Labour Party Finances expired today after creditors decided to call in loans of £23.4 million. LPF had been poorly for some time with doctors saying it had had a “difficult financial year”.
Labour Party Finances was born on February 27, 1900 following the marriage of the Trades Union Congress and the Fabian Society. It earned its keep by winning numerous beautiful baby contests – mostly in the industrial districts of North England, the Midlands, Scotland and Wales – and, at the tender age of 23, it hit the jackpot when it won its first national popularity contest.
Following Labour’s landslide election victory in 1945 LPF became so cash-rich that it was able to give vast sums of its money back to ordinary voters by nationalising coal, electricity, gas, the railways and iron and steel. In 1948 millions of Britons benefited from a massive dividend on their taxes with the introduction of the welfare state.
Labour Party Finances went from strength to strength in the 60s with the nationalisation of the Beatles, which allowed every teenage girl in the country the chance to own a piece of a Moptop – normally a lock of hair or a piece of a collarless suit torn off Paul McCartney. But despite this boost to LPF, Harold Wilson lost millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on Tony Benn’s disastrous concept album, Lucy in the Sky with Keynesian Economics, and had to devalue the pound.
However, it was James Callaghan’s refusal to pay the binmen’s Christmas box in 1978 which led to the infamous Winter of Discontent and financial ruin as LPF lost its job in 1979 and was forced to sign on at the DHSS.
For the next 18 years, LPF failed to find gainful employment. Reduced to watching daytime television and fulminating against the Conservatives as they financed the nation by selling off coal, electricity, gas, the railways, iron and steel, Labour Party Finances only managed to claw its way out of debt in 1997 by promising to sell off anything else that wasn’t nailed down as well.
Sadly, the long spell on the dole had done severe damage and LPF was forced into selling first its principles, then offering Private Finance Initiatives, NHS hospitals, Foundation schools and peerages at knock-down prices. In the end the decision to consolidate all LPF's debts into “one, easy-to-manage debt” sounded its death-knell as, in April 2006, the Fraud Squad launched an investigation. Choked by an extensive paper trail and a number of irate men who had been refused a peerage, Labour Party Finances finally gave up the ghost and passed away surrounded by close friends and family including Richard Branson, Rupert Murdoch and Steptoe and Son.
Labour Party Finances will be buried in a pauper’s grave at St Vorderman’s Church of the Receivers and is survived by Conservative Party Debts of £35.3 million. Well-wishers and anyone who likes the smooth feel of ermine against their skin are requested to send cash in used notes.
29 November 2006
Labour Party Finances expired today after creditors decided to call in loans of £23.4 million. LPF had been poorly for some time with doctors saying it had had a “difficult financial year”.
28 November 2006
Another in our occasional series of tributes to the recently deceased from those who knew them best. We commissioned this tribute to the late, great Alan Freeman from his former Radio 1 colleague Davey "The Giant Raspberry" Lovely ... having read the piece, we can only apologise to Mr Freeman and his relatives.
Alan "Fluff" Freeman, "The Fluffmeister", plain old "Fluff" ... so many nicknames for the man in the jumper who was the greatest pop-picker of them all! Truly it's almost impossible to know what to say about a guy who bestrode the disc-jockeying world like a giant man speaking into a mic from behind a big desk.
After centuries of sending them our convicts, villains 'n' general nasty types, those cork-hat-wearing Aussies repaid us by sending us one of the finest fellers on this lovely planet. Fluff was a truly beautiful guy, not to mention the top man from Tasman...ia who defined DJing for a whole generation. Kids today will never understand it, but it took him five years and literally five billion memos to the apparatchiks at the "good ole" BBC to be allowed to read out the Top 10 in the reverse order! It was that kind of spirit that would one day inspire me, Davey "The Giant Raspberry" Lovely - arrooga, my radiophonic chums! - in my year-long campaign to be allowed to play the great Sir Paulus de McCartney and them there Wings's supergreat single "Jet" on a loop for a whole twenty-four hours. Where Alan led, others followed. Where did DLT get the courage to wear that beard, where did Noel Edmonds get the courage to wear those jumpers, where did David "Kid" Jensen get the courage to call himself "Kid" until into his forties? The Fluff, that's where.
For those of us who were once part of the merry band of funsters that was Radio 1 in the 70's and 80's, Fluff was a kind of god. A god made, not of marble or bronze, but of vinyl LP's, woolly cardies and a kindly smile. Now, it has been suggested that some of us might have resented the fact that he was allowed to continue a-broadcasting for "kindly Aunty Beeb " well into his jolly old 70's, while the rest of us were left to display our enormous talent (know what I mean, mum? I bet you do) elsewhere, but nothing could be further from the truth. I for one still welcomed the Chriggy cards good old Al would send me every Xmas here at "Good Buyo " the nation's 171st favourite satellite-only shopping channel - and any suggestion that I ripped them into shreds while screaming "It should be me up there" is an outrageous lie of porkietacious dimensions.
Alan, I know you're up there in the sky, a-looking down on me and I just want to say that, just because I never rang, never visited, never even sent you a postcard in all those years since we last met, doesn't mean I didn't love you, mate. And I certainly didn't resent the fact that you got all the charm, wit, talent and easy rapport with generations of listeners ... while I got to describe in loving detail the advantages of buying a life-sized replica of Elvis carved from pure, machine-made Krubonite, for only £99.99 spread over three easy payments. Not arf!
Ta-ra, Fluff, old mate ... they're playing your tune.
