Monday, November 26, 2007

Iranian and Zimbabwean Presidents refuse to speak at Oxford Union

The Oxford Union's recent decision to allow BNP leader, Nick Griffin, and convicted holocaust denier, David Irving, to take part in an upcoming debate has been cited by two of the world’s leading experts in matters of racial and religious oppression as the reason they are refusing to attend the free-speech event.

"Frankly if that debate goes ahead with the leader of a tiny party of fairly nasty people and a revisionist historian, then it isn't the debate for me and is a pretty weak showing," said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "My Holocaust conference had hundreds of deniers at it! Hundreds! What's more I could phone around and get another hundred who want to lead a new Holocaust right now!"

The Union has always had a provocative platform and been unafraid to engage controversial speakers, however the recent furore has cast a cloud over the learned institution.

"There was a time when the debates were attended by leading figures who had direct expertise of some of the most contentious issues and opinions. Look at the guest list now. These people are just theorists of mass brutality, and poor ones at that! Even if I was asked, I wouldn't want to be on a stage with such minor players as Nick Griffin," said Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

The Union says that the quality of debate is still as high as ever, and denies that it had been forced to invite second rate speakers for shock value.

"I think it is unfair for people to describe Mr Griffin as an overweight, stereotypical, racist leader of a small and inconsequential party," said student representative, Herbert Billingsworth. "I believe he has slimmed down recently."

Mr Billingsworth lamented that the BNP leader and David Irving were in fact replacements due to the unavailability of the Union’s preferred speaker on matters of free speech.

"We drew up a short-list of attendees who not only have first hand experience of the limits of free speech in the media but that we felt would be able to appeal to Oxford Union members as intellectual peers," said Billingsworth. "Unfortunately Jade Goody was unavailable."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Search is on for new England Manager

The Football Association today embarked on a recruitment drive to find a replacement for Steve McClaren, who was sacked after England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

“We are currently reviewing an exhaustive list of all those that believe they could do a better job,” said Brian Barwick, FA Chief Executive. “In fact we started just after the final whistle yesterday by interviewing some of the fans leaving Wembley Stadium.”

Radio phone-in shows have been inundated with people offering suggestions about who should be the replacement for McClaren. Predictably bookmakers have made Jose Mourinho and Martin O’Neil favourites to take the job, but at 4 to 1 is ‘Paul from Formby’ a caller to a Radio 5 phone-in who had watched the match in his local pub.

“’Paul from Formby’ talked a lot of sense, certainly as much we ever hear from any football manager,” said Mick Billingsworth an Odds Compiler at William Hill. “He expressed succinctly, if perhaps a little coarsely, what he thought were the problems with the English game. It’s likely he was cut off mid-call so as not to give too much information to competing nations.”

‘Paul from Formby’ has an extensive track record in football phone-in management at all levels of the English game and has become a familiar fixture on Saturday evenings.

“We know many people agree with the views of ‘Paul from Formby’ who is certainly never frightened of giving an opinion on a wide range of issues,” said Mr Barwick. “However we won’t have finalised our choice of manager until The Sun tells us who to give the job to.”

Mick Billingsworth said that whilst other English candidates may have a higher profile than Paul, none had proven themselves as comprehensively in international competition.

“We have reduced his odds sharply simply because Paul always gives a great performance whether it be a domestic match or even a tense Champions League away game in the knock-out stages,” said Billingsworth. “He always knows the right playing formation and team line-up for every occasion, against all opposition, complete with a comprehensive post-match assessment of every player's ability. The FA will realise this insight is too value to be restricted to the pub.”

However the FA have said that they had no need to be rushed into a decision over a replacement manager for the national team.

“The next England match is not until March,” said the FA Chief Executive. “We need that time to search through some CDs we have received, containing the details of 25 million people more qualified than Steve McClaren.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Loss of 25m records by HM Revenue exposes government plans

The government today announced a radical new plan to stabilise the troubled mortgage bank Northern Rock and instead spread the load from any panic in the financial system across all high-street banks.

"By letting the bank accounts details of half the population of the UK fall into unauthorised hands we hope that this will cause everyone to panic about their savings," said the chancellor Alistair Darling. "This will make queues of panicking savers outside Northern Rock seem normal."

The Chancellor was speaking after the announcement that CDs containing a copy of the entire child benefit database of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs had been mislaid in the post.

