Culture secretary to rate all websites

DAS BUNKER, The Culture Wars, Saturday (NNN) — The Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, has emphasised the necessity of new standards of decency need to be applied to the World Wide Web.

“We plan to apply film-style age ratings to all websites. There are only 186 million at the moment, so that shouldn’t be hard.” He points to the success of the 9pm television watershed at protecting children. “Children have become Victorian ideals one and all since its introduction. They never learn to swear, either.”

Andy Burnham cries real tearsProtection of children is paramount. “The Internet is quite a dangerous place,” he says. “I was on Bebo just the other day and a gang of virtual cyber-hoodies mugged me for my mobile.” Internet service providers must offer parents “child-safe” web services. “There has been no market demand for them, but we know what’s good for you. I’m concerned as a parent myself! I need to be able to leave my child in front of the Internet unattended for eight hours a day, and it’s the rest of the Internet’s job to keep an eye on my kid for me.”

He dismissed the concerns of troublemaking digital activists, anarchist defenders of paedophiles one and all. “If you look back at the people who created the internet — the military researchers for ARPA who were building a network that would survive a nuclear war — they talked very deliberately about creating a space that Governments couldn’t reach. Obviously implausible as that sounds. So it’s our job to take it over.”

Mr Burnham also plans to negotiate with Barack Obama’s administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites. “It’s not like they have laws requiring freedom of offensive speech.”

Mr Burnham also plans to give BBC licence fee money to Channel Four, and also give the record industry a massive free copyright extension, three-strikes network cutoff laws and a pony.

“The Internet has been empowering and democratising in many ways, but it can be a very, very complex and quite dangerous world, particularly for politicians. I’ve had people claiming I don’t have the first clue about what I’m regulating, but we have our donors to help us there.”

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Merry Thursday and a happy new Thursday

The Creation of Dawkins

Self-rest ye merry atheists
Let nothing you dismay
There is no evidence that Christ
Was born on Christmas day
So save us all from unreason
When we were gone astray
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
They’re shooting it out still
Over who the imagined friend
Likes best and always will
Imaginary friends are always
Good reason to kill
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

From centuries of learning
A rational person came
And unto those there listening
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in our great universe
There is no magic name.
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

“Fear not then,” said the person,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is good as any
For a pure virgin Bright,
To free all those who think in fog
From muddled thinking’s blight.”
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

The thinkers at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And told their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to writing straight away
The ounce of sense to find.
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

Now to good sense sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This tide of true humanity
All other doth deface.
O tidings of reason and fact
Reason and fact
O tidings of reason and fact

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Branson takes over NHS

MEDICAL MEGASTORE, Oxford Street, Monday (NNN) — Sir Richard Branson has accused politicians of “tinkering” with infection control in hospitals.

Virgin Blue Screen of Arrested Indicators“If our airlines had that kind of track record we’d be grounded. So we need to apply the Virgin Atlantic and VirginBlue model to the NHS. We’ve also our experience with Virgin Trains and bringing NTL up to quality to bring to the table.”

The new Virgin Medical PFI corporation will operate a new line of cheap, cheerful and financially efficient assembly-line medical operations. “We can buy thirty-year-old equipment cheap, like with VirginBlue, and polish it up and put new logos on it.”

Appointment scheduling will be farmed out to Virgin Trains’ Midland Mainline operations. NHS Direct and 999 will be taken on by the Virgin Media customer support department. “We think a ‘quintuple play’ of phone, internet, television, mobile and having an ambulance show up before you die will be a major marketing winner. If you haven’t been trying to read Wikipedia or anything, of course.” Non-subscribers will be taken to hospital by a Virgin Balloons flight.

Sir Richard also called for more information for patients on infection rates, and a tougher policy on managers at failing trusts. “We’re calling MRSA the ‘Virgin Killer.'”

BUPA shares were up 5% in early trading.

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Famous person’s son stays in jail, thank Christ

IN WITH THE CHAPS, Yah-Boo Club, Monday (NNN) — Otis Ferry, 26, pro-hunting campaigner and arrogant over-monied twat who wastes oxygen like there aren’t decay bacteria who could make good use of it, will spend Christmas in jail after bail was denied today.

Sad Otis in snowThe son of Roxy Music singer Bryan is charged with assault, robbery, two counts of perverting the course of justice and being an arrogant over-monied twat. He will stand trial in March for truly mind-bogglingly arrogant twattery.

Mr Ferry has made numerous applications for bail, despite repeated claims that life in prison was easy. “Oh, come on — I boarded at a public school. Though I do work to get along with the other inmates, however, regaling them with tales from the hunt and the party circuit.”

“Honest, Guv,” said multiple murderer Bob “Pound You To Mincemeat” Fister, “he opened his mouth and it woz like my brain woz bein’ sucked out my ears. Lord love a duck, get me away from the twat in case I catch a terminal case of twat or something.”

