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Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Transcript of Breakfast Meeting at the White House, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending.

TRANSCRIPT.

Biden: Try some of this low fat breakfast sausage.. It's very British.

Johnson: Er, thanks. Um, Joe, I wanted to get on to the subject of the special relation...

Biden: If you don't like sausages, there's corned beef hash.

Johnson: I think I'll just have an egg. The relationship between our two countries has been --

Biden: The eggs are great. And you can have creamed chipped beef with. I love it.

Johnson: Really? Then that's what I'll have. So, as I was saying...

Biden: Let me give you some coffee. 2% milk?

Johnson: Thank you. Now, to get back to the special relationship.

Aide: Excuse me, Mr. President. Germany's on the line.

Biden: OK. Sorry, Boris. Gotta take this.

Johnson eats his breakfast, occasionally pulling his hair. The President returns.

Biden: Got cut off. I'll have to answer it if they call again. How did you like the beef?

Johnson: Most enjoyable. Our two countries have had a long and trusting relationship, haven't they? Side by side.

Biden: Sure have.

Aide: Excuse me, Mr. President. President Macron is on the line.

Biden: I'm really sorry, Boris. This one's important. Won't be long. Try the grits.

Johnson sits and waits. The President returns.

Biden: I really like those little fat guys.

Johnson: I'm sorry?Biden: The grits. Good for you, too. Reduce your waist-line, Boris.

Johnson: Um, Joe. Could we make a joint announcement about the special relationship between our two countries, before I leave?

Aide: Mr. President. Israel's on the line.

Biden: OK. I'll be right back, Boris.

Johnson stares at the ceiling. Rubs his head.  The President returns.

Biden: They nuked Iran!

Johnson:  What? My god!

Biden: Just joshing, Boris. My little joke!

Johnson: Ah. Yes. Very droll. Now, Joe. A joint communique about the special relationship seems perfectly in order, don't you think?

Loud ringing of alarm bells.

Biden: Darn! Another anti-terrorist alarm test. Well, we'd better get out on the lawn. I'll introduce you to a few folk and see you and Carrie tonight at the dinner.

Aide: Was that Okay, Mr. President?



Tuesday, 2 November 2021

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Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Accepting Large Donations in Politics.

 

A Conservative party spokesperson said: “Government policy is in no way influenced by the donations the party receives – they are entirely separate. We are motivated by the priorities of the British public, acting in the national interest.”

“The Conservative party is funded by membership, fundraising and donations. Donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, openly published by them, and comply fully with the law.

“Fundraising is a legitimate part of the democratic process. The alternative is more taxpayer-funding of political campaigning, which would mean less money - for frontline services like schools, police and hospitals.”

Monday, 13 September 2021

I found the document below in a senior Minister's waste paper basket..... " When Brexit has Wrecked it - this is what Britain will be like:



Britain will be more expensive – imported goods will cost more

Exports to EU will drop – EU customs duty will make them more expensive - with resultant unemployment here

Half of cars made in Britain go to the EU

Large amounts of paperwork needed by Britain's 250k small businesses to continue exporting to EU

Business says there will be mass redundancies

More expensive NHS – half of our medicines come from Europe; some are not made here – viz, insulin.

Hopefully EU citizens will be allowed to work in UK – otherwise NHS will flounder with 10,000 less staff

Lorry queues across the south of England – food going bad? Already 1.6 million truck crossings per the tunnel per annum.

PM has promised troops will fight food riots...

Long delays at airports – while we re-negotiate international airspace agreements.

Our Civil Service will spend £millions trying to build new trade agreements with 160 WTO countries

And to re-negotiate the 36 trade deals the EU has with others

Wage growth in UK cannot be expected to improve, when trade falls and import costs increase

Current UK financial situation –

National Debt £2.3 trillion owed  (2nd. largest in the world; USA is 1st.)

Bank balance £114 billion in the red.


Current trade with the world in £ billions:

EU £ 487 billion

USA 140

China 50

Aus/NZ/Can 26

Bra/Rus/Ind 43


Nobody is beating a path to our door.....and they know we need them more than they need us.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Hood Robin and His Scary Men - A Fable for Our Times....

 

HOOD ROBIN AND HIS SCARY MEN.
A FABLE FOR OUR TIMES

LIST OF CHARACTERS:

Baddies:
Hood Robin -A most successful banker
Friar TaxFree -The world's biggest expert on tax avoidance
BigBonus John- Lives only for his bonus
Allan a Deal- An infamous deal-maker.
Much the Hedger's Son- The son of the biggest hedge fund trader ever.
Prince WallStreet -The toughest banker/private equity manager/ hedge fund 
trader/ commodities dealer/ in the whole world.

