Wednesday, March 27, 2013
UK readers of The Sun are to be charged for online access to the newspaper later this year. News International has said it will allow readers access to 20 sensationalist made-up articles a month and then readers will need to subscribe to read the rest of the rubbish it produces.
"The Sun website is fantastic but I believe that we are all suffering in the print world,” said Chief Executive Mike Billingsworth. “Part of those people are saying day in, day out 'why am I paying for the Sun when I can get a load of made up nonsense by reading Surreal Scoop for free?'."
The Sun, like sister paper The Times before it, will retreat behind a paywall thus forcing both online and newsprint readers to pay to learn details of which celebrity has been to the gym, slept with another celebrity or is starring in a TV show on Sky.
The newspaper industry as a whole is struggling to compete with an online world which can provide news of events as they happen from all over the world and, most importantly, no need to wait a day to read what celebrities wear when they take the dog for a walk. The Sun argues that by forcing people to subscribe to read it's offerings it will be able to retain the high level of output that the nation has come to expect such as the world's leading network of close celebrity confidents happy to spill the beans on tearful late night mobile phone conversations that everyone else would expect only to be known to the callers, and perhaps their voicemail systems.
“Rest assured our long standing journalistic traditions will not be affected by this change to accessing our online content,” said Billingsworth. “The Sun will continue to be news of the tits, by the tits, for the tits.”
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Fitch Ratings tried desperately today to get someone to pay attention to them and their incompetent industry by downgrading another prominent country despite worldwide acceptance that credit rating agencies are as effectual as saying “no” to a priest.
“We have to say that we are putting the UK economy on negative watch, do you hear, negative watch. That's important that is,” said Glenn Billingsworth, Head of Alphabet at Fitch to a well attended gathering at the Derby Girl-Guides and Brownies cake sale. “I know the cupcakes do look lovely, but can you just listen – we might move the UK from AAA to AA+! Do you here AA+?”
Mr Billingsworth said Fitch was joining in with the other ratings agencies in seeking an audience after being rendered utterly meaningless having failed to spot the AAA rated subprime bond collapse. Similarly Standard and Poor's issued 1000 leaflets at last weekend's St. Luke's church fete in Formby explaining its analysis of the 2011 downgrade of the United States. Moody's said they were watching the market intently and are collecting 10p coins in case they need to make use of the Bexley Library photocopier prior to speaking at the Welling United Bring-and-Buy sale.
After Mr Billingsworth's presentation, and the local parents had finished buying cakes, there was time for a question and answer session:-
Sophie (Brownie 7) : “AA+, does that mean Britain is very good?”
GB : “Yes, it does. Very good indeed. Just not quite as good as AAA. If you have an AAA credit rating you are safe to invest in, AA+ you are still safe, but, well, not quite as safe as AAA which is the safest of all.”
Louise (Head Guide, 17) : “So has the UK ever not paid back a debt?”
GB : “No, never. But, erm, well it might sort of not pay back something, but of course it will pay it back as we still think it is AA+”
Katie (Guide, 15) : “So what is the point of changing the rating?”
GB: “Well it's very complicated in the world of financial instruments. I am not sure we have the background knowledge here in this lovely, lovely hall to fully cover the intricacies of sovereign debt. But the chance of us downgrading the rating is the important bit, that you should tell your mums and dads about. Negative Watch is the phrase, shall we say it together?”
Mary (Brownie, 6) : “But for years didn't you insist that your subprime Collateralised Debt Obligations were AAA rating even though, for example, the Credit Suisse issue ended up losing investors $125m?”
GB: “Sorry little girl, I can't hear you over that vacuum cleaner. Is that the time already? I really should be going.”
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Approved communication no. 4213253/201303-SS1
The beloved Prime Minister of the UK, in collaboration with the
Deputy PM, the leader of the
opposition and a well
funded lobby group
of concerned victims of unspeakable outrage,
have approved the creation of a regulatory body to ensure that the
press is free to print only the truth.
In what was a clear victory for
the Conservatives the Liberal
Democrats the Labour Party Hollywood celebrity fronted Hacked Off
victims of scurrilous press intrusion no one everyone
there will now be a new body formed via a Royal Charter, that will
ensure that corrupt politicians hard working
public servants and intoxicated, weakly talented
celebrities in rehab who give up their time for
charitable efforts can conduct their lives reading only plusgood
messages about themselves.
“It has become apparent, over the very recent hundreds of years of the free press in the UK that some journalists have been stepping outside of acceptable behaviour,” said the Prime Minister. “They have conducted in bribery, unauthorised access to communications systems and contempt of court. Actions which are only covered by existing bribery, communications and contempt of court laws. Therefore we need the state to have more powers to ensure that they don't break those laws again.”
There will begin an education period for the Proles to ensure that they understand that
radical adoption of press regulation risks the
ability to speak truth
to power there
will be no change in their freedom
and that they will continue to be watched
for benevolently by
graspers of power
hard working public servants.
“It's horrifying, all those papers I was forced to buy to read all that intriguing speculation about whether that bloke with the mad hair, or that couple of doctors, had been murdering people. It's good to know I won't be forced to buy that stuff again,'” said
Citizen Billingsmith. “These new laws to stop bribery and
hacking and so on will be thought through carefully, of course, to
ensure that we still find out which celebs have been shagging.”
Inner Party members such as politicians and celebrities have welcomed the proposals, especially the ability for those media that do not sign up to the new regulatory body to have to incur all costs of litigation, even if they successfully defend their cases. On the other hand some disloyal members of the press have expressed concern at not being present at the late-night negotiations that took place in Room 101 of the ministry's Victory Square building.
