Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category

After watching Simon Reeves’ Cuba on BBC2, the other night (11 December), I imagined his next programme to be Simon Reeves’ Northern Ireland. Readers please note that I have no clue how to write a professional TV script so pedantic corrections are fruitless. Thank you! 

Pre-title sequence: LONG SHOTS OF A ‘PEACE WALL’ IN BELFAST.  CUT TO MEDIUM SHOTS OF SMALL CHILDREN IN BALACLAVAS THROWING PETROL BOMBS AT THE POLICE. PAN OUT TO A GRIM-FACED, SHIVERING SIMON REEVES IN HAWAIIAN SHIRT, SHORTS AND SANDALS (JUST OFF THE PLANE FROM GUANTANAMO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT).

Reeves:  Belfast. 14 years after the Good Friday Agreement and the tragedy continues. Behind me, little children repeat the mistakes of their parents and enter the endless cycle of violence.

CUT TO SHOT OF SMALL BOY THROWING HIS WEE SISTER’S PINK AND BLUE TRIKE INTO A BONFIRE.

I’m here to ask what happened to the peace? And will Northern Ireland ever see the light and join the civilised world? This is Simon Reeve’s Northern Ireland.

SERIES TITLE AND MUSIC.

LONG SHOT OF REEVES WALKING ALONG PEACE WALL.

Reeves: [V/O] This is a peace wall and I’m looking for an opening, some glimmer of hope that I can somehow bring these divided communities together in some kind of dialogue. It won’t be easy but since I visited Cuba last week, the government there gave up the ghost, announced free elections, opened the country up to global capitalism and appointed me as honorary El Presidente.

[CLOSE-UP REEVES TO CAMERA] So you see, nothing is impossible. You just have to offer people free choice and the right to consume.

LONG SHOT, REEVES ARRIVING AT A VERY LOCKED GATE IN THE PEACE WALL.  SMALL BOYS ON BIKES ARRIVE AND SURROUND HIM.

Small boy on bike 1:  It’s lacked mister!  [BBC STANDARD ENGLISH SUBTITLES (SES): “The gate is locked, sir!]

Small boy in bike 2:  Hi mister, lend us yer odds! [BBC SES: “Sir, have you come to free us from economic deprivation and the lack of consumer choice like you did last week in Cuba?”]

Small boy on bike 3: [OVER HIS SHOULDER AS HE SPEEDS AWAY] “I’m callin the boys on you!”  [BBC SES: “I’m going to report you to the proper authorities!”]

Reeves: [SHRUGS SADLY TO CAMERA] What can one do for these children without hope? Well, very little until they understand the meaning of individual responsibility and that, I think, is down to good parenting. I’m going to go knock on a few doors and find out what the parents are doing while their children run riot on the mean streets of North Belfast.

SHAKY HAND-HELD CAMERA FOLLOWS SIMON TO FRONT DOOR OF APPARENTLY RANDOM HOUSE. MAN IN VEST AND SHORTS, PINT IN HAND, OPENS DOOR.

Man in vest: “Och Simon! What about ye? Come on in!” [BBC SES: “Hello Simon. How are you? Welcome to my humble abode!”]

MEDIUM SHOTS OF SIMON BEING WELCOMED INTO LIVING ROOM AND GIVEN A CAN OF BEER. CAMERA PANS IN FOR CLOSE-UP OF MANTELPIECE CLOCK. IT IS 10.30AM.

Simon Reeves: [V/O] This is Jimmy, who lives behind the peace wall. Jimmy is a heart surgeon by profession but must supplement his income as a part-time gambler and alcoholic. He too worries about the children without hope in post-peace process Belfast and agrees with me that, ultimately, it’s the parents who must accept responsibility if their children are to become good and responsible consumers.

Jimmy: “It’s shackin, Simon! Totally shackin! A good clip around the lug is what they need! [TAKES A SLUG FROM HIS PINT, SOME OF IT DRIBBLING DOWN HIS VEST. SITS FORWARD, LOOKS RIGHT AND LEFT AND BECKONS SIMON CONSPIRATORIALLY] As for their parents? One behind the knee, mate! That’ll tighten em!” [BBC SES: “I’m shocked that their parents have abandoned all responsibility. In my humble opinion, both children and parents must learn discipline!”]

Reeves: Do you see any hope for the future, Jimmy?

Jimmy: “Hope? Hope? Nah. We’re down the Lagan on a bubble, mate!” [BBC SES: “I see little hope, sir. But we may settle further down river and create a community where little Protestant boys can hold hands with little Catholic girls and there will be peace and harmony for all time.”]