The Sheriff of the City
Goodies:
An Old Man
Churl - A hero of the poor
Hack! Another.
*********************** A COPSE IN SHERWOOD FOREST. MORNING.
Hood Robin and his Scary Men sing and dance.

SCARY MEN We are the filthy rich; We're ripping off the poor. We're leaving them without a stitch, The bailiff at the door. We're the golden boys of banking! Oh yeah! The golden boys of bonuses as well!
We are the filthy rich; We're ripping off the poor. We take it all without a hitch, 'cos we're above the law. We're the golden boys of banking! Oh yeah! The golden boys of bonuses as well!

Enter Prince WallStreet and the Sheriff.
WALLSTREET  O.K! O.K! Very nice - but quit it! You guys have gotta work a lot harder if we're gonna hit 18 billion in bonus this year. Ya gotta hit the poor harder! Harder, ya hear! That's what they're here for, right? To be hit, right? Our bonus target is 18 billion and I don't mean 17 billion. Geddit?
HOOD We're working on it WallStreet. We'll get there, don't you worry.
WALLSTREET There's millions of poor out there! Go out and get 'em! I've fixed everything up with your government so you don't have no issues there, OK?
SHERIFF Oh, yes. Oh dear me, yes. The Prince did a splendid job. I'm sure we could never have done it without him.
WALLSTREET So tell the guys what I did.
SHERIFF Well, after a series of meetings, the government backed down totally on all of its threats. Every single one!
The Scary Men cheer. 

 SHERIFF They threatened total transparency.
The Scary Men groan.
SHERIFF They threatened dreadful regulations.
The Scary Men shudder.
SHERIFF They said they'd put an extra tax on our bonuses.
The Scary Men suck in their lips.
SHERIFF They said they would never bail us out again.
The Scary Men make 'ouch' noises.
SHERIFF But, in the end, they backed off from everything they'd said. Nothing will happen. Nothing whatsoever. It's all absolutely splendid!                                                                                The Scary Men whoop and applaud.
WALLSTREET So, there ya go, guys. The road is clear. And the poor are everywhere. So no delay. Let's do it!
SHERIFF On the subject of the poor being everywhere, we are very close to completing the wall around the City. It's 25 feet high all the way round! Of course, the police will continue to patrol the City every day, as they always have. So you see, there will be no bank raids in our territory! Tee hee.
The Scary Men laugh and pat each other on the back. Wallstreet and the Sheriff leave. Enter an old man carrying a bundle under his arm.
HOOD Hold fast there, old loon!
OLD MAN Eh?
HOOD Stop! Where are you going?
OLD MAN France. If it's any business of yours, young man.          
HOOD
  France?                                        
OLD MAN
  Aye, France. It's warmer there and they have baguettes and citizens' banks. And that's where I'm going.      
HOOD
Taking all your money with you, are you?
The Scary Men all laugh.        
OLD MAN
 I am.        
HOOD  
In that bundle?        
OLD MAN
Aye. Although what its got to do with you, I don't know. Who are you, anyway, with all your impertinent questions?
The Scary Men all hoot.
HOOD I'm Hood Robin. And these are my Scary Men. So hand over your bundle, old loon.
OLD MAN Dear me. That's bad news.
HOOD Too right!
The Scary Men all laugh again. The Old Man walks forward to the front of the stage and addresses the audience.
OLD MAN Friends. Don't be too worried about me. I've got a little surprise for this rabble, even though I’m very old. He turns towards Hood.
OLD MAN Yes. that's really bad news. For you, I mean.      
HOOD
What? Don't make me laugh! Hand over your bundle!
OLD MAN Here you are. But you shouldn't open it.
HOOD Come on! Why not, eh?
OLD MAN Because you might not like what you see inside.    
HOOD
Then, you open it!
OLD MAN Are you frightened, Hood? I thought you were a big tough guy. (To the Scary Men) And he's your leader? How sad.
HOOD I'll knock your block off, you old loon, if you don't shut up and open that bundle. OLD MAN Don't say I didn't warn you.
He puts the bundle on the ground and slowly unrolls it. Nothing happens. Hood approaches the bundle warily and the Scary Men gather round at a distance.
HOOD Well? Let's see what's in it!
The Old Man picks up something from the bundle and holds it out to Hood.         HOOD What's that?    
OLD MAN
Bad news for you.
HOOD Eh?        
OLD MAN
My life savings. A five cent Euro coin and a button.
HOOD Don't mess with me, you old fool. Where's the rest?
OLD MAN Are you kidding, young Hood? After all the government cuts, and prices going up for everything, food and heating, and heaven knows what else we haven't heard about yet. What chance do we have to save anything? Eh? We get the lowest old age pension in the world, and it's taxed! Do me a favour and go and rob a politician.      
HOOD
Come on, guys. We're wasting our time here.
They exit. The Old Man comes to the front of the stage again.
OLD MAN Clod-poles! That's what they are. Well, between you and me, their time is running out. Their golden days are over. Churl is coming! Remember that name - Churl!