“At no point has the press been excluded from a process in which we did not let them take part. Their voices have not been ignored, since we didn't ask their opinion,” said Nick Clegg, the
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Bank of England is to consider a bold approach of treating the High Street banks in the same manner as they treat their customers, by instigating charges on the money a bank holds with the central bank.
“I went into my bank the other day to try to work out what to do with my savings that had mysteriously dropped to paying, basically, fuck all percent interest,” said deputy governor Paul Billingsworth. “I decided to move some money about, then the rob-dogs started going on about charging to write cheques. I thought, 'right, lets do the fuckers right over'.”
The statement was part of the evidence that Mr Billingsworth gave to the Treasury Committee regarding consideration for instigating negative interest rates.
“Basically we will charge them for holding their money with us, see how they like that,” he said. “When they want to hold less, well I might just charge them for making the withdrawal. Seems only fair.”
The banking industry reacted angrily to the news and said the action would have severe repercussions on the British economy.
“Negative interest rates will affect key areas of society, namely bank profits and those profits are needed to pay the bonuses that ensure Britain has the finest banking talent retiring at the age of 45,” said a spokesman. “Anyway it's not the Bank of England's money, it's ours, you can't charge us to get at our own money. Oh, I see what you are doing there.”
In other news High Street banks said that savings accounts will now pay zero or less interest and a royalty fee will be levied on anyone using the phrase bank, banker or synonyms such as “thieving, incompetent git”
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ms Mantel’s lecture was a thoroughly researched, considered and deeply intellectual exercise in judging people solely by how they look or by how other people said that they look, having met few of the subjects herself.
“I’ve read a lot about the sex lives of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, its interesting stuff,” she explained. “Fascinating. Strong powerful men taking what they want. Women powerless to resist. I am sixty 60 now, but I was young once. I could show you some photos of a younger me. I am sure you would have … “
Ms Mantel had to leave the lecture to retire to the fainting room and await a “strapping doctor to massage the hysteria away”.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
David “Caesar” Cameron today revealed his intention to desperately assert his role in the centuries old conflict over the future of Europe within the Conservative Party.
“It's time to ask important questions about the Treaty of Rome, some say we should be fearful of asking, “ said Caesar. “But cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.”
Caesar laid out his plans for a referendum on whether the Conservative Party should openly rebel against his leadership or simply continue to tear itself apart leading to the eventual end of his career just as it had his predecessors.
“I am constant as the Northern Star,” explained Cameron with the Conservation Party united directly behind him as he urged for a referendum on Britain's relationship with other countries, “Get going! Run to your houses, fall on your knees, Pray to the gods to stop the Hague!”
Unfortunately, a party soothsayer lamented that Caesar's fate is sealed in the stars because neither the Tories themselves, nor the other member states, could ever agree on a role for Britain within the EU.
“Those hard hearts and the cruel men of Rome will prevent Caesar continuing to act into the fifth year of the next parliament,” said the sage. “He will of course be stabbed in the back at the beginning of the third year. His political epitaph is likely to be 'Et tu Boris?'.”
The historically peaceful nation of Great Britain today reacted with great surprise as it became apparent that one of their “army” of professional soldiers may have injured an enemy on the battlefield.
“He seemed like such a nice you man, standing there next to his brother at the wedding, wearing that lovely Blues and Royals uniform,” said Edna Billingsworth. “I had no idea that was a military outfit. And they train to kill people you say?”
Mrs Billingsworth was reacting to an interview with a serving army officer, Captain Wales of the Army Air Corps, who explained that after several years of training to kill people, being trained how to use £30m machines of death and having been deployed into battlefield service in a live, decade long, shooting war, that he had been actively attempting to kill the enemy.
“It's not really what I expect of a soldier, least of all one that knows that lovely Kate so well and has such a wonderful brother in William. Such a lovely couple,” said Mrs Billingsworth. “And I saw a picture of the helichopper that he flies, it's very ugly isn't it? That won't look very nice on a tea towel. Can't he fly that nice budgie that his auntie wrote about?”
However the incredulity is not just shared by commenters on the Daily Mail website, it is shared by other members of the lunatic fringe too.
“We've always wanted to bring down the UK establishment and of course the Royals,” said a spokesman for a radical Muslim group in East London. “The fact that these serving soldiers have killed our martyrs just makes this parasitic leach of an infidel more of a target for us. But not on a Tuesday as I have to sign on at the job centre then.”
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
One time teenager and previous twenty-something year-old woman, Diane Abbott, is to launch a revolution in sex education that will ensure young people “stop wanting to look at people's bits”.
“For too long now I have come to realise, like many people, that I am getting too old for nakedness to be an everyday thing,” said the MP for Principle on the Righteousness. “So, those younger people, well they should all just stop doing it too.”
Ms Abbott has become concerned with the availability of pornography on the internet, something that has only become an issue in the last 15 or so years, when the teenagers of then have grown up into 30 somethings with families of their own.
“It's obvious that today family values are centred around large inflatable breasts, sex sessions that last at least an hour of continuous pounding involving at least three people simultaneously,” said the MP in her landmark speech. “The number of orifices in use has spiralled too.”
The campaign will focus on new and shocking teenage behaviour, such as communicating raunchy messages to each other – something that was never possible with speech, the land-line telephone or furtive classroom notes.
There will also be a nationwide campaign to get schoolchildren to be nice to each other following the new craze sweeping the nation of calling girls sluts if they are rumoured to have ever seen a real penis.
“15 years ago, before anyone had shown a booby or a thingy on the internet, every school child was nice to one another,” said Ms Abbott. “Since slut-shaming happens online then, clearly, it is the computer that is at fault as no one ever called anyone a slut previously. Apart from Susan Billingsworth during that one school trip, who so definitely did touch that boy's thingy.”