27 November 2006
England's Hopes of Retaining "The Ashes" suffered an ignominous death in Brisbane today, passing away during those "wee small hours of the morning" which are so notoriously the time for the weak and infirm to shuffle off this mortal coil, a reputation they doubtless gained due to the fact they are also the hours when any English cricketers who happen to be in Australia at the time will be beginning the day's play.
The manner of England's Ashes Hopes' death - going down amid the boos and jeers of a hard-bitten audience of 40,000 Australians after a half-hearted display of comical batting and inept bowling - will have come as a shock to all those who remember the Hopes' in their prime, just one year ago. Back then England's Ashes Hopes were the country's favourite entertainment, a travelling show that journeyed from cricket ground to cricket ground mounting an extraordinary display of pyrotechnic batting and laser-guided bowling, culminating in spectacular victory over the Aussies. Such was its popularity that Britons who had never previously shown any interest in cricket before - including millions of football fans, thousands of console-addicted teens and vast numbers of senior politicians eager to jump on any passing bandwagon - began to profess an undying love for the thwack of leather on willow or, even better, leather on Australian body part.
England's Ashes Hopes were to reach their apotheosis on 13 September 2005, when the members of the troupe - arriving in high spirits (thought to be largely gin and vodka) in Trafalgar Square after a night out on the town (and in several bars) - were feted by a massed crowd in Trafalgar Square, before being taken to Number 10 Downing Street for a reception with the Prime Minister himself. It was at this point that the first chink in England's Hopes' armour began to show, after Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff failed - despite having imbibed sufficient alcohol to stun several large elephants or a whole American tourist - to be sick over the PM when Mr Blair asserted how happy he had been to witness Donald Bradman scoring the winning goal for the England XV at the end of the fifth chukka.
From such heights the fall is inevitably far and fast. Within months, the ravages of time were showing upon the bodies of the cast: limbs (particularly those belonging to Michael Vaughan, Simon Jones and Andrew Flintoff) began to fail and the old passion suddenly seemed to be lacking (particularly in the vicinity of Marcus Trescothick). With new members drafted in to the troupe in haste and a packed tour schedule to fulfil, performances inevitably began to suffer. What was once the greatest show in England grew ever more reliant on extraordinary displays of strength from its new leader, Andrew Flintoff. When even these began to fail to bring in the crowds, England's Hopes started to become a sad parody of their former selves, with some even whispering that what simple spectacles they could achieve were aided by performance-enhancing umpiring.
With a certain grim inevitability, the cast of England's Ashes Hopes - like Ernie Wise - found themselves heading to Australia to try and recapture a portion of former glory. No longer Michael Vaughan's Conquering Heroes, they had reinvented themselves as Fred Flinto's Army: a comedy troupe - featuring such luminaries as Steve "Mind Yer Winders" Harmison, Kevin "The Mad Badger" Pietersen and Geraint "Butterfingers" Jones - who would emerge from their clown bus at each new venue before collapsing spectacularly in a display of comedy batting. Sadly, British acts of this sort had been regulars upon the Australian cricket stage for nearly two decades, leading to an inevitable death in Brisbane this morning.
The funeral for England's Hopes of Retaining the Ashes will be held a week on Tuesday following the close of the second Test. The sermon will be delivered by Steve Harmison ... probably in the direction of Ulan Bator. England's Ashes Hopes will be buried alongside England's Association Football World Cup Hopes, England's Rugby Football World Cup hopes and Tim Henman. Well-wishers are asked not to send flowers ... but if they could rustle up some competent cricketers that would be hugely appreciated.
24 November 2006
The Turkey, the bird that has - since the collapse of the bald eagle population and the ascendancy of the Bush dynasty - come to symbolise the United States in so many ways, was assassinated yesterday (the last Thursday in November) on a vast array of dining tables across the North American continent. Police say they were powerless to prevent the turkeycide, despite having prior knowledge of the plot.
The Turkey was born into the family Meleagris gallopavo ten million years ago and quickly established itself throughout considerable parts of North America. But it wasn’t until the latter part of its long life that The Turkey first made its mark upon American society, when it established a trading relationship with Native Americans. They provided The Turkey with somewhere extremely warm to roost and The Turkey returned the favour by providing them with food, flights for arrows and feathers for headdresses.
It was with the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 that The Turkey began its meteoric rise to stardom. A year later, the surviving pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest with their new friend The Turkey and gave thanks that they were no longer living in England – a tradition which millions of grateful Americans continue to this day.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln honoured The Turkey’s popularity with its own annual public holiday called Thanksgiving, where families gathered together to offer thanks to The Turkey for being such a great pal and going so well with candied yams. This was far from the last Presidential honour the bird was to receive.
In 1947 Harry S Truman instituted the practice of giving The Turkey a presidential pardon, a tradition for which Richard Nixon was later to be extremely grateful.
In 1969, The Turkey became the first bird on the Moon, sharing a meal with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. However, Aldrin has never forgiven NASA for selecting Armstrong to open his foil food first, while Armstrong has never lived down his famous slip of the tongue, “Houston, The Turkey has landed.”
In 2000 The Turkey had its finest hour when it was elected 43rd President of the United States. But the once popular bird soon began to lose its loyal following when it stopped talking turkey and became mired in a series of political scandals which many believe led to yesterday's brutal slaying of The Turkey by a lone assailant and 300 million accomplices.
The Turkey was cremated in a slow and moving ceremony, spoilt only by a large family row about who knocked over the gravy boat. In attendance were its close friends stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, succotash and pumpkin pie.
The Turkey is survived by the music of Paris Hilton and the movies of Rob Schneider.
