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Brief Reports

David Cameron called for openness and a lifting of trade bans on Burma after visiting the capital Nay Pyi Taw, where he met President Thein Sein.  Later he had a private dinner with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon. Speaking of his meeting with the great pro-democracy leader he said: 'It was a privilege to sit down with Ms Suu Kyi and try to flog her tanks and rocket launchers.'

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A test rocket launched from North Korea which broke up after one minute was a resounding success, according to North Korean sources. The rocket exploded as a ‘birthday firework’ for the nation’s long-dead leader Kim Il-sung. A spokesman for the NK Space Agency said: ‘We have the technology to rain scrap metal upon any capitalist lickspittle within a twenty mile radius. Let our enemies tremble.’ In separate news, South Korea reacted nervously to reports of NK tunnelling for an underground nuclear test: ‘We want to know just how far they’re tunnelling’.

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The government is exploring new types of pension schemes that would give more security to retiring workers. In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb said: ‘Firms would like to offer their employees a degree of certainty in these uncertain times. We can certainly help by offering workers cast-iron guarantees that they will get nothing out of us when they retire. We think people should shoulder the personal responsibility of disposing of themselves at retirement age in an ecologically-sustainable manner. Wheelie bins will be provided for this purpose at an affordable rate.’

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Hosepipe bans affecting about 20 million customers have been introduced by seven water authorities in parts of southern and eastern England.Thames Water said this week that the bans were unavoidable due to the unprecedented drought of money for fixing leaks. In a statement the regulator, Oftwat, said: ‘If we fixed all the leaks we would save 3.36bn litres per day in England and Wales, but then we’d make no profit at all so clearly sacrifices need to be made by the great unwashed by, um, not washing.’ Meanwhile the water minister Richard Benyon has hit out at claims he left his hosepipe running the day after the hosepipe ban came into effect: ‘It wasn’t a hosepipe. I was just teaching the kids how to water-cannon the local oiks’.

 

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Iran has blocked access to the official website for the London 2012 Olympic Games, after previously stating it might boycott the Olympics over claims that the official logo spells the word ‘Zion’. The logo designers reject this, saying instead that the logo represents an exploded diagram of the religious fundamentalist brain. It now seems likely that no information about the 2012 London Olympics will reach anyone in Iran. Bookings from Heathrow to Tehran are expected to increase by a factor of 9000 as a result.

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A London 2012 official has admitted Olympic events could be disrupted by ‘one idiot’ after the University Boat Race was halted by a swimmer. British Olympic Association chairman Watt Sallthe Fussabout said it would do all it could to protect athletes in the Games: ‘I can assure sports fans everywhere that Boris Johnson and Francis Maude will be kept indoors with a bottle of gin and a games console throughout the proceedings.’

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The Law Commission has proposed the abolition of 800 antiquated laws, although these do not include the many imaginary ‘laws’ such as the law against eating a mince pie on Christmas Day, or the right to shoot a Welsh person with a longbow on a Sunday in Chester. According to British urban legend, says the Law Commission, there is an ancient law which allows a single individual to wear a metal hat, wave a wand and own every strip of land in Britain. This mythical person would be known as a ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ and would be entitled to lord it over everyone as if they owned the place, which indeed they would. A legal spokeswoman said ‘I really don’t know how these myths get around. It’s on a par with the one about taxis having to keep a bale of hay in the boot. It’s amazing that people still fall for it.’