A NEARBY FANCY RESTAURANT. HOOD AND HIS SCARY MEN SIT AT A TABLE. SAME DAY HOOD Allan! Order up another six bottles of Krug, will you? And more of the foie gras. I'm feeling peckish. I tell you, I'm sick of looking at the poor. And at their stupid faces when we take their money. They're so boring.                  
FRIAR TAXFREE
Ah, that foie gras! I'll have a kilo, Allan. Now, Hood, I've been updating on new tax havens. Here are the latest. County Cork, Tijuana, North Korea and Tower Hamlets which has just declared independence from Britain. Of these, I think we can only sensibly use North Korea. Pass the toast, would you?
HOOD Sounds good to me. How are you doing with your commodities search, John?   BIGBONUS JOHN Duh. Good, boss.
HOOD Well? What did you find?      
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. Well, boss. I started at the 'A's and then I did the 'B's. Then I got to the 'C's and there it was, boss. Real cool. Coal mines in Qatar!    
HOOD
  What?    
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. You're always saying we should target what's got nowhere and then talk it up. Well, coal mines in Qatar is exackerly that. Innit?
HOOD H'm. What do you think, Much?
MUCH Look, Chief. I'm happy to manage our Georgian estates in the Shires, and our chateaux on the Riviera, and our Manhattan penthouse apartments and our air-conditioned yachts and our super-charged Ferrari's, but I don't want to be involved in gambling, anymore. I’m happy just being V.P. Admin.
HOOD OK. I have no issue with that. Did you research it, John?        
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. Yeah! It was great. Percentually, coal mines in Qatar is the greatest opportunity since the invention of the credit default swap!
HOOD Really? I see. Well. Anybody know anything about coal mines?    
ALLAN A DEAL
I don't think there are any coal mines in Qatar.
HOOD Does it matter? OK, John, you run with it, give it the whole algorithm treatment and report back. Looks like another useful instrument to make a few more pennies! Don’t forget to VaR it.
SCARY MEN (dancing and singing) SPUs and SIVs; SPOs and CDOs; CDSes and Derivatives; Illicit credit-based securities, Commodities and liquidities! We love them all! We love them all! 'Cos we are the golden boys of banking. Yeah!

A RAMSHACKLE VILLAGE IN THE FOREST WHERE SOME OF THE POOR LIVE. EVENING.   OLD MAN Where's Churl? I must see him!
CHURL I am here. What would'st thou?
OLD MAN Hood Robin and his Banker Gang are on the prowl nearby.    
CHURL
Is that a problem?  
OLD MAN
Yes! They have a huge target for robbing us! They intend to make an 18 billion bonus!
CHURL 18 billion? Excellent!
OLD MAN What, Churl? Did you say 'excellent'?
CHURL I did, old gentleman. Hack! and I have a plan and it will work best when they have amassed their 18 billion. Only then can we have our full revenge. Hack! is working on it every minute. The sweat drops off his brow, he will not stop, he will not even take off time to eat. He is a true hero and we must prepare a celebration for him, when we have achieved our objectives.
OLD MAN Can I sing my favourite song for him?    
CHURL
Which one is that?
OLD MAN "Can't get a educashun; can't get no rotten work. Every rotten politician is a money-making jerk. Me muvver's in the hospital; wiv a bloke on either side; Can't find a rotten dentist wivart a forty minute ride. Drunks lyin' on the pavement; potholes in the road; Useless rotten government; rotten billions owed. Thank you, politicians; and all your clever staff. Are you working for the working man? Don't make me rotten larf!" CHURL Very enjoyable, old gentle. But our first target is the bankers. Politicians are for later. Can you compose a song about the bankers?
OLD MAN I think I can do that, Churl. Just give me a day.
CHURL A day is all we have. My latest information is that the bankers are nearing their 18 billion. It will soon be time to act. Ah, Hack! What is it?
HACK! The connection is not that great just here, Churl. Can we go somewhere where I'll have a max signal?
CHURL O.K. We'll go the disused abbey, nearby. It's on higher ground.