21 November 2006
A wave of shock and revulsion has swept over America following the Fox Television Network's decision to screen an interview with the infamous Rupert Murdoch, in which the man whom many still believe to be responsible for notorious crimes such as the Fox Television Network appeared to confess to the brutal killing of OJ Simpson's If I Did It
In an interview condemned by those on both the left and the right - the latter including Fox's self-decorated Gulf War hero Geraldo Rivera and well-informed, highly unbiased, non-sexual-harasser Bill O'Reilly - Mr Murdoch gave a blow-by-blow account of what would have happened had he been the man responsible for the blood all over the floors of Fox TV and HarperCollins, following his decision to cut down their young ratings-grabber before their very eyes.
In the face of Fox's lengthy publicity campaign for the Murdoch interview, friends of OJ Simpson's If I Did It were quick to point out the distress it would cause to the relatives of Mr Murdoch's victim, including publisher Judith Regan who gave birth to If I Did It after conceiving it in a brief moment of passion and unbelievable cynicism with a Mr Rupert Murdoch.
From the moment it emerged into the world, OJ Simpson's If I Did It was the apple of its mother's eyes. Lavished with praise and attention, not to mention multi-page spreads in every News Corporation- owned publication, in the weeks up to its tragic death OJ Simpson's If I Did It was regularly shown off to friends, neighbours and anyone with access to Fox TV - all of whom showed their pleasure at its antics by reaching for sick buckets and bewailing the depths to which portions of the American media had sunk. Despite this, all was not happy in the young If I Did It's life. Before the babe had even had a chance to talk, it became clear that relations with its father were far from good. Rumours began to circulate of Rupert returning home, drunk on power, and attacking the child for its failure to provide. Soon OJ Simpson's If I Did It was being hawked around major advertisers, required to make ever more demeaning confessions in a desperate attempt to bring in a few million cents for Daddy. When even the most hard-bitten of advertisers turned away, If I Did It's days were clearly numbered. On Monday night it was slain in a frenzied press release by a balding Australian media tycoon whom we now know to be Mr Murdoch.
OJ Simpson's If I Did It will be buried alongside grisly reconstructions of the Jack The Ripper Murders, several lengthy interviews with serial killers and a large number of police documentaries which look suspiciously staged. It is survived by Rupert Murdoch, who is expected to undergo a lengthy trial by media, after which he will be let off thanks to possessing a clear conscience, a noble demeanour and a legion of very expensive lawyers.
20 November 2006
We at As A Dodo are grateful to our Russian Correspondent (appointed only this weekend, after entering our offices bearing a sinister smile, and a large tin of thallium) for the following obituary, which we typed at sushi-point this morning.
Following the tragic and wholly accidental thallium poisoning of former KGB colonel and present critic of President Putin, Alexander Litvinenko, Enemies of the Russian State are advised that they have now been officially reclassified by the Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoi Federatsii (FSB) as dead, and are requested to make the necessary arrangements for their funerals, which will be held on dates to be specified by the shadowy figures they may have noticed loitering near their houses or observing them from behind copies of Pravda over the past few weeks.
Born on various dates, Enemies of the Russian State have a long and ignoble history. In their time they have committed innumerable crimes, among them criticising the Russian state, hinting that bribery and corruption may be a way of life in modern Russia, failing to pay the proper bribes to corrupt Russian officials, being journalists, inquiring too deeply into the actions of the glorious Russian government after being gently advised at Kalashnikov-point that such actions were unwise and looking at President Putin without the officially approved expression of deep love and awe upon their faces.
Since carrying out these heinous acts Enemies of the Russian State have been declared dead, despite carrying out such life-associated activities as breathing, walking about, talking to their friends and such like. FSB doctors advise that, should these people fail to take vital remedial action - such as acknowledging that President Putin is the surpassing genius of his age whose word is as that of God and whose followers can do no wrong - it is highly likely that their deaths will be confirmed in the following months by accidentally falling off high buildings, throwing themselves in front of speeding vehicles, stabbing themselves with ricin-tipped umbrellas or chopping their own heads off after beating themselves to a pulp.
Enemies of the Russian State will be buried secretly deep in the woods after having their teeth and hands removed to avoid identification. They will not be mourned by anyone living who wishes to remain in that state.
Tony Blair Pretending died last Friday during an interview with Al-Jazeera when the Prime Minister agreed with Sir David Frost that the Iraq war had “so far been pretty much of a disaster”.
Tony Blair Pretending was born in Edinburgh in 1953 and quickly established itself, watching from the seats behind the goal at St James' Park as Jackie Milburn played for Newcastle United - despite being only four-years-old, never having gone to a football match at the time and there being no seats in the stand in the late 50's. Just ten years later, Tony Blair Pretending was stowing away on a flight from Newcastle to the Bahamas – completely unhindered by the fact that no such flight ever existed between those two airports and the fact Tony Blair himself was being educated in Scotland at the time. After Fettes College, Tony Blair Pretending went up to Oxford where it studied law and became the new Mick Jagger, God’s gift to women and the greatest rock musician ever to have lived.
It was with its involvement in politics that Tony Blair Pretending (and its friends Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson) began to come into its own as it first convinced the Labour Party that Mr Blair was a CND-loving, Europe-hating, card-carrying socialist. Later it was to convince the whole country that it was a "pretty straight kind of guy" who would right all Britain's wrongs by a complete break with Thatcherism, having already led Gordon Brown to believe he would become the next leader of the Labour Party after Tony Blair, before persuading the future Chancellor that yes it was his turn to pay for lunch and no that wasn’t a silver fork sticking in his back.
