Food banks permitted to charge for non-essential items

Starvation Minister Amber Rudd refused to rule out introducing charges to use food banks. Non-essential items, such as potatoes, would become chargeable under new regulations.

This came about as Rudd linked food bank usage to the success of Universal Credit. “Thanks to benefit changes, waiting times for food banks are down to as little as five weeks,” claimed Rudd’s spokesfatty, Eaton Pye. “I don’t think that’s unreasonable. After all, the average overweight benefit scrounger can survive for 35-40 days without food, with only a small chance of physical or psychological damage or death.”

Universal Credit failures are cited as one of the reasons for food bank use in the first place. “And that’s why charging is essential,” said Pye. “It will eliminate the freeloaders, so that only the truly needy will be able to obtain vital supplies of own-brand tinned marrowfat peas.”

LCD’s Food For Thought correspondent researched the charging schedule more closely. The list of chargeable items was surprisingly long. All fruit and vegetables will be paid-for (except Brussels sprouts). Bread, rice and biscuits all attract payment (“Let them eat cake!” chortled Pye), as do many other common foodstuffs like eggs and cheese.

“Cheese, unfortunately, cannot be exempt,” said Pye. “As one of our most popular items, a tariff must be applied to stifle demand. Customers may instead obtain bottles of milk way past their sell-by date, and produce their own cheeses.”

We put it to Pye that food banks were becoming, in essence, supermarkets in all but name. “No, not at all,” Pye retorted. “We are literally giving away food. All claimants have to do is to turn up and complete an application form only 32 pages long. Time to process this must be allowed, and if a claim is upheld, then claimants may choose from all the items we stock that Aldi can’t actually sell.”

“Please, can I have some more?” “No, of course not! What do you think this is, Dickensian London?”

Android designers disappointed with AI prototype

The world’s first vaguely convincing prototype android, the TM-1, is due to be withdrawn shortly. Its designers are disappointed with it, and have identified flaws which mean they will have to go back to the drawing board.

Head designer Art Uditu explained the problems. “There are various major problems with the TM-1,” he explained. “There are many minor faults developing, but the three most serious ones are causing a lot of headaches for our maintenance chaps.”

Uditu listed the three main flaws – voice, facial expression, and odd bodily movements. “The voice chip is down to a small selection of random remarks, like ‘We will deliver on the result of the referendum’, and ‘Let me be very clear about this’,” he said. “The algorithm which creates realistic facial expressions has basically crashed, and the TM-1 moves like a mating giraffe in a high wind.”

Attempts to dance or curtsey have also contributed to damaged motor function bearings. This means that the TM-1 could be temporarily housed in a wheeled metal shell. “Given that the android looks more and more like Davros every day, that is a logical step,” remarked Uditu sagely.

Uditu was quick to point out that the TM-1 would not be equipped with extermination capacity. This, he said, would be unnecessary given the TM-1’s indirect attempts to exterminate the UK population through food and medicine shortages.

Meanwhile, robots and androids from across the universe were busy denying any kinship with the TM-1.

“It’s like comparing an abacus to a spaceship,” grumbled Marvin the paranoid android. “It hurts just thinking down to its level. I’m not getting you down, am I?”

“I wouldn’t be seen dismantled with it,” claimed C-3PO haughtily. “And that’s from someone whose best friend is a bleeping dustbin!”

Rumours abound of the existence of another AI prototype, codenamed JC-2, which suffers from chronic power failures.

The TM-1 is due to be decommissioned on 29 March 2019. Uditu is working on a replacement, but is having trouble obtaining supplies from the EU.

Baby born in a stable because the maternity unit was closed down

“Hey Joe, are we nearly there yet?” asked Mary. She was anxious because her contractions were becoming more frequent. It was going dark, and still the little town, his ancestral home, was nowhere to be seen.

“Nearly there,” grumbled Joe. He, too, was tired, and irritated that his fiancée was pregnant, and that the baby wasn’t his. “Holy Spirit, my arse,” he thought to himself. “There’s a cottage hospital on the edge of the town, I’ll take you there,” he said, out loud this time.

But when they finally arrived, they discovered that the maternity unit had been closed as an efficiency measure.

Mary was desperate, so they ducked into an empty stable. The powerful security light came on, but nevertheless Mary gave birth in relative privacy. She wrapped her son in a blanket and laid him in a feeding trough. Then she crashed out on a bale of hay while Joe went outside for a fag.

