Mystic Deb

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Next week's big stories, direct from the City's top speculator.

Thursday 15th

The Inland Revenue continue striving to present a more friendly, approachable image, by sending the three million people with outstanding self assessment forms a jolly card saying "Many Happy Returns".

Peter Mandelson reiterates that he doesn't care what people call him, so long as it's not "Mandy". No further comment was forthcoming from the tedious, jumped-up, self-satisfied little smarmpot.

Hundreds of sacked Encyclopedia Britannica salesmen face the prospect of becoming penniless, drifting vagrants spurned by decent members of society. But add that at least redundancy won't change their lifestyle.

Friday 16th

Russia's currency is overhauled overnight, with one new rouble now being worth the same as one thousand old roubles. Tories are impressed by the speed of the changeover - saying it took them almost two decades to do the same thing to the Pound.

Peter Mandelson denies that the Dome project is running into financial trouble, when he delays appointing replacement for designer Stephen Bayley and instead writes in to the BBC's Changing Rooms rom-makevoer programme.

The Japanese finally apologise for past atrocities which caused millions of British citizens to suffer unnecessarily. But add that some people do actually quite ENJOY karaoke.

Saturday 17th

The Government announce plans for an innovative environmental scheme to stop so many commuters driving in to work. It's to be known as "redundancy".

City financiers express their outrage and shock at Doctor Richard Seed's plans to clone human beings. "Whatever will happen to our sense of individuality?" demand six hundred middle-aged pinstripe-suited men in unison.

Sunday 18th

The controversial film based on Nick Leeson's life begins shooting in Singapore. David Cronenburg sues, saying that he's already copyrighted the title "Crash".

A ballot is taken over the issue of human cloning. Officials announce that the matter will be decided on a "two men, one vote" basis.

Having dropped charges against William Straw for selling cannabis, a police spokesman responds to allegations of preferential treatment. "Oh, like, who

GIVES a shit, man?" said a senior officer on his way back from the Seven Eleven.

Monday 19th

Pioneering medical scientists patent a device that can perform ultrasound scans on a heart as small as that of a mouse, but not that of Harriet Harman.

Meanwhile, other scientific developments allowing doctors to artificially clone human veins are hailed as a major breakthrough. Stockbrokers are now able to increase their drug intake by at least 50 per cent.

Tuesday 20th

The Technology Minister claims that new hi-tec Red Boxes feature such sophisticated anti hacker encoding that it'd take thousands of years to unscramble the code. Adding that the scrambling method has been successfully tested over several months on all Gordon Brown's speeches.

As shares in the banana import industry rise sharply, Geoffrey Robinson applies to become the new chairman of Fyffes, explaining that like their product, he, too, is yellow, bent and frequently responsible for embarrassing slip-ups.

The Party Political Broadcast is finally abolished, with politicians now forced to pay for TV advertising space. Tony Blair unveils his next election campaign, under the slogan "I Can't Believe It's Not Better".

London Transport admit that they're baffled as to how a psychiatric patient ended up in the driving seat of a packed commuter train, since he was actually supposed to be in charge of the Jubilee Line extension.

Debbie Barham

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