Given its enormous talents (scoring the winning goal in '66, discovering the structure of DNA and making love to the young Clara Bow in the 1920's among them), it came as no surprise when Tony Blair Pretending assumed its rightful position on the world stage. By 1997 it had formed a “special relationship”with America's President Clinton, repeatedly assuring him of Tony Blair's true and unwavering love, before going on to say exactly the same to President Bush after the year 2000. By the early noughties Tony Blair Pretending achieved its greatest ever flight of fantasy, persuading the British people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and thereby justifying its support for the invasion of Iraq. When later challenged on this point, Tony Blair Pretending was able to point out that, in any event, it had consulted God on the matter during one of its regular briefings with God at Number Ten, and that God had given His full backing.
Tony Blair Pretending succumbed to a massive and fatal truth attack on Friday and was buried at the Church of St Billy the Liar. The service was conducted by Monsignor Jeffrey Archer and was attended by friends and colleagues from around the world, including Jesus, Elvis, Harvey the six-foot rabbit, Santa and the Tooth Fairy.
Miraculously, on the third day, Tony Blair Pretending rose from the grave and appeared to its disciples on the road to electing Gordon Brown, where it proved it was very much alive by insisting it had never met Sir David Frost in its life, let alone been interviewed by him.
18 November 2006
Oversized, sweet-fixated children and lovers of 1970's advertising are today united in mourning the Milky Bar Kid, who passed away on Friday.
The Kid, perhaps the only 10-year-old, bespectacled albino ever to make a living in America's Wild West, burst into a nation's consciousness in 1961: a rough, tough, specky cowboy, who would lasso young children and force feed them with his sugary treats - thus providing the inpiration for both Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang's Childcatcher and innumerable paedophiles. Despite such questionable behaviour, the Kid and his stunningly banal catchphrase "All the Milky Bars are on me" became an instant hit with the youth of Britain, inspiring millions of boys to spice up their games of "cowboys and injuns" with fantastically incompetent demonstrations of lasso technique and fragile-family-heirloom-damaging skills.
Times were changing, however, and the Kid was slow to change with them. As a new generation of children began to swap their cap-guns for lightsabres (thus affording even greater opportunity for damaging fragile heirlooms) the Kid's spinning-circle-of-rope-based antics began to look increasingly passé. When he did finally make the leap into space his efforts were - as even his closest friends were later to admit - somewhat embarrassing. Deserted by his public, the Kid followed many other one-time stars into obscurity. No longer under pressure to preserve his image, he gave in to his sickly-sweet-chocolate-style-substance obsession, sitting alone at home and mainlining bar after bar. In the following years he fell completely from the media's gaze, save for a brief - balding and bloated - appearance in the tabloids during the early noughties "paedo" scares, when he was forced to deny ever having asked his old pal the Cadbury's Lad to show him his finger of fudge.
Earlier this year the Kid was admitted to St Ofcom's Hospital where, along with other hawkers of fattening foodstuffs, he underwent a series of investigations. It soon became apparent that he was unfit for the modern age and did not have much longer to live. It came as little surprise when, on Friday, Ofcom doctors announced the Kid's death, which they attributed to a massive overdose of a powdery white substance believed to be sugar.
The Milky Bar Kid will be buried in an oversized coffin on Monday. The service will be televised although, under new advertising regulations children will only be able to watch it after the watershed ... if their chubby fingers aren't too large to mash the buttons on the remote control.
16 November 2006
A fun-loving child of the swinging one-hundred- thousand-BCies, Freedom was always known for her liberating, devil-may-care attitude and easygoing views on everything from drugs to sexual morality. Often caricatured as something of a hippie by her opponents, beneath her happy-go-lucky persona there lay a resolute fighter for liberty and a believer in the inalienable rights of each and every being. From her time hanging around with the notorious hairy hominid group "Homo Sapiens" to today, Freedom always campaigned for the downtrodden, beginning in her youth with such simple campaigns as for the right to pick fleas off one's mate (a right still enjoyed today by many Glastonbury Festival-goers).
Far bigger things were ahead. By the second millennium BC, Freedom was encouraging the Israelites to say goodbye to "the Man" ("the Man" being, in fact, "the Pharaoh") and "find themselves" by going on a walkabout amid the dunes and deserts of the Middle East. Only two millennia later she was staging her next major "happening", persuading young Goths and Vandals from all over Europe to come to Rome to hold a sit-in and "express themselves" ... something that they succeeded in doing with great gusto and pretty much all over the place.
In the centuries that followed, Freedom wandered across the globe, "fighting the power" wherever it could be found. By the latter part of the eighteenth century she was to be found dancing the night away with the likes of Thomas Paine and the heroes of the American War of Independence. During this time she also fell in with a group of French exchange students, going off with them to Paris to hold a mindblowing (or, more precisely, head chopping) Revolution. Not long after she was wigging out with newly-freed slaves before going on to explore her womanhood with the aid of suffragettes (and later Mars bars) before ignoring her advancing years to don a pink cowboy hat and chaps (and very little else) to march for gay rights.
Such a controversial lifestyle could not help but to attract enemies. Over the years Freedom found herself assailed from both left and right and by powers temporal and spiritual ... all of whom wanted to have as much freedom as possible for themselves (often including the freedoms to amass vast luxury for themselves, to oppress anyone they didn't like at all and, strangely enough, to sleep with any member of the animal kingdom they chose) while denying it to everybody else. Despite their attacks, Freedom carried on untroubled.