"I would also like to make it clear to the Great British public that there is absolutely no evidence that this data has fallen in the hands of anyone who might use it to steal money from you," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "I haven’t got the CDs and neither has the Inland Revenue."

If the announcement proves successful, and panic-stricken savers trying to withdraw their money swamp the entire retail banking industry, the government plans to extend the initiative and reform other areas of the welfare state.

"As this panic dies down we plan to lose the details of all those collecting incapacity benefit," said Mr Darling. "Once the news of that gets out we will prosecute anyone queuing for hours in the cold, since they must clearly be fraudulent claimants."

The Chancellor brushed aside criticism of a proposal to lose the personal details of known paedophiles in the UK.

"It is worth exploring," he emphasised, "Panicking parents removing their children from school would certainly help with class sizes."

Concluding his statement in the House, Alistair Darling said that an investigation into HMRC’s procedures was underway.

"We are going to get to the bottom of the government’s procedural confusion between Risk Strategy and Basic Obligations (Legal)," he said. "It is clear that this New Labour government cannot tell its RS from its L- BO."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ITV apologises for “I’m a celebrity” mix-up

In another blow to award winning* broadcaster ITV it has emerged that the entire first week’s filming of the new series of "I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here!" has been lost due to an extremely embarrassing error by producers.

"We are so very sorry for the dreadful mix-up, and rest assured that it was a mistake that was easy to make and at no point, this time, were we trying to defraud anyone." explained Chief Executive, Sir Gerald Billingsworth. "The irony is that our efforts to be honest may have caused the problem."

The programme’s producers explained that since it is another vehicle for Ant and Dec they have been forced to devote so much time to ensure that there are no further irregularities with phone vote revenues that they failed to check the results of each day’s filming.

"For the last week we have inadvertently been showing footage of the staff from the five-star hotel next door to the filming location," explained Sir Gerald. "It was a risk we should have identified up-front, given that none of the cameramen knew any of the celebrities involved in the programme."

The problem of identification of the supposed ‘celebrities’ was apparently compounded by the real footage also being composed of hours of people moaning while cooking and doing the laundry.

"I would like to emphasise that our team was focussed on preventing a repeat of previous frauds and was at no time distracted by Ant McPartlin’s hairline," said Sir Gerald Billingsworth.

To remedy the situation the broadcaster announced that it would be adding a new catch-up programme, which viewers can automatically miss via ITV1-1, called "Am I a celebrity? Get out of here!"

* ITV recently picked up the award for "Most piss-poor waste of bandwidth, 2007" for its entire ITV1 output.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

REVIEW : Bush “Presidential” Radio

Said to be the first portable radio capable of receiving AM, FM, DAB, CIA and GOD broadcasts, the “Presidential” is a recent entrant into the high-end market from the consumer electronics company Bush.

First impressions are of a retro and unsophisticated appearance, harking back to early wireless or even pre-war sensibilities. However this simplicity belies some underlying sophistication.

The device contains some of the latest station seeking technology, including a function to quickly locate the most strident of Christian broadcasts and the first commercial use of 'Wavelength Modulation Decoder' searching that will generate music to the listener's ears out of even the strongest noise. Furthermore, if you want to Blair your news out loud, it can be programmed to add a catchy back-beat to “sex up” reports.

In tests though, we felt that the audio processing of the Bush Presidential consistently enhanced the warmest sounds, making the rich richer, whilst ignoring others, and for some quality of broadcasts actually made the poor, poorer.

Whilst in many ways the controls are in keeping with the unsophisticated stylings of the Bush Presidential, we found that there are some extremely disappointing build quality issues. For example the volume control, bewilderingly labelled as the 'Loudificationator', is a basic speech processor with an extremely simplistic linear control called the 'Axis of Level'.

However the really important test is the performance of the Bush Presidential on the road. We have tested it around the world and its reception has been patchy at best. Without a doubt it performs best in North America although there are reports that after prolonged use, say about 4 years, the user may elect to choose a different station and find that the Bush Presidential refuses to leave its current position. There have also been reports from angry Presidential listeners in Latin America, especially in Cuba and Venezuela who have been frustrated by its output. We also discovered that the version of the Bush Presidential launched in late 2001 turned out to be incompatible with Europe. However, its worst reception by far was in the middle-east where its Victorian sensibilities were found to be completely inappropriate.

