Despair has gripped the people of Mexico after opinion poll results in the United States suggested that hundreds of thousands of the nation’s builders won’t soon be offered a series of lucrative government wall-building contracts after all.
“Yet again, small businesses have been hung out to dry by the Establishment,” complained Enrique Arramos, 42, from Puebla. “Señor Trump was promising the biggest government-funded infrastructure programme of recent years but now this crook Hillary Clinton has come along and put the kibosh on it. I have 12 labourers relying on me for their wages. How am I going to pay them now?
“It used to be 15 but luckily three of them bunked off to America.”
Arramos isn’t the only builder furious at government after the disappointing news. “How could they let this happen?” demanded bricklayer Pablo Majeras, 32. “I wanted to become a bricklayer because the choice of career in Mexico is pretty limited to that, rapist, economic migrant, or, you know, any of the thousands of other choices available to me in our growing economy such as nanotechnology, car manufacturing, tourism, or even betting against sterling on the currency markets. That’s quite a lucrative one at the moment actually, I’ve made £350m escudos since Tuesday.
“But no, now this wall project has gone tits up it looks like I’ll be reduced to scratching a living down in the slums with no job, no money and no hope for the future. It’ll be like Brexit Britain. How humiliating.”
Prime minister Theresa May has welcomed news from Canada that Princess Charlotte has finally said her first words, setting out a Brexit strategy for the government to adopt.
‘Mamma,’ Princess Charlotte told adoring crowds during a playdate in Calgary while touring Canada with her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. ‘Mamma.’
Visibly enthused the overjoyed reaction of her parents and the cheering crowds, the sixteen-month-old, who is fourth in line to the throne, went on: ‘Attempting to remain in the Single Market while seeking restrictions on freedom of movement runs counter to the core principles of the European Union and cannot be the starting point for a successful negotiating strategy.
‘Boo, gaga mamma. [Raspberry noises]. The Italian and Spanish governments in particular are unlikely to accede to a compromise and you shouldn’t underestimate the determination of Estonia and Finland to use their veto on any Brexit deal which undermines European cybersecurity defences against the Russians. Bla, bleh. Thrrrrp. Mamma, dadda.’
In a statement Downing Street said: ‘Mrs May is delighted to learn that Princess Charlotte has uttered her first words and wishes to congratulate the whole Cambridge family.
‘The prime minister is particularly pleased that the princess has also finally come up with some actual words we can use to start finding a way out of this mess. Lord knows David Davis and Liam Fox haven’t produced anything remotely comprehensible since June, and all Boris ever does is jibber and blether like a bloody great baby anyway.’
Mrs May is apparently considering a special session of Parliament to make a statement on the joyous news, a move welcomed by senior figures in the Labour party. ‘We’re keen to see if Prince George also has some advice on getting your own way,’ said an anonymous frontbencher. ‘We don’t want to share the party nicely with Jeremy, but so far our strategy has completely failed–maybe it’s time to try crying, screaming and smacking other children in the face. Some more.’
The BBC has announced it is axing its critically-acclaimed adaptation of Tolstoy’s literary classic War and Peace after just one episode, replacing it with a tense political drama based on Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet reshuffle.
The as-yet-untitled and largely unplotted drama is expected to be lavish in scale and Byzantine in its twists and turns with as many as three cast members and potentially no dramatic events whatsoever.
The central character of Count Mikhail Dugher, the hapless Russian aide-de-camp whose visions of frontbench glory are destroyed after he faces the reality of fighting in a bloody civil war, will be played by an unknown actor expected to remain unknown after the drama is screened, with Eddie Redmayne as Diane Abbott, Graham Norton as Hilary Benn and Jeremy Corbyn himself played by a cardboard cut-out of incumbent Doctor Who Peter Capaldi.
‘Nobody’s really interested in the tedious ins and outs of an old-fashioned bunch of out-of-touch dynasts manoeuvring themselves into and out of influence during one of Europe’s most vicious conflicts,’ said a BBC spokeswoman. ‘But we’re showing it anyway as hardly anything happens and the costumes are much cheaper than on War & Peace.’
Stupid people have said they are ‘relieved and delighted’ by a UN agreement requiring countries to write their names in big letters on their flags.
The ruling follows years of campaigning spearheaded by England football fans, who have long demonstrated the benefits of spelling out on a flag which country it represents. The decision represents a boost to the fabric dye industry, which will now benefit from the addition of huge blue or black lettering to the cryptic red and white England flag.
‘This is real progress towards making the world easier for idiots to understand,’ said Collins. ‘You can’t expect ordinary people to spend hours learning stuff like red, black and gold means Germany or a lot of blue and white means Greece. And I mean, what’s a red cross got to do with England anyway?’
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which claims it will need to spend £60m replacing its national flag with bunting in order to accommodate its full name, led a vocal campaign against the move. ‘We never even qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest, let alone the World Cup,’ said the country’s Foreign Minister after the ruling. ‘Nobody cares where we are.’ The French government had threatened to veto the plan on the grounds that it ‘represented an assault on the aesthetic perfection of the elegant flag of France’ but was ultimately persuaded by the cogent arguments put forward by England football fans in favour of the move.
‘Before we invented this method, flags were just a weird jumble of colours and symbols,’ said a shaven-headed campaign spokesman. ‘World Cup matches were a bleedin’ nightmare – we’d get to the stadium and not know who the f***ing hell which bastards we were playing. But now those of us who can read can finally work it out much easier.’