While Freedom managed to come through her wild life unscathed, not all of her friends were so lucky. Many of her oldest friends began to show increasing signs of paranoia, perhaps due to the bitter experiences of centuries fighting oppression, perhaps due to a massive intake of alcohol and cocaine in their youth. Several developed an obsession with ensuring Freedom's safety. Fearful that she might be attacked by "evildoers", and despite the protests of Freedom herself, they insisted that she leave her home on fewer and fewer occasions and then only with an armed escort. Eventually, those who claimed to be her closest companions confined her to her room, where they kept her under constant surveillance by CCTV. Deprived of the liberty she always craved, Freedom began to drift away.
Freedom will be buried this weekend. She is survived by her complete biometric data, surveillance files and CCTV footage, which will remain on a centralised database for all eternity.
15 November 2006
Trust fund managers, brokers and merchant bankers across Britain momentarily turned their heads from their screens / clients / vast piles of money this morning, following the news of the death of the London Stock Exchange, which drowned in the Thames last night after dining with a group of well-connected Major Investment Banks.
The LSE was born in 1698 when one John Castaing, fired up by vast amounts of java, first pinned up a list of stock and commodity prices on the walls of Jonathan's Coffee House in London's Change Alley, with the aim of parting as many suckers as possible from their cash.
With its twin mottoes "My word is my bond" and "Your money is my money... and currently invested in an offshore intermediate revolving FOREX facility" the LSE was soon bestriding the financial world like the proverbial colossus, with those beneath it compelled to lift their gazes and contemplate the vast size and extreme goldenness of its twin fiscal spheres.
In the following years the LSE, red in tooth and braces, would become one of the world's most powerful financial forces, leading investors through South Sea Bubbles and Railway Mania to penury, while leading itself to vaster and vaster piles of money. By the early part of this century, those vast piles of money began to attract an increasing number of suitors. Gossip columnists noted that the ageing LSE was seen out with a different partner each night, showing its commodities off to Deutsche Boerse one evening, then flashing its sparkling derivatives at NASDAQ the next.
Such behaviour could not go unnoticed. Major Investment Banks which had long been associates of the LSE began to feel that their old friend, for whom they had done so much, was spending too much time gadding about and building up money piles and not enough showing them the respect they deserved. Attempts at reconciliation - including gifts of horses' heads - were made, the last of them occurring only on Tuesday night, when the Banks invited the LSE to dine with them. It appears that, clearly fearful of the current inclement weather, the LSE made the tragic mistake of wearing a concrete overcoat for its walk back from the restaurant along the Embankment, leading to inevitable tragedy when a pat on the back from several of its Bank pals caused it to fall into the river, where it drowned. The Banks made repeated attempts to rescue the LSE by dropping heavy metal chains on it and shooting it but all to no avail.
The London Stock Exchange will be buried at St Mammon's Church this weekend. Well-wishers are asked to send cash. The LSE is survived by the Major Investment Banks, their brand new European share market and vast piles of money.
13 November 2006
The Christmas Club was found dead this weekend at its home in Farepak. Police believe it had disturbed burglars who may have made off with a Xmas hamper worth up to £40 million . They have warned members of the public not to approach the thieves or their associates, who may be posing as bankers, city gents and incompetent regulators.
The Christmas Club was conceived in the year 0 when a young, impoverished woman from Judea began saving the Almighty's seed in the nine months before December 25th. Fortunately, her husband’s ire at being betrayed by his wife and having to spend the festive season in a barn, was somewhat mollified by the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The Christmas Club quickly bloomed, enabling peasants throughout the ages to put aside a groat a week and enjoy a magical Yuletide – unless their family had been killed by the plague, killed by invading Anglo-Saxon or Viking or Norman hordes, killed by the King’s Men for gathering winter fu-el in the forest, killed for looking at the King’s deer funny, or their family had been sold into slavery in order to make the weekly payments on the Christmas Club.
But it was with the introduction of the modern Christmas as we know it by Prince Albert (famous for stapling his Christmas cracker to his baubles) that the Christmas Club became popular throughout the great Victorian slums, workhouses, and poorhouses that made Great Britain the best country in the world.
Fattened by the increasing aspirational pressure applied by Our Lord Santa in the glittery advertisements shown from as early as late October on 72” flat screen tellies (Available from all good electrical outlets), the Christmas Club became as bloated as one of its turkey-style Christmas roasts. In this state it inevitably attracted the interest of the murkier elements of the corporate world, an interest which was to lead to The Club's demise.
The Christmas Club was buried in an over-priced hamper this weekend at St Scrooge’s Church. The congregation sang Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody. The service was attended by friends and family including the National Lottery, National Insurance and Pension Scemes. The Christmas Club is survived by the Halifax Bank of Scotland Bank, numerous other High Street banks and a vast mountain of Christmas debt.
10 November 2006
Across Britain today, almost no-one is mourning the death of Education Secretary Alan Johnson's Bid for the Labour Party Leadership, which passed away largely unnoticed at 9am.
The child of a desperate desire to prevent Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister, Alan Johnson's Leadership Bid was born in the summer of 2006 in the region of the Number Ten Policy Unit in Downing Street. Its birth was greeted by a wave of complete indifference in newspapers, magazines, television and across the nation as a whole.
Over the following months, backers of the Leadership Bid whipped themselves into a frenzy of tedium as campaign HQ pulsed to the sound of no phones ringing and no calls being made. By the beginning of this month, those behind the Leadership Bid were at fever pitch as Mr Johnson's recognition factor leapt to an astonishing 2 people in 100, though sadly both those people recognised Mr Johnson as "the bloke who used to hand out the shopping baskets at the entrance to Asda".