ENDLESS GUFF FOR THE NEXT 40 MINUTES BUT HERE’S A SUMMARY:

SCENE 3: SIMON VISITS A MOTHER AND TODDLER GROUP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PEACE WALL AND IS SHOCKED TO FIND THAT NOT ONE MOTHER HAS A NECTAR CARD; THOUGH ONE OF THEM TELLS HIM SHE KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHIP AND PIN TECHNOLOGY, WHICH GOES RIGHT OVER HIS HEAD.

SCENE 4: VISITS A DEPRESSED SANTA AT VICTORIA SQUARE SHOPPING CENTRE AND LECTURES HIM THAT HE SHOULD FEEL LUCKY. IN CUBA, SANTA IS ILLEGAL.

SCENE 5: VISITS CULTURLANN MCADAM O FIAICH ON FALLS ROAD. AMAZED TO FIND THIS ISLAND OF CULTURE AMID SO MUCH DEPRIVATION BUT HAS TO LEAVE EARLY WHEN SUBTITLE MACHINE CRASHES.

SCENE 6: PROVO TAXI LEAVES HIM OFF AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FALLS ROAD.

SCENE 7: TENSE ENCOUNTER WITH GROUP OF UFF VOLUNTEERS IN A SHANKILL PUB. FADE OUT.

FADE IN CLOSING SCENE 8. SIMON IS WHEELED OUT OF CITY HOSPITAL WITH ARMS AND LEGS IN PLASTER AND WITH A BANDAGE ON HIS HEAD. STOPS JUST SHORT OF CAMERA FOR VERY LARGE CLOSE-UP.

Reeves: I arrived to find a city in despair only to discover little islands of hope. Just like in Cuba, I met a people who are slowly waking up to a new dawn of civilisation, consumerism and free choice.  I visited communities stretching hands across the peace wall, not to throw bricks and petrol bombs, but to help each other fill out that credit card application or buy that high definition television online.

SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY RAISES HIS PLASTERED ARMS TO CAMERA

Of course, some people are blind to the opportunities before their very eyes and seek only to destroy. But as those UFF men gave me a thorough beating in a beer cellar on the Shankill Road, they didn’t understand that they were only hurting themselves in the long run. What they didn’t seem to get was that you can’t have a baseball bat in one hand and a shopping basket in the other. In a civilised society there is just one choice: consumerism or death.

LONG SHOT OF SIMON BEING WHEELED INTO AN AMBULANCE AND DRIVEN AWAY.

SERIES TITLES

Perky TV announcer: [V/O] And next week, Simon travels to China and asks, whatever happened the Cultural Revolution? Don’t miss it! It’s a cracker!

END AND FADE.

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The Daily Mail yesterday called on the British government to send in the BBC’s Stephen Nolan to quell the riots in England.  However, despite increasing pressure to deploy extreme measures to bring the crisis under control, Prime Minister Cameron said that deploying Nolan in built-up areas against roaming gangs of looters and arsonists was in the present situation a step too far. “My fear”, he said, “would be that innocent people might get hurt, that it would cause more problems than it would solve”.

Nolan: weapon of last resort?

The Prime Minister was mindful of the embarrassment of deploying the less lethal weapon, Boris Johnson, in Clapham last Monday (8 August), only for it to fail instantly and put Home Secretary Theresa May in immediate danger from angry residents.

Boris Johnson: non-lethal and not very effective

A spokesman at No.10 Downing St said, “Stephen Nolan may be effective as riot control in Belfast where the population is rather dim. But this is England. Enough said.” The London Metropolitan Police also rejected the need for Nolan on the streets of English cities. “We English”, said a spokesman who preferred not to be named, “are a civilized people and we believe in policing by consent. Using a lethal weapon like Stephen Nolan is fine for the Irish but not for British citizens – even black ones.”

Nolan, one of the few broadcasters from Northern Ireland who has made it on the national airwaves (due to general difficulties with voice and accent), was unavailable for comment when contacted last night but friends in a bar in salubrious Crawfordsburn, were sure that Stephen would be ready and willing to go in if called into service. “He’d be brilliant!” said tired and emotional Eamonn. His friend, Gloria, was rather more specific. “Get those rioters on the air!” she demanded. “Let Stephen sort em out!”

Professor Gerald Adams, weapons research expert, said that the big advantage of deploying Nolan was maximum impact. He would cause such terrible devastation that any rioters left would lose the will to continue and surrender to the police. “Unfortunately, the riots are taking place in large cities, not the Mojave Desert [site of American weapons testing] so I wouldn’t recommend using this weapon in such a built-up environment.”

