Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Jersey fury over weather wrongness

July 29, 2010

The Jersey tourism industry is said to be “furious” at the BBC’s apparent lack of accuracy or regard when it comes to predicting weather patterns for the region, which is located somewhere in the Channel.

The JTI also slammed the BBC meteorological service for what it calls “pathetic and systematic undermining” of the island’s culture through repeated references to “tax exiles” and “Bergerac”.

A spokesman for the JTI, Peter Ian, said yesterday: “Jersey is a wonderful island with fantastic scenery, and there’s so much for people to do here. What we don’t need is to be patronised by some mainland weather forecaster going on about how the outlook for the next 5 days wouldn’t matter to us anyway, seeing as we’re all rich because of John Nettles and our 5% rate of VAT. It doesn’t do much for tourism or Jersey’s overall image, especially in these harsh financial times.”

The island of Jersey was first brought to the attention of the public during the 1980s, when hit BBC series “Bergerac” became a fixture in millions of households across Britain. The light-hearted drama, which followed the exploits of likeable detective Jim Bergerac (played by John Nettles), certainly served to put the largest Channel Island on the map – quite where on the map, however, is something which has confounded the BBC meteorological department for many years.

A spokesman for the BBC said yesterday: “The position of Jersey has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, although we’ve now got it pinned down to somewhere about 1/3 of the way between France and the south coast of England. It’s difficult to predict an accurate forecast for a land so distant and isolated, plus trying to get a temperature on to something so miniscule can prove to be problematic. Normally, we just wave a hand ‘down there’ and say that Bergerac-land will be fairly mild with a slight breeze and a chance of showers. Not that it really matters that much…”

Police to solve crime for free

July 20, 2010

Police officers across the UK are set to begin solving crime using no money whatsoever in an ambitious plan set out by Home Secretary Michael Gove.

The Audit Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Wales Audit Office issued a report stating that most, if not all, police spending could be minimised and eventually shelved completely over the next 5 years as part of a series of tough austerity measures being implemented by the coalition government.

HMIC spokesman Peter Ian said yesterday: “Whilst these cutbacks may seem initially harsh on the face of it, they will only make a negligible difference overall. What you’ve got to remember, right, is that most of the stuff the coppers use is all paid for already. Things like truncheons, CS gas, riot shields, cutlery, etc. are all paid for upfront. Plus The Bill is being axed later this year and they’ve got loads of spare stuff like uniforms, surveillance cameras, tape recorders and, of course, Sun Hill nick, which will be vacant from December.

“Sun Hill’s quite state-of-the-art these days, at least since PC Taviner blew it up in 2002 with a petrol bomb, and would only need a lick of paint at best, which could be done over a weekend if a handful of people are willing to spare a couple of hours. Plus you’ve got about 40 ready-made police officers who, quite frankly, would be grateful for the work – I mean, where else is there for an actor to go after appearing in The Bill? One or two of the better-known cast members may get in an episode of Casualty, but the rest are going to need to adjust to civilian life and start earning pretty quickly – and the best thing is, you wouldn’t have to pay to train them up, as many of them have been ‘serving’ officers for upwards of 10 years.”

The report also suggested that significant costs could be saved by “taking people’s word for it” more often and accepting things “at face value” wherever possible. “Too much money is wasted on needless bureaucracy and form-filling,” added Mr. Ian, “and, as part of Mr. Cameron’s so-called ‘Big Society’, it has been suggested that members of the public police themselves by using their conscience. Although this hasn’t been tested in any way whatsoever, it sounds like it might possibly work, so long as every member of the public agrees to play by the rules. Anyone who doesn’t will have to live with the consequences, that’s for sure…”

Transport cuts ‘could’ cause ‘death’, warn experts

June 15, 2010

A cut in transport budgets could lead to an increase in passenger deaths on public transport, a panel of experts have revealed today.

It is thought that planned rises in train fares could lead to many passengers risking their lives using other modes of transport, such as cars or motorcycles, whilst fewer buses would almost certainly cause a rise in the spread of the deadly superbug E-Coli, as thousands cram on board increasingly overcrowded carriages. Such a situation acts as an ideal incubus for the lethal E-Coli bug, as well as other bacteria such as MRSA and Gonorrhea.