Mr Ferry is likely to remain on remand at HMP Gloucester until his trial on March 9, despite legal action by other prisoners under European human rights legislation.

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Pagans flock to Stonehenge for winter solstice

A344, Gateway To The West, Sunday (NNN) — Hundreds of druids, pagans, witches and tourists flocked to Stonehenge in Wiltshire to celebrate the Winter Solstice early this morning. The pagan tradition, celebrating the shortest day of the year, has gone back hundreds of years since being reconstructed in 1954 by Gerald Gardner.

Pagan Pink Ripple WineAbout 1,900 people, some dressed in cloaks and robes, saw the sunrise at the prehistoric site, before grabbing a previously-captured Christian virgin male and burning him in a giant wickerman on the site.

Pagan priestess Hypatia Eldritch-Wyldeblood (name legally changed from Tracey Clegg), 19, explained the long tradition of Paganism in the UK. “A lot of people say it’s just kids being trendy. But I’m from a family tradition of witchcraft and paganism going back at least a generation. Not like those Christians, they just make it all up as they go along. Jesus was a pagan, you know — frankincense was actually a shamanistic drug back then, which let the Three Mystical Seers visualise a star of pure astral energy guiding them. The forty days in the desert actually happened over one night on ibogaine. ’Strue, it’s all in this pamphlet from Salisbury Tourism!”

Salisbury Tourism has been working on enhancing the site, with Saturday night wickerman barbecues (“Get your revenge for the Burning Times! Fosters and Kronenbourg mead 2 for 1 Happy Hour! Skyclad after midnight!”) and a concession stand doing a roaring trade in fluffy bunnies. A local tax has been placed on purple to fund the redevelopment.

A £20m visitor centre is to be built at the site, but English Heritage and The National Trust are arguing vociferously over where the centre should be built, trading insults and calling each other’s mother a Christian. English Heritage consultants had sacrificed £2m to the ancient god Mammon in the process.

Scientists confirm: normal people still Nazis at heart

SHOPPINGLAND, Consumerville, Friday (NotScientist) — US researchers have repeated the famous “Milgram test,” with volunteers told to electrocute another volunteer, and discovered that normal, everyday people just like you and your neighbours would still make pretty good Nazis in a pinch.

Never Again, until next timeDr Jerry Burger found that even after the other volunteer (an actor) faked screams of pain, 70% were prepared to increase the voltage they thought was punishing the untermensch. Even when another actor entered the room and questioned what was happening, most were still prepared to continue.

“Most people just want to raise their kids and earn a buck and not be bothered. Tests prove these assholes will happily get you fired for a five-dollar discount, no matter how nice you were to them — if I promise them 5% off their weekly groceries, I dare you to find me one who’ll stop a second before they sell you to the secret police.”

Dr Abigail San ran the experiment herself and concurred. “It’s not that these are not good people — it’s that you can die in a fire if they’ll get a nicer telly for it. I wonder when the next fucker to say ‘never again’ mentions Rwanda. Oh, never?”

Boris Busybody, 77 (IQ), of East Cheam, condemned the experiments. “Everyone knew this already — these ‘scientists’ have upset their test subjects for no good reason. It’s just not right or moral. We should send the buggers back where they came from. I bet they’re all on the dole too.”

Aston Martin designs new Routemaster

CHAP CENTRAL, Southwark, Friday (NNN) — London mayor Boris Johnson’s competition to design a new Routemaster bus to replace the unpopular bendy buses has been won by a design from Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Double-0-Boris RoutemasterThe new bus, the Routemaster Double-O-Boris, features an aerodynamic profile, solar panels, side-mounted cannons and a fridge to keep one’s martini ingredients instantly ready. It is also able to travel up to fifty miles underwater, maintaining encrypted radio contact with “M” back at the depot, “which will be useful when we extend the number 86 to continue past Romford to Paris,” said Mr Johnson.

The accessibility problems of the old Routemaster are solved with the grab-pole at the back door, which a wheelchair can easily be tied to. A robo-conductor will take fares and shoot evaders with a taser gun. First-class will be at the front of the lower deck, with a concierge and a separate door.

The Health and Safety Executive said that all hop-on-hop-off usage would be monitored by HSE inspectors and restricted to those carrying a certificate of competency and who had a signed disclaimer on file with Transport for London.

The actual bus that will eventually be put into service is unlikely to be identical to the submitted designs, more likely being identical to the present suburban double-deckers but two feet lower and more cramped in all directions. With updated paintwork. “But it will be inspired by the winning design,” said Mr Johnson. “Pow! Bang bang bang! Cripes, Mr Bond!”

Film and TV producers call for action on file-sharing

Sir, We are a group of UK film and TV producers, directors and writers. We are concerned that the successes of the creative industries in the UK are being undermined by the illegal online file-sharing of film and TV.