IN THE RESTAURANT. SAME TIME.
HOOD How's the Qatari coal mine algorithm coming along, John?        
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. O.K. Some fiddly problems.
HOOD I can guess. The markets are not convinced.        
BIGBONUS JOHN
Yeah. Dat's it, Hood.
HOOD OK. Then tell them if they don't buy we'll leave. Go abroad. Set up somewhere else. That should shift them.      
BIGBONUS JOHN
Yeah, Hood! Great!
HOOD OK, Listen, guys. I told our runners to report to the disused abbey up the road when we got to the 18 billion. My latest information is that we're getting there. I tell you, that delta hedging is just great to rack up the good stuff. So let's get up to the abbey, right now!

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. LATER. Hood stands before a small pillar on which he works at his computer while the Scary Men stand about expectantly. HOOD O.K. Uh huh. Great! The money's mounting up fast! We're going to do it, my men! We're well up past the 17 billion mark.
The Scary Men cheer.

THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME. Hack! stands before a small pillar on which he works at his computer. Churl, the Old Man and the poor folk stand about watching. HACK! Whew! A good connection at last      
CHURL
Can you do it?        
HACK!
Just watch me!

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.
HOOD Yeah! Here we go. Look at the screen! Do you see that? Here she comes! Watch this, guys! Seventeen billion, nine hundred and ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine......... Here she comes! The big number!

THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.
HACK! Here comes their 18 billion.
He raises his hand dramatically, extends his finger, and to a low rumble of thunder in the background, taps a key on his computer.
HACK! And there it goes! Bingo! Straight out of their account and into ours.
He taps another key.
HACK! And on it goes. Back into the accounts of all the poor. Each and every one reimbursed with the money the bankers took from them. There you have it, Churl! The wonders of technology! At your service!
The poor dance and hug each other, tears streaming down their faces.

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME. The Scary Men are clapping each other on the shoulder and doing high-fives, except for BigBonus John who is looking at the computer screen.        
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh? Boss? Look at this. On your screen. It says 'Balance Zero.' What's that mean? Duh? Now it says 'All Balances Zero.'
HOOD What?  What?  My bonus! My bonus! It's gone! Where? Where? Aaargh! Collapses on his knees, wild-eyed and weeping. The scary men look about them with fear and horror - they panic and run, screaming.         
                 THE END
The audience cheer and applaud loudly.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Britain in 2023 - Thinktank Reveals Main Findings.

 BRITAIN IN 2023
 
Hedge Fund offers to buy NHS. 

Argentina offers to buy Wales
 

EU invites UK to re-join.
EU says re-joining fee will be £3million billion 

Total number of Lords reaches 7,850.

British Naval Force runs aground.

 Air privatised and rationed.

 

NEW! Excerpts from the Unofficial Hansard! (Normally the UK Government's Minutes of Meetings).

 "Floppo Hood and his Merrie Cabinet Ministers"
Soon to be a movie!