This poor build quality and patchy performance isn't just nit-picking either since the device does not come cheap and consumes a lot of energy – it will cost the citizen at least $87bn a year to run.

The Bush Presidential, in summary then, promised a whole new technological approach but ultimately delivered an old fashioned performance based on an out-dated design that has generated a poor reception around most of the world. It is, however, the best receiver for messages from God.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At last, what you have all been waiting for!

In a desperate attempt to keep my inbox at a manageable level and to follow the old adage of “give them what they want” you can now buy a compilation of the first 6 months worth of stories (101) from the wonderful Surreal Scoop (The World As It Should Be), in a handy portable format that you can easily read off-line - a book! It is what a short bus ride or a trip to the loo was invented for.

So get it here : The World As It Should Be – Volume I It is priced at just £7 (plus P&P)!

So, with Christmas coming, and all those tricky problems of what to get someone who has a discerning idea of humour and a desperate need for satire or silliness full of contemporary cultural references, and knob jokes, then get in quick before the Royal Mail goes on strike again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Repeat offender blames his model parents

Tony "the Spanner" Billingsworth, a homeless, unemployed man who has a history of alcohol related problems was last week convicted of mugging a pensioner and remanded in custody. It will be his sixth stay at her majesty’s pleasure totalling some twenty-six years, a pattern of offending that Mr Billingsworth blamed on his childhood and the actions of his parents.

"My parents were loving, caring people, who worked hard to give their son the best possible start in life." Tony said through his solicitor. "At no time did they ever mistreat me or abuse me in any manner. They made me understand the value of hard work, money, right from wrong and the importance of education. They made many sacrifices to ensure that I had a good start in life. The bastards!

"I have no excuses. I haven’t been beaten, sexually abused or grown up with alcoholic parents who were always on the take," his statement continued. "I have no excuses and thus no way of turning a jury in my favour. I have no emotional leverage to exert on the court or prosecution services. The probation services see me for what I am: a work-shy, lazy, drunk who is not only a persistent re-offender but a crap burglar who is always getting caught."

Tony lamented the start he had been given and said that it was this upbringing that had led to him spending most of his adult life behind bars.

"If my parents had cared more they would have provided me with emotional baggage and excuses for the terrible qualities of my character and given me many justifications I could use to pull the wool over people’s eyes," Mr Billingsworth shouted as he was being led away. "Just to have been forced to sleep in my own filth in the dog kennel once would have been something! I may have got off without the ten year stretch for defiling those puppies."

In a shock turnaround following a judicial review ‘The Spanner’ was released from prison and ordered to serve 3 hours community service, despite his repeat convictions for violent crime.


Speaking after the review Justice Willingborth said, "Today’s emotional legal culture fails people like Tony. What with him being a useless and aggressive twat."


Friday, November 09, 2007

Latest iPhone launch sees breakthrough for Apple

Apple today announced that the launch of their new iPhone had achieved a breakthrough in queuing miniaturisation and produced a hyped event with the world's shortest queues of desperate early-adopters.

"Apple has always prided itself on a mantra of usability, usability, usability," said company CEO Steve Jobs. "Today with the UK launch of the iPhone we have seen the iQueue reduce sizes to barely twenty people waiting in line. This is easily the smallest queue for over-hyped technology and easily surpasses the previous smallest of Sony's PS3 launch."

At Apple's store in Bluewater in Kent, Graham Billingsworth had arrived in the early hours of the morning.

"I got here about 2am, set out my folding chair and went to sleep. When I awoke as the first normal shoppers arrived I found I was still the only one in the queue," said Mr Billingsworth from his apple branded chair. "In fact aside from the Apple staff I didn't have anyone to gush about the iPhone with until about 2pm. The iQueue was that miniature."

Graham said that as with all revolutionary breakthroughs, it would take some people time to adjust to the new miniaturised Apple queue.

"I had no one to mind my place when I went to the toilet," said Graham. "Fortunately for me, even though I stopped to have something to eat in the food court, and have my haircut, by the time I returned I was still the only one waiting."

The hyped queue had grown somewhat by the hyped time of the hyped launch arrived with about twenty people all hyped to get into the store.