Peter Ian, a member of the Campaign for Better Transport, said yesterday: “Did you know that, when sat on a bus, you’re more than 85% likely to come into direct contact with 11 different specimens of semen? Did you? And also, you know the red button thing that you push just before you want to get off? It might surprise you to know that, health-wise, you’d actually be better off sticking your finger up another passenger’s arse. It’s true.

“Did you also know that, in an underground train, because it gets so hot in the summer, there are more different types of bacteria than there are particles in the sun? Did you? It might also surprise you to learn that, due to increased passenger volumes, public transport overall could eventually become more dangerous than sleeping in a hospital bin. It’s true. You can’t deny the research, at the end of the day.

“The only way anyone can combat these diseases is to do what I do and drink plenty of alcohol before boarding any form of public transport. Alcohol is a good natural antiseptic and can be used preventatively against all kinds of harmful bacteria, including Chlamydia. If you’re on a longer journey, I’d advise taking some extra cans or bottles along in order to stay ‘topped up’, because once the protective effect of the alcohol wears off, the body can often become less immune, with many experiencing headaches and sickness as a result. Obviously, if you’re the driver, I’d advise just holding back a little bit and maybe take the odd swig at every other stop.”

Wheel get round to it, say BPA

June 14, 2010

The British Parking Association’s forthcoming action against unscrupulous clamping organisations could be delayed for quite some time, according to reports today.

According to the BPA, there have been “numerous difficulties” contacting parking companies caused by “unnecessary red tape and obfuscating paperwork” in several unsuccessful instances.

Peter Ian, who works for the BPA, reveals more: “Pretty much all these companies are crooks, to be honest with you. We’re trying to tighten up regulation and bring a bit of consistency to how the rules governing parking are exercised, but it’s difficult when the people you’re trying to bring into line are hardly ever there and seldom return your phone calls.

“For instance, we ended up visiting the premises of a company called Target Car Direct, who have been doing a huge amount of unlawful clamping in Bradford recently. When we got to the address, all we could find was a tiny portakabin around the back of an industrial estate, which, of course, had no-one in it. Once we got back to our car we found it had been clamped and there was a scribbled ticket left under one of the wipers instructing us to send £150 to some PO box address in Edinburgh by the end of the day, or the vehicle would be destroyed. It was unbelievable – we’d only been gone a matter of seconds. I was livid and I wanted to smash up their office, but it was already decrepit and there was paper all over the place. I could have set fire to the bastards.”

Target Car Direct aren’t the first company of this kind to incite public hatred. Since 2000, so-called “clamping cowboys” have increased in number by over 1000%, as many businesses look to take advantage of the “yellow pound” [so called, due to the most commonly used colour of wheel-braces in the UK]. “It’s a terrific way to make money,” says Tony Mick of Rapecar Ltd., based in several offices across the UK, “and there’s never any shortage of prospective ‘clients’ willing to flout parking regulations quite clearly displayed in the ‘office’ on the other side of the estate. All they’d have to do is ask for a key, but pretty much all of them are too lazy to do that, so they inevitably come back to their vehicle to find the old ‘yellow gold’ strapped around their rear wheel. They can argue all they like, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones in the wrong. Of course, the customers don’t always agree, so we try to ensure that the people who arrive to tow their car away could squash their heads like a grapefruit if they felt like it.”

Other parking companies were “unavailable” for comment.

Brownfield law change raises price of local councillors

June 9, 2010

New measures announced today to stop homeowners from selling land outside their houses to developers could render local councillors less affordable than ever, experts have warned.

It is thought that the amendment to reclassify gardens as Greenfield sites could add as much as 30% to the price of most local council officers, making redevelopment far more costly for savvy-minded homeowners than ever before. Experts fear that the cost of local councillors could be pushed above £100 for the first time in history once measures to curb so-called “garden grabbing” are implemented.