LIST OF CHARACTERS: 
Floppo Hood - The luckiest politician of all time.
Friar Gove - The world-leading expert.
Handcod - The horse-loving apothecary. (Soon to lose his stirrups.)
Richie - The biggest tax fund trader ever.
Maid Pretty - Famous for her sweet nature.
Prop - Propaganda chief.
Mapp - Pollster, CEO of CON
An old man.
*********************** 
A room in Number Ten.  MORNING.  Ministers sing and dance.
“We are the Tory rich;
We're ripping off the poor.
We're leaving them without a stitch,
The bailiff at the door.
We're the golden boys of politics! Rather!
We are the filthy rich;
We're ripping off the poor.
We take it all without a hitch,
'cos we're above the law.
We're the golden boys of politics.  Rather!
FLOPPO:  Well done!  We’ll have to stop this dancing, though.  Place is falling apart.  I’m glad to hear you’ve all had your three jabs.  We must now work on ensuring we get re-elected.
FRIAR GOVE: Absolutely.  There are only four years to go. (Aside)  And I need time to prepare my pitch to the voters.
HANDCOD: I entirely agree. (Aside) I need to see the blasted Covid finished and then I can prepare my pitch.
RICHI:  I agree entirely.  (Aside) Happily, I’m the obvious choice for next PM.
FLOPPO:  I’m told there's millions of poor out there. We need to level them up and build them better.
RICHI:  Very true. But we need to look after our shareholders, sorry, constituencies first. They need their fair share of our GDP
FLOPPO:  Of course!  But the poor? They need help. Should I put on my hard-hat and go and visit them?  (Aside)  What on earth is GDP?
MAID PRETTY:   But what about all those foreigners that keep popping up at Dover? There aren’t enough camps to put them. They’ll be wandering about in our leafy suburbs soon.
FLOPPO:  Damned Belgians, are they?
MAID PRETTY:  How should I know?
FRIAR GOVE:  Excuse me. Can we get back to the point?
FLOPPO:  Quite. What is the point, actually?
HANDCOD:  Our good friends and donors want more contracts. They say they want to do their best for the country.
FLOPPO:  Ah. What does the country need? Is there anything world-beating?
HANDCOD:  Actually there is.  Scunthorpe Vaccinatory is working on a vaccine for a new variant of Covid.
FRIAR GOVE:  Not another variant?
HANDCOD:  Yes. And it looks quite nasty. 
FLOPPO:   Where’s it from this time? Such a bore.
HANDCOD:  The Falkland Isles.
FLOPPO:  What! I thought they were British!
FRIAR GOVE:  We must find out. Ask whatsisname. You know, the Foreign Secretary. Rub or something.
FLOPPO:  More to the point, where’s Scunthorpe?
HANDCOD:  Up North.
RICHIE:  Working class place. Never been there, but I hear it’s dreadful. What’s that din outside?
(Outside – a singing noise.)
OLD MAN:
"Can't get a educashun; can't get no rotten work.
Every rotten politician is a money-making jerk.
Me muvver's in the hospital; wiv a bloke on either side;
Can't find a rotten dentist wivart a forty minute ride.
Drunks lyin' on the pavement; potholes in the road;
Useless rotten government; rotten billions owed.
Thank you, politicians; and all your clever staff.
Are you working for the working man? Don't make me rotten larf!"
FRIAR GOVE: Clearly somebody lacking in education. Working class, no doubt.
MAID PRETTY:  I’ll have him arrested. And deported.
FLOPPO:  No. Bring him in. I’ll put on my hard hat and we’ll ask him what’s his problem.
(Enter OLD MAN.)
FLOPPO:  Please take a seat, old chap.
OLD MAN:  Who are you, then?
FLOPPO:  Never mind that. Why were you singing outside on Downing Street?
OLD MAN: Where?
FLOPPO:  Er.  Never mind that, either. Why were you singing?
OLD Man: ‘Cos I’m off. Leaving.
Floppo: Where are you going?
OLD MAN:  France. If it's any business of yours, young man.
FLOPPO:  France?  But that’s in the EU.
OLD MAN:  Aye, France. It's warmer there and they have baguettes and citizens' banks. And that's where I'm going.
RICHIE:  Taking lots of money with you, are you?
(The Ministers all laugh.)
OLD Man:   Aye. Although what its got to do with you, I don't know. Who are you lot anyway, with all your impertinent questions, eh?
(Enter PROP, Director of Propaganda.).
PROP: I say! Stormer’s going on Channel 4 tonight! About the NHS!
FLOPPO:  So?
PROP:  He’s going to lead a clapping tribute.  Followed by one minute’s silence.
And then he’s going to outline his plan for the future. Big money for the NHS! And he’s going to say the pay-rise of 1% is a kick in the face. And remind everybody that they saved your life!
FLOPPO:  Oh God. This is all your fault, Richie! 
RICHIE:  Er… Er…
FLOPPO:  Didn’t you think  of the consequences?  1%!  Didn’t you learn anything when you were working at Rothschilds?  Too busy drinking Coca-Cola, I suppose.
RICHIE:  Here, that’s a bit rich! I discussed it with you. But, it was clear you weren’t interested. You were reading the quotes for your refurbishments and and for the media room.
 FLOPPO:  Anyway, I’ve been thinking. (Astonished looks all round.)  I want you to meet our new polling consultants.  (Enter MAPP, a very attractive young woman.)
This is Mapp Svelte, CEO of Consolidated Opinionating Numerology. CON for short.
She is going to make sure that none of you make promises, or express an opinion, that the voters might not like. And we must all co-operate. This is how it will work.
Before making a promise, or a big statement, you must first text the text to CON. This will be immediately submitted to an opinion poll by Mapp and her team using algorithms, with results back in three minutes. If the poll has above 60% approval, you can go ahead. If not, you kill the idea. Is that clear? No? Mapp will explain further.
MAPP:  Is there any coffee?  This will obviously take a while….
*********************************************************************************