Prior to the UN’s decision it had been almost impossible to agree on suitable football chants to taunt the opposition, the spokesman said. ‘We came up with the idea of writing which country we were on our flags after 80,000 of us once spent a whole sodding match singing ‘you’re a bunch of Arab tossers’, and then it turned out that we’d been playing f***ing Estonia.’
Embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has struck a last-minute compromise with his Shadow Cabinet that allows him to support UK government airstrikes, but only as long as they are against the Parliamentary Labour Party.
In reaching a deal Mr Corbyn has narrowly avoided a series of damaging resignations from his front bench after his controversial email suggesting he was ‘not entirely persuaded that killing some people would stop some people killing other people’, a view slammed by his colleagues as “utterly insane” and completely at odds with long-established Labour foreign policy.
‘What he said about war being somehow ‘damaging’ and ‘not in everybody’s best interests’ was just the Trotskyist gibberish of a crypto-Communist madman,’ said one frontbencher. ‘Doesn’t he remember that the last time we took the country into an illegal war we won three elections in a row? Something like that anyway. The lesson is, people love war, let’s give them more of it!’
While initial reactions to Mr Corbyn’s email had been furious, however, his colleagues responded well to his attempts to negotiate a fragile party truce. Mr Corbyn telephoned round his colleagues to propose that airstrikes be allowed but just not against the Syrians. ‘Jeremy had come up with actually quite a brilliant compromise, that we could vote for airstrikes but instead of bombing Syria we’re going to take out the other half of the PLP,’ said Corbyn sceptic and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes. ‘Of course by ‘other half’ he means the pro-Corbyn crowd which is the half that’s causing all the trouble. Well worth it.’
Close Corbyn ally Diane Abbott MP was also supportive of the deal. ‘We can either drop bombs on 180,000 Syrian civilians, or save billions of pounds and drop just the one on a meeting of the other half of the Labour party,’ she said. ‘Jeremy’s played a real blinder here. Of course by ‘other half’ he means the anti-Corbyn brigade which is the half that’s causing all the trouble. Can’t wait.’
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hillary Benn was ‘relieved’ at the success of Mr Corbyn’s dialogue with the party. ‘For a moment there it looked like we were going to descend into a long, protracted and messy conflict which would only result in damaging but fruitless attacks against a hardline regime by various groups of extremist rebels who could never agree on anything. What do you mean, sounds like Iraq? Never heard of it.’
US presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton remains the overwhelming favourite to win the race to succeed Stephen Fry as presenter of QI, after a sometimes stormy election debate in Chicago last night.
Mrs Clinton appeared on stage alongside her rivals, socialist Bernie Sanders, former Idaho governor Lincoln Chafee, Jack Dee, David Mitchell and Nicholas Parsons. None of the candidates was seen as defeating Mrs Clinton although Mr Sanders delivered some memorable lines and Nicholas Parsons surprised viewers with his principled opposition to air strikes in Syria.
The race is entering its final months and the candidates have begun to distance themselves from the outgoing incumbent, Stephen Fry, whose term comes to an end when he finally reaches series M in 2016. After some initial successes – particularly in the areas of foreign policy, healthcare and interesting facts about how languages develop and the occurence of colourblindness among giraffes – his time in office has begun to run out of steam with increasingly trenchant opposition from hard-line Republicans, the pro-gun lobby, and idiot stalwart Alan Davies.’I just sit here and say really dumb things based on my half-remembered schooling and everybody finds it absolutely hilarious,’ said Donald Trump.
Mrs Clinton has been campaigning hard for almost sixteen months since the official launch of her campaign, although her ambition to sit in the big chair and have all the answers dates back far longer. ‘This is a role I’ve been preparing for my whole life,’ she told an audience of almost 12 million US viewers. ‘As First Lady I spent hours memorising the foibles of sixteenth-century Cambodian monarchs and the anatomical curiosities of various species of pangolin. And I don’t think anybody can deny that I’ve done some incredibly interesting things when I was Secretary of State, as my emails show plainly for all to see. Well, some of them.’
Ed Corbyn, younger brother of the new Labour leader Jeremy, has told reporters he is ‘sitting by the phone’ in case anything untoward befalls his elder sibling.
‘I know things have all pretty much settled down now, but I just want to make sure everybody has my number,’ he said at a sparsely-attended press call on the fringe of the Labour conference in Brighton. ‘You know, I’m here any time, just say the word. The word being “challenge”, of course,’ he added, winking.
Senior Labour figures, who refused to be named, were said to be ‘interested’ in getting hold of Ed’s number. ‘We did have one of these younger Eds before, but I think we were using it all wrong,’ said one backbencher known only as “YC”. ‘Instead of trying to train it to lead we should have just used it to trigger an election and then choose the leader we really wanted. If we tried that this time I can’t think of anything that could possibly go wrong.’
Jeremy Corbyn has refused to be drawn on the issue of Ed Corbyn’s loyalty. ‘We’ve never been especially close,’ he admitted, ‘but I am confident that my brother has put himself fully at the service of our party and I can depend on him for his full support, at least until I am photographed carrying a banana or accidentally take us to war in the Middle East.’
He went on to insist that such pitfalls were ‘highly unlikely’ ever to occur. ‘You know, surprises happen very rarely in politics,’ Jeremy Corbyn said. ‘There’s about as much chance of me having some kind of fruit-related PR disaster as there is of, oh, I don’t know, me being elected Leader of the Labour – no, hold on. That’s not right. Hey look over there, isn’t that my brother Ed eating a bacon sandwich?’