Peter Ian, a property developer from Somerset, is less-than-pleased with the recent law change: “As far as I’m concerned, this is the final nail in the coffin for anyone looking to make an honest buck out of buying and selling houses. I used to think that local councillors were an unnecessary expense, but I willingly bought them picnic hampers, bottles of whiskey, vintage sherry or whatever, as it easily saw off even the most vocal objectors back in the day.

“Recently, however, they’ve started to get far greedier. On my last project I had to pay several cash installments to this local officer. Nasty piece of work, he was – a real weasel. Just when I thought I’d seen the last of him he’d turn up on site, pissed out of his head, saying things like ‘I want the rest of my money … you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe I’ll call your wife, eh? See how you like that…’ and ‘I can finish you *clicks fingers* … just like that. Think about it – I’ll give you ‘til tomorrow, yeah?’. By the time I’d completed, he’d had nearly £80 out of me. To be honest, by that point I was just glad to see the back of him.”

Tony Mick, a developer from Dagenham, agrees: “With the rate things are going, it won’t be long before many of us will have to resort to desperate measures to see off these shysters, such as borrowing from a friend or, even worse, visiting a cashpoint. One of the councillors round here is famous for it – everyone knows he’s on the take. It makes me sick to the anus every time I see him swanning round the town centre in his Vauxhall Corsa – and that 2-bedroom bungalow must have set him back a fair bit, too.  I mean, I cleared £250,000 profit last year – if it wasn’t for buying off 3 local council officers, that figure would have been closer to £250,090.”

Duchess apologises for talking gibberish during undercover sting

May 24, 2010

The Duchess of York has apologised for her recent terrible grammar which occurred during an undercover sting by the News Of The World newspaper last week.

Sarah Ferguson, 50, said that she had “taken my own senses on, you know, a kind of leave of absence, if you know what I mean”, adding that she was “it’s like, you know, that, I’m apologising, you know” and that she promised to “clean my, um, clean the old act up in futuristic times, you know”.

In a video on the News Of The World website, the Duchess is seen clearly attempting to confound reporter Mazher Mahmood, who was disguised as an undercover reporter for the purposes of the sting. She was overheard telling him: “£500,000 when you can, to me, open doors, if you know what I mean. Oh you don’t. Um – how can I put this? The doors, they will, you know, not exactly be in a closed situation if, the money, you know, gets … you know. If the £500,000 just, you know, into my account gets, so to speak. The door-age will revolve upon its hinge-age, if you get what I’m squawking about.”

Asked if she could repeat this in some semblance of English, she replied “Yeah”, before shaking hands with the reporter and apparently accepting a $40,000 (£27,600) cash down-payment. When asked by Mahmood’s fake undercover reporter about how to transfer the rest of the money, she apparently replied: “It’s simple in that you just, you know, into the, you know … the money. Then that, is then like, then you open up all the channels whatever you need, whatever you want, and then that’s what and then you meet Andrew and that’s fine. And that’s, that’s when you really open up whatever you want. And if you don’t, you know … you know, you’ll always be thinking, you know, the opportunity and stuff, you know. And then it’s like, you know, the time has passed and then, you know, regrets come into it. The overall picture is to be looked at, you know, not to lose sight of, at any time in the, ahem, the exchange of, shall we say, mutual beneficacy, et cetera.”

When Mahmood later confronted the Duchess with the recording, Ms. Ferguson said: “Oh, so you were just pretending to be an undercover reporter all along. Well, to be honest, I kind of, you know, thought that might have been the, um, the truth, so to speak. If you don’t go … you know, to the … yeah, I’ll make it, if you like to think of it in this way, financially, you know … basically, you could make … and yeah, for life you’ll be … you won’t ever need to, kind of … yeah, work, you know? No rush, or anything, whatever you want, as Status Quo once … you know…”

We are not amused, say listeners

May 18, 2010

Listeners to BBC West Midlands switched off in their tens yesterday after weekday presenter Danny Kelly had an inappropriate remark taken more out of context than it should have been.