BRITAIN’S BROKEN DEMOCRACY
 
Only 36.4% of the UK electorate voted to leave the EU,
the biggest trade group in the world
(referendum turnout was 70% - of them 52% said leave
which equals 36.4% of the total electorate)
the votes of just over one third of Britons – deliberately misinformed, misled
and even lied to by their leaders started the biggest peacetime initiative ever in British history
now the UK needs to negotiate with 27 EU countries on exit terms
​needs to negotiate with 162 WTO countries to agree trading terms
but the government has no experience of negotiations
and has hired consultants to do this
estimated cost to the taxpayer £3 billion +

exiting the EU means saying goodbye to
the UK's major trading partner and its access to many
​other markets under bilateral agreements


rising prices
rising unemployment
businesses leaving with resultant loss of jobs 
Broken….Britain 
RIP GB

******************************************************************************
And Now!   The InterContinental Cup Final 2020!

 
As many of you will remember there was a huge technical failure which resulted in millions not being able to see the Final on TV.  We are therefore very proud to be able to bring to all those disappointed fans a transcript of the game, as commentated by John Atkins and Wilf Baker.
John:   Well, welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, to the InterContinental Final here tonight between Europa and Latino.  It's sure to be a cracker!  
Wilf:   Absolutely, John.  These two teams represent the very best the game can offer.  The best players in Europe. Taking on the best players in Latin America.  Each team has fought hard to get here, tonight, and they'll be looking for a result. 
John:   That's right, Wilf. There was a strong challenge from MidEast but they failed on penalties against Asia.  And then Africa were disqualified when their Captain kicked a  steward after drawing with Scandinavia. 
Wilf:   Yeah.  That sort of behaviour's not good for the game.
John:   No, Wilf, but sometimes the excitement of it all can overcome even the best of players. Not good, though.
Wilf:   Too right.  Look at the American goalie who head-butted the ref.  No excuse for that, is there 
John:    Here they come!  The two best teams in the world!  Coming out of the tunnel, now!  They've got those big banners spread out over their heads  'Say No to Racism'.  And there's Becks leading the stewards carrying the huge solid silver trophy! 
Wilf:   Weighs a bit that, by the look of it.   There's England's new coach, John!
John:   Six and a half million quid, he gets.
Wilf:   Can he speak English, yet?
John:   Good question, Wilf.  Had a word with him earlier today - said he can't say anything without his lawyer present. 
Wilf:  That'll be because he's got a law suit back home.
John:   Europa have won the toss and they're going to kick off. 
Wilf:   Er.  John.  Got a little problem, here.
John:   The ref is shaking hands all round.
Wilf:   'Scuse me, John.
John:   They had a hard time choosing a ref for this game but they settled on Tsbeki Ungawa from Mugamba-Ogowe.  Good reputation. 
Wilf:   John…. 
John:   Mugamba-Ogowe was the second country in the world to play football.  What's the matter, Wilf? 
Wilf:   They haven't sent up the team lists to us.  
John:   Well, go and get them, then. 
Wilf:   That's it.  Can't.  Door's locked.  Big security for this game, John. Expecting a lot of fan trouble. 
John:   Bloody Hell!  You mean we have to give a commentary without knowing the names of the players?  I can't believe it! 
Wilf:   I'm trying to e-mail the desk but it won't go through.  What we gonna do? 
John:   What info do we have?  I suppose they've given us something. 
Wilf:   Well.  In a manner of speaking, like. 
John:   Well, what then? 
Wilf:   They'v given us the last transfer price of each player. 
John:   Oh, bloody marvellous!  Is that it? 
Wilf:   That's it. 
John:   Alright, then.  Here's what we do.  We give the commentary by referring to the transfer price, OK?  Instead of their names, right?  Let the viewers figure it out. 
Wilf:   We'd better get going.  Ten minutes has gone already. 
John:   Right.  There's Europa's captain, £53 million, passing the ball out to the left wing, to the £45 million striker who's charging in to the centre.  He's gone through two Latino backs worth £77 million and he's lining up to score!  Only the goalie to beat!  He's skyed it!  At least thirty feet over the post.  What an opportunity!  Latino was caught napping there, Wilf.  
Wilf:   He's holding his head and looking up to the heavens!  His team-mates are a bit disappointed.  And the coach is chewing even faster than normal.  Bad sign that, John.  Means the tension's rising already.
 