The right-wing England Defence League also said that Nolan is not the answer but called for the Prime Minister to deploy the nuclear option. “We say bring in Lembit Opik!”, said a masked spokesman.

Opik: the nuclear option.

The Archbishop of Canterbury rejected this call and said it displayed an appalling lack of judgement. “No offence to Mr Opik but I remember the 1980s and the fear of nuclear war. We really don’t want a repeat of that on our streets.”

The Irish Sunday Dependent (“Getting in touch with our inner colonial!”) is delighted tomorrow to ditch our usual coverage of economic gloom and doom, financial corruption, gombeen politics and national depression and give over our ENTIRE edition to THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY!!!

Yes! And that’s not all! It’s a bumper edition too! 50 full colour pages of photographs, commentary and analysis, and a raft of special features including the Irish guide to Received Pronunciation AND a FREE!!! giant poster of the Royal Wedding Kiss!

Our special Royal correspondent, Declan Bollocks, wonders if we shouldn’t just ditch our independence and go back to being a colony. Fashion editor, Aine Forelock, gushes over THAT wedding dress. RTE’s Director General celebrates his station’s triumphant coverage of the Wedding and promises “silver service television” for Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Ireland. Joe Higgins is “on holiday” but Dr Dan is back with his Top 10 Health Risks of Republicanism. And our Woman’s editor on ten ways the Irish woman can be a princess to her man!!!!

Not only that but we have the Irish Idiot’s Guide to the Royal Family and a bumper Royal puzzle supplement for the kids!

So get in touch with your inner colonial and buy the Sunday Dependent tomorrow!!

Help Us Stop £15bn Tax Evaders!!

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Satire

The Middle England Bleeder (“We lead when you bleed!”) launched a new campaign last week against the tax cheats who are draining our great country of essential resources! 

And already, our hotline is on the verge of meltdown!! Indeed, we’ve never had so many calls and emails on any issue or story since our Shop a Banker Campaign in 2008!!!!

The Campaign will run for another two weeks so plenty of time for you take part and do your country a service by banging these cheats to rights!  Cheats like Margot and Jerry from Surrey, photographed below, whose veneer of middle class respectability didn’t fool you! We received an astonishing 300 calls shopping these two crooks for an array of offences.

Margot and Jerry relax after posting another false tax return

Thanks to the Bleeder’s readers and our own award-winning investigative journalism (The Nuts Prize for Fearless Journalism 2009), we can tell you today that Margot and Jerry have:

  • cheated the tax-payer out of £3m in false returns, bogus rebates and off-shore accounts;
  • sold off the assets of their own parents – who are now homeless – and avoided capital gains tax and stamp duties;
  • took their friends for cruises on their luxury yacht in Monaco and then claimed their expenses back as corporate entertainment;
  • used the services of a crooked, one-armed accountant and claimed money back for employing a disabled person!

But thanks also to some nifty anti-terrorist legislation, the Crown Prosecution Service has been able to convict these crooks. Margot and Jerry won’t be cheating England for a very long time to come!!!


Jerry begins a long stretch in Guantanamo

A spokesman for the Inland Revenue told us: “We’ve been investigating Margot and Jerry for the last three years yet we’ve been unable to collect the evidence the Bleeder has handed to us today! Thank you!”

You’re very welcome, Mr Tax Man!

And well done, readers!! You make England proud!!!

England’s World Cup woes worsened yesterday when several players were stolen from the Royal Bafokeng hotel (or as it is called more fittingly for its English guests, sports complex). Thought to be missing after a head count on the Team England bus are John Terry, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey, although it later emerged that the thieves had dumped Heskey just outside Johannesburg.  He is said to be in shock but unharmed and is now hitching his way back to the hotel. 

“This is very common with all burglaries”, said the police captain in charge of the investigation. “The thieves will carry off as much as they can get away with and then dump items of no value. I’m optimistic the remaining players will turn up over the next few days.”

However, some of the stolen players’ teammates suspect that the burglary was far too easy, testament to the level of division and strife within the sorry England camp. “I know Lamps and Ash were terrified of going home to face the media”, remarked Steven Gerrard. “And Big Emile heard rumours from home that he had his British passport cancelled and wouldn’t get back into the country”.

Asked if he was suggesting some kind of conspiracy, Gerrard refused to comment but a raise of the eyebrows said it all.