Kelly, 39, appeared to announce that “Queen Elizabeth II has now died” before qualifying his statement by clarifying that he was referring to a listener of the show, whose name just happened to be Queen Elizabeth II.

Unfortunately, this explanation didn’t wash with a small proportion of the listenership, including regular BBC WM listener Peter Ian: “I think that to insult your superiors in such a manner is disgusting in the extreme. OK, if it had been a homeless person or a job-seeker, you wouldn’t mind so much, but to make such a remark about the Queen is just unforgivable – I’m angry just thinking about it. Imagine how different life would be if the QUEEN were to – God forbid – CHOKE ON A PIECE OF VOMIT IN HER SLEEP, or – I can’t believe I’m even saying this – FALL OUT OF AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW. Of course, it goes without saying that you quote these remarks in the context they’re clearly intended.”

This isn’t the first time Kelly has come under fire for being taken out-of-context when it comes to Royal Family members. In December 2003, the presenter was fined £1000 after describing how he nicknamed his favourite chair “Prince Edward” and how the pattern on its seat resembled a person’s face. Several listeners switched off after he declared: “I’m knackered, folks. I think I’m gonna go home, strip down to my pants and sit on Prince Edward’s ‘face’ once this is all over”. He was also reprimanded for a remark concerning his preferred brand of cigarettes, Rothmans’ Royals. In July 2008 Mr. Kelly declared: “[the] Royals are a great collection of fags in my opinion – I won’t have a word said against them…”

Despite widespread criticism for his recent remarks, Mr. Kelly has received support from several others in his industry, with Steve Peters from Radio Solent declaring live on his “Crazy Wake-Up” show earlier today: “I can’t believe it has come to this – soon we won’t be able to say anything without SOMEONE being up-in-arms about it. I remember a few years back how a listener asked me what my favourite Smiths album was, to which I answered ‘The Queen Is Dead’, which is the automatic choice amongst Smiths aficionados. The minute I said that, the emergency tape loop of the national anthem kicked in and the Isle Of Wight was in mourning (in the morning) for several days. I’d never known anything like it. The next week, I was forced to read an on-air apology saying that I was sorry and that the best Smiths album was, in fact, ‘Hatful of Hollow’, even though everyone knows it was just a bunch of cobbled-together B-sides and live recordings. It’s unbelievable, it really is. Anyway, after the break, we’re back with Fine Young Cannibals followed by Simply Red.”

Laurence finally Bowen home after holiday runs Llewelyn to its second week

April 21, 2010

Flamboyant TV interior designer Laurence Llewelyn Bowen has finally managed to arrive home after the recent bout of volcanic ash held up his family’s flight from Mauritius, which was due to land last Thursday.

Bowen, 45ish, revealed how medium-density-fibre boredom had begun to set in, as his family became increasingly restless over the last five or so days as they waited anxiously for news of their departure. In fact, at one point, they were said to be “climbing the partition walls in frustration”.

Although stencilled in for a flight back on Sunday evening, the Bowen family were left bordering on frustration as they were forced to spend the night in a humid airport terminal draped over their luggage like a bright orange chiffon throw across the back of a £199 DFS sofa. They were, however, offered contemporary accommodation until the next flight to Heathrow became available.

Unfortunately, further disaster struck the stricken family as the accommodation was found to have more of a retro-kind-of-vibe going on than expected. The lack of any pastel shades, combined with the abundance of floral wallpaper eventually forced the Llewelyn Bowens to seek refuge on a nearby beach. Although open to the elements, Mr. Llewelyn Bowen said he much preferred the “beachy feel” of the new location, and that it definitely “had the sea thing going on”.

Luckily, after just two further nights, the family were finally PVA-ble to return home once more, much to the relief of no-one whatsoever.

New iPhone prototype found on top of cistern in pub toilet

April 20, 2010

A prototype for the upcoming 4th generation iPhone has been found in the toilet of a pub just outside of London by one of its unsuspecting regular drinkers.

Unemployed odd-job man Peter Ian, who visits the unnamed Kingston pub every weekday from 11am, was initially sceptical of his discovery, until further exploration of the mystery device yielded a wealth of new features set to take the world of smart phones by storm.

