. ‘It will be like the grey squirrels all over again,’ warned naturalist Chris Packham, ‘the Krays will squeeze out the native species of hoodlum as they start to move in on their turf. Before long they will totally dominate the area.’

‘Don’t worry, we’ve thought of that,’ said Home Office advisor ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser, ‘To keep them in check we will also be introducing a cloned Richardson Gang. Nothing can possibly go wrong.’

Major delays at airports could be a thing of the past with the introduction of a new self-scan check-in for terrorists.

Under the system all prospective terrorists will be expected to walk into a full body scanner that will identify their cause, their mission and, most importantly, what kind of explosives they are carrying. At this stage the machine will give a little beep, issue them with a boarding pass and direct them to the self-detonation area.

‘This system will really help to speed things up,’ said Home Secretary Theresa May, ‘Admittedly, it does rely on the terrorists being honest and scanning themselves properly but I am told that most of them are pretty devout.’

However, airport staff say the machines are far from perfect. ‘The scanners do not always recognise every terrorist or their cause,’ said check-in assistant Kimberly Smalls, ‘I can’t tell you how many times we are getting called over for an ‘Unexpected Item in the Bombing Area.’

‘Only last week I tried to scan one man eight times before eventually giving up and typing him in manually. And then I had to ask him how to spell ‘martyr’. It was all very embarrassing.’

Airports including Luton and Stansted are also experimenting with other schemes to speed up security including a ’10- Suspicious-Items-Or-Less’ check-in and a  ‘Help-With-Your-Bomb-Packing’ Service.’

‘A lot of these young men have absolutely no idea how to pack,’ said check-in assistant Edna Sparks, ‘Many of them just shove some explosives down their pants without even thinking about the consequences. That’s why I am here to help. If they must insist on blowing themselves up then they should do it properly and without any unsightly creasing.’

Despite the teething troubles most terrorists welcome the system. ‘Self-scan is an absolute godsend’, said one, ‘the last thing we want to do is cause unnecessary delays to holidaymakers. Now everyone can get to their destination quicker, even if only a few of us will end up in Paradise.’

Britain is preparing to host a joint state visit from two religious men convinced of their own infallibility and who refuse to make a public apology for their actions, his holiness Tony Blair and Pope Benedict XVI.

‘Look, it just makes sense to combine the two visits,’ said Mr Blair, ‘we are both Catholics, we both have books to promote and we both need protecting from an angry public.’

‘The Holy Father is delighted to be sharing his visit to the UK with Mr Blair,’ said a Vatican representative, ‘It will make a pleasant change for him to travel with someone who manages to be even more unpopular than him.’

The state visit, already dubbed ‘The Guilt and Redemption Tour’, will see the holy duo travel the nation in a specially adapted Popemobile, waving at the crowds from behind the safety of bulletproof glass.

Mr Blair and Pope Benedict will appear at venues around the country preaching to their followers and promoting their books, A Journey and A Bible. Both works have been heavily panned by the critics who describe them as ‘a shameless rewriting of history,’ ‘self-serving twaddle’ and ‘little more than a made-up fairy tale’.

Mr Blair has, however, promised to donate the proceeds of his book to charity, something that the Catholic Church has yet to do with the bible.

As part of his visit the Pope will travel to Birmingham to preside over the beatification of Cardinal Newman. Meanwhile Mr Blair will travel to Waterstones to preside over the beatification of himself. In true Catholic tradition Mr Blair will be charging £150 for signed copies of his book, seen by many as an indulgence.

‘The combined visit will save the taxpayer millions in terms of police protection,’ said Home Secretary Theresa May, ‘it should also confuse protestors who won’t know who to hurl abuse at first.’

However, some activists are looking forward to the visit. ‘This is a great opportunity,’ said professional protestor Peter Tatchell, ‘with a bit of luck I might get to make two citizen’s arrests in one day.’

The Pope-Blair visit will culminate in an open air Mass in which each man will pray for the forgiveness of the other. ‘This is the nearest that people will ever get to see either man make a public apology,’ said tour press secretary Alastair Campbell, adding ‘we might do God but we don’t do sorry.’

The Home Secretary has heralded the return to traditional 1950s-style policing methods as ‘a major success’ after a local bobby smashed an international drug ring and gave their leader a ‘jolly good talking to’ and a ‘clip round the ear’.

‘I know how to deal with these young scallywags,’ said PC George Dixon, who single-handedly disarmed a gun-toting militia of South American drug dealers using only his warm, avuncular, moralising presence.

‘When I entered the drugs factory I immediately knew that these little rascals were up to no good,’ said PC Dixon, ‘I had strong words with all of them. And let me tell you, they won’t be doing that sort of thing again in a hurry.’

‘Normally an armed police unit would break down the door and pin me to the ground holding a gun to my head,’ said international drug baron Pablo Doritos, ‘but when PC Dixon turned up I knew that I was really in trouble. Yes, he gave me a cuff round the ear but it was no more than I deserved.’