Facing inevitable ignominy The Leadership Bid was buried this morning when Mr Johnson told a packed hall of empty seats that he would not be standing for the leadership as there was a far more able man for the job ... though sadly he had been unable to dissuade Mr Blair from standing down.
Alan Johnson's Labour Leadership Bid is survived by Alan Johnson's Deputy Leadership Bid, and, tragically, John Reid.
09 November 2006
The Political Career of Donald Henry Rumsfeld died last night, shortly after a large group of Washington villagers carrying pitchforks and torches arrived outside the White House demanding that President Bush "destroy the monster".
Donald Rumsfeld's Political Career began in 1957 when the young Donald, fresh from Naval service took up a post as Administrative Assistant to a Republican Congressman. Even at the tender age of 25, Donnie's political skills were already burgeoning, as could be seen by the fact his boss was voted out of office just one year later. Undeterred, Donnie went on to other political staff roles before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1962, a position which - unlike the armies he would one day take charge of - he was able to hold untroubled for 7 years.
It was in 1969, however, that the Political Career came into its own when - following an accident in which Donald was fatally injured by the explosion of his own over-inflated ego - Rumsfeld was reconstructed in a secret lab in the Chicago School of Economics. The creature that emerged from that laboratory was hailed as a new Adam by its neo-Conservative creators, a sin against nature by its opponents and "A ruthless little bastard, you can be sure of that" by its new employer, President Nixon.
When, five years later, President Nixon was forced out of the White House as one of the USA's most reviled leaders since King George, it came as little surprise that Mr Rumsfeld's unique talents were recognised by another great statesman, President Gerald Ford. It was under President Ford - who may have been distracted by attempts to walk and chew gum, or perhaps a passing puppy dog, at the time - that Mr Rumsfeld became the youngest ever Secretary of Defense. In 1977 the Ford awarded Mr Rumsfeld the Presidential Medal of Honour. By 1978 Mr Ford had lost an election.
In the next few years Donald Rumsfeld's Political Career became largely dormant, satisfying its unnatural urges by supplying Saddam Hussein with weaponry and intelligence under President Reagan and selling nuclear equipment to North Korea in accord with the wishes of the Clinton administration.
In the year 2000 Mr Rumsfeld was selected for service by George W Bush. By 2001 he was in charge of the Defence Department once more, readying America's armed forces for the new millennium. His success in transforming the military - in the face of opposition from the dinosaurs at the Pentagon - into a new "light and nimble" force was seen in 2003 when the invasion and pacification of Iraq was carried out by Sergeant Dwight Shergenhauer armed only with a spoon. Sadly Mr Rumsfeld's prediction that the people of Iraq would all spontaneously lay down their arms and burst into hymns of praise for George W Bush and the American way were ruined by the liberal media, the ungrateful families of dead servicemen and those same dinosaur generals at the Pentagon.
With the war - through no fault of Mr Rumsfeld's - becoming increasingly unpopular, The Political Career was seen stalking the battlements of the Defence Department, committing random appalling acts such as using a machine to sign letters of condolence, torturing the English language during press conferences and Senate hearings and remaining in its post after the Abu Ghraib scandal. With opinion among the public and Washington villagers turning against it, The Political Career was ultimately to end its days by plunging from the roof of the Defence Department. Those first at the scene - Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and George W Bush - all confirm that the death was definitely suicide.
Donald Rumsfeld's Political Career will be buried in a series of lucrative company directorships. It is survived by the knowledge that, with Mr Rumsfeld no longer in charge of America's military, the Rapture is just that little bit further away.
08 November 2006
"Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run"
... but alas they run no more. It is the sad duty of As A Dodo to report the demise of The Three Blind Mice, who have been running from the farmer's wife ever since they were published as a satirical poem about Queen Mary I in 1609. While other nursery rhyme mice chose to spend their time running up and down clocks, being frightened by pussycats who'd gone up to London to look at the Queen and dressing up in clogs in order to go clip-clippety-clop on the stairs of windmills in old Amsterdam, the three blind mice - white canes in hand - stuck steadfastly to their duties despite frequent tail loss and much mockery from people who'd never seen such a thing in their life.
Despite these years of service, the three were forced to disband on Thursday after being forcibly cured of their condition by researchers at University College London Institutes of Ophthalmology and Child Health and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
A memorial service for The Three Blind Mice was held last night. It was attended by all the Mice's friends and family, except pussy who had been put in a well by Little Johnny Flynn.
The Three Blind Mice are survived by the computer mouse, Mickey Mouse and that mouse with the human ear on its back.
The White House and friends of President Bush's administration were in mourning today following the death of the Republican Party's Control of the House of Representatives, which passed away after contracting a long and destructive illness during an ill-advised foreign business trip to Iraq.
The Republicans' Control was born in 1994, to the surprise of many, no one more so than President Bill Clinton, who was immediately forced to deny he was the father.
Under the guiding hand of Speaker Newt Gingrich (but not in a creepy, Mark Foley guiding hand way), The Republicans' Control quickly found its feet and began bullying Democrat initiatives in the House, picking on the poor and the huddled masses and, in 2000, winning the White House for its sidekick, George W Bush.
After 9/11, The Republicans' Control began its work in earnest with the introduction of the Patriot Act, which required all US citizens to check their civil liberties at the door. Although 2001 was a busy year, The Republicans' Control did find time for an overseas vacation in Afghanistan, where it hoped to be reunited with an old family friend, Osama bin Laden.
