England beats the colonies for once, really it does

LARDS, Motley Cricket Club, Tuesday (NTN) — The cricket world has been rocked by suggestions that Pakistan may have deliberately thrown games and England might not actually be the geniuses of sport they consider themselves.

England captain Stuart Broad stoutly maintained that England’s victories had been every bit as much of a sporting achievement as the team claimed they had, even if the bit where the Pakistan team hadn’t bothered showing up for the match might have caused the churlish, suspicious and stunted of mind to suspect they were throwing the game.

“Believe me, the, er, throwing against us at Lord’s was of a very high standard. I don’t care if they were drop-kicking the … red … thing along the … patch between the … wooden things, and walking on their hands to get the catches. Our three-run victory is ours,” he sobbed, “and you won’t take it away, you rotter. I always believed I had a Test century in me, and now I are one.”

“The suggestion that cricket players could engage in corruption has horrified everyone,” said Professional Cricketers Association boss Angus Porter. “But people are most susceptible to bribes when they are in need. So we need to make sure the players on the field are adequately compensated.”

“Corruption must be dealt with promptly and effectively by those officiating,” said Nick Cousins of the Association of Cricket Officials. “Of course, you can’t put underpaid officials in charge of millionaire athletes and not expect problems. The umpires will, obviously, need to be adequately compensated.”

“A root and branch investigation of professional cricket is required,” said International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat, “which will of course be costly in terms of making sure the right people are on hand to steer the process. But the best way to obtain the very highest quality of managerial effort is to ensure the executives in question are adequately compensated.”

Talk of corruption in international sport has even reached football, with Fabio Capello declining to comment on rumours that a shadowy group of businessmen called the “Football Association” had offered him substantial sums of money to cause England to break all expectations and win an international game.

Wikileaks reveals that Snape killed Dumbledore

WILD WEST END, Baker Street, Sunday (NTN) — The online encyclopedia Wikileaks stands accused of revealing the ending of The Mousetrap, recklessly endangering the income of Agatha Christie’s descendants.

Snape is not impressed“My grandmother always got upset if the plots of her books or plays were revealed in reviews,” said Matthew Prichard, who personally put in the years of hard-working effort one would expect it to take to accumulate the stream of income from the play when it was given to him as a ninth birthday present, “and I don’t think that a site whose purpose is supplying encyclopedic information just going and supplying encyclopedic information is any different as far as my money is concerned. They should go and get real jobs, like decent working people. But it’s not a question of money, or anything like that.”

The article on The Mousetrap reveals that Vader is Luke’s father, Rosebud was Kane’s sled, Kristin shot J.R. and Snape in turn was killed by John Seigenthaler. And something about a war in Afghanistan and shooting journalists.

The encyclopedia does, however, include a comprehensive spoiler warning, noting that they use the forward motion of a car to push it down, helping the tyres grip the road better — thus slowing the car down, rather than speeding it up. Barryboys across east London pointed out the unreliability of Wikileaks as a source and questioned the veracity of the references.

NHS Direct to be replaced with Internet chat sessions

OH FUCK NOT HEALTH, It’s Grim Up Westminster, Saturday (NTN) — The NHS Direct telephone help service is to be scrapped and replaced with a recorded service, Internet chat sessions and a web page.

The 111 helpline, already in place in non-Tory parts of England, has been a “vast success” in cost-cutting, said health secretary Andrew Lansley. The service replaces a live operator telling you to ask your chemist or go to A&E, or a twenty-minute wait on hold for said operator, with a recorded message doing the same. Including the twenty-minute wait on hold.

Further innovations include live Internet chat sessions with an advanced artificial intelligence. “British computer scientists have developed a computerised artificial intelligence so advanced it gets annoyed at bad typing and spends half its time on Facebook chatting up instances of ELIZA. Truly remarkable. It’s not finished yet, of course, but we just cut all their funding so we’ll go with what we’ve got.”

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham held that cutting funding to a famously useless non-service was “clear plans to dismantle the NHS. Leave it alone!” he cried, smearing his mascara. “You are lucky it even performed for you bastards! Anyone that has a problem with it you deal with me, because it is not well right now. Leave the NHS alone!

“Our drive for effectiveness will give a better health service to all,” said Mr Lansley, “certainly those with decent BUPA.”