John:   The Latino goalie, £45 million, has kicked it well up field where it's gone to Europa's £58 million mid-field player.  He's sent a long ball right to the feet of ..of…oh, it's Latino's play-maker.  £80 million there, Wilf.  He's precision passed to his right-winger, the £25 million young lad who's making a big impression here.  He's running with the ball.  A heavy tackle from - oh!  He's punched him!  I mean, the lad has punched the Europa back who tackled him.  The back is rolling on the floor, looking at the ref. He's screaming in pain!   It's a free kick to Latino.  But it's a yellow card for the lad. 
Wilf:   The coach doesn't look too pleased with that decision, John.   He's thrown his tie on the floor and he's stamping on it. 
John:   It's that hot-blooded temperament, Wilf.  Latino's captain's going to take it.  Must be all of 28 metres.   He's belted it - but it's gone straight into the wall.  It comes right out, Latino's £63 million winger has come racing in - he's passed two Europa defenders, £72 million, the Europa goalie's come out, Europa's £36 million deep back has grabbed the shirt of the Latino winger.  The Latino winger has dropped like a stone to the floor, he's rolling around in agony, he's rolling up like a ball, he's looking at the ref.  
Wilf:   What a waste of time!  Get up, you big ponce! 
John:   The ref gestures on the medical team.  They give the winger a quick spray.  He's up on his feet again, running about.  
Wilf:   I reckon they take lessons in falling over, some of these players. 
John:   Yes, well.  Free kick again to Latino.  The lad takes it and it's close!  But it hits the post.  Bounces out, bounces on the foot of Latino's captain and it's in the net!  Latino have scored!  It's One Nil.  After 35 minutes. 
Wilf:   He looked a bit surprised, that captain.  
John:   He's running around holding his shirt above his head, his team-mates are hugging and kissing him, the coach is hugging the assistant coach.  They're doing a samba or something.. They're running on to the pitch!  The ref is trying to get the game started again.  Exciting stuff, Wilf! 
Wilf:   Too right!  Let's see what the passing accuracy is.  Hmm.  65% 
John:   65%? 
Wilf:   Yeah, 65%.  Wouldn't be much use if you was a carpenter, would it? Hit your thumb every third attempt with the hammer! 
John:   Or a dentist!  Drill the wrong tooth every third time! Ha ha! 
Wilf:   Or an opera singer.  Miss a note every third warble  Ha ha ha. Wouldn't last long at Covent Garden, would you?  Ha ha ha ha! 
At this stage there was a total breakdown in transmission.  Europa equalised in the 90th minute.  Three days later the two teams are still taking penalties to decide who is the InterContinental Champion.  


*************************************************************************************************

Brexit Got Done...and celebrated.


In a luxurious banqueting hall in Westminster, quite close to Number Ten, standing around drinking champagne are Mugg, Gov, Handcod, Richi, on whom the many other Ministers of the British Cabinet who are also present, fawn. Suddenly the double doors open to reveal Floppo, their Leader. The Ministers cheer and clap him. He massages his head and grins. Mugg hands him an overflowing glass of champagne.

Floppo:     Ha! My glass floweth over, what. We got Brexit done!
The others laugh and giggle and slap each other on the back, and start to sing ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’, ‘Rule Britannia’, and ‘Floreat Etonia!'

Floppo:     Most kind. Most kind. But it’s not just my leadership which makes our country great. We’re world-leading in everything, aren’t we? World-beaters. The envy of the world. Even more so now we’ve left those upstarts in the EU!
The others cheer, slurp their champagne and elbow each other trying to get closer to their leader.

Mugg:      I say. Did you see what those ghastly people at UNICEF are doing? Sending food to working-class kids over here! Damned nerve!

Gov:        Ridiculous. If there are any starving kids in England, it’s a pity their parents don’t work harder. Have another glass. Anyway, who cares? In a party poll, 98% of taxpayers say they’re happy and would vote for us again. Jolly good, eh?

Mugg:    Send 'em back down the mines, I say.  Do they think we're made of money?

Floppo:  On that subject, Richi, how much money do we have in the bank?

Richi:     Well, um, nothing actually.

Floppo:   Nothing?

Richi:     No, nothing at all.

Floppo: Well, what the devil are you going to do about it? We can borrow some more surely?

Richi:    Absolutely. I’ve been in touch with the Sino-Arabian Global Investment Bank concerning their core offering, the multiple derived layered confidence bond.

Mugg:    I know them. I do hedge funding with them. Utterly reliable. Been in business since 2018.

Handcod: And they’ve funded many last-minute NHS contracts.

Floppo: What interest rate do they expect? 

Richi:    None!

All: None?! None?!

Richi:    None. The only stipulation is that at the end of each appointed term, we give them one seat in the House of Lords.

Floppo: No problem. We’ll give them Labour seats. Is that all?

Richi:    Well, not quite. They ask for Chinese chefs to be appointed in the Commons dining room.