"I suppose the queue isn't too bad. I hadn't realised they were launching the iPhone today, I just wanted to get a new padded sleeve for my iBook," said Jake Wingsborth, who was at Bluewater to visit the cinema. "I do hope they actually are selling normal stuff in there when they open the door."

However some early adopters, whilst pleased with the miniaturised queue, where unhappy with other aspects of the iPhone service.

"I got here just as they opened the doors and I joined the back of the line. Even then I was in the shop in about a minute. It was marvellous," said Bill Insworth a self-proclaimed 'designer builder' from Kent. "But I had to wait nearly two hours to pay whilst the Apple Store went through all this showy première nonsense. They don't tell you about all that when you join one of their new-fangled iQueues."

Mr Jobs said that whilst many industry insiders felt that Apple would over stretch itself with the iQueue launch once again the company had proved its doubters wrong.

"On this the greatest day in the history of the world, on the day of the launch of the most important invention ever, look at the line of people outside the Apple store, " said Steve Jobs. "It's a tenth the size of the queue at the Starbucks next door."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two years compulsory knife training for 16 year olds

The government today announced more details of its plans to extend the school leaving age to 18 and the format of proposed curricula.

"It is clear that young people today are at risk from knife crime," explained Education minister Ed Balls. "Therefore we plan to instigate two years of compulsory training in knife fighting for every 16 year old."

The government also announced a programme to improve school infrastructure on top of the recent expenditure on buildings.

"We plan to install airport style metal detectors at all schools to scan for the presence of knives," said Mr Balls. "This government plans to ensure that every child is equipped for the modern classroom and so any child found not to be in possession of a suitable stabbing knife will be issued a temporary replacement."

The courses will cover areas important to the futures of young people, such as how to conceal the knife in public, the best way to dispose of a knife should the police arrive and the appropriate street gestures to make behind visiting opposition politicians.

The government said that it was acting in response to the wave of outrage from parents and newspapers over recent teenage stabbing victims. The new curriculum would ensure that as well as the tactics of knife fights students would learn to understand the theory of safe handling of knives.

"Health and safety will be a vitally important part of the curriculum," said the minister. "This will include wearing appropriate head gear, such as a stocking, when preparing a melee."

Teachers welcomed the news of the new investment, which they believe will really inspire those pupils disenchanted with education. It will, they say, offer a chance for those struggling with basic skills to be taught a proper lesson.

"Some of the kids, right, they is like well aggressive and like forcing them into two more years, right, of school is well gonna piss them off, like. But a few of them, right, they likes to play with knives, so they will be well up for it. Know what I mean? One or two of the year tens, right, they has been well arksing for it and disrespecting me and some of my bi-atches," said Douglas Billingsworth, a physical education teacher in southeast London.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Minogue reveals relationship torment

The sister of the phenomenally successful Australian pop goddess, Kylie Minogue, has spoken of the difficulties that she has had asserting her own individuality and holding down relationships.

"As many people with famous family members know it is difficult to live in the shadow of the constant comparison and the unstated insinuation that any success I have is because of my name," said Dannii, coat-tail riding sister of the wonderful Kylie. "In my case that is not just professionally but in my personal life too."

Dannii revealed her thoughts exclusively to readers of both 'Ya! OK?' and 'Wotcha!' magazines during a photo-shoot of her squeezing into some of her sister's stage costumes and posing with a Jason Donovan waxwork.

"Obviously reporters are forever comparing my career to that of my sister," said Kylie's less successful sibling. "But my personal life is strewn with failed romances with men, who I am beginning to think, only wanted to use me to get as close as they can to Kylie."

Dannii, who can be seen on ITV1's X-Factor offering hollow showbiz advice to contestants without a famous and stunning sister, spoke frankly about the effect it has had on her love life.

"It is amazing how many men have a fantasy involving me kneeling and wearing a blonde wig!" said the delectable Kylie's younger (not that you would guess) brunette sister. "And it is getting a little suspicious that during lovemaking men often yell out my sister's name."

As the interview drew to a close, and she hurried to get the last bus home, wotsherface revealed the stunning revelation that a difficult romantic life is a burden to both Minogue sisters.

"Only the other day I got a call from a jet-lagged Kylie on her way to Rio complaining about the same problem - of men's shouts during sex. In her case it is often 'My mates down the pub will never believe me!'"