We’ll fix it in postWe are asking the Government to show its support by ensuring that internet service providers play their part in tackling this huge problem by giving us money. Lots of money. Just keep piling it in, we’ll tell you when it’s enough.

In 2007, up to (well, it could be) 25 per cent of all online TV piracy took place in the UK. Popular shows are downloaded illegally hundreds of thousands of times per episode, and some of them might even be ours rather than something American made with an actual budget.

It is true that in 2008, UK commercial TV broadcasters enjoyed the highest viewing figures in five years, that total TV viewing was up 10% year-on-year, and the valuable yet hard-to-reach 16 to 24-year-old demographic (the typical file-sharer) watched 4.9% more commercial TV and saw 12% more ads. But it’s the principle of the thing: someone is getting money from something that touches something one of us once touched, therefore the money belongs to us. This is the style of corporate thinking, after all, that brought Britain its great economic gains from 1997 to 2007. At a time when so many jobs are being lost in the wider economy, it is especially important that our gravy train be maintained.

Internet service providers have the ability to change the behaviour of those customers who illegally distribute content online. They have the power to make significant change and to prevent their infrastructure from being used on a wholesale scale for illegal activity. They have the power to stop people looking at the cover of Virgin Killer. They have a secret magic wand that will fix everything wrong with the media industry’s income streams and they are refusing, with malice aforethought, to use it. If they are not prepared to give us all the free money we ask for and a bit more besides, they should be compelled to do so.

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British business doomed as working week cut to 48 hours

DOWN T’ PIT, London EC1, Wednesday (NNN) — Business leaders were unanimous in their protest against the European Parliament vote to scrap the UK’s opt-out from the Working Time Directive.

smashing-bricks-with-your-forehead.jpeg“Workers should be free to work any seventy hours they choose. There is of course no element of coercion whatsoever in any workplace we could find, and we actually asked the proprietors of as many as two or three.”

They also noted the terrible effects such a ban would have on the hospitality industry, with the normal British worker no longer needing to down six pints in their three spare hours a week in order to regain the power of speech.

Alejandro Cercas, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party MEP who brought the vote, said the parliament’s 421-273 vote to end the opt-out would help create “a social Europe,” where all workers, jobs and pay packets would be interchangeable and indistinguishable and everyone could live in clean and spacious grey concrete blocks just as good as everyone else’s.

The NHS cautioned against the possibility of junior doctors no longer working 72-hour shifts, as having enough time off shift to be aware of their surroundings might lead to them realising what a hellhole they had signed up for.

Alan Duncan, the Shadow Business Secretary, attacked Gordon Brown for failing to control Labour’s MEPs. “The only way out of the recession is to allow workers an unimpeachable excuse to get the hell away from their families. British business will be unable to compete if individuals do not have the free and untrammeled choice to choose to slurp heartily at the anus of their undoubtedly charming and personable line manager for seventy hours in a week while being paid for forty.”

When it was pointed out that business leaders had said this about the five-day week, every health and safety rule ever written, the abolition of child labour and the abolition of slavery, he said “British business can’t possibly compete if it has to spend time thinking up new excuses.”

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Internet Explorer will not fill your computer with child porn

DAS BUNKER, RedMonk, Tuesday (NNGadget) — Microsoft is reeling from the vicious and unwarranted slanders of security companies and the US government’s Computer Emergency Response Team that its Internet Explorer web browser has alleged “security holes” or is in any way less than the finest software known to mankind and excellent value for your money.

u r doin it rongThe festering paedophiles of CERT have gone so outrageously far as to make the ludicrous claim that just viewing a malicious webpage in IE could leave your computer open to being hacked and turned into a Russian Mafia spam server. “We don’t know what could have triggered such vindictiveness,” sobbed Microsoft marketing marketer’s marketer Steve Ballmer. “Do they hate free enterprise that much?

There are things you can do to make your computing experience even more secure. Microsoft’s official suggestion — make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and using an entire CPU doing nothing much, click through five screens to run IE in “protected mode,” click through four screens to set zone security to “high,” click “JUST BLOODY DO IT WILL YOU” when the User Access Control asks if you really want to do this, enable automatic updates with the minor side-effect of installing Microsoft DRM on your system or Windows Genuine Advantage randomly turning your computer into a paperweight, and sacrifice a goat to Microsoft at midnight on a moonless night — is simple and straightforward. “It’s the quality you’re paying for.”

On no account should you consider that there might be other web browsers out there, as researchers have demonstrated that all of them automatically download the cover of Virgin Killer. “I saw a report,” said marketing marketer John Curran of Microsoft Completely Enderlependent Analysts, Inc., “that another browser had more vulnerabilities than ours! People would be very foolish indeed to move from the latest IE to Netscape 4.01.”

“These CERT wankers are Mactards and trolls,” said Guardian marketing marketer Jack Schofield. “They just want to take IE users out, brutally sodomise them, gas them in concentration camps and” [This comment has been removed by a Guardian moderator. Replies may also be deleted.]

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