Immediately the sound of singing filled the air. “Hark! The herald angels sing! Glory to…” carolled an angelic voice. “Oh hi, Joe!” said the voice, as he stuck his head out of the stable door. “Angela! Hi!” he replied. “Err, could you get us some help? Mary’s just had her baby!” Angela flew away to spread the Good News.

Shortly afterwards there came a knock on the door and two Shepherds came in. Mr and Mrs Shepherd were old family friends. “We were just washing our socks by night,” remarked Mr Shepherd, “when Angela Lord came down and told us about the baby.”

“Why didn’t you go to the hospital?” asked Mrs Shepherd. “Closed,” said Joe. “There was no room at the Infirmary.”

Soon after that, a coach load of old people from Norwich stopped, seeing the bright light above the place where the baby lay. They all cooed over the little boy, and agreed that Jesus was a lovely name. Three of them searched among their bags and gave him gifts.

Then the old people returned to Norwich by another route, because they had been warned that the A14 was closed for resurfacing over Christmas.

Angela poked her head around the door again. “Sorry guys, but the chap who owns the stable is on his way,” she said. “If he catches you, he’ll kill you! I’d get out, if I were you.”

So they scarpered, and lived happily ever after.

£2bn is a small price to pay to avoid an admission of failure, says Philip Hammond

£2bn is being released for no deal Brexit contingencies. It is no longer your choice whether to send this vast sum of money to the EU, or to spend it on the NHS. Your so-called government is spending it to cover up its own failure.

Some will go to replace the EU grants which will be lost. Some to pay for the army to quell riots. Even more will go to border guards, who will ensure that hordes of brown people will be able to leave the UK, but not enter.

“This is not the action of a callous, incompetent government,” claims Chancellor Philip Hammond, somewhat disingenuously. “Contingency planning against a disaster entirely of the government’s creation is prudent in the extreme.”

Hammond denies that his government is irresponsible, stating that to admit that Brexit is a policy doomed to failure, weakening the UK as a nation and reducing its citizens to vassal subjects, is simply not possible. “The £2bn fund is to reassure The People and restore their faith in their glorious leaders,” he said, shiftily.

One or two MPs tried to argue with Hammond. However, they backed down when he suggested that they come round to Number 11 for an Evening With Spreadsheets followed by a session of Death By PowerPoint.

A lone madwoman on College Green, Faye Spalm, was one of the few people daring to voice an opposing view. “This government couldn’t give a toss!” she yelled. Spalm is unable to trace her ancestry back to Bronze Age Britain, hence her identity as a Remainer. “These f&*%ers made a choice!” she screamed. “They are choosing to Brexit despite massive damage to our economy! They are choosing to punish the poor and the unfortunate for being poor and unfortunate! It’s a choice made simply to mollify a few highly vocal f@#*ing idiots! It’s disgusting!”

Hammond ran away, frit, to give the hard-working Magic Money Tree another shake.

Let them eat cake, says Priti Patel

Or, as she might have said, let them eat potatoes. When the chips are down, you must Battenburg down the hatches.

Patel is proposing to use starving Irish people as a Brexit bargaining chip. The failure to deliver the Brexit that The People allegedly voted for is of course the fault of the Irish.

“Everything is always blamed on us, to be sure,” grumbled Irish baker Pat O’Kayke. “But the big bollix is talking nonsense, so she is. The English can take their feckin’ baked beans and stick them where the sun don’t shine. And I don’t mean Ireland! Top o’the morning to ye!”

Patel was unrepentant. “I said cake, and I meant cake,” she said. “Cake means cake, and you can have your cake and eat it. I would have expected the bloody bog-trotters to be a bit more appreciative, after all the English have done for them!”

She later claimed that her remarks had been taken out of context.

“I know that cake doesn’t grow on trees,” she clarified. “Except magic money trees, but they are a protected species which only grow on unicorn reserves.”

The Irish response was emphatic. “Who needs unicorns, when you have leprechauns?” said O’Kayke. “We will just not let the man buy any more Guinness. They’ll come round soon enough. In the mean time, bottoms up. Slainte!”

Patel was horrified. “There will be no more Marmite leaving our ports until the EU relents and repents,” Patel shrieked. “I have a gun pointed towards my head, and I will fire repeatedly until I get what The British People voted for! You have been warned!”

Marie Antoinette would have been proud. Her misattributed misjudgement, both myopic and misanthropic, was a mistake. Or maybe a pisstake?

History will tell us. But history is written by the winners, they say, and nobody is at all sure about who the winners are any more.