Floppo: No problem.

Richi:    And no alcohol to be served.

All: What?! Are they mad?

Floppo: Sorry, not possible. Absolutely impossible.

Richi:  Their Vice-President Important Customer Relations said he thought that might be a problem, so they’ve calculated what he calls a low level of financial repayment instead.

Floppo takes him by the arm and leads him away to a remote corner of the room where they talk quietly. They return smiling.

Floppo: I shall agree to their terms. (Sigh of relief from all.)  I want a press release about the new arrangements something like:

The government is again showing its world-leading concern for visions and values and is proud to associate with a bank of such integrity, in the sole interest of the British people in these difficult global times.’ The Minister for Posture and Prating leaves the room at the trot.

Floppo: Now. A different subject. There is some trepidation about the after effects of Brexit. At least, for the first few weeks.  Shortages and stuff like that. Knowing our working-class, there may even be riots. We need a plan to cope with that. So I’ve appointed Lord Rumble of Belch to draw up a plan for combatting such riots.

Mugg:  A good chap. Reliable.

Floppo: Yes, I think he’s a good choice. Loves his food. When we were at Eton together he was known as ‘The Scoffer.’ He’ll shortly issue a press release saying that Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will be standing ready to combat any violence. And that everything is being done to ensure that food reaches every family’s table. I’ve appointed Brigadier Victor Thump to oversee military operations. He assured me that he will not tolerate any violence on our streets. Over to you, Gov.


Gov:    Max Hoard will be appointed Minister for Stock-piling and Ration Books, later today. He will issue a statement saying, ‘Not one person in Britain will go hungry for longer than three days. Your government will ensure that the British people – man, woman and child – shall not be without food so long as they have their ration books.

Handcod: As you requested, I’ve appointed Yasmine Aspirinoval as Assistant Minister for Stock-piling Medecines. And she has talked to Brigadier Thump about troops for hospital wards in case patients start fighting over prescriptions, or delayed operations or bed linen laundry.

Floppo: Excellent. Well, I think we deserve another half-dozen bottles. There is a loud banging on the double doors.

Floppo:   Who the devil’s that? See who it is, someone. One of the Ministers opens the doors to reveal an old man in scruffy clothing.

Old Man: Is this the House of Come-ons?

Floppo:  What did he say? Bring him here. The old man shuffles forward. Floppo:  Now, my man, what are you doing here?

Old Man: I’m looking for the House of Come-ons.

Floppo:   H’m. I think you’ve got the place-name wrong.

Old Man: Well, anyway, lad. I’m ‘ere to see a Mr. Melrose. Ben Melrose. Asked to see me, ‘e did.
Astonishment all round. Whispers of “Benjamin Melrose is our chief donor, billionaire, gave millions to the party at the election...”

Floppo:   Quiet! Well, he isn’t here. I’ll send someone to find him.

Old Man: Fanks, lad. I’ve come a long way. From up north.
Gasps all round.

Gov:     He’s from the Red Wall area! One of Labour’s voters that turned to us!

Mugg:   Have a glass of champers, old gentleman!

Gov:     You are most welcome, my dear chap!

Handcod: A long journey! Care for some aspirin? It's good for aching feet.

Floppo:    Now we've got Brexit done, we shall concentrate on levelling-up.

Old Man:  Good! It's about time those bloody pot-holes were filled in. 

Floppo:     H'm. May we know why you are meeting Mr. Melrose?

Old man:   No problem, lad. The news will soon be out in the ‘Mirror’. (Shudders all round.) Says he’s fed up giving ‘is millions to the Tory party. And will give ‘em all to Labour from now on.
Cries of:   No! No! He can’t. It’s madness! What will we do?

Floppo:     Quiet! Please! And just why is Mr. Melrose doing that?

Old Man:  Simple, really. Got involved in a lot of law-suits while ‘e was making ‘is millions, ‘e said. Developed a big admiration for classy lawyers. Seein’ as ‘ow that Starmer is a classy lawyer, Jim wants to support ‘im all the way to the next election. That’s it, lad.
Enter Mr. Melrose.

Melrose: Ah, there you are, Frank. Let’s go somewhere else. I don’t like the company here. And I don't like continuous U-turns.
He stares icily at Floppo, looks at the others with a sneer on his face, puts his arm round the Old Man’s shoulder, and they leave.
The Ministers are groaning in despair, filling their glasses sloppily, looking accusingly at Floppo and finally inching towards for the double doors leaving him standing alone, massaging his head.

Floppo:   Sic transit gloria Melrose...

THE END.