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bidding war for latest Internet sensation tops $1Trillion

A new website is taking the Internet by storm in a craze the like of which has not been seen for at least three months. Productivity in offices around the world is being severely reduced due to the phenomena known as ‘Pocket Watching’.

"It really is a great site, with a great community of dedicated users," said technology watcher Mr Bloggy. "It has surpassed YouTube and MySpace. Pocket Watching is now the cool way to idle away several hours a day."

The new site, accidentalphotographer.com, is now attracting more hits than YouTube and Flikr combined. Indeed one video, of the palm of a user's hand as she made a 'phone call about her test results, has now been viewed over 7 billion times – easily ourstripping even quality artistic endeavours such as YouTube’s 'Man getting hit by football’.

"I am very surprised at all the fuss," admitted the site’s creator Victor Billingsworth. "It started out as me just publishing a load of useless photos. I was doing some house keeping and I realised out of 234 pictures on my ‘phone, I had only intentionally taken 6. The rest were accidental shots caused by the ‘phone bumping in my pocket.

"It turns out everyone has loads of these things and at every visit to the site you will be surprised by what people are watching. Some are just photos of pure blackness, some with spots of CCD flare. Some are washed out pictures of the sky, or out-of-focus shots of tree canopies," explained Mr Billingsworth. "There are videos of the close-ups of a hairbrush bouncing into a box of tampons in a viewer's handbag, or the blurred bounce across the passenger seat of a car. Some are just rubbish."

Internet technology watchers are hailing the Accidental Photographer as the future of entertainment, given that it is not just possible for anyone to create content but they can now do it without even trying.

"I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the Accidental Photographer represents the end of the road for the traditional quality media outlets such as YouTube," said Mr Bloggy.

The site born of frustration with the camera on Victor’s mobile ‘phone is now part of an aggressive bidding war between Yahoo and Google. The latter’s latest bid is $1Trillion, six islands in the pacific, the services of every female employee and is promising to re-brand itself Billingswoogle.

Accidental Photographer’s most viewed video of all time is shown below :-



Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Zealand suffering high Orc unemployment

In a debate in the New Zealand parliament, Michael Cullen, the country's finance minister, was assailed by a barrage of questions regarding the recent influx of immigrants and the effects that they were having on the economy.

"What we wanted the Minister to understand was that these Orcs are not integrating well into our society and it is starting to have very adverse implications," said Winston Billingsworth of the New Zealand First Party.


Several years ago there was a great influx from the middle-earth into New Zealand. They were brought with promises of a great future in a land were the trees are strong and their roots go deep, where they could forge a new order in the fires of industry. However the reality is that many are struggling to learn English or to find a trade.

"As you walk around our great cities from Auckland to Wellington to Isengard, you are never far from being accosted by one of these Uruk-Hai black-fellas asking you to spare a few cents," said Mr Billingsworth. "They carry an air of menace about them as they brandish their rusty scimitar under your nose."

Whilst New Zealand by its very history is welcoming of immigrants into a land of opportunity, many Kiwis feel that their country is being over-run and their way of life threatened.

"It isn't just the cities, the hills are covered with thousands of Orcs all massing and drinking cheap liquor." said Billingsworth. "They aren't capable of getting a job and though the Government denies this, they are responsible for nearly all scimitar related murders. I don't think the rise in victims of cannibalistic disembowelments is unrelated either."

New Zealand, a sparsely populated country with ten times as many sheep as people, is a mainly rural country and it is in the small towns that the feeling against the 'people of wretchedness' (as they prefer to be called) is strongest.

"To be honest, it was OK when they kept themselves to themselves," said the MP for Orthanc. "Indeed their battles with the Elves were very spectacular and provided a great source of entertainment. Now that they have nothing to do they are just turning our towns into ghettos filled with hard drink and ironmongers. They certainly don't want to learn our language so we have to make signs in 'Black Speech’. And don't get me started on their cooking! Those rituals involving beating an animal to death with its own severed limbs, it’s just not New Zealandian."

Those living near the Orc communities say that the quality of their lives and the value of their homes have been reduced since the influx from Middle-Earth.

"How many times a day do we have to put up with the constant roaring of battle cries? The sound of the slaughter of their animals is horrific. Now they want planning permission to build a shrine out of the bones of their victims. It is making the residents of the old folk’s home nervous," said Billingsworth. "Mind you some communities have it even worse. Christchurch is full of Australians."