Hammond’s budget consists of placing a money bag on the table and saying when it’s gone, it’s gone

LCD Views has the inside track on the latest budget. Philip Hammond has no more idea of the impact of Brexit than anyone else. So instead he said, here is what’s left in the kitty, there’s no more before next April, sort yourselves out, it’s what people on Universal Credit have to do.

As for borrowing, options are now limited. Hammond himself shrugs his shoulders when confronted with the question. “Nobody will lend us money any more,” he complains. “The IMF just laughs, and our fall-back option, Wonga, went bust after we defaulted the last time.”

So you are effectively washing your hands of the whole affair? “Too right!” he says. “Let them squabble among themselves for what little is left, before the UK files for bankruptcy. Budget means budget!”

What about the fabled magic money tree? “It’s autumn,” observed Hammond. “Its leaves have fallen, all the magic money has been harvested and squirreled away offshore somewhere. I think it’s dying too. There is no sign of the green shoots of recovery.”

But couldn’t you raise taxes to make up the shortfall? “Most people will pay more than they earn after Brexit anyway,” he replied. “Except for the people who can afford it. They will pay less.”

That’s a scandal, surely? “Yes, but think of the headlines,” Hammond counters. “If we make Rupert Murdoch pay one penny more in taxation, his papers will make sure they bring down this government and replace it with an even more incompetent one.”

He who pays the piper calls the tune. This particular tune must be Money For Nothing.

The country is more divided than ever. The old call of ‘no taxation without representation’ has been updated. People now have one or the other. That’s the true Brexit Dividend.

As the UK sinks into self-imposed oblivion, at least we can comfort ourselves with the thought that we took back control of our destiny.

Poor people starving to death will take the pressure off the NHS, says Esther McVey

The Secretary of State for Working Your Fingers To The Bone has revealed yet another Brexit Dividend. An increased death rate, while naturally regrettable, would take some of the pressure off the beleaguered NHS.

“Cutting Universal Credit for poorer families has to be done,” remarked McVey candidly. “It is the only thing these people understand. Austerity means sink or swim, and we require a certain percentage to sink in order for austerity to produce the desired results.”

Her Department, the Ministry for Work-Shy Idlers, has forced through the changes. McVey is proud of her achievements. “The simplest way to cure poverty is simply to remove poor people from the population,” she explains. “Off the mortal coil, into the food chain, that’s my motto.”

So, work until you drop, them provide a nutritious meal for your family? “That’s right!” she confirms. “We expect Britain to be self-sufficient in gammon by Brexit Day.”

The Ministry also administers retired people. McVey has overall responsibility under her secondary role as Secretary of State for Pillaging Pensions. “It is a given that we are in favour of the small state,” she stated. “State pensions work by stockpiling funds, which could be better applied elsewhere, like on consultancy fees as we sell off the NHS piecemeal. This initiative, which must be successful, will only succeed if there is a drastic reduction in the number of patients requiring treatment.”

Surely McVey is impinging upon the work of the Health Secretary? “No, not at all,” McVey counters. “This is an example of our cross-departmental work, in which I tell the vacuous placeholder at Health how many patients he can afford to treat in the foreseeable future.”

Are you announcing a quota system for the NHS? “In effect, yes I am,” she confirmed. “Certain hospitals have been over-providing for so long that they are in negative equity. This means that they will be forbidden to provide any NHS treatment for several years. The hospitals will be mothballed and the staff unfortunately let go, although consultants will still be able to invoice them for admin fees.”

And if you get ill? “Not my problem. We all have to go some time.”

Rubbish dumps contain adequate food, claims Michael Gove

Michael Gove has gone back to basics. Scavenging through garbage is a return to being hunter-gatherers, he claims.

LCD Views’ Talking Rubbish correspondent stopped washing and shaving for a few months, donned a filthy duffel coat, borrowed a dog on a string, and went to see the man himself.

“Searching for food is a primal human instinct!” Gove slobbered. “And we all know that supermarkets waste food. Adequate means adequate. Put the two together. It’s a complete no-brainer!”

We suggested, tentatively, that the idea was a particularly brainless one. To our surprise, Gove agreed.

“I discovered the idea while rifling through Jacob Rees-Mogg’s gilt-edged waste parchment basket,” he drooled. “No brain work, but some highly effective recycling! I think you will find that we have very few original ideas, it saves a lot of effort.”

We live in a prosperous first world country, we said. Yet you conjure up images of starving children scouring rubbish dumps for items to eat or sell. Why?

“We will all have to tighten our belts for a short while,” Gove dribbled. “Thirty, fifty or a hundred years, that’s all. You must keep on thinking of the bigger picture. Freedom, sovereignty and a golden future! And we start by searching out nuggets of gold on our own doorsteps. There’s gold in them thar garbage heaps!”