However, a never-ending series of political and financial scandals left The Republicans' Control weakened and gasping for breath and President Bush’s approval ratings dropped to a dangerous level. Desperate Neocons began an infusion of billions of dollars in a futile bid to stop the decline but to no avail, as Americans began to question The Republicans' Control’s determination to remain in the region despite not having a clear exit programme.
Sadly, a last-minute attempt at foot-in-mouth resuscitation by America’s leading stand-up comedian, John Kerry, failed to revive its health and The Republicans' Control was read the last rites, as it made its peace with God and other prominent backers of the party.
It suffered a series of fatal attacks on Tuesday this week, losing control of South Baghdad, North Baghdad, East and West Baghdad and most of Iraq, while Oliver North, the Republican challenger for the southern state of Nicaragua, lost again to Daniel Ortega.
The Republican’s Control of the House of Representatives will be buried somewhere in the wee small hours of Fox News bulletins. It is survived by Hillary Clinton's Campaign Warchest, a lame-duck President and The Race for the Senate, which is currently going down to the wire ... along with Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld.
07 November 2006
It is with enormous regret that As A Dodo must announce the death at the age of 59 of Home Secretary John Reid's Sense of Shame, which was struck down during Mr Reid's appearance this morning before inmates at Wormwood Scrubs Prison. While sources at the Home Office insist that The Sense had been discharging its duties in the normal way, friends and colleagues say it had been showing signs of massive stress and overwork for many years.
Born in North Lanarkshire in the years following World War II and educated at the Catholic St Patrick's High School in Coatbridge, John Reid's Sense of Shame was a vigorous youth, well up to the task of coping with a lad whose gentle manner and calm tones put the fear of God into all who dared to cross his path, whether he was contemplating demanding dinner-money with menaces from his teachers, or threatening to report his fellow 10-year-olds for hanging around with children near the school gates.
Throughout school and university The Sense was always at Reid's side, accompanying him during his PhD in economic history and further postgraduate studies in low-level political bruising and demagoguery as a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. While all seemed to be going well, it was with Reid's entry into the Labour Party and parliament that the pressures on The Sense of Shame's relationship with him started to show. Difficulties began in the mid-90's when Reid, keen for advancement, began to throw aside all his ideological baggage in order to join the vanguard of New Labour. Matters worsened as Reid, desperate to advance, began to use tabloid headlines to keep him going. As Reid worked his way up from Secretary of State for Scotland and the Northern Ireland, his appetite for "Redtop" increased more and more. As Health Secretary and Defence Secretary he was able to maintain some small control over his addiction, with The Sense's help, but with his appointment as Home Secretary his need to "chase the Murdoch" obtained an absolute grip. Soon he was spending most of his days in the gutter press, eager to menace a minority or beat up a judge for the price of one more hit - all the while blaming his troubles on civil servants, social workers and Jeremy Paxman.
Strained almost to breaking point, The Sense did all it could to bring the Home Secretary back from the pit of addiction but to no avail. By Tuesday of this week Reid was accusing the House of Lords of pandering to paedophiles. By the early hours of this morning, he was on his way to Wormwood Scrubs to star in a topless Page 1 photoshoot for The Sun newspaper in front of an audience of prisoners. To the delight of assembled hacks and the bemusement of inmates, Reid launched into a performance of the dance of the veiled threats, blaming violent crime on Tory leader David Cameron, the probation service, namby-pamby-pinko-liberals, la-di-dah middle-class poshos, Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke and anybody whose name wasn't John Reid. It was as The Sense rushed up to stop him that Reid chose to assault his oldest friend, delivering the headbutt that would ultimately deliver it to the grave. Police were called to the scene but failed to arrive until long after the (frequent) offender had made off.
John Reid's Sense of Shame will be buried hastily and without ceremony. It is survived by reduced civil liberties and tabloid hysteria.
06 November 2006
As A Dodo can today confirm the final closure of the world-famous West End (of Baghdad) farce, The Saddam Trial. The hilarious black comedy that has alternately appalled and enthralled people in Iraq and across the globe has been forced to end following the death of its leading man, which is expected in about 30 days.
The Saddam Trial opened on 19th October 2005 and closed yesterday. It was based on the old folk tale of a young, power-crazed lad with a song on his lips and murderous intent in his heart who sells his soul to the Devil and Donald Rumsfeld. Elevated to the dictatorship of his country, he is fêted by all about him for his courage, wit and tendency to torture / maim / gas / otherwise dispose of those who choose not to fête him. Then comes the tragic day when he chooses to turn against his former friends and paymasters and starts fooling around with crazy schemes to take over the world with giant superguns and chemical weapons. Eventually his fate is sealed when, in a fit of hubris, he refuses to tell United Nations Weapons Inspectors that in truth he has no Weapons of Mass Destruction, having spent his whole WMD budget on gold taps and bad art for his many palaces. His country is invaded and he is swept from power by the United States of America which - in an extraordinary comic twist - gives up its habit of wiping out democratic leaders and propping up dictators and tries wiping out dictators and propping up democrats instead, with hilarious results.
None who had the privilege to witness it will ever forget The Saddam Trial. It's highlights - among them the Byzantine plot, the constant coming and going (usually in a hail of bullets) of cast members, the fabulous supporting work of the US Armed Forces - were too many to mention but if one thing is to be singled out it is the Godot-esque dialogue, such as this exchange between our hero and the judge ...
[Judge] Mr Saddam, we want your identity. Full name, please...
[Saddam Hussein] First of all, who are you? What are you? I want to know who you are. Are you judges?.. I have been here in this building... from eight in the morning.