When interviewed, Mr. Ian yesterday revealed: “If what I found on top of the bog last night is anything to go by, then this is a must-have for iPhone fans. It was all fully-working and it looked as sleek as anything – I could tell it was legit, as it had the Apple symbol on the back cover and everything. Honestly, you’ve never seen anything like it – it had a full-colour screen, a camera, the lot. I would have brought it with me today, only it’s at my mate’s house at the minute, and he’s out working. Otherwise, I could have shown you. Honestly, it was the dog’s, mate – you could play music on it, films, all sorts.”

When asked if the new unit carried an on-board flash with its camera, Mr. Ian replied: “Yeah, the camera’s flash all right. The pictures looked amazing. Didn’t actually use the camera, mind, but it had a lens on the back which looked the business, mate. And the finish is plush – it’s like a Porsche’s bonnet, mate, you wouldn’t believe it. You could fry an egg on it, seriously.”

Upon being quizzed over the new model’s much-vaunted 4G capability, Mr. Ian responded: “It’s definitely got that as well. You can tell, see, ‘cos on the back it’s got four Gs, so you know it’s the real deal. Plenty of Gs, mate, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. The more Gs, the better. To be honest with you, I’m not really bothered about technological stuff. I could sell it to you if you want.”

When asked how much for, Mr. Ian replied: “Well look, ‘cos it’s a prototype, I’ll let you have it for £30, but only if I have the money upfront – literally, my mate won’t let me have it otherwise, and I’m borassic at the moment. Cheers, bud. Listen, come back here and meet me in the car park around 8ish and I’ll bring it to you then. It probably won’t be me, if I’m honest with you, it’ll most likely be my mate – don’t worry, everyone knows him round here. Just ask for him at the bar if he’s not around – you can’t miss him, he’s got brown hair and wears a puffer jacket. He’s alright – bit of a knob, though. Yeah, yeah, I’m just going home for a bit first, but I’ll definitely get him to get it for you when I wake up…”

Airline food prices plane stupid: study

April 7, 2010

The average price of snack food on board budget airline flights is “nothing short of daylight robbery”, according to a study carried out by price comparison site travelsupermarket.com.

The website found that a tube of Pringles cost as much as £21.50 plus VAT, and sandwiches ranged from £5.85 for a basic, bread-only package to a mammoth £42.20, depending on filling. Drinks fared little better, with tap water averaging a mighty £9.75, and a glass of cola ranging from £14.35 to £19.69, depending on altitude.

Consumer spokesman Peter Ian said yesterday: “Airlines have been charging these sorts of prices for years, but no-one has ever really known the full extent of this kind of extortion. This study sheds a lot of light on the outright capitalist greed of the majority of commercial airlines. Once you’re off the ground, you’re no longer governed by conventional pricing systems – you effectively become trapped in a monopoly which isn’t of your choosing.

“Basically, once they get you up there, you’ve got nowhere else to go. They’ve got you trapped throughout your flight and are free to dictate terms as they please. You’re as good as held hostage, because it’s not like you can open the door and go down Asda to get a sandwich. If you attempt to do that, you will certainly die AND put the lives of other passengers at great risk. So, in effect, the airlines are forcing you to pay these extortionate prices, otherwise you risk not only your life, but those of several other innocent passengers – and who would want to do that?

“The best way to combat this consumer terrorism, in my view, would be to play them at their own game and smuggle your own means of food production on board. If you can succeed in getting, say, a camping stove, a box of matches and some meths through customs in your hand luggage, together with a good selection of raw foods and appropriate slicing implements, then the world’s your oyster. Put it this way – it’ll certainly make them think twice about charging such prices in future. I’m actually in the process of organising a set of training weekends to teach people how to use this kind of equipment within the confines of an aircraft toilet, along with several other on-board money-saving tips involving everyday household objects such as lighters and aerosols that many wouldn’t necessarily think of. It should prove to be quite an enlightening experience for those who choose to sign up…”