However, a pool attendant who was listening into the hastily convened, scene-of-the-crime media conference had his own theory. “Everybody in the hotel is talking about it!”, he exclaimed. “The burglars just mistook the players for cardboard cut outs and nicked them as souvenirs. After their poor performance against the Germans, these players remind us all that our victory over France was truly a national triumph!”

Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, the South African police commissioner, General Beki Chele, promised that the full force of the city’s traffic police would be deployed to find the missing players. The General, who prayed that the USA would be knocked out early to avoid a “nightmare” visit by President Obama, refused to ask God’s intervention on this latest World Cup fiasco. “One must be careful what one prays for”, he said with a wink to the English media.

The BBC recently gained access to documents submitted to an Israeli court, revealing that the list of food imports allowed through the blockade is determined by a calculation of how many calories the people of Gaza might need to survive; though the documents mention that this is apparently not linked to government policy making, whatever that means. Mind you, this might set a precedent for western governments worried about  national obesity levels. Doctors could be given the authority to impose compulsory, daily calorie intakes on patients diagnosed as obese or morbidly obese. If a patient fails to comply, they’re simply left to starve like the Gazans and if they actively resist then they face house demolition, arrest and the designation,”terrorist”.  Although this would dispense of expensive treatments such as liposuction or stomach stapling, saving a fortune for national health services and insurance companies,  it would attract serious resistance from international fast food giants.  These doughty guardians of the free market might even launch a campaign to break the calorie blockade with free deliveries of illegal Super Meals* to customers affected by these tough new anti-obesity measures. However, such actions are easily dealt with by force if necessary  and backed up with a three-day media blitz by official food czar, Jamie Oliver. Just get him to repeat the following lines ad nauseam on every news bulletin (and he will get on every one of them!): 

  • “The operations launched against the McJoint outlets today are security operations, not military offensives on international territory as claimed by their managers”.
  • “The operations are designed to stop shipments of illegal Super Meals* to people listed as obese”.
  •  “We are very happy and ready to facilitate shipments to those people of permitted fruit and vegetables through our official depots.”
  • “This is not a war against innocent fat people. It is a war on the international scourge of obesity.”

(* A Super Meal is defined by the World Fast Food Institute as “a packaged meal of approximately 5 million calories and consisting of:  1 x one-pound burger, 1x mega portion of fries with free top up,  1 x 1 gallon of fizzy drink, 1 x imported item of fruit and a free Super Meal token for next visit.”)

Ah the World Cup.  You either love it like I do or you hate it but you can’t kill it. But never mind the woes and tantrums of overpaid English and French footballers over the past few days (Sacre bleu! Quelle pantomime!!). I was more interested to see how Fifa Inc dealt with those naughty stewards who had the temerity to protest about their pay . Recruited by a private company, they had been promised £133 or $198 per 12-hour shift only to receive  £17 or $25 per same. So something got lost in translation there or the South African rand mysteriously plummeted in value just in time for the World Cup. 

This isn’t good for the PR image at a time when Fifa Inc and the South African government are determined to prove the doomsayers wrong and put on a successful festival of football. Danny Jordan, chair of the South Africa World Cup organising committee, was no doubt mindful of the good old days when beating up black strikers was the height of apartheid chic but he drew a line under this one: “Although we have respect for workers’ rights, we find it unacceptable for them to disrupt matchday proceedings and will not hesitate to take action in such instances.” This amounts to respect for workers’ rights as long as they are not asserted. 

 As good as his word, our Danny called in the police riot squad to show the ungrateful strikers the red card, using tear gas and batons to hurry  them along when they dragged their feet (no doubt counting down the clock to the final whistle, the time wasters!) This was not only PR overkill but also terribly unjust. Why didn’t they send in the riot squad to deal with the crime against football that was the England v Algeria game (18 June) or the French squad’s one-day training strike last Sunday (20 June)? And why was England’s John Terry allowed so much free airtime to moan about his boss and put his team-mates in the shit? Where was the riot squad then?

You see Danny missed a positive PR trick here. Instead of gassing the stewards or bashing their heads in with the cosh, he could have selected a strikers’ All Stars XI to play the England team. If they beat England, they would be awarded the wage they were promised. For their part, the England squad could go home with their heads held high, accepting that they were well trounced by the better team, and humbly subject themselves to a 30-minute grilling from the fearsome Adrian Chiles…or  more Bleakley, his pal Christine. If the All Stars lost the game, they would go back to work as slaves on a pittance, too embarrassed to strike after having been beaten, thanks to a dodgy penalty, by some of the worst but highest paid players in the tournament. 

Poor Danny. Now he has had to swallow his pride and let the South African police police the tournament instead. Honestly! What’s the World Cup coming to?