[Judge] Please sit down, Mr Saddam. Later. We'll get down the identities of the others, and later we'll start with you.
[Saddam Hussein] And from nine A.M. I've been dressed.
[Judge] Well, now so you can sit down and relax, give your identity and make yourself comfortable.
[Saddam Hussein] You know me... I do not tire.
Judge: These are official matters, we have to hear from you your identity. These are formalities, so please.
[Saddam Hussein] I don't have anything against any of you. But adhering to the truth and respecting the will of the great Iraqi people in choosing me, I say: I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq.
[Judge] These matters can be put off until later. This is not the place.
Saddam Hussein: Neither do I recognise the body that has designated and authorised you, nor the aggression. All that is built on a false basis is false.
Surely Beckett could never have done better!
The Saddam Trial's funeral will be held in Baghdad in a ceremony involving gunfire, explosions and a joyful outburst of internecine warfare. It is survived by chaos in the Middle East.
03 November 2006
The Bonfire Night Guy - that traditional, highly-flammable, stuffed effigy of Gunpowder Plotter Guido Fawkes - passed away today… tomorrow, and especially on Sunday, November the 5th after succumbing to smoke inhalation and horrific third-degree burns. Fire Brigades arriving at the scene of the fire were unable to save The Guy, as they were too busy eating baked potatoes and marshmallows cooked in the embers. Police called to the scene believe the fire may have been started deliberately and issued a statement saying: “Ooh…! Look at the pretty colours…! Whooo…! I love fireworks me…!”
The Guy was born 400 years ago when King James I declared November 5th an annual public holiday. The King and members of both Houses of Parliament celebrated their narrow escape from certain death in 1605's Gunpowder Plot, while their loyal subjects commiserated a parliamentary failure almost as big as House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin .
Since a very early age The Guy has been pushed around in carts and wheelbarrows prior to every Bonfire Night by gangs of children intent on taxing passers-by with the traditional cry of: “A penny for the Guy, you wanker", not to mention "And we want your mobile phone and your trainers too.” After the goods have been fenced, any money remaining from the purchase of cheap booze and drugs is spent on arming themselves with potentially lethal fireworks with which to attack letterboxes, cars, buses, cyclists, cats, dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, badgers, otters, horses, cows, donkeys, budgies, parrots, ospreys, hamsters, mice, rats and the elderly... before attacking other gangs of kids high on cheap booze and drugs and armed to the teeth with potentially lethal fireworks, the police, the fire brigade and the ambulance which has just arrived to treat their self-inflicted facial wounds and pick up their missing fingers.
The Guy will be cremated this weekend in a private service attended by select friends and family in back gardens, public parks, village fetes and school playing fields across the country. At a special ceremony at Parliament, Home Secretary, John Reid, will commemorate the anniversary by holding The Guy without charge for 28 days before sending it by ceremonial rendition flight to an undisclosed site in Eastern Europe, where it will be hanged, drawn and water-boarded by people who are in no way operating with the connivance of members of the CIA and the Bush administration.
The Guy is survived by The Burning Man, The Wicker Man, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Gordon Brown.
As A Dodo advisory: Please don’t forget to keep your cats, dogs and Catholics indoors on Bonfire Night.
02 November 2006
All at www.asadodo.com are delighted to announce that our obituary for (Fictional) George Bush has won the October award for Best Celebrity Satire on The Best Satire Awards. We're even more delighted to say that As A Dodo is up for several rewards for November, including Best Overall, Best Celebrity, Best Headline, Best New Site, Best Political and Most Absurd. We would urge any of our readers who wish to do so to vote for us, vote early and vote often (sadly one vote per category per day seems to be the limit).
The As A Dodo Team
01 November 2006
Another in our occasional series of tributes to the recently deceased from those who knew them best. Today's tribute to the apartheid-era South African leader comes from his former Minister for Cattle-Prod Procurement Prik van der Merwe
Aw man, PW, what a guy! What a President! "Die Groot Krokodil" ("The Big Crocodile"), we used to call him: well, he always had that big, cunning smile on him ... and that happy-go-lucky way he'd try to bite your head off if you got on his nerves; I've still got the marks on me to this day - one canine and two incisors. Still, he was always good to me. The moment he became President in '78 he picked me out straight away: "What we need now is some knuckle-dragging Prik to do our dirty work for us", he said - and there I was! Straight away, man!
Those were happy days for me, man, happy days! Aw, but busy?! You should have seen my office! Queues of police chiefs and death squad operatives half a mile long outside my door every morning: "Prik, I need another 500 cattle-prods", "Prik, I need more electrodes", "Prik, where's those hoods and shackles you promised me last week?" Luckily PW was always happy just to leave me to get on with my work without any interference. You know he even went so far as to deny that I ever existed?! Now there's a boss, man!
You know, people called PW a racist but that's rubbish, man. PW was completely colour blind - I remember I once came back from a trip to Israel (I was involved in the negotiations over the nuclear bombs entirely peaceful pest eradication technology) with a bit of a tan and PW simply couldn't see me for almost a week! Not on you life, man, PW wasn't racist, he simply believed that God meant black people and white people should live in different places, and if black people happened to live in the places where the white people wanted to live - like Africa - they should be forced to make way for them with cattle prods and rifles ... and then forced to do the most menial tasks while the whites live in luxury. I for one have never been able to see the flaw in that argument.
No, PW was one of the greats if you ask me. I'll never, ever forget him. He's the finest boss I ever had ... well, at least until I got that "Special Operations" work from Mr Cheney.