PC Dixon is just one of many officers now being trained in traditional 1950s policing methods including the double knee bend, the ‘evening all’ and the ‘‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello. Now what’s all this then?’

‘These methods work,’ said Home Secretary Theresa May, ‘hardened criminals just don’t expect the police to stand there bobbing up and down with their hands behind their back. They find it very unnerving. Many of them give up straight away.’

In addition to his recent drugs haul, PC Dixon is also responsible for the apprehension of Britain’s most wanted serial killer, John ‘The Mutilator’ McTavish.

‘I came across McTavish in the woods while he was engaged in one of his ‘mutilations’,’ said PC Dixon, ‘so I told him: ‘Stop that at once you little scamp!’ He immediately dropped his hacksaw, made a full confession and told me where all the bodies were buried. I thought he was a good lad at heart so I let him off with a caution.’

The clear-up rate of PC Dixon has so impressed the government they are now pledged to have a 1950s-style policeman bobbing up and down on every street corner.

‘Of course there may be occasions when we need embrace more modern methods of policing,’ said the Home Secretary, ‘and in the event of a major terrorist incident I would have no hesitation in the tactical deployment of Juliet Bravo.’

Young offenders who would have been issued with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders will have to serve time performing street dance, Theresa May has announced.

‘Everyone knows that street dance prevents the young from getting involved in crime,’ said the Home Secretary, ‘which is why any young person found behaving badly will now be forced to join a hip-hop crew and learn to lay down some moves.’

Young offenders will be expected to stay in the system until they can demonstrate a fully choreographed routine to be judged by the local community and Arlene Phillips. ‘Before they leave, I want to see these kids krumping, grinding and performing a backspring flic-flac,’ said Mrs May, ‘I like to see it as a short sharp body pop.’

The Home Secretary also announced that the police are to be issued with the power to impose ‘on-the-spot moonwalks’ whereby troublesome kids would have to spend the rest of the day gliding backwards.

‘This is an important addition to police powers,’ said Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, ‘pilot studies clearly show that young people are much less likely to commit a crime while moonwalking. And even if they do, it makes it so much easier for the police to catch them.’

Meanwhile, repeat offenders may have their movements more severely limited by the imposition of an RDO or ‘Robot Dance Order’ in which offenders are restricted to moving only one small part of their body at a time.

However, critics have been quick to point out that many young offenders have already started incorporating the dance moves into their mindless acts of vandalism. ‘I doesn’t affect me,’ said one, ‘I can smash twenty windows while spinning on my head. If anything, it helps.’

The street dance initiative is seen as just the beginning, with plans to phase out Young Offender Institutes altogether and replace them with Her Majesty’s Prisons of Performing Arts.

‘I very much hope that the introduction of Stage Borstals will serve as a deterrent to these kids,’ said Mrs May, ‘they might not think anything about coming up before a judge, but none of them will want to perform ‘Over the Rainbow’ for Andrew Lloyd Webber.’

The first meeting of David Cameron’s coalition cabinet has ended in chaos and division with angry arguments about the fairest distribution of tea and biscuits.

‘The existing system of ‘First-Pass-the-HobNobs’ is patently unfair,’ said Lib-Dem leader, Nick Clegg, ‘by the time the biscuits get round to us Eric Pickles has taken all the Chocolate Bourbons. All we are left with are Dr Liam Fox’s Butter Crinkles and nobody wants them.’

‘The Liberal Democrats would like to see a fairer system in which biscuits are allocated according to the number of teas that each of us has,’ said Business Secretary, Vince Cable, ‘I drank three cups of tea but got no biscuits. George Osborne had one cup but snaffled four Custard Creams and a Jammie Dodger, which I clearly saw him hiding under the table.’

The arguments intensified when Home Secretary, Theresa May, raised objections to the Lib-Dem policy of ‘dunking’. ‘We are a modern, progressive party,’ said Mrs May, ‘but I have to draw the line at people who dunk. It is immoral, unnatural and it leaves a horrid gunky mess at the bottom of the cup. That is something I find very difficult to swallow.’

Tensions reached breaking point when William Hague stormed out of the room following a perceived insult from Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne. ‘I think he must have misheard me,’ said Mr Huhne, ‘all I said was that I really hate Garibaldis.’

As the coalition began to crumble, David Cameron made a last ditch attempt to salvage the situation by promising a referendum on AB, or Alternative Biscuits. Under the system every member of cabinet would list their three favourite biscuits in strict order of preference before receiving a variety box containing biscuits nobody really wanted.

‘If the cabinet cannot agree over biscuits then it could trigger a ‘Ginger Snap Election’,’ said constitutional expert, Professor Peter Hennessy, ‘the only remaining option is for David Cameron to ask The Queen to call for the Duchy Originals – something that sounds good in principle but the country simply cannot afford.’