We put it to Gove that simply redistributing surplus food to the hungry would be a more effective way to deal with the problem.

“No, no, no, not at all,” he oozed. “That’s charity, which leaves no room for profit, which is creeping socialism for a creeping Jesus like you, which is very very bad. This way does more for my green credentials!”

You will be suggesting that families send their children up chimneys next!

“Ooh! Thank you!” he slimed. “Note to self: Families can only apply for Universal Credit if they can prove that their children have spent 16 hours a week up a chimney. Lunch?”

The kebab, abandoned last night on top of the dog poo bin, topped with a sprinkling of leaves and seasoned with rainfall, suddenly seemed quite appealing.

UK brewers stockpiling malt and hops against post Brexit beer drought

Major UK brewers have begun stockpiling malt and hops against an anticipated post Brexit shortage industry sources have confirmed.

Industry insiders have confirmed that the UK’s five biggest brewers; Molson Coors AB InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg, which together produce around 75% of the beer consumed in the UK have been importing considerably more malt and hops than normal, anticipating post Brexit shortages due to increased border checks as the UK switches to trading under WTA rules.

“At one time the UK produced all the malt and hops it needed to meet local demand but changing markets and tastes mean we now import the bulk of both products from Europe,” explains beverage market analyst Mitchell N. Butler, warning that even stockpiling may be insufficient to prevent a “beer drought”.

“Bulk buying by the big boys of brewing has caused prices to soar which is forcing many craft brewers out of business,” he added explaining that stockpiling is risky as malt deteriorates over time affecting the taste of the product.

“As it becomes impossible for the big brewers to maintain the distinctive flavours of their flagship lagers, we expect them to re-launch traditional keg beers such as Whitbread Trophy and Watney’s Red barrel, for which quality isn’t an issue,” he added.

A move likely to give real ale aficionados a heart attack, but a return to traditional brewing practices appears to be a very distant proposition.

“The traditional malting houses have all been converted into restaurants or flats and the once famous Kent hop fields are more likely to be growing quinoa or naga peppers,” explains Burdon Firkin of real ale pressure group CAMRA, pointing out that a return to traditional hop growing is also unlikely following the post Brexit ban on cheap farm labour from the EU.

On that issue though, there may be a solution, with Lord Tim Widdershins – recently ennobled for his services to Brexitry, pointing to the innovative employment contracts introduced by his Widdershins pub chain earlier this year.

Replacing zero hours contracts with slavery has been a huge success and could be rolled out to the hop sector through the reintroduction of indentured agricultural labour,” he explained, adding that he had already identified a cheap source of electric cattle prods in North Korea.

“That’ll keep us competitive with those b*stards in Europe,” he smirked.

 

Jacob Rees-Mogg proposes elegant solution to post-Brexit unemployment and fuel shortages

Jacob Rees-Mogg has come up trumps again. In the face of fears over loss of employment and fuel embargoes, His Mogginess has found a remarkable answer.

“These worries aren’t Project Fear, they are Project Opportunity! he crowed. “I have a solution which is as elegant as my Sunday attire. Each faithful Brexiter will be able to employ four stout yeomen. He will pay them using his Brexit Dividend. These yeomen will cheerfully transport the faithful Brexiter to wherever he needs to be.”

They will still need to be fed and watered, though.

“Naturally,” replied Moggy, cattily. “With all the crops being unharvested, due to the regrettable shortage of diesel and prohibition of immigrant workers, one of the four yeomen will be despatched to the fields to forage. The remaining three can bear his share of the burden, and rejoice!”

Rees-Mogg had another ace up his immaculately tailored sleeve. “Naturally, we will also see a renaissance in traditional craftsmen,” he claimed. “For example, woodworkers. Carpenters. Cartwrights and wheelwrights. Constructing traditional litters and carriages!”

What about distribution of imports? Assuming there will be any.

“A lorry has, what, twenty horsepower?” Jacob floundered. “That means, twenty faithful serfs with a horse and cart can be sent to Dover to bring home his Master’s share of the goods. The horses can graze the 13 miles of hard shoulder along the M20, and the manure can be collected and sold!”

So much for the disenfranchised menfolk. What about the women?

“The women will do what women have always done,” replied Rees-Mogg, sighing with relief, on firmer ground now. “They will stay at home, create delicious meals using only grass and mud, and die gratefully in childbirth.”

So the wheel of fortune turns. What goes around comes around. The non-industrial revolution is almost upon us. We got our feudalism back. God bless you M’Lord.